Business Architecture gets a bit of a bad rap, but this won’t because there’s pizza involved

Nina Muhleisen | 2 July 2020


Whether it’s business architecture, reference models, capability models, value streams, customer journeys, process mapping, dependency mapping – all of these components are linked together, each bringing their own value to your organisation. But with so many definitions or variations of the same thing, it can be confusing navigating your way around them and that confusion often means that your mapping initiatives are stopped and the value isn’t delivered.

To help you avoid that in your organisation we’re going to keep it really simple.

At the heart of all of this, it’s about knowing what your organisation is doing and how they are doing it. It’s the blueprint of your organisation and that blueprint should show you the link between your people, process, technology, strategy, design, culture and ultimately, through value chains, it should show you how you’re delivering value to your customers. More importantly, and depending on the decisions that you need to make, you can look at the information from different lenses to help reach your best outcome.

Let’s use an example of Clair’s pizza shop, “Perfect Pizza”.

They are a typical pizza restaurant doing both dine-in and takeaway and also offer online orders through their website with a 30-minute delivery guarantee.

Claire wants to grow her business and in particular, she wants to invest in the online side and move to mobile orders to increase the number of people she can serve in one night.

She’s identified three distinct customer journeys:

  • Dine-in
  • Pickup
  • Mobile/Online Delivery


Let’s look at her mobile/online delivery journey, we can instantly see opportunities to improve the customer experience:

  • Customers have to switch devices to complete an order
  • Wait times are a concern
  • Payments upon delivery pose unnecessary risks

This journey captures the customer interactions with Perfect Pizza, but more importantly, it’s the human and emotional rollercoaster that helps us identify the biggest gaps in the process.

Knowing our customer journeys help us to easily see where we need to improve the human components to the experience we deliver, our customer journeys explain why our customers come to us in the first place 

However to transform and increase the online and mobile business Claire needs to understand how all of the components of her business need to interact with each other to make that journey possible. Not just how the customer feels about the experience.

Each step in the journey is serviced by multiple different business services.

These business services can be reused into other journeys, for example, making the pizzas – this service is used by all three customer journeys. Meaning that Claire can lower her cost to serve by now utilising the same kitchen for each of the customer journeys whether they are dining in, online or pick up. It may sound silly to have multiple kitchens but how many of your businesses have multiple onboarding teams for different products?

Reducing duplication and simplifying what we do is one great benefit of mapping out your organisation and decrease costs. To do this we also need to be using a common language or reference framework this ensures we are consistent and shows where the duplication exists. If we call things by different names ie. kitchen and food prep area we may never see where the simplification can come from.

When you map you can see where you have duplicate services and simplify and standardise what you do – reducing your costs

When you have your organisation mapped you can start to see the pieces of the puzzle come together. As Claire begins to focus her strategy onto her mobile platform she needs to understand the capabilities that are going to make that happen. Claire needs to understand what parts of her business she needs to invest in to build out her mobile offering. 

What to map?

  • She is probably going to need to invest in her technology to meet the service
  • Also, review the capacity of her kitchen operations and delivery to ensure she can meet increased demand and her 30 min guarantee
  • In addition, she’ll need marketing, how will people know that she has her new mobile app?

Having a capability model also creates visibility of where you are investing and if your investment is aligned to your strategy. We need to prioritise our investment.

For Claire, this means she shouldn’t be spending money on restaurant renovations if her strategy is to increase her mobile customers. Linking her spend back to the capabilities will help to highlight these decisions.

Knowing what capabilities you need to run your business and what your core offerings are, helps to determine which capabilities you should build internally and also those which you can source externally

If these are the capabilities that Claire needs to run her business, she can now objectively view them to determine if they are core to her business. If they are core then this is something that she should keep in-house, like making the pizza (she doesn’t want to give away her winning recipe) or if they are not core she can seek external support like the marketing (which is probably more efficiently done by someone with those core competencies.)

These components form part of the end to end value chain for delivery.

As we look further into our business services we see that they are sometimes supported by an application and therefore technical services. To run the mobile business offering, it needs to be serviced by a range of different technical services.

We can then monitor the technical services and see how likely the app will be available to the customers for use so that Claire’s mobile deliveries are always online and if not we can communicate to our customers about what the impact will be.

Having visibility of the value chain highlights the parts that are important to the business and if we add metrics or measurements to this we can then also start to see the areas that we are excelling at and where we need improvement.

Linking our technical services to our business services enables us to understand and measure the impact of issues on the business 

There are many different components and here, we’ve only highlighted a few by using Perfect Pizza as an example. But there is also a data view or a risk view and each is a way to map your organisation. 

The key is to show you exactly what is going on in your business and provide you with the information you need to make the decisions that matter most to you and your success as an organisation.