Business Analysis Training & Services


The Solutions Architect Connecting the Dots

Taking a business architectural view to guide a solution approach for organizational problems and opportunities.

Develop Solutions Architect Skills
The role of the solutions architect is to be a problem finder, internal management consultant and provider of solutions' bottom-line impact from a comprehensive viewpoint. The solutions architecture practice must position itself in relation to other functions, including organizational strategy, planning and change management, and solution design. It is important in this competitive environment to establish a rigorous model of how architecture adds value.

Setting the Baseline Business Architecture
Visualizing a business through architectural disciplines is not entirely new. Creating a business friendly framework that allows business professionals to visualize and transform organizations, however is a groundbreaking achievement. An established enterprise architecture allows enterprise teams and stakeholders to perform their jobs more effectively by providing visibility of their work within the context of the whole. The business architecture layer of the enterprise architecture helps the enterprise facilitate strategic planning, address executive priorities, deliver customer value, leverage investments in major initiatives and deploy horizontal solutions across business units. Organizations have more problems to solve and opportunities to exploit than there are resources to support.

Analyze Business Problems / Opportunities in the Context of the Business Architecture
Organizations have more problems to solve and opportunities to exploit than there are resources to support. The Solutions Architect provides value by driving out the problem definition and/or opportunity to be sought and describing the future expected value. This involves assessing the current situation (internal and external environment), aligning with business architecture and then providing assessments of future value and solution strategy within the context of the organization not just an organizational department view. The business architecture knowledge base is populated incrementally with each project adding more information to the baseline. As this knowledge base matures, project teams will go to it again and again as it becomes a central reservoir of knowledge about the business and about how the business leverages and interacts with IT deployments. This allows the business to engage in and drive initiatives which may be new and different for IT driven companies.

Building the Business Case
Organizations are striving to achieve funding models that support continuous, short-term, low risk, high payback business and IT alignment efforts. Traditionally, organizations have created departmental budgets and then decision packages were developed for departmental decision makers to allocate funds for projects. This likely resulted in a maze of redundant, fragmented business infrastructures. With solution architects assisting in the development of business cases, business stakeholders can better employ their scarce resources on solutions that will provide the most value.

Presenting the Business Case
In presenting the business case to the executive team, most make the mistake of providing generalities before getting down to the meat, which is where the executives kick into challenge mode. An air of skepticism and challenging projections has been established. You can change this simply by how you present that information, and how you anchor it in reality. You start by presenting a target vision in terms that are highly meaningful to the executive suite. Then you back it up with specific actions that will be taken to ensure that the targets are achieved. What could be stronger than a vision with known and defined business outcome targets accompanied by a set of easily tracked business metrics?

Practice Real-World Tools and Techniques for Immediate Application

This 2-day solutions architecture course gives you hands-on experience with proven techniques for identifying problems, discovering solution approaches, and building a case for decision makers to ensure that an enterprise view is taken into consideration. Lively lectures combined with insightful demonstrations and realistic practice exercises provide you with the competence and confidence to improve program and project outcomes that are in alignment with the organization's strategies. You'll gain a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by the solutions architect guiding the organization to achieve its goals. If you play a role in the success of investments and change in your organization, you cannot afford to miss this course.

In-Class Workshops and Group Exercises

Practical, realistic hands-on exercises allow you to refine and enhance your ability to provide transparency and visibility to well-conceived and effectively governed business endeavors. Through group effort, you and your peers will work on ways your department, agency, or company can handle problems up front and how you can improve the critical early stages of a solution, all the while keeping the business architecture at the forefront.

Specifically, you will:

  • Evaluate the roles and competencies of a solutions architect
  • Practice negotiation
  • Determine success factors for solution identification
  • Identify the impacts of organizational non-alignment
  • Interpret enterprise architecture frameworks
  • Analyze a Business Architecture Blueprint
  • Ensure focus on highest business priority capabilities
  • Envision business benefits to IT investments
  • Work as a team to review problems and opportunities with organizational alignment and value
  • Develop a stakeholder map
  • Develop a current state model using standardized tools
  • Develop solution options and prioritize options based on cost, benefit and associated risks
  • Develop a business case for decision makers to have a sound basis for their assessment
  • Learn to deliver the business case
  • Determine how to position the solution architect in your organization

Immediate Benefits of Attending This Training Course:

  1. Learn how to provide business owners with information that promotes better decision making
  2. Understand the role and responsibilities of the solutions architect
  3. Acquire an understanding of industry standard architectural frameworks
  4. Build business cases that are aligned to the organizational strategic goals and architectural direction
  5. Analyze potential solution approaches taking benefits and costs into consideration
  6. Discover tips and tricks for presenting convincing business cases
  7. Overcome pitfalls and traps during negotiation sessions
  8. Enhance relationships with stakeholders throughout the organization
  9. Improve your ability to satisfy stakeholders from both the business and IT organizations
  10. Use practical real-world methods for initiating conversations with stakeholders to identify business problems to be solved and opportunities to be exploited
  11. Map requirements and business problems to re-usable end-to-end solutions
  12. Participate in the definition of any transitional architectures
  13. Identify gaps in solutions and develop mitigation strategies
  14. Focus on increasing customer and business value
  15. Organize the business "pieces" enabling solutions now
  16. Utilize current and forward facing industry best practices
  17. Evaluate the effect of existing systems on a proposed solution
  18. Face the political challenges and obstacles that architects must handle
  19. Navigate the organization boundaries
  20. Identify critical success factors for solution architects

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