Using MIT CISR’s Operating Model to Drive BA Design

I have recently been working with a company that is getting their enterprise business architecture effort under way very successfully. One of the most successful aspects of their effort has been leveraging the operating model concept from “Enterprise Architecture As Strategy” by Dr. Jeanne Ross and others from the MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR). They have used this in 3 very distinct, but very effective ways:

1) They used the concept of the Operating Model as described in the book to help business executives better understand the relationship between how they run their business and the decisions that the EA should help them make.
2) They used the Operating Model as the basis of discussion with first the executive board, and then different business leaders across the company to develop a series of models that represent a high level vision of how they currently operate, and then also as a basis for their vision of how they want to operate in the future. The result was that they operated a variety of Coordination models, but with the help and guidance of the Business Architecture Team, they came to an agreement on the need for the Unification model.
3) And finally, and probably also most impressively, they used the Operating Model graphics along with a series of relationship maps to discuss, analyze and makes decisions about which business processes should be standardized, and which processes should be integrated with what common shared information.

Given the success so far, I am sure I will be sharing more of the aspects that have contributed to their success (org structure, participation, driving motivation to name a few); but for now I will leave you with this. If you are struggling with a way to discuss meaningful change in your enterprise, leverage the MIT CISR Operating Model.

3 thoughts on “Using MIT CISR’s Operating Model to Drive BA Design”

    • This is my favorite book, and one that I recommend to anyone related to EA, for the way that it positions EA – holistically, pragmatically, foundationally. And one of the things that I often tell people is that, according to my understanding, the research group did not set out to prove that EA was a good thing. They were in search of what differentiates organizations that get value from their IT organization vs. those that do not. One of the things that they found as a differentiation was an effective EA program. Another was effective governance, by the way, and there is another book from them entitiled “IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results.” I hear that a third book may be in the works, as well.

      • There are many views on that particular book and its reference to EA. I my opinion it is usable, but it isn’t a master piece. In many cases it is also way to IT centric (or classical MIT Sloan School of Management production).

        Never the less it was an interesting blog post.

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