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  • Writer's pictureLucille Pillay

Product + Architecture: Are we talking? (Part 2)

Updated: Nov 19, 2021

As a follow-up to my previous blog on ‘Product + Architecture’, I promised to explain how an architectural view of your business can complement Product Managers in their pursuit to build great products, and why Business Architects and Product Managers should be talking to each other a whole lot more…..

Well in the last few months, in my capacity as a Business Architect, I constructed the business architecture for a scale-up logistics company based in South Africa, to provide the Product Manager with a holistic view of the product ecosystem. The Product Manager was new to the business which made it more beneficial to provide this view, instead of spending hours trying to understand who does what, and how different products share functionality and resources.

To provide a view of the product ecosystem, I mapped the strategies, products, capabilities, value streams, organization, and information perspectives of business architecture, and additionally, the applications that the business uses. I first aimed to understand the vision and mission of the business and the strategies (short-term and long-term) for achieving the vision. I then identified the value propositions that were being offered to the customer via the company’s products and linked that to the strategy. To understand how a product was delivering value to the customer, I mapped each product to its own value stream, and finally, I associated each activity in the value stream to the capabilities of the business i.e., the people, processes, information, technology, and other resources, that work together in providing the product / service to the customer.

Using business architecture, I was able to show the Product Manager how business capabilities are being shared across its product line and the impact that a new product or feature, will have on those capabilities. Needless to say, the Product Manager immediately saw value in business architecture. However, considering that Product Management lies in the intersection between user experience, the business, and technology, the Product Manager also wanted a mapping of business architecture to technology architectures. Hence, I strongly recommended for business architects to collaborate with enterprise / solutions / systems architects to provide a complete picture from business to technology.

Having a view of the entire product ecosystem isn’t a luxury that all Product Managers have. It depends on the size of the organization and the complexity of its business and product landscape. More commonly, it's whether management is aware of how to integrate the disciplines of Business Architecture and Product Management, to drive the effective delivery of products. Not many organizations do. Let me hear your thoughts on this view?

If you’re looking to use Business Architecture to support Product Management and other areas of your business, or to train and empower your employees e.g. Business Analysts, Product Managers on Business or Enterprise Architecture, please contact:

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