Customer centricity in Enterprise Architecture
Making organizational changes work for customers
How can you prevent that customer sentiment lowers during transformation programs? We’ve seen a lot of transformations where this was an implicit concern; we believe it should be made explicit by merging the two traditional processes of Architectural Design and Customer Experience Design step-by-step.
What if the customer gets the biggest say in Enterprise Architecture projects?
The purpose of traditional Enterprise Architecture is to end up with an integrated environment which is responsive to change and supportive of the delivery of a business strategy. Customers are usually merely included as part of the scope of 'enterprise', not as a pivotal stakeholder. This needs to change, as soon as possible! How? Just merge the two traditional processes of Architectural design and Customer Experience Design step-by-step. Or, more actionable: how can we move from ‘letting engineers introduce top of the line technology to the market’ to ‘identifying new incredible benefits for our customers’?
1. Your Business strategy
Typically, projects we do start with a potential client strategy to 'integrate two business units to facilitate synergies'. Focus here is to support you with your ask for application rationalization, fusion, migration or even legacy system dismantling solutions. Key goal here is to understand what is needed.
2. Customer sentiment analysis
How does your customer think you need to change? And, on top of that, what is your customer's opinion on changes bound to be executed? Are you on the same page as the customer or are they communicating on an entirely different level?
3. Architecture Capability inventory
Nothing can be changed before having a thorough understanding of the current and desired situation. By performing a capability inventory analysis of the enterprise, (at least) three benefits can be distinguished:
- introduce common language to discuss 'what is there',
- create a baseline starting point for changes,
- create potential target situation.
4. Customer Journey mapping
Next step is to identify 'moments that matter' for customers. By mapping customer interaction points to a journey, a communication means is created. Key contributors to the life of your most important stakeholder, the customer, become clear: be it architectural elements, people, processes or capabilities.
Perform an impact assessment to define what changes need to happen and to identify their dependencies. Create a backlog of tasks and activities from a defined list of epics. Develop detailed use cases and scenarios identifying the desired situation.
Not all desired and planned changes are equally important, and for that reason they need to be scheduled thoughtfully. The order traditionally corresponds mostly to the stakeholder controlling the budget; a welcome new development is the recognition of the voice of the customer in these efforts.
When the future state and prioritized list of changes are known, the next step is to plot individual achievable steps. By creating plateaus towards the future state the landscape changes towards the desired end state, both from customer perspective as well as your own perspective.
Conclusion: Start looking outside in
Digital systems have historically been introduced to save money, introduce efficiency or to unlock efficiencies to be reinvested. In our opinion that should be a reversed: start from the customer’s perspective and maybe even swap steps 1 and 2. The real question should actually be: “how do I organize my IT in order to provide incredible benefits to my customers?” Reach out, we're happy to support!