Working on an operating model

In a recent LinkedIn discussion, Don Hutcheson raised the question of the role of organisation charts in Enterprise Architecture (which for me is just operating model work!)

There were some interesting responses, which stimulated me to add this post (edited here a little).

“I have been thinking about the models and frameworks and visuals that are most helpful to EA (or operating model) work.

1. The stakeholder map is my starting point. The map should explain what the “offer” is to each stakeholder group.

2. The next model I use is a process map (or value chain map or capability chain map). There are lots of terms for this tool that lays out the work that needs to be done.

3. The next is the organisation chart – although I prefer to turn the typical organisation chart into an organisation model –  Here I agree with Bruce that a 7S or Star Model approach is richer than a structure approach. The key however is to have a way of laying out the relationships between boxes in the chart, which is what the organisation modelling tool does.

4. I am currently working on a tool that combines the process map with the organisation chart to help highlight processes that cross organisation boundaries, areas where there are difficult links and parts of the organisation that need some separation from the whole

5. Next comes the software applications architecture (I am not sure I have a good solution for this)

6. Next comes the geographic map showing where everyone is located, what sort of properties they are located in and how different locations are linked.

7. Finally there is tool for identifying tricky stakeholder relationships and the type of agreements that are needed with each stakeholder type (but I do not have a good solution for this yet either)

I am working on these issues for my course Designing Operating Models If anyone has contributions to make, you can come and help me teach the course … or I can credit your ideas, when I teach them.”

So let me encourage you to contribute here or email me directly at Ashridge.


About Andrew Campbell

Ashridge Executive Education Focus on strategy and organisation Almost retired!
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2 Responses to Working on an operating model

  1. Peter Murchland says:


    This prompts some interesting areas for discussion and development, and potential contribution to your course, depending on what it covers already!!

    As an example, just taking your first point about stakeholders, there are three minimum stakeholder value propositions that most enterprises need, but which do not always gain sufficient attention as a whole – shareholder / owner value proposition, customer value proposition and employee value proposition. I am sure you and others can bring to mind plenty of organisational examples where enterprises have allowed these to get “out of balance” and have ended up with less than satisfactory enterprise performance and outcomes.

    • andrew campbell says:

      Peter, I fully agree, I would add suppliers and business partners as a fourth value proposition. Andrew

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