Final | October 2018 | v1.0.0 | OFFICIAL-Public | QGCIO
The objective of digital and ICT strategic planning is to provide a future vision and plan for how the services of an agency will be transformed using digital technology. It is therefore necessary for the practitioner to understand the current state of significant services and related business processes of the planning organisation that are within the scope of the planning engagement. This guideline describes how to gather, classify and map the current services and business processes.
A practitioner in the context of this guideline can include one or more of the following roles:
- Digital and ICT strategic planners
- Agency and service strategic planners
- Enterprise architects
- Business analysts.
Locate any existing documentation on the agency or business area services and business processes.
In an agency where this information is not readily available or is not available at the level required to describe services and processes, it will be necessary to generate it through interviews or workshops and validate the information with key stakeholders of the business areas. Useful sources of information that may assist with the collection of this information include service catalogues and service level agreements.
Document the services and business processes in a register and and/or business process register and ensure any constraints around the collection of information regarding services and business processes have been documented.
Recommended attributes to be collected for services include but are not limited to:
- Business area name
- Service name
- Service description
- Service custodian
- Service classification to an enterprise architecture classification model
- Related services
- Service users or customers
- Associated costs (if known).
Recommended attributes to be collected for processes include but are not limited to:
- Business area name
- Process name
- A description of the process
- Process custodian
- Process classification to an enterprise architecture classification model
- Related processes
- Associated costs (if known).
It is typical in an organisation that descriptions of similar or ‘like’ services and business processes can differ greatly. Classification proves a straightforward way of normalising the business terminology when referring to business services and business processes. It is a method for quickly understanding the scope and nature of services and business processes conducted by the organisation.
Classification also enables high-level analysis to be performed a group of ‘like’ elements rather than individual elements. This highlights potential duplication as well as areas for introducing consistency or standardisation.
Before conducting any classification activities, the practitioner should engage with the business planning unit, the enterprise architecture unit or other business stakeholders within the organisation to identify if the services and processes have already been classified. It is important for the practitioner to understand which EA-Classification Models are used by the organisation and whether they are appropriate for the planning activities to be conducted.
The QGEA contains classification frameworks for services and business processes. Each agency may also have business specific classification frameworks for services and business processes that can be used.
It is important to attempt to classify each element to the lowest level of domain possible within an EA-Classification Model. Whilst classification to multiple domains within a framework is possible, the classification to many domains may indicate the element has been defined at too high a level.
Mapping refers to the activity of identifying the relationships between elements either within a layer of an enterprise architecture or across layers of an enterprise architecture. Services and business processes are typically mapped to each other as well as the strategic objectives, strategies and key performance indicators of the agency or business area.
In large agencies, it may be difficult to map all the services and business processes.
Mapping is also useful for identifying any gaps and ensuring the scope of information collected for the planning process is consistent. The scope of the mapped elements collected can be adjusted if further analysis reveals and misalignment of elements.
Mapping can also be used indicate the significance or complexity of elements. For example, a service that is mapped to many objectives is likely to be strategically important to the organisation. A service supported by many processes may be an indication the delivery of the service is complex and may represent a significant opportunity if the delivery of the service could be transformed to become more efficient.
Assessment assists the practitioner and business representatives to understand the relative importance of services delivered as well as the potential risk to the organisation that may result if those services cannot be delivered or are inefficient. Based on results of assessments, many corrective actions can be proposed and can be carried forward to the planning activities with the business.
Assessments should be conducted using surveys, interviews or workshops with representatives from the business as well as application and information asset experts and support staff.
This guideline provides additional information relating to the types of assessment and analysis that can be conducted on the current business services of the agency or business area.
An alternative is to assess business impact of services within the guidelines of the agency’s risk management framework. Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis is another commonly accepted way to analyse the business impact of services.
Alternatively, business continuity planning frameworks or methodologies may also contain specific business impact assessments for services.
Specific risks can be identified that may threaten the effective and efficient delivery of a service. These risks should be assessed and rated in terms of the consequences and likelihood of the risk or threat occurring, based on the agency’s specific risk matrix. An overall risk rating the extreme, high, medium or low can assigned to service based on the combined assessment of risks.
Analyse the classification of the business services and/or processes. Identify and document any apparent gaps that may be relevant.
Identify those domains in the classifications where multiple services or processes have been classified to a single domain. This may represent an opportunity for the standardisation of services, processes and supporting systems or the centralisation of services, processes or systems for example.
Analyse the mappings to identify those services and/or processes that are significant (e.g. supporting many objectives, strategies and key performance indicators).
Identify and document any services that seem significant in terms of the number of business processes supporting the service for example. These services may require further investigation when examining the number and complexity of information assets and applications that underpin these services and processes.
Identify and document any final gaps in mappings for discussion with the sponsor or business stakeholders. These gaps may represent an opportunity to introduce new services.
Identify and document any services considered to be of a high business impact. Note any mitigation strategies that may involve the support of technology.
Summarise and present the overall findings of the analysis of services and processes with the sponsor or alternatively present your findings as part of the digital and ICT strategic planning workshops and interviews. This will give the sponsor and business representatives the opportunity to confirm the business services and processes conducted by the organisation. It will also provide the opportunity to discuss business services and processes that represent the highest business impact or significance to the organisation.
Providing a summary of both the strategic intent of the organisation and well as the priority services and business processes is typically an effective way to set the scene for the digital and ICT strategic planning activities.