MappIT in action – How to map and design an IT Spending and Sourcing strategy for IT

In the last tutorials we have shown how to map the IT Organization in terms of OUs, people and their related skills.

Now we would like to focus more on the IT Operational model (which are the activities performed in the IT department), on IT Spending (where the IT Organization allocate its money on the previously defined activities) and Sourcing (what is the allocation of internal and external people on the previously defined activities).

In MappIT all these activities are performed through the IT Activity form:


Using this form you can define exactly which are the activities performed in you IT Organization; for each of these activities you can define some basic attributes like:

  • Name
  • Type
  • Level of continuity (or criticality) required for this activity
  • IT Department allocated to this activity

Some of these activities are Modules and Initiative independent, but in some cases they are related to a specific Module and/or Initiative, in this case you can also link the activity to that IT landscape components.

After completing the first IT Activity definition you can start allocating your resources (internal people and external spending) to this activities.

For doing this first of all you should select the Budget Version you want to work on; then you can start adding new Budget items to the activity adding new rows to the Spending section.


In alternative you can copy&paste budget items form excel to MappIT Spending Allocation grid and Supplier Grid.


For each of this budget items you should provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Budget Code (a code that refer to you internal ERP or G/L code structure)
  • Budget version (if you want to keep different versions/forecast of you budget, for example by Quarter)
  • IT activity (to which this budget item refer to)
  • Type of Expenditure (Capex or OPex)
  • Cost type (Hardware, Software, Professional Services…)
  • Supplier
  • Value (the exact amount of money related to this budget item)

Based on this Value and on the Average Supplier fee the system can evaluate the estimation of external FTEs allocated to each activity. For the internal activity instead you can directly allocate their effort using another MappIT tab:


Through this tab you can define the % of a person is allocated to each activity; and for each of this allocation you can also define which specific skill role should be used for this activity.

Again, this activity can be also managed massively through cut&paste from Excel to the Internal Allocation grid:



Based on this information now you can analyse your operational model in terms of:

  • Current percentage of FTEs for each activity
  • Current Insourcing Percentage (% Internal vs. Total FTEs)
  • Current Average Supplier Fee

The last part of this activity is the estimation of the Target Sourcing Model; this can be done using the “Current and target Operative Model” tab.


From this tab you can see for each activity what is the current sourcing model and some key information related to this activity:

  • Modules Maturity
  • Module Business relevance
  • Module Business Criticality
  • Initiative Priority
  • Initiative expected Impacts

Based on these information you can define some key sourcing attributes that can help in defining what is the right target sourcing model; this attributes are:

  • Lifecycle maturity stage of the activity (mainly related to Module Maturity)
  • Level of governance that you want on the activity (mainly related to Business Relevance and criticality and Initiative Priority)
  • Level of expected increase/decrease FTEs value (mainly based on Initiative Impact estimation)
  • Level of expected competence expected for the activity

When all this value have been set the system calculate the Target reference sourcing model for this activity and the exact values of internal and external FTEs and the expected change in Supplier Fee and related Budget.

I will describe in more details later how the Target Reference Sourcing model is evaluated.

Stay tuned

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MappIT in action – How to map an IT Organization and Operational Model (activities, staff and skills)

In the last tutorials we have shown how map the company current Architecture (including Business, Functional , Application and Infrastructure Architectures) and how to evaluate the impacts of changing this architecture (reaching the target architecture) due to business needs. This requires to evaluate Impacts (or Changes) from Business and IT perspective and then define Initiatives (also known as Projects or Programs) to implement this Impacts.

All this areas are related to what typically is referred to the Enterprise Architecture.

Now we want to move to another area that is more related to IT Governance, meaning all aspects related to IT Organization, IT Operational Model and IT Spending. Obviously this is all related to the Enterprise Architecture, and we will show how to correlated them properly.

First of all we will show hot to map the IT Organization; for doing this we need to go the IT Organization form of MappIT:

Using this form you can to shape IT Organization and Staffing and IT Operational Model, for example you can:

  • view the IT Organization hierarchy
  • shape the IT Organization (adding or removing an IT Organizational Unit)
  • see, add, delete and modify the internal IT staff belonging to each OU
  • see, add, delete and modify the IT Activity which compose the Operational model and link them to the OUs

For the IT staff you can insert a lot of attributes like:

  • Name
  • Surname
  • Average annual cost (salary)
  • Age
  • Year in role
  • Year in Company
  • Percentage of FTE
  • Location
  • Qualification

While for activities you can map different attributes like:

  • Name
  • Activity type
  • Module to which the activity refer to
  • Project to which the activity refer to
  • Expected increase in FTE in the future (both internal+ external)
  • Level of governance
  • Level of competence
  • Lifecycle stage

The last 4 attributes are used to predict a theoretical sourcing model based; we will show this in another post.

In order to complete mapping of IT Operational model the last step is to collect information about IT staff skills.

This can be done through 2 ways; first one is to compile the Skill Coverage map manually:

Another way is to fill-up these information through a self-assessment.

In order to do this, the first step is to generate the template of all expected skills in Microsoft Excel; this can be done going into MappIT Tools tab and selecting “Export a set of Skill Assessment Template”.

In this way MappIT will generate an excel template, one for each of the people in your organization; each of these file will have the ID and Name of the person (please leave them without changing them).

After that you can distribute this excel to everybody and ask them to fill-up the template and return to you the result, using the last column to insert their skill score.

Finally you can load all you excel file using the “Import Skill Assessment” capability in the Tools tab:

When you have completed this is the final result in then skill coverage map:

Now that all your IT Organization has the skills mapped you can start do some nice things like analyse their skills.

But more important you can perform a Skill Gap Analysis; let me explain a little bit about it.

Using MappIT you can analyse the skill gap of each resource respect to the preferred and blended role. A preferred role is assigned to each person and represent the main role performed by this person (the relevant one).

In addition to that you can also assign a preferred role to each Activity in the Operating model; in this case the blended role of the person is the set of skills of each role he is requested to cover, based on the % of his allocation in each activity (this means the weighted average of the skills of each role based on the FTE allocation of the person in the activity related to this role).

In this way you can calculate a gap of the skill of every person respect to this blended prototype role; This gap can also be absolute or relative (which means that every skill is also weighted based on the relative importance).

The final result is the following:

In the next tutorial we will show to you how to collect spending information (budget and forecast) and allocate them to the Operating model.

Stay tuned

 

 

 

 

 

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MappIT in action – How to collect link Capabilities to IT Modules and evaluate impacts of implementing them through Initiatives

In the last tutorial we show how to map the Business Strategy in terms of Context, Drivers, Objectives. We showed how to define the Functional Architecture in terms of Enabling Capabilities and related Requirements and how to link the Functional Architecture to the Business Strategy.

Now we want to show:

  • How to link the Functional Architecture to the Technical architecture
  • How to map Impacts of implementing new Capabilities or enhancing existing ones
  • How to aggregate this impacts in Activities/Phases/Projects in order to manage these impacts and implement the Capabilities


       
 

First the first point we can go through the IT Module Screen and select the “Capabilities coverage map” tab. From this tab we can see a matrix of Capabilities vs Systems and we can map the Level of support of each module related to each capability (meaning what percentage of the functionalities available through the capabilities are or can be delivered through the selected Module).


Using this simple task you have correlated the Functional and System architecture and so the Business Strategy and the System Architecture.

Using MappIT tool you can the later create a Visio map, which display the network of correlation between them.


For the second item we have to perform an Impact Analysis, which means going through all requirements related to each capability and identify the impacts (in terms of Business, Process, Organization, IT) that are required in order to implement a set of requirements onto a Capability. For example, in order to have the “create/delete/update Order item” for the Order Management capability in the Order Management System we have to adapt the GUI screens and create a new Interface between the Order Management Systems and the Provisioning system.

So we have to:

  • Create 2 impacts (1 for GUI and 1 for system interface)
  • Group the requirement “create Order item”, “delete Order Item” and “update Order Item” together
  • Link the 2 impacts to the related requirements
  • Link the 2 impacts to the affected items (the Interface and the Order Management System)
  • Collect some additional information about this impacts (e.g. complexity estimation)

For doing all of these tasks we have to go through the Business Impact form:


Through this form we create the impacts and also perform all other described tasks:


For the last step we need first of all to create the Initiative through the proper form.


Then we need to group together a set of capabilities (and related impacts) into an Initiative; this can be done through the Business Capability form, where we can set which Initiative will address this Capability.


When this is done we can go back to the Initiative form as see all Capabilities linked to the Initiative, but also all of their impacts as well.


On the other side, we also know what is the Business Priority of each capability and so what is the business priority of the overall initiatives.

We can than put together both Capability and Initiative priorities and Capability and Initiative impacts in order to define a proper implementation roadmap.

 

For example we can display project complexity vs priority in order to determine the project roadmap, starting first project with high priority and low complexity.

 

You can also drill down to the capability level:


But more interesting you can link Initiative and Capabilities togheter like in this chart, where we show initiatives Complexity vs. Priority, broken down by capability complexity.


 

After project has been planned and approved they will start, so:

  • project activities will start
  • risk and issues will arise
  • IT department will start to spend money and allocate internal staff on this activities

All this information can be tracked using MappIT; for example we can add information related to project risk and issues….


.. as well as the project phases and key decisions…


We can also see the Budget and Internal IT staff allocated to this Initiative; this will be shown in a future tutorial.


In this way we can track the full project portfolio lifecycle and monitor also the progress (phases, % of completions,…) and issues/risk related to it.

Stay tuned.

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MappIT in action – How to collect Business Operational Model

After completed the IT assessment (both Application and Infrastructure assessment) an important Architecture task is to assess the Business Operational model, meaning all activities and elements which describe how the current business in the company run as usual.


This means we need to map, on the business side:

  • what the company produce (Products and Services)
  • which set of person buy this products (Customer Segments)
  • how the company interact with them (Channels).

     
     

We also need to map how the company work internally (Operational Model) to provide these business activities; this means we need also to map:

  • the business processes (sequence of task and activities to perform a business action)
  • the business roles (the actors involved in performing the processes)
  • then business organization (how these actors are organized in grouped and teams inside the company).

 
 

All of these information can be collected easily through MappIT.

First of all we go to the home page and from here click one of the objects inside the red rectangles:


Channel, Products, Customers, Role and Business organization are very simple information so they can be collected using a grid view:



For these entities we map generic information like Name, Key volumes information; we also collect additional information specific to each entity like:

  • Market Share and Growth for Products
  • Parent OUs for tracking hierarchy in the Business Organization and Business Role

The most complex information to map are the business process, which are composed by activities and involve roles, channels, products and customers.


For each process we map some key information like:

  • Process Area: the process domain to which the process belong to
  • Maturity level of the process (how much the process is standardized)
  • Business relevance and Business Criticality (the level of importance of the process from business perspective either on strategic level and as a business as usual)

We can also map some relationships with other Business elements of the Business Architecture like:

  • Interaction Channels involved in this process
  • Customer segment to which this process apply
  • Product types to which this process apply
  • set of activities (or tasks) which compose this process; for each of this activities we can also map:
    • sequence of the activity in the process
    • level of importance of this task in completing the business process
    • main role involved in the task
    • main application used to perform this task (if any)
    • level of importance of the application for completing the task


Based on this information we can see on the process level the set of application used to perform the process and the level of business support they provide:


This means for example that relatively “Sales Tools” application is two time important respect to “DWH” to perform “Manage Portfolio” process.

When we have captured all this information we can the analyse them or produce some other relevant report in Visio and Powerpoint.

First of all we can generate the Process Chevron map using the Tool section:


 
 

The tool can generate some nice PowerPoint slide, each of the describing a process. The model is quite flexible, you can decide which process and activity you want to show in the process diagram and put them in the PPT template, that will be used later to generate the map. The final result is this one:


Finally you can analyse the data using our Visualization tools or Tableau.


In future tutorial we will talk about “How to collect Business Context, Needs and Enabling Capabilities”

Stay tuned

 
 

  

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MappIT in action – How to collect Business Context, Needs and Enabling Capabilities

When the Business and IT assessment is completed, we can start to analyze the future Business Strategy; in this way we complete the collection of Business information which represent your full Business Enterprise Architecture. This information are typically collected to guarantee and IT – Business alignment, identifying relevant Business context information, business driver and objective and then the Business Enabling Capabilities.


Let me first clarify these concepts.

Business Context is composed by all information related to where the Company operate:

  • Macro context information like Political, Social, Environment or Technological information
  • Market context information like Competition, Suppliers, Customers, New entrants….
  • Company context information like Economical and Internal situation, internal assets, unique capabilities…
  • Products and Services delivered by the company
  • Customer segment addressed b the company
  • Channel used to interact with the customer

         
     

Business drivers and objectives describe what are the business needs that the company want to target in medium-long terms, this refer also to the Business Vision.

The main difference between Business driver and objectives is that:

  • Business Drivers describe the vision and so what the company want to achieve; this is typically a general description regardless how and who (which OUs) will work on it
  • Business Objective describe how different OUs try to achieve the drivers and who is specifically involved in this (which OU). Typically the objective describe also some KPIs/KPOs which try to quantity this objectives.

Business drivers can be at the end achieved leveraging some company Business Capabilities, that (from an IT perspective) are the functionalities provided by IT systems which support people and process to run or improve the business and so achieve the business objectives. These capabilities is a group of functionalities (or requirements) grouped together in homogeneous way.

Obviously Drivers, Objectives and Capabilities are all three related in a chain of many to many relationship, where each driver can be supported by many objectives (and vice versa) and each objective can be supported by many capabilities. At the end Capabilities are detailed in many requirements

     
 


     
 

These components can be considered the backbone of the Enterprise Business Needs.

In the next part of this tutorial I will show to you how MappIT collect and display these information.

First of all we want to describe the Macro/Market and Company generic context, so we will open the Driver and Context form:


And then fill-up different sections with Name, Description, category of the topic, relevant key figures and source.


Source information is quite useful to track where we collect these information; this can be used along the other steps of the business discovery to remember where the information come from.

Next you collect information about your customers, products and channels entering these information in a grid view in MappIT:


For products you can collect the product family/category, some standard product information like market share and market growth and additional key volumes can also be collected.


For customers you can collect the type of different customer segments and additional key volumes (e.g. size of the segment) can also be collected


Same story for the channels


In this way you have collected all relevant business context information; now you can move to collect information about your business strategy.

First of all you will collect the Vision from Top Manager, meaning the Business Derivers; this information can later be collected in MappIT through the Business Driver and Vision tab, under the Business Drivers and Context form.


You can collect the name and descriptions, the category (organized in 3 main category: Customer Intimacy, Operational Excellence and Product Innovation) and the source/feedback.

Very important, you can then assign a relative priority to this driver; this weight will be later used to define the priority for the enabling capabilities (I will show this step later).

After collected the Business Vision we can move to the business objectives, for each of them we can collect:

  • Name
  • Type (Business, or IT)
  • Scope (Short or Long term)
  • Process area addressed by this objective
  • Business Organization impacted by this objective
  • KPI/KPO (in order to quantify the objective)


Then you can link the Business Objective to the Business Drivers through the coverage map, which permit you to define the relative linking weight between Drivers and Objectives:


You can do a similar activity to map the Enabling Capabilities; first of all you will collect all you relevant existing (if you are assessing) or future (if you are defining the target functional architecture) set of capabilities and their related attributes.


Main attributes are:

  • Name of the capability
  • Description
  • Status (if is a new or existing capability)
  • Relationships with the business context (processes, customer segments, channels and product supported by this capability)
  • Additional information (Notes, Feedback, Reference Docs, Source…)

Another important task to qualify the capability is to detail all its related requirements:


These requirements can be inserted one be one through the form we have seen before, or can be imported massively using cut and paste from and excel file, for doing this, click in the requirement leaf in the MappIT tree structure:


Then copy the same columns from and excel and paste into the grid.


Then you can link the Enabling capabilities with the Objectives they support:


You can also see which Drivers and Objective the capabilities support (and their related weights):


 In addition you can analyze the Business Architecture using the Analytics and Reporting tool or external tools like Tableau Public.

On the other side you can leverage the MappIT tool to create automatically some nice powerpoint slide for your such as a Capability Map (in this case organized by Customer Segments):


   
 

Or a set of capability Cards, like the following:


That’s all folks for today; stay tuned for another “How to”s

In future tutorial we will talk about:

  • how to evaluate the impacts of implementing the required Business Capabilities and how can we organize this impacts and related implementation actions into Initiatives
  • link this Business Needs to other parts of the Business Enterprise Architecture (which is the Operational Model composed by Processes and Organization)
  • link this Business Needs to other part of the IT Architecture

   
 

    

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MappIT in action – How to perform an Infrastructure assessment

MappIT can be helpful in many IT Strategy, Governance and Architecture real cases.

In my previous example I’ve shown how to leverage the tool to collect and analyse the application landscape; in this second tutorial I would like to demonstrate how to use the tool for Infrastructure assessment.


When we talk about infrastructure we refer to all pieces of hardware that are used inside the company; this include PC, Tablet, Phones, Server, Network equipment, …

To start you need to collect data about your infrastructure; there is a specific master mask in MappIT for this purpose:


Through this form you can insert typical infrastructure information that you can typically collect about your infrastructure, like:

  • Name of the device
  • Type (server, client, network equipment,…)
  • Geographic site where the infrastructure is hosted
  • Environment where it is used (Development, Test, Production,…)
  • Layer in the physical architecture where the device is involved tool (Frontend layer, Application layer , Communication/Integration layer, DB layer,….)
  • Implementation ageing (how old is the infrastructure
  • HW Vendor
  • HW Model

In case of Client or Server you can add additional information like:

  • How many computers and how many virtual instance do you have
  • Storage type
  • Operating system
  • Number and average usage of the CPU
  • Number of GB and average usage of the RAM

In many cases you want also to speed-up the data entry task, this can be done showing the data in a grid, cut data from an excel file (containing the same rows) and pasting into the grid the data…and that’s all, all your data will be there.

Again after you have finished to map all you Infrastructure you can start analysing it through MappIT analyse features


For example you can analyse how many server or Tablet you have installed in the different sites:


You can also use other visualization tools to dig into the data.


..or for example verify the level of usage of your infrastructure across different dimensions.


However till now there is nothing more than an excel file; however thing change if you want to correlate data coming from Infrastructure architecture with data coming from Application architecture; this task cannot be done very easily through excel while using MappIT you can insert this information very easily through a coverage data entry map.


Every time an infrastructure element (in columns) support an application (in rows) you can map it with a number that represent the level of usage of this infrastructure due to the application (typically in term of processor usage but you can decide to use also other criteria).

After you have finished to map the correlation between applications and infrastructures you can then again analyse it through MappIT or external tools.


 
 

…and you can do where sophisticated analysis like the following: distribution of number of server and their usage respect to application maturity and application supplier and infrastructure ageing.


Stay tuned, next time we will move from technical point of view to the spending/sourcing point of view.

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MappIT in action – How to perform Application architecture assessment

MappIT can be helpful in many IT Strategy, Governance and Architecture real cases; just as an example we will describe some typical scenarios where you can leverage the tool to collect, correlate and analyse the data to support your suggestions and recommendations on a specific IT transformation scenario. The first, and basic, scenario is the Application architecture assessment, where you want to collect all relevant information related to your System landscape. So first of all you define your full list of IT systems (or modules), then insert these information in the IT Module screen. For each application you can provide General information like:

  • who is the owner
  • which is the application domain
  • what are the key numbers
  • what are the main technologies used and so on.

 

You can also describe if there are any issue on the described application, in this case the issue severity value are rolled-up in a total which represent the overall severity value of each specific application, this value will measure the risk that potentially are behind each application and can be later used to plot useful diagrams.

 
 


If you need to better understand the meaning of a specific field, you can take a look at the description in the bottom side of the main screen.


Then, for each module (or application) you can describe the Technical architecture in terms of:

  • Main data entities owned by the system (master) and other entities displayed or managed as a slave.
  • Inbound interface from other systems (and related data entities transferred)
  • Outbound interface to other systems (and related data entities transferred)
  • Main services provided (as a granular description of all atomic APIs, Web Services or GUI functionalities exposed to the external world
  • Infrastructure used to run the application (this will be described in a future tutorial: IT Infrastructure architecture assessment)

You can also add or see other relevant information related to the application, like:

  • Spending information, like internal resource allocation and external budget allocated to activities referring to these module (we will be explained later in Spending Assessment tutorial)


  • Business Processes supported and Business Capabilities delivered (and declare the level of support / coverage); these information can be used here to map the current Business Architecture (we will be explained later in Business Alignment tutorial)

       


 
 

When you have complete the technical mapping you can generate nice diagram like the following, which provide a Module map organized by Status and coloured by Customization level.


 
 

 
 

You can also create an interface map, which describe all the relationships between modules and the name of each interface:

 
 

And you can also start analysing your system architecture using the MappIT analysis tools; in the following graph for example the system are plotted against the level of customization and maturity level:

 
 


 
 

or using more sophisticated (but always free) Visualization tools like Tableau Software.

 
 

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A Comparison of the Top Four Enterprise-Architecture Methodologies

A Comparison of the Top Four Enterprise-Architecture Methodologies

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MappIT Error: Path/File access error

Hi all,

many of you are experiencing issues with the following error after launching for the first time MappIT:

“The license is installed incorrectly and the application will stop working! Error: Path/File access error.

The problems is due to user permission and setup folder. If you install MappIT in a system folder (Windows, Windows 32, Program Files,…) the application will incur in problems when writing the license file.

We have changed in the Setup file the default installation folder (now is the User folder instead of Program Files).

 

 

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