I came across this fine, detailed article, where the author explains an operating model for business alignment that he has drawn from his experience.
I have listed down his key points:
- Alignment among all parties involved in business change is the issue: the business consists of multiple parties that need to be aligned; IT is just one of these parties.
- The starting point for alignment is communication.
- Enterprise architecture is a vehicle for facilitating alignment. It provides an information base that shows us where we are and allows us to assess potential futures.
- Enterprise architecture as an approach has a part to play in business strategy, business change, and its traditional home in IT.
- Enterprise architecture provides tools to understand, plan, and govern change, but for effective delivery, it must be integrated with program management.
- The information, stakeholders, and processes used to manage alignment through enterprise architecture are different but related for business strategy, business change, and IT. The change management organization must draw on people from across the organization at all levels.
- While alignment must be driven from “the business,” the business side may not always be best equipped to do this. If this is the case, it may need support in the form of “business architecture as a service.”
He later goes on to explain different alignment rules that one has to follow to effectively align with the business. One of the alignment rules, communication, which is the starting point for any alignment be it business or otherwise, I feel, is the most important skill and trait, one needs to have, in order for building of effective (business) relationships.
What else do you think can be added as alignment rules for business alignment?