Harry Bouwman


Business Architectures in the Public Sector: Experiences from Practice

Government agencies need to transform the way in which they are organized in order to be able to provide better services to their constituents and adapt to changes in legislation. Whereas much e-government research has a technology focus, our goal is to investigate whether business architectures can help governments to recreate agencies to make them robust in dealing with political preferences, and further, whether their adoption can guide the realization of IT-oriented enterprise architectures. In this article the concept of business architecture and its implications are analyzed by investigating the case study of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Services. The case demonstrates the mediating role business architectures can play between policy and strategy on the one hand, and enterprise IT architecture on the other. Business architectures help: (1) to define business domains and the events connecting them, and (2) to use principles to integrate the domains and ensure synergies. Business domains can be designed and operated independently, which enable higher levels of adaptability. Our case analyses show that the pluriformity of the political visions, public values, and actors involved and the division of responsibilities complicate the creation of a business architecture.

The prioritization and categorization method (PCM) process evaluation at Ericsson: a case study

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate and evaluate the prioritization and categorization method (PCM), which facilitates the active participation of process stakeholders (managers, owners, customers) in process assessments. Stakeholders evaluate processes in terms of effectiveness, efficiency and relevance against certain contextual business and industry factors. This collective evaluation serves as a foundation for the management decision-making process regarding process improvement and redesign. Design/methodology/approach – The PCM is examined based on a case study at Ericsson. In total, 55 stakeholders, representing different organizational levels and functions, assessed eight core processes. Follow-up interviews and feedback after the evaluation sessions were collected for triangulation purpose. Findings – The PCM helps Ericsson evaluate its processes within business context and industry environments. The results show that, to realize seamless end-to-end processes in the eight assessed processes, Ericsson has to make a greater effort to improve its process structures, governance and culture for fulfilling the needs of future business. Ericsson Steering Group is satisfied with the insights provided and has decided to train more stakeholders to use PCM. Research limitations/implications – This research is based on a single case within a specific organizational setting. The results may not be necessary generalizable to other business and industry settings. Organizations need to configure PCM in consideration of their own processes and business contingencies to explore and fulfil their process improvement purposes. Originality/value – This paper presents a new context-aware, easy-to-use and holistic method for business process management (BPM), the PCM. The method requires the active engagement of stakeholders, it focusses on developing dynamic BPM capabilities and fully embeds organizational contingencies and contextual factors in the decision-making regarding BPM. This paper contributes a novel method to explorative BPM.

Business model stress testing: A practical approach to test the robustness of a business model

Business models and business model innovation are increasingly gaining attention in practice as well as in academic literature. However, the robustness of business models (BM) is seldom tested vis-à-vis the fast and unpredictable changes in digital technologies, regulation and markets. The evaluation of the robustness of a BM raises several issues, such as how to describe the business model in a structured way, how to determine a relevant set of changes to test against, how to assess their impact on business model components, and how to use the results of the assessment to strengthen the business model. In this paper, we propose business model stress testing as a practical approach to evaluate the robustness of business model components. The method builds upon concepts from business model innovation and scenario planning. We illustrate our approach using a case example. Our approach enables testing individual business model components as well as the interrelation between components. The approach visualizes challenges and suggests ways to increase the robustness of BM. The stress testing approach is particularly useful in a stage of business model experimentation, i.e. if a company has to choose between alternative business models or still has to implement the business model. The underlying software tool is openly available for reuse and further development. The paper contributes to futures research literature by delivering the first method that allows to test the robustness of business models against future uncertainties.