What have you discovered about systems or processes in your current organization that would help define the Business Architecture? What are they and how would they help with your development of a Business Architecture? Discuss the value of the work to document the Current and Desired States for the organization.
I am embarrassed to say that as a small grassroots educational organization, Conexiones Institute does not have any set systems or processes in place for defining business architecture. Through what I have learned in this course so far, business architecture is very much needed, but due to lack of human resources and expertise, it has never been done and I personally was adding platforms and software solutions in an ad hoc way as the need came up.
With regards to the value of the work to document the current and desired states for the organization, I find this to be of significant value to help guide the transition of this small educational organization from one providing direct services to students to providing educational services to childcare providers and teachers with a publishing arm to share educational materials that are trainees can access. The organic and underfunded way that Conexiones Institute grew in its first 15 years caused us to lose a lot of data, to have a matrix of ad hoc applications and platforms that did not speak to each other, to have large amounts of digital assets in a hard-to-retrieve fashion, and a general inability to quickly run meaningful reports to help us understand our reach, our impact, and our results.
Going through the process of documenting our current state and then strategizing and building a tailored enterprise architecture for this desired state will go a long way to setting things up properly from the beginning for scalable growth without getting overwhelmed or losing many hours of time later. It is also helping me develop the appropriate budget so I know exactly how much investment is needed to relaunch. This time around, I plan to secure funding for the relaunch rather than try to piece it together little by little and grow organically. Having a strong enterprise architecture plan in place attached to our business plan will show lenders and social investors that we have done important planning to assure our success and they will know that we will be prepared with the right systems needed to report back to them the results and economic sustainability that they will surely want to see.
Prior to this class, I knew that technology is an integral part of almost any enterprise and organization. I know that there needs to be a strategy and planning with regards to technology implementation and that adopting new technologies without a strategy can become a huge problem later for stakeholders and users who are forced to learn and log in to various different tools. I also know that technology changes quickly and today’s tools often become obsolete, causing problems in organizations that have invested a lot of time in a technological solution that seemed the best fit at the time, but which becomes an inferior choice over time. I also know that there is a digital divide that is important to always consider when any tools are public facing, especially if serving historically marginalized groups.
I do not work for a school or district. I run a small independent educational social enterprise, Conexiones Institute, that is dedicated to advancing peace through various education publications and outdoor education, arts, culture, and language education programs for children, youth, and families.
However, Conexiones Institute is transitioning from being a direct provider of camps, after-school classes, and early childhood programs, into an online training center for early childhood educators and child care providers so they can replicate our bilingual peace education and programs as independent practitioners (similar to what Montessori and Waldorf have done). We stopped offering our direct educational services a couple of years ago so I could focus on restructuring the organization and this ended up with my enrolling in this master's program specifically to support and guide this process.
Enterprise architecture is just the thing that is needed in this restructuring stage. I need to know the projected enterprise architecture that this new rendition of Conexiones Institute will need to be successful and scale sustainably. Enterprise Architecture will give me the tools to understand how to undergo this transition and what worked well and didn't in our old architecture, or lack thereof. Thus, my work through Conexiones is very applicable with regards to enterprise architecture.
I also work for a start-up medical clinic part time as their communications and marketing manager. We are currently exactly at the point where we need an enterprise architecture process since our front desk and medical staff are overwhelmed by the numerous software programs they need to access and update regarding patient communications, tracking marketing referral sources, maintaining protected medical records, etc. It is within my job duties to assist with simplifying the current processes and train the staff. Enterprise architecture and its frameworks will be a very good tools to use in this process.