Written by Jim Noble in Enterprise Architecture, Software Development

When consulting on software projects, there is a common question many Enterprise Architects may ask of product owners: “What exactly are you trying to accomplish?”. All too common in software projects is the scenario where business analysts and product owners, when considering system requirements, are most concerned with what happens when this button is clicked, does it call this system, or that system, what does this screen look like, or what happens when I click the back button in a web browser. In other words, too much emphasis is placed on capability, rather than solving the business problem at hand. A very important step in these projects that is all too commonly overlooked is an examination of the business function being implemented, including an analysis and detailing of the related processes and the milestones necessary to achieve the goals of these processes. This examination must be completed in order to effectively answer the question of how a software implementation can help augment, scale, or otherwise enhance the business function. This examination is a key component that can and should be described under the Business Architecture aspect of the overall Enterprise Architecture. The goal of this exercise is to convince Business Analysts and Product Owners to forget IT and software and focus on the business process and the business goals.

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