Thursday, January 13, 2011

ROI Based Business Cases and Long Range Value

In a series of interesting twitter posts @taotwit(Nigel Green), @erikproper, @oscarberg, @jdevoo have been discussing modelling Value - other than monetary value. In VPEC-T (modeling based on Values, Policy, Events, Contents and Trust) the abstract concept of Value recognizes things other than monetary value.

In other posts, I have seen reference (and I am sorry that I cannot cite the references) to  a primary role of Enterprise Architecture as the team/approach for encouraging project funding across siloes. It was expressed more elegantly in the other posts, I admit!

These various posts and thoughts about Value led me to thinking about entrapreneurial organizations and risk averse organizations. Some of these arguments are kind of old hat, but in companies where innovation is a core driver (eg apple) the introduction of products isn't based (entirely) on ROI. Compare and contrast with very "mature" organizations where business as usual (in the sense that the company delivers the same products, with the same methods, with the same focus on return) because of shareholder or other leadership demands.

Architects are also sometimes thought to be ivory tower/"build it and they will come" kinds of people. This is an accusation that does have merit - we have been guilty of such sins, but it is also used as a weapon for politcal/organizational purposes. The Trust relationships are key here - because architects are likely to be destabilizers (of the status quo and current power bases) means that there will be a failure to Trust the EAs by those who will be affected/disempowered by innovation.

We see this happening frequently in enterprises where there is a process or organization for innovation. "Innovation will be handled only in the xxx organization". Anyone else onnovating outside that organization will be ignored. That's an intersection along the Value/Trust axes.