Dragon1 Standard: The Enterprise As Structure

What is an Enterprise?

Dragon1 is a method and framework for designing and constructing enterprises with architecture. For that, it has a particular view of enterprises.

An enterprise is defined in Dragon1 as an undertaking, a journey or a project that is complex and has many risks involved in order to realize ambitious goals. The risks are constantly calculated and evaluated, made justified and controlled.

The undertaking is done by individuals or organizations.

Enterprise is defined separately from organization and company. An enterprise always has one or more organizations, but an organization does not always have to be part of an enterprise. Like for instance, governments are not enterprises. (Not literally, but they can be viewed as non-commercial enterprises).

An organization is defined as a group of people working together realizing a common goal.

Enterprises need a company as a vehicle to be able to trade legally. A company is defined as a legal entity to perform business. Companies can be commercial (for profit) and non-commercial

Enterprises do business, meaning they trade goods, service and products with individuals, groups and other organizations or enterprises, in exchange for value, like money.

A enterprise at least always has one business or type of business.

EXERCISE: Can you think of an enterprise, business or organization that does not fit the definitions provided here?

Enterprise Design and Construction

Dragon1 as method and framework is meant to be used to design and construct innovation and change to enterprises. So the better understanding you as an architect (the designer of total concepts) have of current present enterprises and your own vision on future enterprises, the better you can create architecture designs for owner/clients and supervise their realization.

In the following we present the Dragon1 vision on the connected enterprise (enterprise 4.0) that is optimally aligned and collaborates internally and outside with other enterprises, constantly improving its way of working and innovating products by making optimal use of today's' available technologies.

Most often the magnitude of the work for enterprise architects is not constructing whole new enterprises. Most common EAs design and construct, innovate and change business processes and information systems. These two types of solutions are explained in detail later on.

One can design and construct an enterprise as the big bang or evolutionary and modular. One can (re)design and change or innovate (parts of) enterprises with and without working with enterprise architecture and enterprise architects.

What important here is how much guarantee or success you want to have beforehand and during projects, for that the transformation, innovation or change to the enterprise will succeed.

The more complex and continuously changing your enterprise is, the more you will benefit from working with enterprise architecture.

EXERCISE: List all the complex situations and daily changing assets of the enterprise.

The Connected Enterprise

Today, because of progress on technology, like the availability of the internet and worldwide convenience of telecommunication, enterprises are becoming more and more complex and are changing every second of the day.

This brings opportunities, but it also brings challenges: how to keep the complexity and the changes of the enterprise under control so its stays adaptive?

There is not a day that an enterprise is the same. It is constantly changing. Together with other enterprises or parts of other enterprises, also your enterprise is forming chains and networks to produce goods, products and services and deliver them via distribution networks to consumers and clients or other parties in the channel.

Examples of connected enterprises are Coca-Cola, Toyota and Google. It is interesting to see how they compare on certain attributes:

  • They are all are enterprises: investors put a lot of money into it, a lot of risks are involved and high ambitions are tried to be realized.
  • Their enterprises consist of businesses: producing and selling soft drinks, producing and selling cars, maintaining a searchable digital library and selling advertisement space on it.
  • Their businesses are carried out by organizations: in this digital age, they still all have headquarters and offices where people work together.
  • They all are connected: they are not doing business in isolation of course, they collaborate with other enterprises intensely.

Dragon1 promotes working towards a connected enterprise as any enterprise or type of business will benefit from having an optimally connected enterprise.

In practice many enterprises have three or more businesses (and business models), where a business or business model is linked to a specific group of class of goods, products and services in combination with a certain type of process, people and technology.

Even a simple restaurant often has three businesses with different business models: In-House Dining, Take away / Delivery and Catering. These three businesses target different branches, markets, have their own costs and revenue model, different processes and require other types of people to work in.

EXERCISE: List all the businesses and organizations in your enterprise and relate them with the enterprise goals. Sketch per business the business model focusing on the trade that is being done. Point out where the business model would benefit from becoming more connected: using technology more optimally and collaborating with other enterprises more optimally. Try to define at least three businesses, organizations and business models.

The Smart and Green Enterprise

A new type of enterprise is emerging, called Smart and Green enterprise. In these enterprises, any solution or services that can be made smart and green is made smart and green. We see now, for instance, that many municipalities and cities for their waste collection are switching over to solutions that are called green. They are much more nature-friendly.

We also see many governments banning single-use plastics, causing businesses and people to adjust.

The Enterprise as Structure

Building architects design and construct structures. The architecture of a structure is the (special) total concept of a structure.

A structure is a system with three dimensions: construction, operations and decoration. This goes for building structures and landscapes, but also for enterprise structures. An enterprise can be viewed as a structure.

An enterprise has a constructive dimension (segments, markets, organization, departments, etc...

An enterprise has an operative dimension (business, processes, etc...).

An enterprise has a decorative dimension (image, identity, transparency, process flow hiding, data hiding, etc...).

Because an enterprise can be viewed or seen as a structure, it can be designed and constructed just like any other type of structure in building architecture and landscape architecture.

As enterprise architect one wants to find the concepts that best answer and wants to implement the requirements of stakeholders. The requirements and concepts can be

EXERCISE: Create a functional model of your enterprise and it's three primary businesses (or create a functional model of one business). List for all the functions at least three requirements that stakeholders are having but are not met. Try to find 20 to 30 concepts (group them in different types of concepts: like a business, information, application and technology) that together as a total concept (an enterprise architecture) would lead to design and to construct solutions that will answer and implement all of the requirements.

The principle of high standards

Many enterprises and their business succeed just because of maintaining high standards or maintaining a high level of minimum standards.

Many enterprises and their business fail because of letting go minimum standards, just because of ignorance, laziness and amateurism.

Dragon1 promotes working with high standards, regardless of the financial situation an enterprise is in, like the ones below:

  • Always plan and prioritize your work.
  • Make sure that shops, offices, plant other client and working areas are always clean. Throw away broken things.
  • Make sure the processes and procedures are always documented.
  • Make sure that everyone is instructed well enough to do their job
  • Always respect what the customer asks and show interest in what he is doing and ask what he needs.
  • Make sure you keep fit. Do training courses and be informed on innovations in your specialism or discipline.
  • Learn from mistakes and problems. Document, discuss and solve them. Implement solutions.
  • Replace old and outdated product lines, technologies and processes with new ones. Never stop innovating.
  • Be trustworthy and reliable. Do what you say and say what you do.
  • Only do what makes you proud and believe in your product, business and enterprise.

One can name this the survival policies or identity policies of your enterprise because you follow these rules whatever you do.

As an enterprise architect it is important you address the minim standards that should be used when designing, constructing and working with your architectural solution.

EXERCISE: List at least 10 rules or minimum standards that are used or followed today in your enterprise and list 10 rules that should be used from now on in your enterprise.