As a software or UX/UI professional, you know that creating great products and experiences is not enough. You also need to align them with your business goals and vision. But how do you do that? Learn how to design a winning business strategy architecture for your software and UX/UI projects. That will help ensure your solutions support your business strategy and deliver value to your customers and relevant stakeholders. Find out what business strategy architecture is and why it's important for software and UX/UI in this post!
What is Business Strategy Architecture?
Business Strategy Architecture is a discipline that helps you design and align your business capabilities, processes, information, and structure with your strategic planning process to reach your goals and vision. It's like a blueprint of your business that shows how everything fits together and supports your Value Proposition. Think of it as a bridge between your Business Strategy (what you want to achieve) and your business execution (how you make it happen). It assists in turning your big goals into specific actions and results. It also helps you find weaknesses and dangers that may impact your progress.
Types of Business Strategy Architecture
Business Strategy Architecture is all about designing actionable plans based on your business and technology to achieve your desired goals. As a result, there are different ways to do this, depending on what you want to focus on and achieve. Here are some examples:
1. Customer Experience Strategy. This is when you think about how your customers will feel and what they will get from your business. You need to know what they want, like, do, and expect, and make your products and services in a way that talks to them and matches their needs and desires. For example, if you’re in eCommerce, you should make an easy-to-use website, suggest things they might like, and deliver things fast and well.
2. Operational Strategy. This is when you think about how your people and processes will work with a cohesive understanding in mind. You need to use your resources, skills, steps, and results best to make them fit with your Customer Experience Strategy. For example, if you manufacture products, you might improve the quality and speed of making things, lower the costs, ensure everything is safe and follows the rules, and encourage new ideas.
3. Transformational Strategy. This is when you consider using modern technologies to change and grow your business in a new environment. You must use the latest technological resources, such as Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things, to create new chances, solutions, and values for your business and everyone involved. For example, if you provide health care, you can rely on digital platforms to connect patients, doctors, insurers, and suppliers, use data analytics to improve diagnosis and treatment, leverage techs like Blockchain to protect medical records and payments and use IoT devices to monitor and manage health conditions.
How to Design a Business Strategy Architecture
A business architecture framework helps align your vision, goals, actions, and measures to achieve desired outcomes. It can aid in communicating your strategy, prioritizing initiatives, and monitoring progress. Here are some steps to follow for creating a winning business strategy architecture:
1. Business Vision and Goals
The first step is to determine what you want your business to accomplish and why. Your vision is your long-term goal that guides your business direction and purpose. Your goals are specific and measurable objectives that support your vision. For instance, if your vision is to become the top online education provider in Europe, your goals could be to increase your market share, revenue, customer perspective, and social impact.
2. Current Situation and Gaps
The next step is to evaluate where you are and want to be. You can analyze your internal and external environment using tools like SWOT, PESTEL, and Porter's Five Forces analysis. Additionally, you can use data and metrics to evaluate your current performance and identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The gap between your current and desired situation is the problem you must solve with your strategy.
3. Stakeholders and Value Propositions
The third step is determining who affects or can impact your business. That includes customers, employees, partners, investors, and competitors. You need to identify their needs, expectations, preferences, and pain points and how you can create value for them. In this context, your Value Proposition is what sets you apart from everyone else. For example, suppose your value proposition for your customers is offering affordable, high-quality online courses with personalized support and feedback. In that case, you need to understand what features and benefits they want most and how you can provide them effectively and efficiently.
4. Strategy Map and Balanced Scorecard
The fourth step is creating a visual representation of your strategy using a strategy map tool. This tool links your goals across four areas: financial, customer, internal process, and learning and growth. A balanced scorecard is another tool that helps you track your progress toward these goals using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). For example, let's say one of your goals is to increase customer loyalty. You can use metrics like Retention Rate, Referral Rate, and Net Promoter Score (NPS) to see how well you're doing.
5. Strategy Implementation
The final step is to execute your strategy and evaluate its results. You should ensure that everything you have - resources, abilities, business processes, systems - works with your strategy map and balanced scorecard. You also need to communicate your strategy clearly to all your stakeholders and engage them in it. You should check your strategy regularly and change it if needed based on what you can learn from the feedback and data collected from your balanced scorecard.
Why is Business Strategy Architecture Important?
You may wonder why you should bother with business strategy architecture for your software and UX/UI solutions. After all, isn't it enough to create great products and experiences that meet the user's needs and follow UX best practices? Well, not quite. Business Strategy Architecture is important for software and UX/UI for several reasons:
1. Aligning Software and UX/UI Solutions. A Business Strategy Architecture helps you align your software and UX/UI solutions with your business goals and vision. This way, you can ensure that your solutions are not only user-friendly but also profitable, sustainable and have an advantage over competitors.
2. Prioritizing Software and UX/UI Features. Having a BSA can be key to prioritize your software and UX/UI features and functionalities based on their value to your customers and stakeholders. This way, you can avoid wasting time and resources on features that are not essential or desirable.
3. Measuring Software and UX/UI Performance. This approach also helps you measure and improve your software and UX/UI performance and outcomes. By defining clear success metrics and tracking them regularly, you can evaluate the impact of your solutions on your business objectives and user satisfaction.
4. Creating a User-First Mindset. It helps you create a user-first mentality in your organizational goals. By conducting validated user research and involving users in the Design Process, you can better understand their problems, goals, needs, and preferences. This way, you can create solutions that truly solve their pain points and delight them!
When making your business strategy architecture, remember to keep it short, but consider all business scenarios. It's important to consider all the necessary business models and details, but you should also make sure it's easy to understand. To make a successful business architecture, you need to be professional, think about your audience, be brief, and be adaptable. Doing these things can create a strong foundation for your business to succeed in the long run. So get ready to tackle the market by planning carefully!