The Business Architect’s Service Portfolio

Registration is free. Login or register to view/download this content.


President, Business Innovation Partners
Jeff is a senior business and technology executive, with extensive expertise and leadership in innovation, strategy development, business architecture, and organizational transformation. He has substantial consulting and corporate experience working with senior leadership to set direction, build consensus, and translate business objectives into effective action. Jeff is an internationally recognized thought leader in business architecture, strategy execution, and organizational transformation. He frequently speaks, writes, and teaches seminars on these topics Jeff currently writes the blog, The Business Architect, chairs The Business Architect’s Roundtable, is a member of the Business Architecture Guild’s advisory board, and is the Editorial Director for the Business Architecture Institute.

For some time now I have been promoting the idea that the practice of business architecture is not about creating blueprints and models but applying a set of tools and techniques to form broader perspectives, create deeper insight, and solve business problems. If business architecture is a practice, then what is its portfolio of services and how do you create them?

Start with three best practices

There are three basic best practices for service development that lead to a powerful service portfolio.

  • Who first, what second – Most business architects develop services from the inside out. They tend to develop the service first and then try to promote it. This often results in services which are misaligned with customer needs and difficult if not impossible to sell. Architecture service development is exactly like business product development – services should be designed to align with customer needs and interests.
  • Build discrete services – A key to a strong portfolio of services is creating discrete foundational services that can be used independently or can be bundled together to from larger service offerings. Each service should have clearly and explicitly defined methods, processes, templates, and examples.
  • Include a “marketing” perspective – Even great products don’t always sell. The service develop process should include an analysis of why your customers will want it and how you will promote it.

Seven steps to designing a successful service portfolio

  Following these seven steps will help you create products and services that resonate with your organization, are easy to sell, and easy to improve and expand.

  1. Clarify the context – Start with the business architecture’s business model or mission and identify what services are good candidates for the portfolio. Identify which of these candidate services are being performed elsewhere in the organization and how well they are being performed. Also identify what services business architecture stakeholders might expect that don’t fit well with the mission.
  2. Clarify stakeholder needs and expectations – Clearly identify the potential consumers of business architecture services. Classify them in terms of adoption: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards. Focusing on the innovators, early adopters, and early majority groups analyze the challenges and needs of the individual consumers and consumer groups. Specifically identify potential de-motivators to using business architecture services. Clarify investor expectations and identify the benefits they anticipate to accrue. Also identify potential competitors – people who might feel threatened by your service approach.
  3. Clarify the business architecture team’s capabilities – Start where you are. Identify what knowledge, skills, and experience the team possesses that can be leveraged. Make sure you understand the team’s limitations. Some methods are relatively simple and can be quickly learned and translated into a service, while others are quite complex and will take significant time to master. Identify internal and external resources you might partner with to fill skills gap in the short run.
  4. Clarify the engagement process – Select your first potential clients and structure your “go-to-market” approach. What service aspects will they resonate with: speed, cost, ease of engagement?
  5. Define the portfolio structure – Identify the best-fit service offerings based on your mission, customer needs, and stakeholder expectations. Use the stakeholder groupings, team assessment, and engagement process design to prioritize the services for early development.
  6. Define the service structure – Identify the standard components a well-defined service definition must contain such as method, process, forms, etc., and develop templates for each. Also include any “marketing” and follow-up materials that might be useful. Pick a simple service and build it out completely to test the design.
  7. Plan the portfolio development effort – Develop a roadmap for service development based on the likelihood of successful execution. Be sure to include enough research and education time for the more complex services. Develop a simple plan for service delivery assessment and improvement so that every engagement results in service refinement.

Product and Service Opportunities

There are four potential categories of business architecture services: strategy development and articulation services, organizational performance services, organizational change services, and project support services. Not all business architecture practices will have services in every category but this list is a good starting place to spur your imagination of what can be done.

  • Strategy Development and Articulation Services – This category includes both clarifying corporate strategy to make it more consumable and strategy development for lines of business and departments to help them align with corporate strategy or to evolve their organization. Services in this category include business model development, value chain analysis, scenario planning, value mapping, and strategy mapping.
  • Organizational Performance Services – These services look at how an organization is performing and identifies areas and approaches to improve performance. Services here might include capability modeling and assessment, capability based performance models, capability sourcing analysis, resource portfolio analysis, and SWOT analysis.
  • Organizational Change Services – These services help organizations think about who they are, who they want to become, and how to get there. Services here include decision making frameworks, new idea generation facilitation, context assessments, and transformation planning and management.
  • Project Support Services – Most business architects don’t create services to support project level activities but are often pulled in to help when complex projects run into trouble. Having a defined set of services in this category can help focus the work you do for projects and prevent the team from being used as a general resource pool. Business architects can also do a lot of good at the project level with small targeted engagements. Some of the services in this category are project risk analysis, conceptual target architecture development, business process development, change management design, and road mapping support.


Similar Resources

Featured Certificate: BPM Specialist

Everyone starts here.

You're looking for a way to improve your process improvement skills, but you're not sure where to start.

Earning your Business Process Management Specialist (BPMS) Certificate will give you the competitive advantage you need in today's world. Our courses help you deliver faster and makes projects easier.

Your skills will include building hierarchical process models, using tools to analyze and assess process performance, defining critical process metrics, using best practice principles to redesign processes, developing process improvement project plans, building a center of excellence, and establishing process governance.

The BPMS Certificate is the perfect way to show employers that you are serious about business process management. With in-depth knowledge of process improvement and management, you'll be able to take your business career to the next level.

Learn more about the BPM Specialist Certificate





  • Business Process Management Specialist
  • Earning your Business Process Management Specialist (BPMS) Certificate will provide you with a distinct competitive advantage in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. With in-depth knowledge of process improvement and management, you’ll be able to take your business career to the next level.
  • BPM Professional Certificate
    Business Process Management Professional
  • Earning your Business Process Management Professional (BPMP) Certificate will elevate your expertise and professional standing in the field of business process management. Our BPMP Certificate is a tangible symbol of your achievement, demonstrating your in-depth knowledge of process improvement and management.


BPM Certification

  • Make the most of your hard-earned skills. Earn the respect of your peers and superiors with Business Process Management Certification from the industry's top BPM educational organization.




  • Operational Excellence Specialist
  • Earning your Operational Excellence Specialist Certificate will provide you with a distinct advantage in driving organizational excellence and achieving sustainable improvements in performance.


OpEx Professional Certificate

  • Operational Excellence Professional
  • Earn your Operational Excellence Professional Certificate and gain a competitive edge in driving organizational excellence and achieving sustainable improvements in performance.



  • Agile BPM Specialist
  • Earn your Agile BPM Specialist Certificate and gain a competitive edge in driving business process management (BPM) with agile methodologies. You’ll gain a strong understanding of how to apply agile principles and concepts to business process management initiatives.  

Business Architecture



  • Business Architecture Specialist
  • The Business Architecture Specialist (BAIS) Certificate is proof that you’ve begun your business architecture journey by committing to the industry’s most meaningful and credible business architecture training program.

  • Business Architecture Professional
  • When you earn your Business Architecture Professional (BAIP) Certificate, you will be able to design and implement a governance structure for your organization, develop and optimize business processes, and manage business information effectively.

BA CertificationCertification

  • Make the most of your hard-earned skills. Earn the respect of your peers and superiors with Business Architecture Certification from the industry's top BPM educational organization.




  • Digital Transformation Specialist
  • Earning your Digital Transformation Specialist Certificate will provide you with a distinct advantage in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. 


  • Digital Transformation Professional
  • The Digital Transformation Professional Certificate is the first program in the industry to cover all the key pillars of Digital Transformation holistically with practical recommendations and exercises.



  • Agile Business Analysis Specialist
  • Earning your Agile Business Analysis Specialist Certificate will provide you with a distinct advantage in the world of agile software development.


  • DAS Certificate
  • Decision Automation Specialist
  • Earning your Decision Automation Certificate will empower you to excel in the dynamic field of automated decision-making, where data-driven insights are pivotal to driving business innovation and efficiency.