Deploying Business Strategy through Business Architecture

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


President, TSG, Inc.
William Ulrich is President of TSG, Inc. and a strategic planning consultant specializing in business / IT alignment. He has worked with numerous large corporations and government agencies in the area of business / IT alignment. Mr. Ulrich has written several books and published hundreds of articles. His latest book is Business Architecture: The Art and Practice of Business Transformation. Mr. Ulrich is a Former Editorial Director of and Co-founder of the Business Architecture Guild and an advisor to the Penn State Enterprise Architecture Advisory Group.

At the recent Business Architecture Innovation Summit in Reston, VA, one of the main challenges cited by attendees was the difficulty of aligning their business architecture with business strategy. While strategy mapping has historically been viewed as a standalone discipline, business architecture views strategy mapping as an integral component. Making your strategy actionable requires formalizing that strategy and aligning it to business architecture components that include capability, organization, value, information and initiatives. This article discusses strategy mapping frameworks and how to align those frameworks with related business architecture components to further prioritization, budgeting, portfolio planning and deployment.

Before we discuss how strategy mapping is incorporated into business architecture, let’s review a sampling of commonly used strategy mapping frameworks.

  • SWOT Analysis
  • Five Forces Model (Porter)
  • Business Motivation Model (BMM)
  • Strategy Map (Norton Kaplan)
  • Hoshin Kanri

Each of these frameworks has benefits and drawbacks. Some simply provide a basis for thinking about how to craft strategy while others go further in terms of how to represent strategy. For example, SWOT Analysis summarizes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing a business. These findings are in turn used to craft strategy. Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model[1] takes this analysis a step further by providing a framework for envisioning specific types of threats. These include supplier bargaining power, threat of new entrants, threat of substitute products or services, bargaining power of buyers and rivalry among competitors.

The Business Motivation Model is a metamodel based framework that ties the ends to be achieved (i.e. vision, goal, objective) to the means (i.e. mission, course of action, directive) of achieving those ends.[2] Strategies and tactics are considered variations on a course of action. The BMM framework is a useful way of articulating what you want to achieve and how you want to get there.

The Norton Kaplan Strategy Map offers a richer perspective of strategy by representing financial, customer, internal and growth perspectives.[3] This particular strategy map also provides insights into the fact that there are internal processes tied to various aspects of the internal perspective.

Another strategy mapping approach is coined Hoshin Kanri which provides a transitional perspective that moves from Mission/Strategy through Goals/Action items.[4] Hoshin Kanri begins with mission and strategy, ties strategy to objectives, aligns objectives to measurable goals and maps goals to action items. Each of these frameworks allow strategy in one form or another to be mapped to business perspectives as articulated through blueprints that represent business capability, organization, value and information.

Capability and value (in the form of the value stream) provide critical abstractions for representing aspects of the business impacted by strategy. For example, value streams define how to achieve value for an external or internal stakeholder. Customer strategies, such as improving customer service, would focus on externally facing value streams for post-sales service while internally focused strategies, such as delivering a new product in less time for less cost, would focus on an internal value stream needed to build a product. Detailed analysis of each value stream stage provides further insights into which stage of the value stream requires attention.

Capabilities are mapped to value streams through something known as a cross-mapping blueprint, where each stage of a value stream  is shown to be enabled by certain capabilities. This cross-mapping blueprint, coupled with heat mapped capabilities, provides further detail as to which capabilities need to be enhanced to drive value stream improvements and achieve the objectives set forth in the strategy. Capabilities, through organization and information cross-mapping, provide another important indicator as to who can and should fund such a strategy along with the information that may be poorly defined or otherwise detrimental to value delivery.

The next logical step in making strategies actionable involves identifying the funded initiatives needed to improve or otherwise redeploy relevant value streams, capabilities and related information. Project or program offices can create an initiative roadmap that articulates the value stream stages and related capabilities to be improved or retooled. The basis for fully defining the initiatives and related funding required to deliver a given strategy often requires another discipline called business / IT architecture alignment, which defines the systems that need to be retooled or replaced to deliver business value.

As you can see, a well-articulated strategy can be the genesis for determining which aspects of the business should be assessed, aligned in a business driven roadmap, funded and deployed as strategic solution. Strategy mapping provides the basis or starting point while additional aspects of business architecture deliver the engine that powers the solution. So if you are challenged to tie business strategy to business architecture, consider using a formal strategy mapping framework that can be aligned with the remaining aspects of business architecture as the basis for turning your business strategies into actionable results.

[1] “The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy”, Harvard Business Review, Jan. 2008

[2] Business Motivation Model (BMM).

[3] R. S. Kaplan and D. P. Norton, Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

[4] Hoshin Kanri Pro

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.