Activity 2.2: Analyze Opportunities to LeverageOnce the potential organizations and service providers have been identified, planners can formally engage these groups to determine what experience is relevant to the needs at hand. Specifically, planners must engage these organizations to determine the relevancy of their experiences as well as to determine whether there are partnership opportunities with these organizations when appropriate. In each instance, the risks and benefits of partnering must be carefully considered before establishing a partnering relationship.
The following visual illustrates the tasks within this activity.
Engage organizations to analyze relevancy of experiences
Planners must begin by engaging their prioritized targets for engagement, identified in the previous activity. In many instances, a formal outreach from the sponsor is a good way of performing the introduction to the organizations and service providers that planners seek to engage. This outreach could be a formal email or letter or even perhaps a quick phone call to set the stage.
Planners then can perform a more tactical outreach, preferably by phone, to discuss the scope, the nature of questions, the forthcoming read-ahead materials, and to schedule the formal meeting. Whenever possible, face-to-face interaction will be the preferred method of engagement. Data calls are not an ideal mechanism for engaging with other organizations or service providers.
Planners must prepare a simple, succinct read-ahead package that includes an overview of the planning effort, the vision, goals and objectives, purpose statement, and scope. Additionally, it must be made clear to the audience why the organization or service provider was selected for engagement.
At the engagement meeting(s), planners must focus on the experiences at that target organization, including the relevancy of those experiences to the needs at hand and any architecture data that may be available from the organization. Planners must keep a record of the specific experiences, and any similarities and differences in the operating environment, constraints, and drivers that the organization faces in comparison to the organization planning for the needs. Planners must seek to identify specific experiences that could be leveraged.
Engage organizations to identify specific partnering opportunities
Upon engaging with the organizations, it may become apparent that some of the organizations are facing similar needs but have not yet planned for those needs. For instance, you may be focusing on a payroll need and may find three other organizations facing a similar payroll need. In these instances, there is an opportunity to “partner” with these other organizations to either plan together towards a common set of recommendations (perhaps shared services) or to agree on planning with parallel timelines where planning information could be shared.
In instances where the stated needs may be addressed in Step 3 with commodity type services, partnering with other organizations that are facing similar needs is a good path towards leveraging services or shared investments.
Planners must engage with the organizations to determine the interest in partnering for the planning in Step 3 and to document how that planning might be conducted should a partnership be formed.
Conduct risk and benefits analysis of partnering opportunities
If multiple partnership opportunities are available, planners need to conduct an analysis of the partnership opportunities to determine which are best in alignment with the stated needs. Planners need to consider the risks and benefits associated with partnering. For instance, risks could include a longer planning timeline, organizational differences, or a lack of leadership support for planning. Benefits could include a plan that results in a more cost effective shared service, shared cost of planning, and the ability to get fresh ideas from outside the organization.
Planners must analyze the risks and benefits of each partnering opportunity and then document the similarity in needs between the organization, the level of interest in partnering, the level of financial or resource commitment from the other organizations, the desired timeline of the other organizations, and any other facts that will help the sponsor determine whether partnering is a good decision. The risks, benefits, and other tasks must be presented to the sponsor.
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Key to FEA Layers: S = Strategy, B = Business, D = Data, A = Application, I = Infrastructure, SP = Security