Analysis of enterprise architecture alignment : delivering system of systems solutions in response to shifting customer expectations
Author(s)Engler, Candice (Candice Lynn)
Delivering system of systems solutions in response to shifting customer expectations
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Donna H. Rhodes.
MetadataShow full item record
There is urgency for NewCo, a large multinational corporation, to better execute programs spanning across product lines. This is because the number of these programs appears to be increasing and there are indicators that this trend will continue moving forward. The increase is driven by both business and customer needs for commonality as well as a shift in customer expectations making NewCo's current product lines a subsystem in a large system of systems. NewCo has recently struggled to execute programs implementing technology spanning product lines successfully. The organization is rooted in decentralized engineering of individual product lines and gaining alignment across these internal stakeholders is very difficult. The goal of this research is to identify factors making programs that span across multiple product lines and corporate divisions more difficult than expected making achieving commonality difficult. The research will also recommend potential changes to the design of the overall enterprise to improve the ability to execute programs spanning multiple product lines successfully. Using an exploratory research approach, the current state of NewCo has been evaluated based on value exchange with stakeholders and an eight views enterprise architecting framework. Nine individual factors that contribute towards the difficulty in these programs that consolidate into five categories are identified. The first category ties to strategy and includes three topics: the lack of enterprise alignment, the impact of decentralized history and culture, and the strategic choice in addressing system of systems transition. The second category relates to the organization structure and has three veins within it as well: the status of most recent organizational realignment, the perceptions around supporting businesses and shared services, and the increase in councils and committees. The third category discusses enterprise policies focusing on the metrics used to measure the divisions. The fourth category reviews the decision making process and the culture of consensus. The fifth and final category relates to knowledge sharing and recent process improvements and shifting roles that impact the ability to effectively share knowledge. Six initial recommendations are presented based upon the findings of this research. First, intentionally "design" the system of systems solution including centralizing a portion of engineering to allocate requirements to product lines and shared services. Second, reinvigorate reorganization effort of Division B and expand shared services. Third, revise policies to incent cooperation and supporting system of systems solutions. Fourth, establish clear roles and empower decision makers. Fifth, continue to invest in process improvements within the marketing organization and the knowledge transfer into product development. The sixth and final recommendation includes reiterating that programs spanning product lines are difficult. This would create awareness that commonality and system of systems solutions are not easy to develop. If team members and leadership begin these programs acknowledging the challenges ahead of them they will be better able to position the program for success. The next step is to validate these recommendations with senior leaders within NewCo. Additional research could continue though the Enterprise Strategic Analysis and Transformation (ESAT) framework and complete steps five through eight for NewCo. A second future research opportunity would be to conduct a larger study incorporating different enterprises within different industries that are facing the same challenge of shifting from individual product lines to delivering customers complete integrated solutions that span traditional product boundaries. This type of research could potentially identify best practices and provide insights for the most effective enterprise architecture.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2012.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. Page 98 blank.Includes bibliographical references (p. 95-97).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division.