Start with best practices
There are three basic best practices for service development that lead to a powerful service portfolio.
Who first, what second – Most organizations develop services from the inside out. They tend to develop the service first and then try to promote it. This 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.
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 how the product will be “sold”.
Six steps to designing a service portfolio
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.