Business Blueprints

Today we’re going to talk about business blueprinting, which is in the domain of Business Architecture.

A blueprint is effectively a specific view of the business. The total collection of blueprints describes your business model.

Business blueprints are like a set of Architect’s drawings or a General’s battle maps. Generals use battle maps to show terrain, enemy positions or troops deployments. Business Strategists use business blueprints to show product positioning, organisational structures, capabilities and value generation processes.

At Rubik’s Cube we concentrate on a core set of blueprints as follows.

Market Blueprint

This blueprint focuses on understanding the demographics within your marketplace. It also details the customers core needs that require satisfying and which products and services satisfy that need at a detailed level

Service / Product Model

This blueprint provides details of products and services that your business supplies to its customers, at which location and at what price and in which volumes. It also list the particular attributes designed to appeal to the needs of the demographic

Process Model

This blueprint shows how value is generated in a series of Value Chains. Typical Value Chains include Marketing, Promotion, Sales, Operations. This model often also includes more detailed process maps

Capability Model

This blueprint provides a map of all the business capabilities. For instance, a business maybe capable of building a product to a specification in a set volume within a time period

Organisational Model

This blueprint is the view of the overall organisation including internal staff, suppliers, partners and any other stakeholders (investors for instance)

Information Model

Information is central to all businesses these days. This model builds a picture of the information requirements of the business. This could include sales reports or Search Engine Analytics

Technology Model

This blueprint includes all those technologies used by the organisation and customers within a given service or process

The Whole Is Greater than the Sum of the Parts

These products should be reviewed regularly by any business leader when reviewing strategy. They are great tools for assessing the impact of any strategy; They are great tools for building out a road map for implementation; They are great tools for understanding the cost of strategy at a more granular level.

These products are not designed to be used in isolation but support each other by providing inputs and outputs to each other

An example on how these come together is as follows.

The board of the Company X are aware that the latest trends show the emergence of a new product that’s being heavily promoted and gaining a lot of excitement in the market place. As a result, they agree a change in strategy and to re-position the company

The leadership team look at the Market Blueprint to see which demographics being served are affected by the new product. It identifies the Millennial demographic who are moving in the direction of this product because it serves X and Y purposes

The leadership team then look at the Product / Service Blueprint and see which products are in direct competition with the new product and identifies which particular attributes are better or worse than the competition.

After a number of workshops with the product specialists, the leadership team come back with a number of options for the board which include altering the existing product serving that demographic BUT at a specific cost or terminate the existing product and serve another demographic.

The board accept the recommendation to alter the existing product. The leadership team then looks at the process model to see which particular processes are affected by the new product. It concludes that Product Design, Manufacture and Promotion are key processes that will need to be reviewed.

On looking at the Capability Model for those capabilities used within the identified processes the team realize that they don’t have the key tools and skills to design and manufacture the new product.

The Organisation Model must then be updated to show which supplier can best complete the Design and Manufacture and the who will be responsible for overseeing supplier delivery.

The Technology Model also identifies that promotion requires a change in the method of advertising.

Out of these insight’s, one can then generate a plan.

We’ll come onto each one in the next set of blogs