Concept: Introduction
Main Description

A key factor in the success of an enterprise architecture is the extent to which it is linked to business requirements, and demonstrably supporting and enabling the enterprise to achieve its business objectives.

Business scenarios are an important technique that may be used at various stages of the enterprise architecture, principally the Architecture Vision and the Business Architecture, but in other architecture domains as well, if required, to derive the characteristics of the architecture directly from the high-level requirements of the business. They are used to help identify and understand business needs, and thereby to derive the business requirements that the architecture development has to address.

A business scenario describes:

  • A business process, application, or set of applications that can be enabled by the architecture
  • The business and technology environment
  • The people and computing components (called "actors") who execute the scenario
  • The desired outcome of proper execution

A good business scenario is representative of a significant business need or problem, and enables vendors to understand the value to the customer organization of a developed solution.

A good business scenario is also "SMART":

  • Specific, by defining what needs to be done in the business
  • Measurable, through clear metrics for success
  • Actionable, by:
    • Clearly segmenting the problem
    • Providing the basis for determining elements and plans for the solution
  • Realistic, in that the problem can be solved within the bounds of physical reality, time, and cost constraints
  • Time-bound, in that there is a clear statement of when the solution opportunity expires Guidelines on Goals and Objectives provides detailed examples on objectives that could be considered. Whatever objectives you use, the idea is to make those objectives SMART.