Detail: Analyze Industry and Enterprise
Develop an understanding of the competitive environment and your organization's strengths and weaknesses by performing the activities described in the Detail: Analyze Industry and Enterprise. Use the links below for an overview. For details about a role, activity, or artifact in the diagram, click on its icon.
Click the icons for definition
The purpose of this workflow detail is to understand the enterprise's industry and assess the organization from several perspectives, promoting informed strategic and tactical decisions. Typically, the perspectives include:
- Business strategy
- Marketing and communications
- Business process
- Organizational and
- Technical assessments
To perform these assessments, the stakeholders and the project team must decide on the type and scope needed. Once defined, the appropriate team members begin Activity: Perform Industry Analysis and Activity: Establish Usability Benchmarks to assess the enterprise's external environment. The Artifact: Usability Benchmarks captures information about the features and usability of competitors' systems. Other team members may concurrently assess the enterprise itself through Activity: Perform Enterprise Analysis and Activity: Understand Technical Infrastructure. These efforts produce artifacts, providing input to the Artifact: Business Concept, Artifact: Marketing Plan, and Artifact: Brand Strategy, and background information for systems to be built.
If the strategic review is completed outside the project's scope, then existing information should be reviewed. Before reviewing this information, it's crucial to specify material needed and how it will be used. In many cases, these activities are required to supplement existing information.
One or more people (depending on the scope of the project) may fill the Role: Business Strategist. Someone fulfilling the Business Strategist role often leads this collection of activities. A Business Strategist is experienced in identifying key industry trends and organizational issues and understanding how these affect an enterprise's activities in the e-business arena. Familiarity with the domain or industry makes the work progress faster. Those collecting and analyzing information need excellent research, interviewing, observation, and analytical skills.
The Business Strategist works closely with the Role: Business Process Analyst (or several people playing that role) to analyze the enterprise from process and organizational perspectives. The Business Process Analyst needs the ability to work with people in various levels and areas within the organization being analyzed. If the business is to be transformed significantly, strong facilitation skills will be needed. The team should plan to work closely with stakeholders and members of the organization to be transformed. Team members should be familiar with current industry trends, relevant technologies, and techniques to overcome resistance to change.
In this workflow detail, the Role: Software Architect focuses on understanding the current technical environment. This allows the multi-disciplinary team to make better decisions about how to realize the business strategy. Ideally, the person fulfilling the Software Architect role for Activity: Understand Technical Infrastructure will be the primary architect for any system to be built.
Multiple people may play the Role: Usability Evaluator role for the Activity: Establish Usability Benchmarks. One Usability Evaluator should coordinate the effort, but having multiple people assess competitors' sites for features, content, and usability results in a better understanding of the competitive environment and how others attempt to address user needs.