How Compass Group Australia Built an EA Practice from Scratch | Natalie Pratt

How Compass Group Australia Built an EA Practice from Scratch

THE CHALLENGE: Determine a single source of truth

Compass Group is a British multinational contract foodservice company that serves 5.5 billion meals per year in approximately 50 countries. Darren Shearsby is the Chief Enterprise Architect of Compass Group in Australia and responsible for both IT strategy and security. When he started in his role, IT strategy was largely detached from the business and occurring on an ad-hoc basis: “We need a new menu management system. But wait – didn’t we just get rid of one last month? What problem are we trying to fix? Which processes are associated? Which user groups are affected? What are the data requirements?”

Conflicting priorities and a lack of visibility of the current landscape across business capabilities created a backlog of requests and many frustrations. Due to the number of demands, it was unclear which problems had to be solved first.

A scattered inventory of documents across Excel, Visio, and Powerpoint files didn’t make troubleshooting matters any easier. Where was the single source of truth? This setup made it impossible to present a comprehensive view of the Compass Group IT landscape to stakeholders. Compass needed an Enterprise Architecture solution.

THE SOLUTION: Establish a collaborative EA practice

Compass needed to work smarter and be able to pivot to different viewpoints depending on the audience. Said Darren: “LeanIX facilitated this lean need by giving me a virtual enterprise architect.” Upon fully understanding the current state of their IT landscape, Compass could simulate new opportunities and plan for change. All gaps, technical debts, obsolescence, and risks became visible.

The portfolio planning fell under 3 areas:

Production maintenance
Risk reduction
Transformation (“IT 4 IT” and “IT 4 Business”)
It was critical to establish a collaborative EA practice by involving affected stakeholders. As well, it was key for Compass Group Australia to focus on areas with the biggest chance of impact. The LeanIX “EnterpriseArchitecture-in-a-box” approach, as Darren puts it, fulfilled all these requirements.

Starting with business capabilities

Business capabilities have proven a very valuable concept for managing IT architectures. Capabilities have the big advantage of representing an organization’s anchoring business model while being independent of organizational structures and processes. When introducing the Business Capability model, discussions with business functions, such as HR and Supply Chain, were activated to expand upon technology questions in the proper context.

LeanIX live reports, such as the Business Capability Map or the Application Landscape, helped to instantly generate viewpoints to communicate with specific stakeholders. Supply Chain gained improved “Source-2-Contract” and “Procure-2-Pay” value streams, and HR developed a more functional “Hire-2-Retire” process. Suddenly, business and technology had a common language.

Application portfolio planning

Two strategic IT priorities were high on the agenda for Compass Group: (1) moving applications to the cloud; and (2) back-office transformation for supply chain and finance. The information captured in LeanIX is used to precisely define the scope of these projects to determine how the systems interact with each other and how suppliers are involved. Information was captured through survey workflows.

Of note, it has proven to be very successful for uncovering information previously locked up in employees’ heads, such as: How critical is the system? What are the SLAs? Is there an external party involved? Are there any risks associated? All approval and planning meetings are now based on information within LeanIX. Applications and projects are, for example, tagged as soon as the budget is approved.

Unveiling shadow IT and risks

Shadow/ghost IT is an area that Compass has collaborated with the business to manage. Shadow IT is technology that has been purchased or developed without the involvement of the IT department. LeanIX heat maps make it very transparent whether an application is officially part of the budget. Again, this helps discussions with business stakeholders. Based on a clear information baseline, constructive proposals can be made about the advantages and disadvantages of including applications into the official budget (such as the lack of an internal support model).

THE SUCCESS: Achieved EA agility

With the help of LeanIX, the enterprise architecture practice at Compass Group Australia is now running full speed ahead. Compass IT leaders are achieving considerably more attention, and now have an easier time supporting decisions and communicating value.

LeanIX has significantly reduced the time needed to collect, maintain, and visualize company data. Countless analyses and reports that previously took hours to prepare are now accomplished in minutes! In a nutshell, LeanIX enabled a small team to create big changes in the IT landscape.

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