Johan Merckx


Recent Posts

Customer Centricity - Turning your business model around

By Johan Merckx on 26 June 2014

In a previous blog I wrote about moving from an organisation centric to a customer centric strategy. In this blog I expand somewhat more on this theme by considering the impact on your business model.

Today’s organisations are typically designed according to a traditional linear value chain of marketing, sales, delivery and support. But if we really want to put the customer central stage, we have to look differently at our organisation model. And turn it around. Make it a dynamic network driven by the needs of our customers.

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From Organisation to Customer Centric

By Johan Merckx on 20 June 2014

In today’s business landscape, almost every company is facing the challenge to move from organisation centric to customer centric, putting the customer at the heart of all activities. In this blog, I explain some of the key changes that I see happening today.

Looking from the outside: start from ‘real’ customer needs

Understanding your customers’ needs and desires and how they interact with your business is key in building long-lasting customer relationships. The major mind shift here is to start from what the customer really needs, instead of what you ‘think’ the customer needs.

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Business Cases: getting money or creating value?

By Johan Merckx on 13 May 2014

Business cases are a valuable instrument, but in practice they are not always applied correctly. They are often ‘misused’ in an attempt to get budgets allocated or to win projects. During a most interesting evening with our Business Analysis community, many colleagues presented real-life examples of how business cases are typically used by our customers. It was fascinating to see how the same patterns kept returning again and again.

What’s wrong with business cases?

Someone mentioned that: "You can always calculate your profit with a business case". As a result, business cases become more of a sales instrument for projects instead of a management instrument to evaluate and follow up on investments. And that is a shame, because business cases are extremely useful when applied correctly.

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EA on its own delivers no value

By Johan Merckx on 23 February 2014

Enterprise architecture, on its own delivers no value. As illustrated in my blog on outside-in architecture, the final goal of enterprise architecture is to design structures that create business value.

Therefore enterprise architects operate on the link between strategy and execution, connecting the investment chain with the operational value chain. To be able to improve the structure of enterprises, enterprise architects have to collaborate with business executives, investment portfolio managers, project teams and operational people as illustrated in the following picture:

In this blog I want to share my insights on how I see these collaborations happening in practice. Be aware that I will explain the collaborations top down, which in practice will often not be the case. In my experience, I mostly jump in at the project level to create early value and continue my journey from there on.

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Take an Outside-in Perspective

By Johan Merckx on 15 February 2014

As an enterprise architect, I ask myself continuously the question how I can contribute to the creation of business value for the enterprise. How can we design or improve structures that enable the enterprise to create more value?

The basic model

If we look at an enterprise from a very high level, the basic model of an enterprise is to turn the money of investors in business value for customers, in collaboration with partners in the supply chain.

If we want to take the word ‘enterprise’ in our job titles seriously, I believe we should change our mental model from an inside-out oriented perspective to an outside-in oriented perspective. How can we connect the investment value chain with the operational value chain to create more value for the customer?

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