A Major European Bank Employs Business Architecture And CX To Overcome Silos

This case study is based on a fusion of recent consulting engagements. EuroBank was embarking on a major change programme aimed at reinventing the core of the organisation over the next 5 years.

Business Challenge

The Bank had been relatively successful in avoiding the financial meltdown – mostly as a result of some cautious risk management in the early 2000s. Following previous rounds of M&A, the Bank had multiple overlapping systems and products. With strong functionally-organised business units, there was no effective way of challenging their dominance; each department set its own budgets and employed their own IT resources. To set up the Bank for a successful, long-term business simplification change initiative, the Bank started to explore a combination of a centralised Business Architecture initiative and CX programmes. It had to develop both the muscles and reflexes it would need for the transformation ahead.


When designing Business Architecture function the Bank took an outside-in perspective, challenging existing architecture resources to design the set of propositions for Business Architecture within the Bank. Employees worked outside-in to first understand the service consumer (customer) context and the journey they were on, before designing the desired delivery experience, and ultimately all the way back into the capabilities and processes needed within Business Architecture. Brought together and socialised internally, these service propositions formed the core of the Business Architecture charter.

The outside-in approach – using Persona Design, Customer Journey Mapping and Service Blueprinting – also became the underlying method used to design the services of “business change” and “organisational design.” The participants realised that the workshop methods and framework approaches they had developed and internalised were directly applicable to other areas of the Bank. Collectively, these techniques and the multi-disciplinary approaches formed the core of a “co-creation” engagement framework. They quickly became the way to design the future state of business areas.


Through the introduction of Business Architecture, the executive team were able to identify common shared business capabilities such as “Credit” that appeared across all the different major business units of the organisation. Many of these common “purposes” were then replicated in every country where the Bank operated. One of the objectives of the early stage effort was to appoint “Capability Owners” within the business, giving them responsibility across functions and geographies; making them accountable for how processes operate in the different functions and countries. The same business capability framework also provided the backdrop for consistent metrics across the enterprise, which helped Capability Owners spot improvement opportunities and, at a macro level, the prioritisation of change initiatives.

Programme Challenges

Chartering of the Business Architecture programme underscored the challenges of engaging executives; they really wanted to understand the business case. They did not fully see the value until it became clear that Business Architecture would reduce overall programme risk and costs. In the business areas, it’s early days with business managers still asking significant questions as they struggle to understand the impact on their traditional governance framework. Once they understand the commitment generated and engagement associated with the core co-creation approach, their fears tend to subside.

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