The Government Digital Archive (GDA) Programme was a major initiative that provided Archives New Zealand (Archives NZ) with the business capabilities it needed to securely store, preserve and give access to important digital and digitised public records.
Like many projects the GDA Programme ran the risk of being perceived as a complex technical system implementation with little need for business involvement. In reality the programme was a full business change initiative of which the technology was just one part of a complex business solution.
Archives NZ needed a way to clearly capture and communicate the full business context and scope of the business change. The GDA Programme team needed a mechanism that it could use to engage with the wider organisation and external stakeholders, and to assist with the planning of the programme.
Archives NZ engaged Equinox to help them understand the scope of the significant changes associated with the GDA Programme. Equinox consultants established a high-level business architecture model for the GDA Programme using existing industry reference models as well as Archives NZ and GDA Programme strategic documents. The consultants collaborated with Archive’s GDA Programme team members and wider stakeholders to validate and improve the model.
The business architecture model was then produced to provide business context for GDA Programme planning. It presented:
- Primary activities - what the business does
- Business capabilities - what resources the business needs to achieve its primary activities (covering people, process, information and systems).
The model showed how the digital archive fitted into the broader Archives NZ business to satisfy business goals and outcomes. It included concise and straight-forward definitions for the primary activities and business capabilities. These were written for a business audience, using existing Archives NZ terminology and avoiding technical jargon and notation.
The main benefit that Archives NZ obtained from the service was the provision of valuable business context information to understand scope and provide programme planning input. People outside of the immediate programme team were able to engage, to better understand and begin to prepare for their part of what will be a substantial business change.
Mark Crookston – Senior Advisor for Digital Continuity, Archives NZ – confirms that Archives NZ and the GDA Programme continue to obtain value from using the model as a reference point and input for detailed business process modelling and analysis. It has also further proven its value for communication, in workshops with other government agencies, to provide an easily digested and understandable picture of “what Archives does and how what the agency does relates to that”.