Definition of Business Driver

Definition Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

A business driver is a relationship between enterprise or environmental states (attributes and characteristics and their values, in both senses of quantification and worth) and enterprise capabilities expressing a rationale for past, present or future change in enterprise state.

To say that something is a business driver is to say that its value has a significant effect on the strength or breadth of an enterprise’s capabilities collectively1A business driver might imply the need to create a new capability, so it cannot be required to refer to extant capabilities. and is therefore a significant factor in assessing the need for the enterprise to change if it is to fulfil its goals.

Note that even if a change in the environment is ultimately sought (e.g. increasing perceived brand value) it can only be achieved if the enterprise exercises capabilities, which entails changes in the state of the enterprise, such as changes to task priorities, goals, policies, etc.

Relationships

Business Drivers are expressed as relationships of the forms:

[State] is a [business driver] for [entity] because [rationale]

[Rationale] makes [state] a [business driver] for [entity]

[Entity] has [state] as [business driver] because [rationale]

[State] is driven to by [business driver] for [entity] because [rationale]

[Business driver] for [entity] drives [state] to [state] because [rationale]

[State] is driven to [state] by [business driver] because [rationale]

Full specification of a business driver requires the definition of relationships between the enterprise or environmental attributes that affect capabilities, the capabilities affected and a rationale expressed in terms of rules that communicates why and how the business is driven by the effect of the business driver on its capabilities and the benefits they deliver.

Other Definitions

The Financial Times, defines a business driver more concisely (but incorrectly) as,

A descriptive rationale, ideally measurable, used to support a business vision or project to clarify why a change or completely new direction is necessary.2Financial Times Lexicon 

See the main article for the reasons this definition is incorrect.

Scope

Business Driver is a defined term of Enterprise Architecture. Business Driver is a defined term of Business Analysis

Discussion

Article Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

A business driver is simply something the business needs to attend to in maintaining and developing its strategy. Note that the definition places emphasis on the quantification and worth, thereby providing the rationale of the FT definition.

The FT’s definition,

A descriptive rationale, ideally measurable, used to support a business vision or project to clarify why a change or completely new direction is necessary.3Financial Times Lexicon [http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=business-driver], retrieved 25 Sept 2015 

is incorrect because the rationale is the reason for there being a business driver, not the driver itself.

As an example of the usage of business driver, the FT gave the example,

A business driver to improve the e-commerce capability of a website could be to reduce the number of customers who drop out (i.e., leave the checkout) before purchasing a product.4Rachel Cartmail, Head of Business Analysis, Financial Times

What is here described as a business driver is in fact the goal of reducing the number of e-customers who “drop out”; the “E-commerce drop-out rate” (whatever it’s specific value is) is the state, and the correct relationship description of the business driver is,

E-commerce drop-out rate is a business driver for The Business because drop-outs are missed sales and lost profit, and optimising corporate profit is a corporate goal

Notes   [ + ]

1.A business driver might imply the need to create a new capability, so it cannot be required to refer to extant capabilities.
2.Financial Times Lexicon
3.Financial Times Lexicon [http://lexicon.ft.com/Term?term=business-driver], retrieved 25 Sept 2015
4.Rachel Cartmail, Head of Business Analysis, Financial Times

Pin It on Pinterest