From Open Sustainability
The Sustainability Blueprint is in many ways the most important part of the project implementation. During this phase the team solicits the information needed to align the strategic objectives of the clients corporate or divisional business units with what can be achieved from a sustainability perspective.
Key aspects of building the Sustainability Blueprint - Risks and Opportunities includes awareness setting around sustainability concepts, establishing the strategic business requirements, assessing the current environment and envisioning the future-state, design of the framework and establishment of the overall program plan:
- Key Concepts in Sustainability – the team is introduced to a set of technology, industry and organizational best practices to help govern the program. This phase of the project also provides training (if required) to make sure the team is working to a common level of understanding around the problem and potential solutions.
- Strategic Business Requirements - An overall set of strategic business requirements are defined that translate into sustainability requirements. Long-term objectives can start as company wide or departmental mission statements, and grow into actionable items over time. Short-term objectives must be tied to the key task that directly drives the business requirements. The Blueprint focuses on capturing both short-term and long-term business requirements but captures this information at the vision level. The detailed requirements are defined in later activities.
- Organizational QuickScan – A set of assessment tools are used to quickly get an understanding of the organizations’ current state and help drive out the initial requirements for their envisioned future-state environment. The gap analyzis between the current and future-state helps focus priorities for the early stages of the project by showing quick wins and areas of highest implementation risk.
- Sustainability Governance Team – a team will be established to improve Sustainability Governance issues across the programme. In this initial implementation phases this team will focuses primarily on improving areas such as Data Quality and Security. This team will be eventually extended to become the Sustainable Development Organisation.
- High Level Delivery Plan – this approach is defined in the Blueprint and segmented into a number of iterative increments. These increments are based upon the identification and prioritization of portions of the solution which are developed and deployed over the life-cycle of the entire program. Each cycle, or iteration, includes a feedback step to evaluate and possibly re-prioritize the effects of the recommended strategy, allowing for changes and improvement requests to be facilitated in the future increments.
There are a number of deliverables that are produced as part of these activities. The major deliverables of Phase 1 are:
- Program Charter
- Initial Delivery Plan
- Strategic Business Vision
- Strategic Critical Success Factors
- Strategic Success Measures
- Initial High-Level Sustainability Requirements
- Current-State Sustainability Process
- Sustainability Maturity Assessment
- Guiding Principles
- Scope of the Sustainability Governance Program Established
- Sustainability Governance Council Established
- Sustainability Governance Communications Plan
- Future-State Conceptual Architecture
- Findings on People, Organisation and its Capabilities
- Future State Business Alternatives
- Program Business Case
These deliverables are then summarized into the overall Sustainability Blueprint.
Use of Blueprint Activities for Solution Offerings
For many solution offerings, the activities from the Blueprinting phases are shown as being required. This is because most solutions offerings have been defined so that they can be applied for a large, complex organisation. In many cases these activities would also apply in smaller organisation or if the project is more tactically focused. Ideally, however, the strategy phases will not need to be conducted for every solution offering. An organisation will have done a comprehensive Blueprinting exercise that ties these different types of offerings together into an overall program Blueprint.
This Blueprint will typically need to be refined to lower levels of detail for a very large organization for each specific solution offering (this is why it remains for each offering). There will, however, be a comprehensive blueprint (often at the enterprise/group level) that ties all the initiatives together.