Business and IT do not automatically align. Any IT provider worth his salt is well aware of this problem. Poor mutual understanding may lose you a contract. Misunderstandings surfacing while a project is well underway may cost you a lot of money or can even jeopardise the entire undertaking.
Having developed the Perspectives design method, we think Business-IT alignment is the problem of conjoining the perspectives of the various stakeholders. Those stakeholders can be roughly divided into Business versus IT. But when you look closely, you'll see a development perspective, a deployment perspective, an analysis perspective, a financial perspective, a logistical perspective and so on.
On top of that, IT uses so many different methods, diagrams and technologies! These add to the confusion and certainly make IT look impenetrable from a business perspective.
With Perspectives, you bring all stakeholders together around a model. The model is like a maquette, giving each stakeholder a clear view of what will be built. It is not just a collection of diagrams, but actually holds prototype-screens that end users can validate. It is a shared vision, from many sides, yet integrated at heart.
The modelling language draws on concepts shared by all people. No formal education is required: we all know what a role is, a context or an action. Consequently, all stakeholders understand the diagrams. Yet, the language is mathematically precise and a model is rich enough to base a software development project on it.
Modelling is also very fast. In a workshop, a modeller can actually follow, in real time, the participants' discussion and visualise what is being said. Our workshops are like those famous brown paper sessions - only, at the end you don't go home with several square meters of paper, but with a formal model complete with screens.
Sharing a common understanding, all stakeholders contribute to make the vision come true. These efforts will be aligned by design.