Anderson MacGyver’s MultiModal Business Activity Model

Effectively designing your IT operating model and technology governance is one of the key success factors for any digital transformation strategy. But how do you start? See AndersonMacGyver’s ‘MultiModal Business Activity Model’. It is an academically validated framework that guides the best design of technology practices.

With digital technology at the heart of every organizational strategy, major investments are now being made in transforming IT functions. The downside, however, is that digital transformation is notorious for its pitfalls, with one study of 900 cases worldwide finding that only 30% were considered (somewhat) successful. It is suggested that there is

Anderson MacGyver, a strategic IT consultancy with offices in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, knows this all too well. The company has been advising his CIO and senior management on technology since 2013, including how to incorporate digital into all parts of the organization.

This led to the birth of the ‘Multimodal Business Activity Model’, first developed in 2014 when a client asked the company to review its application portfolio. “We were looking for a way to connect our application portfolio to our business objectives. There was no clear framework for this in practice or in the literature, so we decided to develop our own.” , recalls Anderson MacGyver principal Albert Sprokholt, a former CIO.

Sprokholt co-developed the model with Gerard Wijers, co-founder of Fabian Haijenga and Anderson MacGyver. They confirmed that the model is based on academic research. Sprokholt was a visiting lecturer at Utrecht University, and Wijers is still an Adjunct Professor at Nyenrode Business University and a Senior Research Fellow at Delft University of Technology.

“Our model is one of the few consultancy frameworks built on an academic foundation.

Eight years after its inception, the model has grown into the foundation of every engagement offered by Anderson MacGyver. Mr. Wijers: “In virtually all of our operations, we have some form of model in order to have a clear understanding of the strategic importance of our business activities and how they may be affected by changes in the environment. I’m using.”

Sprokholt said:

“Multimodality is a great starting point for digital transformation and the alignment of business, technology and data.”

About the multimodal business activity model

At the heart of the model is business activity. “There are several reasons for this,” he says Sprokholt.

“First, activity is easy to understand. Activity is about what people do and get results, not the details of how it is done. It is a fundamental part of Porter’s strategic thinking.Next, business activity is used more frequently as a theoretical building block, such as in the business model canvas and in the recent literature.”

The model relies on two dimensions that distinguish business activities based on some key characteristics for digital transformation and strategy development. The first dimension is dynamics. This extends to the strategic choices an organization makes about how to deal with the impact of external changes in the environment on its business activities.

The second is differentiation. This spectrum indicates how distinctive or specific a business activity is.

Activities are then plotted in 2×2 quadrants, allowing for four different types of business activity. These are called “modalities”. A taxonomy of business activities can support decision making regarding the technical and organizational aspects of these activities, from the selection of technical solutions to the need to procure activities and organize teams.

Multimodal Business Activity Model, Anderson MacGyver

distinctive activity (Purple) indicates business activities that are specific and highly responsive to change. It is a business activity that plays a central role in developing new and innovative products and services in response to changes in customer demands and trends in society, technology and competitors.

For example: Developing sustainable and innovative alternatives to existing services or products or customer-tailored products and services.

Professional activity (orange) are specific because they are activities that take place in relatively stable environments and require special knowledge, resources, and methods. Professional activities are distinguished by finding specific, often complex solutions or results by applying specific knowledge, expertise and resources to more or less defined problems.

Think about organizations responsible for technical maintenance of complex infrastructure, time-critical processes, integration issues, professional work in hospitals, or enforcement of specific laws such as tax authorities.

common activities (green) are business activities characterized by a relatively stable environment, no different from comparable activities in other organizations. Common activities are typically designed to provide superior and reliable products, services or results at superior price/performance.

Common activities are relatively stable over time and are (as well) performed by most organizations. Examples of common activities include support activities such as management, purchasing and principal activities of companies that offer products or services that compete on price with comparable products of competitors.

adaptive activity (blue) are business activities that are relatively dynamic, but do not differ in specific functionality from comparable activities, products, or services in other organizations. Adaptive activities are often adapted in response to changing customer requirements and social and technological developments.

Activities are dynamic in time. Examples of adaptive activities include commercial or support activities that require continuous adaptation to the behavior of competitors, or rapid changes such as the use of new technology or changes in consumer preferences in the fashion, entertainment and social worlds. activity as a result of changing environmental conditions. media.


The main outcome of the “Multimodal Business Activity Model” is to provide a practical and simple tool for analyzing an organization’s business activities and use of data and IT, providing a path to a digital transformation roadmap and action plan. is to open

“The modalities of business activity support decision-making on many aspects related to technology and data,” explained Lotte Nieuwmeijer, who has played a leading role in the further development of the model over the past two years.

“The list of possible use cases for multimodality is long. It helps us build and organize collaborations with third-party partners.”

Equally important, while digital transformation ultimately leads to people-driven change, it’s also important that the model is “a great tool for dialogue and stakeholder alignment,” says Sprokholt. says Mr. “This model aligns stakeholder perspectives across levels to help us collectively understand and determine the future strategic direction of our business activities.”

Wijers concludes:

For model details, see: Download Anderson MacGyver’s “MultiModal Business Activity Model” white paper.

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