HiveRank (3764)

Philip Hellyer

Executive Member


Clarity through Conversations

In a nutshell

Sense-making & decision support — I work with business owners & leaders to understand & evaluate their options for growth & value


Partly Available Immediately


London, United Kingdom





enterprise architect

enterprise architecture


business architecture

Business Capability Modelling

systems thinking

strategy creation

Design Thinking

UX Design




Enterprise IT Governance

Nominated by

user image Sally Bean

HM Expert since

Tuesday April 17, 2018


With a background in accountancy, computing science, and humanities, I help my clients bridge gaps between multiple perspectives, make sense of complex situations, generate options, and take action.

Once upon a time the global Enterprise Architecture Group Lead at the Carphone Warehouse Group. Advisor to startup Beeminder. Edited the canonical book on Enterprise Design, Intersection. Former flying trapeze instructor. Currently certifying as an executive coach.

Industry-agnostic, in recent years I’ve done work for clients in automotive, banking, chemicals, energy, finance, grocery, housing, industrial/aerospace, insurance, public sector, retail, software solutions, etc

Location-agnostic but based in London, I’ve worked across the UK, continental Europe, North America, plus trips to the Far East.

Current role details

Typically, my work involves lots of sense-making coupled with pragmatic doing. Seeking to improve systemic structure, reduce unintended consequences, and enable eyes-open decisions to be taken with confidence.

Often in short engagements ranging from a few hours to a few weeks.

– Remote innovation workshop with many stakeholders
– Business strategy & roadmapping workshop with the founders
– Mentoring/Coaching newly appointed Head of EA
– redesign core underwriting system to streamline the mess of spreadsheets, processes, & data-sources
– Implementable Architecture on a global scale, business capabilities to guide investment & execute the growth strategy

Philip's STAR Stories

From IT Director to Group CTO through Enterprise Architecture (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

The sponsoring client was an IT director, newly anointed as the innovation director in a rapidly-growing SME – in fact, the next growth spurt is liable to make them a ‘large’ enterprise.

The company had recently embarked on large-scale technology transformation, including replacing their core application and underlying infrastructure. Now that the big and obvious changes have been mode, how could a technology-oriented innovation director continue to demonstrate value?


The trigger for bringing me in was that the company’s rapid growth meant that it was starting to step on its own feet. The COO recognised that a little more architectural rigour was needed, but not too much please.

The official brief: develop an Enterprise Architecture practice that suits the business.

The softer brief: provide expertise, support, and mentoring to the IT director.


This required a blend of technology, systemic, and people-oriented skills. Both my background as former Enterprise Architecture Group Lead at a FTSE100 company and my increasing interest in the human side of change were highly relevant.

We had a lot of conversations about what the board was trying to achieve, what the private equity owners needed, what elements held the imagination and interest of the exec, etc. And so we built models, introduced governance structures, changed what information was presented and how it was displayed. Always following the attention of the organisation, seeking out the points of greatest influence and strategic value.

Together, we changed how the organisation approached change and investments in change, often in ways that became invisibly ingrained as ‘how we do things’.


End result: my client became Group CTO and was able to negotiate a bigger equity stake during a change of private equity ownership. A success for his career as well as providing clear value to the organisation.

Improved Decision-Making through Business Capabilities (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

An IT Director needed to encourage the senior and executive leadership groups to consider the whole of the business when making decisions.

The organisation had been established with clear silos and over the years those divisions had deepened to the point that decisions taken from one narrow perspective were actively detrimental to other areas of the business. Not only were the effects not apparent to the decision-maker, but the linkages across the business were unclear.


Our brief was to rapidly develop a business capability model. It turned out that this was with a view to aiding communication and discussion amongst the senior team, but the initial request was to provide industry guidance while developing a business capability model.

Although there are standard elements in a business capability model, ultimately they’re unique to each organisation, to the extent that two companies that ostensibly operating the exact same kind of business will develop markedly different business capability models.


We conducted a two-day intensive workshop in order to understand the organisational context and the true purpose of the model that we’d been asked to develop. We then worked together to develop and validate the model until it could be used in planning and decision-making.

Our starting point was in their existing strategic and publicity material, in order to ground the new model in a familiar and politically-acceptable foundation. Unlike many business capability models, this one clearly showed the major business cycles and dependencies across the organisation.

During the workshop, it became apparent that the business capability model was intended to help senior management:
– Explore opportunities and challenges in their areas of interest
– Make more informed decisions, quickly, objectively, and transparently
– Gain widespread support for those decisions

As a follow-up, we used the business capability model as the basis for a new business-coordination diagnostic tool to help senior managers identify and discuss which capabilities needed attention in particular problematic situations.


In short, they now have a toolkit that provides strategic business decision support and enables them to improve investment decisions as they continue to evolve the design of their business.

For the first time, they saw the whole of their business on a single page with the major cycles and dependencies clearly visible. We linked the business capability model to their three main KPIs, so that they could see at a glance which areas were lagging for what reason. Conversations that had not previously been possible became relatively straightforward – a soft benefit that should not be underestimated – because of having an objective model that melts political and cultural resistance.

In one key problematic service delivery area, they rapidly diagnosed that a proposed investment was mis-targeted and would have had no effect on the situation. Instead, they’re now equipped to tackle the root cause, making for happier customers and reducing reputational risk. This simple tool improved their cross-business collaboration.

Guiding Investments in Change through Business Architecture (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

The Head of Digital Transformation for a global business line needed to plan his investment portfolio with certainty that it would deliver on the board’s strategy.

On the one hand, he had a white paper that had been commissioned from one of the Big4 and a flashy marketing deck that had been used for internal comms. On the other hand, a desire to avoid centralized programmes while still coordinating investments in each market.


We were asked to build on their existing investment in business capability models. They wanted us to identify the strategically important capabilities and assess the current change portfolio in order to inform their planning & budgeting cycle.

Once we’d done that from a global perspective, they wanted it repeated for each market from their perspective, in order to balance central and local investment, identify common interests and areas of market differentiation.


We took an architectural approach to linking strategy through to execution. This gave them an objective and transparent way to make informed decisions.

In order to assess the strategic importance of capabilities, we first needed to formalise the strategy in an architecturally useful way. Using the business motivation model as inspiration, we then mapped between strategy elements and capabilities.

Working with SMEs and stakeholders, we assessed the current maturity of strategically important capabilities and estimated the maturity needed to achieve the strategy. Knowing about gaps helped them create business cases and to align benefits with capabilities and the strategy.

Similarly, we assessed the likely impact of projects in the current change portfolio. This view of remaining gaps to be filled could be grouped into future change programmes to target and prioritise opportunities.

If a market business unit had developed a strategy, we applied the same methodology to get a market-specific view. We developed a method to compare strategic importance from global and market perspectives, taking into account market uniqueness and differentiation.


They were able to reduce a $170MM budget by 40% to $104MM of targeted investment in strategic programmes. More importantly, they had confidence that their investments in change would deliver the strategy.

Taking an architectural approach gave them an objective way to qualify investments and communicate with senior management. They were able to turn strategy into projects and change programmes, which naturally aligns those investments with the board’s strategy.

Using business capabilities as the focal point of the analysis built on their existing investment and, by using this method in a business-facing planning and budgeting exercise, the credibility and value of architecture was enhanced.

Programmes that had failed to gain political traction were given a new lease on life because they had a clear and defensible link to the strategy. Conversely, programmes that had popular support but no strategic value were invited to defend their investments. On the whole, the quality of budget conversations improved, moving from rhetoric to objective assessment.

Roles & Results

ExxonMobil - Business Architect (Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Delivery and Achievements
Insightful architecture driven by global strategy, using business capabilities and value chain to guide and establish governance and as the glue between user journeys, technology investments, etc. Defining reusable patterns and an implementable architecture. Working with several regional business units to refine the strategy in terms of local differentiating capability. For the first time, the planning and budgeting cycle is driven by business capabilities and their criticality to delivering on the agreed global strategy.

Axa / Global - UX Architect (Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Delivery and Achievements
Designed the replacement of the core underwriting and sales system for a global business unit of a tier-one insurer. Ensured that the screen designs retained a connection to essential business processes and data. Facilitated workshops with SMEs, conducted user research, designed screen wireframes in Sketch, tested prototypes, presented results to sponsoring executive. Enabled the business to reimagine itself and establish a foundation for significant growth of market share.

Carphone Warehouse - Enterprise Architecture Group Lead (Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Delivery and Achievements
At the Carphone Warehouse Group, my focus was on technology, information, and under- standing their relation to business models. I worked across the life-cycle, from shaping change programmes and integrating acquisitions through to divesting and out-sourcing.

Accountable for application and information architecture across the group and for ensuring the architectures and technologies that my team recommended and enforced were fit for the purposes of our businesses.

Led a team of 4-6 EAs with the remit to ensure that each business unit and client had an agreed change and investment roadmap to reach their target operating models. In their areas of specialisation, I helped my team develop insights, set di- rection, prioritise in the event of conflict, and rebalance their workloads.

– Managed a series of out-sourcings of architecture capability and governed the resulting structures. (CPW out-sourced its infrastructure, solution, and business-unit architects.)

– Worked with finance to secure a £2M R&D tax rebate from HMRC and with programme management to change processes for future claims

– Agile Architecture: Focused architecture effort, pragmatically aligned with development iterations, resulting in best-possible recommendations and decisions. Increased quality and predictability, resulting in rapid application and hybrid-infrastructure release cycles.

– Liaised with compliance & info-sec, ensuring appropriate compensating controls in place !

– New venture launches: Best Buy, Connected World Services, Geek Squad, MediaSaturn, Monitise, TalkTalk

Key Retirement Group - EA Consultant & Mentor (Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Delivery and Achievements
Established an enterprise architecture practice at this rapidly-growing, market-leading financial service provider. IT budgeting and planning driven by architecture. Business capabilities, governance, clear communications. Director promoted to Group CTO as a result.

States of Guernsey - Transformation Consultant (Show / Hide Details)

Requirements / Actions
Delivery and Achievements
Developed a business case for the merger of two government departments in this island nation, covering 13 aspects, everything from culture change through to ICT analysis. This co-designed strategic business case resulted in an ongoing programme to implement the recommended options.

Services Philip Delivers

Service Icon HiveExec For Innovators Leaders (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

This service focuses on accelerating success for leaders responsible for Innovation within the enterprise

Service Icon HiveExec for Business Architects (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

This service focuses on accelerating success for leaders responsible for Business Architecture

Service Icon Enterprise Design for Innovation and Transformation Impact (Reveal More OR View Full Page)

A systemic and holistic Design approach to develop strategic options and execute changes at scale

Industry Experience

Retail and Consumer


Financial Services

Government and Public Services




Oil and Gas

Private Equity

Business Services

Regional Experience


North America