Initiatives represent efforts (from ideas to full-fledged programs) that impact the organization’s architecture, require resources, and contribute to achieving specific goals or objectives.


Modeling the Initiative Fact Sheet (and subtypes) allows you to see the status of initiatives and their impact on the entire landscape/enterprise architecture. More precisely, it shows an Initiative’s impact on Business Capabilities, Business Contexts, Applications, Organizations, Platforms, and IT Components, as well as how it supports certain Objectives. It also helps you surface relevant information, such as budget.

Overview of all relations to/from Initiative:

Initiative Fact Sheet subtypes

The following four different Fact Sheet subtypes are available to model different types of initiatives in LeanIX:

  • Idea: Ideas are changes under consideration, not formally planned out yet (e.g., in a project or program).
    Example: Scenario A - ERP Greenfield Implementation ('Scenario' as a differentiator to show this is one of several ideas).
  • Program: Programs are a group of related projects, epics, or other sub-programs to achieve strategic objectives, ideally managed in synchronization with a Project Management tool.
    Example: Cloud Transformation Program
  • Project: Projects are ideally managed and synchronized with a Project Management tool. They can be separate or a child of (a) Program(s) in the context of large/complex transformations.
    Example: Wave 1 - Rehost Project
  • Epic: Epics are the standard way to execute changes in a modern product-oriented organization, ideally managed in synchronization with an Agile Planning tool like Jira.
    Example: New Jira Integration for LeanIX Architecture and Road Map Planning


For a step-by-step guide to create the Fact Sheet subtype, see Create Fact Sheet Subtype.

Initiative Examples:

  • Business Initiative: Streamline supply chain processes to improve efficiency
  • IT Initiative: Move to SAP S/4HANA Supply Chain on public cloud

Guidelines and Best Practices

  • Keep it simple - LeanIX is not a project management tool like Jira or Add Initiatives only up to level 2 or 3 (e.g., Program/Project/Sub-Project).
  • Consider out-of-the-box integrations, i.e., to Jira or other project portfolio management solutions.
  • Remove/update subtypes based on existing terminology.
  • Embed Initiatives and the governance around them within your existing demand management, portfolio planning process, etc.
  • If your software development teams work in more traditional ways, you would typically use the Fact Sheet subtype Programs or Projects.
  • If your software development teams apply more Agile ways of working, you would typically use the Fact Sheet subtype Epic, but you might also use Programs for larger transformation efforts.

How to model Initiatives in the context of large transformation programs (with LeanIX Architecture and Road Map Planning)

The Fact Sheet Initiative (incl. subtypes) is particularly useful and crucial if you use LeanIX to plan and execute larger modernization and transformation projects, in which case you would typically use the LeanIX Architecture and Road Map Planning. Check out the Application Modernization use case description to learn how to use the Initiative Fact Sheet type in this context.



LeanIX Architecture and Road Map Planning was previously known as BTM module.

For some overarching guidance, let’s say your organization runs 5-10 large programs. Typically these are broken down (via WBS: Work Breakdown Structures) into 2-3 levels. You could model Projects or Epics on level 2. Or you model Projects on level 2 and Epics on level 3. It is also possible to have standalone projects.

The following is a modeling example in which an organization uses the LeanIX Architecture and Road Map Planning (which allows to model Transformations and create milestones) and wants to provide an overview of its ERP Transformation program.

  • ERP Transformation is the broad transformation Program. Below that, we have different Projects linked as a child that represent the different waves (or phases) of the ERP transformation Program.
  • The Program supports the broad Objective of reducing costs (which is owned by the Headquarter - Organization Fact Sheet subtype).
  • The Projects improve the Business Capabilities displayed. The Business Capabilities are supported by the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Application and its children.
  • The Platform contains those Applications (and underlying IT Components that are not modeled here), and it supports the Objective to reduce IT costs.
  • The Applications are used by the two Regions Austria and Spain, as well as by the Business Unit Headquarter (both subtypes of Organization)

Modeling the Initiatives (Program and Project as children) and linking them to Applications will allow you to create a Roadmap Report for your ERP transformation Program that shows the status of the entire Program, its Projects, and impacted Applications. Thanks to the LeanIX Architecture and Road Map Planning, you are also able to add and visualize milestones. The documentation on the Application Modernization use cases explains how to get there in detail.

You could now go ahead and also reflect changes based on Initiatives in the Interface Circle Map. Below, you find an example of an SAP transformation.


This section addresses antipatterns involving ineffective or counterproductive ways of modeling Initiatives in LeanIX.

  • Don’t use deep hierarchies so that you can keep maintenance efforts low. Instead, show initiatives on an aggregated level (synchronized with a project portfolio management tool).

Applicable Use Cases

Application Modernization and ERP Transformation are two examples of larger transformation use cases where modeling Initiatives make sense the most. Using Initiatives in combination with the Objective Fact Sheet and the LeanIX Architecture and Road Map Planning allows organizations to get full transparency of their initiatives' impact on the entire enterprise architecture, which is complementary to a project portfolio management tool that describes initiatives (Projects, Epics, etc.) on a much more detailed level.

Insights from Initiative Fact Sheet

  • Overview of transformation roadmap with Initiatives, linked Applications, milestones and the status, by leveraging the LeanIX Roadmap Report.

Further Resources