Business Architecture has been likened to psychopharmacology. We are using capability models and process design so that we can see the organization in a new and enlightened light. But I think Business Architecture is much more like epidemiology. We are studying the health of populations. The capabilities are the populations we are studying and the processes within those capabilities are modeled so that we can perform health studies.
A capability model expresses an organization’s activities in a way that is agnostic of both product and organization structure. The divorce from these two dimensions often causes shoe cognitive dissonance among business practitioners, as it ignores the two most important dimensions in favor of what appears to be a subordinated dimension. Still, in order to contemplate what a company does, across organizational units our product lines, one needs an independent dimension, capability.
The relative health of business processes in terms of effectiveness, resource efficiency and cycle time are important to the health of the business as a whole. The ability to inspect populations of processes involved in the same value activity across diverse products and organizations always the cross pollination of ideas into remote areas and can enable consolidation our other business optimizations.
Epidemiology is the study of diseases in populations of organisms to oversee the effectiveness of suggested prevention and treatment protocols. Capability management is the study of populations of business activities to oversee the effectiveness of standardization and adaptation protocols.