Business Capability Model

Current group I am working in is responsible for functional architecture. In spite of the fact that I don’t have any practical experience, I have been asked to help define a practice in Business Capability Modeling.

I think the reason for that is that I have some practical insight into the requirements that functional architecture or functional systems design places on a business capability model.

The most core principle of functional architecture involves the semantics of units of work. In fact business capability modeling is about defining the semantics of units of work – so there is my connection point.

Business capability modeling, for me appears to be about defining the semantics of the units of work that are accomplished within the organization, and expressing how they are connected to each other to in chains and gangs to form the basis for generating business value. These chains and gangs of capabilities form products and product lines so that our business strategy can be expressed as actions or impacts on our capability model.

Strategic Benefit

The value of the capability model from the strategic perspective, is that we have an information model to reason over as we propose and adjust strategy to understand how the organization will/should react to execute that strategy. Capability informs capacity, such that growth is constrained by lack of capacity to perform some units of work within a business capability.

Functional Benefit

The value of the capability model from the functional architecture perspective is that we have an information model that we can use to align our technology investment against to assess the impact of proposed investment and we can adjust or tune that investment to achieve the desired impact.

Organizational Benefit

The value of the capability model from the organization design perspective is that we can align resource and leadership models to maximize throughput or minimize risk. Staffing and organization design become less arbitrary, less emotional. If I am following the requisite organization model, then I can measure the time span required for units of work, and ensure that we hire resources of adequate capacity to be effective.

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