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I was asked the question I love to get the other day, “what do you mean by capability?”. I usually try to be brief when I explain my point of view and so I was this time to. However in this post I’ve elaborated somewhat on the details of my explanation. This is not the last answer on this topic but it will give an indication to how I’m currently viewing capabilities.
My first attempt at getting some sort of definition down
Only a “whole” can contain a capability. Thus a human or an organization could be said to be able to posses capabilities to perform a certain set of activities that will ensure delivery of an anticipated value. An application, a device or any combination of products and services can not be said to be able to contain capabilities. Applications, devices and such types of things contain functions. These functions are at times marketed under the label “capabilities”, but they are functions nothing else.
Where I am now NOT including the above
- The business model is a complete architecture description in such a sense that it covers the whole that we seek to explore.
- The business model represents a high level perspective of the detailed architecture.
- Using the business model as a foundation we can detail things as far as we need to understand them in a solutions perspective.
- When a business model needs to change there is a possibility that the underlying capability will need to change.
- We can pre-produce business models and put them on the shelves.
- We select the business models we would like to use.
- Business functions in general is a configuration used across a set of capabilities.
- Business model = A static description of what a business must coordinate to meet a coherent set of value propositions.
- Value proposition = The perceived value of the products and services offered as viewed from the customers perspective.
- Customer segments = The way we segment the customers and non-customers in the market as targets for the offered value propositions.
- Customer relations = The link we maintain between the customer segments and the value proposition.
- Processes = The activities we need to perform to be able to service the value propositions.
- Value network = The partners and suppliers we work together with in our processes.
- Resources = The things and competences we use in our processes.
- Costs = The collection of costs accrued by executing the business model.
- Revenue = The collection of revenues generated by the customer segments as they consume the value propositions.
- There will not be an abundant of capabilities floating around in the enterprise.
- The very small set of capabilities is the focus of the entire enterprise.
- There is no need for capabilities within capabilities.
- Functions clearly hold their own right to be in the architecture.