25 March, 2009

TOGAF 9 introduces a very appealing concept of Capability-based planning for Business People

TOGAF 9 promotes a very interesting concept related to Capability-based planning which is an approach more focused on business issues and outcomes. TOGAF 9 defines a capability as “An ability that an organization, person, or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, and technology to achieve. For example, marketing, customer contact, or outbound telemarketing. “

Capabilities are in fact the building blocks of business. A business capability typically defines what a business unit‘s purpose is (goals and objectives), its core competencies, and is therefore directly bound to business objectives and strategy. Capabilities provide a black-box view of those things the business can do, i.e. working on business artifacts (e.g. Business Processes, Catalogs).

The business processes and resources involved in providing the capabilities are not exposed (business service orientation). Capabilities aren‘t isolated but form hierarchical value-networks with relationships that materialize the business processes. At a lower level, capabilities are modeled using traditional activity diagrams used for the design and implementation of IT solutions.

The key elements of capabilities-based planning are a conceptual framework, an analytical framework and a building block approach to applying the frameworks.

· A conceptual framework allows for business planning under uncertainty by emphasizing flexibility, robustness and adaptive capability
· The analytical framework provides a way to assess business capability options at the operational level and choose among capability alternatives
· A building block approach allows us to define, develop and test individual capabilities within their own business domains

Capabilities them can be developed and evaluated within smaller architecture domains from phase B to phase D, and then later combined to describe joint forces capabilities in Transition Architectures identified in phases E-F.

Capability Based Planning also revolves around the establishment of the capacity and ability to execute a designated set of generic tasks, bringing enormous help when entering the Opportunities & Solutions and Migration Planning phases. It is an effective way of selling the value of Enterprise Architecture to the business, without being too much theoretical…

You may also find this post as a PDF document on the Integration Consortium website.