Capability Design

There are several alternative ways to design a capability. Specific details of how the design is performed are described in subsequence method components.  This method component guides a capability designer on how to combine other method components in order to create a capability design.

We here differentiate between three alternative capability design approaches: starting with goals, starting with business service processes, or starting with business concepts. Table below gives an overview of the three approached based on four criteria:

  • Primary view on capabilities. What are the bases for capability identification?
  • Preconditions with respect to models. What kind of preconditions with respect to existing models or specification is needed for using the strategy?
  • Characteristics of enterprise. What are the characteristics of an enterprise (regarding size, domain or type) the strategy is expected to be useful for?
  • Degree of flexibility of the strategy. To what extent does the strategy allow for adapting the flow of activities to project contingencies? (e.g. changes in the order of activities, dealing with missing or unreliable input, etc.)
Goal-first Process-first Concept-first
Primary view on capabilities A capability fulfils key organisational goals. A capability is operationalised as a set of processes. A capability encompass the management of key concepts.
Preconditions with respect to models Ideally, top-level organisational goals should be defined. Pre-existing business process specifications or process-oriented culture. Pre-defined management structures, product structures or other conceptual models.
Characteristics of enterprise Organisations with a high degree of adaptable/non-routine work. Mature organisations with well-established processes. Organisations with a well-defined and stable organisational or product structure.
Degree of flexibility of the strategy Can also start with visions or existing issues.   Highly iterative and incremental modelling process. The strategy can cope with ill specified goal or concept models. Process reengineering requires thorough revision of capability designs. Can cope with different levels of concept granularity. The drivers for capability definition are slightly more complex. Is flexible with regard to the degree of specification of business processes.

Steps of the three alternatives to capability design are provided below.


More about this method component is available in D5.2 The initial version of Capability Driven Development methodology.