AT#27: Capability Modeling Crash Course – Elicitation Recipe

AT#27: Capability Modeling Crash Course – Elicitation Recipe

AT#27: Capability Modeling Crash Course – Elicitation Recipe

Last week we completed our three-post crash course. We received lots of feedback and questions about how to elicit capabilities with the business people. The blog series reached an audience of thousands of people. For that reason, we decided to add a fourth – “da capo” post.

The previous post in this blog-series discussed why capabilities are the invaluable core of Architectural Thinking, how to use your existing process- or value stream maps and how to structure capabilities. Today we present how capabilities should be elicited by the business architect by a broad participation of business stakekholders.  Enjoy!

Business Capability Elicitation Recipe

Capability modeling elicitation might seem simple in theory but can get quite arduous in practice. The business architect needs all of his social and moderation skills to lead a broad, political influenced communication process through his organization.

  • Keep in mind that capability maps take time to evolve, but may be leveraged prior to being fully articulated [BIZBOK]. Thus, capability modeling shall be performed in iterations.
  • Avoid starting extensive modeling of the detailed levels without having a stable level 1 and 2 capabilities map discussed widely with various business people.
  • Create a draft of level 1&2 capabilities with a small group of the most senior business people – the guys that have been working in their fields for decades.
  • Create new versions iteratively and discuss with them in short feedback cycles.
  • Discuss the draft in workshops bottom-up, i.e. start with employees before you go to executive levels
  • Discuss it with the group of relevant department heads and finally with top-level executives.
  • Discuss the model with stakeholders of business units that are responsible for the major product categories.
  • Discuss the model with stakeholders of business units responsible for the major business processes (e.g. ‘Sales’, ‘Back Office’).
  • When you have consensus with the business unit leads, it is time to release the capability model company widely. Present it to the appropriate steering committee in order to obtain acceptance by executives and publish it on the intranet of your company.
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