Typically, business architectures are fairly complicated and focus on the fundamental parts of the system as well as standards underlying these fundamentals. These fundamentals usually consist of Capabilities, Process and People.
The realization of describing the business architecture can take a long time, especially for more complex frameworks. Simply put, companies should think about the possibility that their long-term plans may change and choose to approach them one step at a time, allowing the plans and architecture to change. This likewise considers the fact that companies already have some capabilities that they need or wish to develop in the future. TOGAF Way of Capability Based Planning
Numerous definitions of capabilities and systems around capabilities are being used in practice. The TOGAF standard has defined the word "capability" in two different ways which can be paraphrased with the following line:
"A capability is an ability that an organization, person, or system possesses."
Capabilities are usually 'horizontal' as in that they span across numerous business lines as shown in the picture below (source: chapter 32, TOGAF standard), but that's not always the case. TOGAF Capability Definitions
The concept is that a company's capability is independent of time. Generally there is no future or current state unless there is a significant change to a company’s business model. This makes them a perfect candidate to map current and future state changes against.
Another vital part of capabilities lies in the possibility of having different dimensions. According to the TOGAF standard list, there are three dimensions - material, process and people dimension for each given capability. So, when planning the next level for our capability, we should consider the consequences for each of the dimensions. The most common used ones are linking Capabilities to Process and People (although this depends a little the industry you are in).Practical Use
Capabilities are the building blocks of business. Typically, business capability defines what
a business goal and objectives are and its core abilities. Capabilities provide a view of the things that the business can accomplish.
Capability Based Planning is a method that can be utilized with many different settings. The primary advantage of this approach is the combination of simple communication (term "capability" is usually well understood by the management) while still enabling formal modeling and analysis. Another very important aspect is that capabilities usually don't change much over time this makes them a perfect candidate for multi-year planning activities and roadmaps. Capability Assessment
Capability Assessments tend to communicate well and provide a strong foundation for further realization and analysis. Some of the important questions they provide answers to are:
- which steps should the company take?
- When is the right time?
- What is the architecture that fits our needs?
- How can this bring us to the next level?Conclusion
TOGAF 9 capability-based planning is a very useful concept that offers many benefits for transforming businesses. The benefits are particularly visible in the phases E and F. This is a great application of Enterprise Architecture.
keywords: togaf, capability planning, enterprise architecture tools, enterprise architecture frameworks,