13 years, 6 months ago

Capability Inventory Viewpoint Anti-Pattern, Part 2

In a prior post, Doug was quite diplomatic in detailing why the Capability Inventory Viewpoint can become an anti-pattern. For those of you who’ve followed my insights over the years, I tend to be a bit more direct. I could dedicate a whole blog to psychoanalysis, but that’s not why we’re here. So in a typical direct fashion, here are some points that drive the Capability Inventory Viewpoint to become a Business Architecture Anti-Pattern:

Static – as Doug explained, the static nature can be bothersome. Let me take it further – just accumulating enough data to create an inventory viewpoint can be a major undertaking. In the project-based demands of many organizations, creation of this viewpoint can in itself be perceived as “success.” Which means that project usually ends with little or no ongoing support for what is essentially a knowledge deliverable. That can (and usually does) lead to …

Neglect – without the proper knowledge-worker staffing levels to continue updating the inventory, it can grow stale. Whether due to its static nature or lack of support, once created, there appears to be an inertia around the Capability Inventory Viewpoint.  This is mainly due to …

Omission – when capturing capabilities with the Capability Inventory Viewpoint as an end-goal, certain information tends to be left out. What’s worse, as I wrote in 2010 when looking at the EA product market, even products that appeared to be ahead of their competitors were not ready for our consumption, because the Capability Inventory Viewpoint is really the only viewpoint available. So there are few, if any, facilities (outside of heavy meta-model customization that is anathema to most enterprise-scale clients) to capture and maintain things like capability dependencies, classification, and other portfolio attributes. Without these portfolio attributes, it is a Sisyphean task to properly valuate a capability vis-a-vis its peers, and communicate that value to appropriate stakeholders. That, indubitably leads to …

Wrangling – initiative prioritization without capability portfolio information is difficult at best. There is no shortage of opinions that can come from every corner of the organization. Without the capability portfolio attributes to constrain these discussions, it is more likely that initiatives that are selected, and their order of execution, will not yield optimal results.  Insufficient dependency identification has been a mainstay on every Top-10 project failure list since these lists emerged in mid-90’s.

So if constraining the constant battle of opinions in your organization is of interest, my recommendation is to not allow yourself to be SNOW’d by the Capability Inventory Viewpoint!

AAB