13 years, 3 months ago

3 Reasons Organizations Need Capability Maps

Organizations are made up of thousands of capabilities, each individually responsible for what the organization must do to successfully perform any type of business activity.  With thousands of capabilities supporting multiple business units, it becomes difficult to see and understand how the people – and the technology that supports them – work together to perform a single task.

Capability maps help make sense of it all.  They are an organizational model, representing the business capabilities, processes and functions and all of the IT resources that enable them – allowing you to more easily see how each operates in order to run the day-to-day business operations

But, why should you invest in capability mapping when you already have your own method that’s been working? 

Over the past few months we’ve talked to our customers and industry experts and discovered that capability mapping is a cleaner, easier way to illustrate how your organization operates at the individual level – enabling organizations to analyze and understand what capabilities are being underutilized or overworked. 

Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why we think you should start capability mapping:

1.  Close the gap between EA and BPM

Yes, business process management (BPM) teams and enterprise architecture (EA) teams are responsible for driving different strategy initiatives –BPM for process improvement and EA for strategy and IT planning.  However, there does not need to be a complete disconnect between the two units.  Getting these two teams to see eye-to-eye and collaborate more effectively is key in mending this gap.  Capability maps help facilitate this by offering both teams a complete, holistic map of the organization’s capabilities and resources.  Now, they can discover both problem areas and opportunities that exist across all levels from strategy to execution and work together to address them. 

2. Gain support from senior executives

To the senior executive, it really doesn’t matter how the business unit leverages its capabilities to meet its performance target.  What matters is that they have visibility into the organization and know that the business is achieving its goals and hitting its numbers – and if it’s not, they need the visibility to know where the trouble lies. Organizational capabilities can be mapped out in a way that offers this visibility and insight.  Using a capability map, IT and business leaders are better positioned to get more support from senior executives for process improvement projects and IT investments.  They are able to illustrate what capabilities are missing, what capabilities need work and what capabilities can be eliminated in order to run a better, more effective business. 

3. Prioritize and manage initiatives

With full visibility into the capabilities, organizations can drill down and see how their business operates on a daily basis.  From there, organizations are able to prioritize and manage transformation and improvement initiatives  and see exactly what capabilities are being leveraged in order to manage change.  This visibility allows organizations to identify the strengths and weaknesses,  see what capabilities require the highest priority, remove redundancies, and devote more resources to improving the capabilties that are broken or flawed. 

Capability maps are simple to design, easy to use and necessary for optimizing organizational structure, planning roadmaps for change, and evolving and improving business processes.  If you want to learn more about how capability maps can strengthen your business and help mend the gap between EA and BPM teams, check out this onDemand webinar featuring Neal Lohmann, director of business transformation solutions for Metastorm and Clay Richardson, senior analyst for Forrester:  Align EA & BPM with Capabilities – Get Expert Insight from Forrester.

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