Bizzdesign’s approach to Capability Governance is similar to BIZBOK’s but more pragmatic. Most importantly, it takes into account that many business architecture initiatives start from the IT organization as well as from a lower level of maturity. We often see that the core of a capability mapping team comes from some architecture department or team that reports to the CIO. They, in turn, consult with leaders and experts from the business areas concerned, but these are often at some distance from the mapping effort itself.
We distinguish between the following roles:
The first three roles are must-haves (Sponsor, Subject Matter Expert, Business Architect). The rest of the roles accelerate the usage of a Business Capability Map
Again, the same individual might play more than one role, as is already apparent from the Capability Steward role, which forms part of what a Business Architect does. Note that we don’t distinguish separate roles for Team Leader and Architecture Mapping Expert. Business architects can often self-organize without needing a formal, hierarchical team leader. Moreover, any Business Architect worth their salt should be well-versed in capability mapping and other description techniques, so this doesn’t need to be a separate role. Nevertheless, in a larger business architecture team, some members might focus more on e.g. stakeholder communication and engagement, and others on managing the architecture knowledge base or creating beautiful architecture artifacts.
We also introduced two specific roles: the Capability Steward and the Benefits Manager. The first is important because you can’t readily assign formal business ownership to capabilities. You’ll need the right architectural expertise to develop a sound capability structure. The second is key because we acknowledge that Capability-based Planning teams often start from a low level of maturity and need to grow their capabilities. To this end, you’ll need to track and measure what you’re doing as a Business Architecture /Capability-based Planning team and apply this to the actual business capabilities themselves. How is your work as a team having an impact and where can you improve your way of working and results?
As you’ve seen, our approach to Capability Governance intentionally deviates somewhat from the BIZBOK® Guide and other frameworks that state that capabilities should be owned by ‘the business’. Although we agree in principle, we have to be realistic. Our approach reflects what we see in practice and provides a starting point to demonstrate the value of using Capability Maps and Capability-based Planning for investment allocation of IT budgets. It explicitly states that it starts with deviating from best practices but keeps in touch with relevant business roles. That helps you avoid turning a business Capability Map into an IT Capability Map.
Once you have established the value of capability thinking in the context of business-focused IT investment planning, you can evolve this into ‘true’ business architecture, purely focused on the architecture of ‘the business of the business rather than the architecture of the business as IT interacts with it.
We hope our 2-part blog series helps you kick-start Business Architecture and Capability-based Planning in your organization. However, it may still not be smooth sailing: In the next post, we’ll address many common obstacles and how to overcome them. Stay tuned!