What organisations are doing is creating a great big catalogue of “capabilities” at many different levels and layers of granularity. Lots of time and effort is put into this model’s creation and then the mapping to roles in the organisation, application lists, data and information etc. This is all good, but the exercise will show that some capabilities are “under served” and in need of improvement in some fashion. So the big pictures are washed with colours to show what’s been declared “good” and what’s been declared “bad” and in need of improvement.
There is an issue with this approach, and I feel that it is going to become more and more of an issue the longer in continues and as the transformations are implemented. That is that organisations are so busy trying to improve this introspective view of the organisation, what they have the theoretical ability to achieve, that they’re forgetting about the interactions that they may, or may not, have with their environment – their customers, suppliers, regulators – and the processes performed by their realisations of these magical capabilities.
Understanding your organisation’s capabilities is an important view in a holistic model of the enterprise, but it’s important not to become obsessed by the introspective and remember that what a customer, the source of your income and the party you should be endeavouring to “make happy” sees are the touch-points with your processes.
I’m aware that “process” is not fashionable in “thinking circles” at the moment – they’re complex assemblies and too many people have opinions on them and the pictures that get drawn – but they are vital to understanding the multi-channel, multi-modal world in which we all operate as both providers and consumers.
The end-to-end and the sequencing of the capabilities and their realisations are what the customer will see, and the voyage through them can only be understood if the appropriate processes are in place and understood.
On the subject of understanding capabilities and building a deeper understanding, MEGA will be at the Gartner Enterprise Architecture & Technology Innovation Summit in London in June – the event gives a great opportunity to consider what opportunity for growth and competitive advantage there is to be had through mastering and effectively planning digital business capabilities.
Having attended the conference in previous years, I know how useful it can be to build your knowledge and contacts base while enjoying some superb hospitality in the heart of London, and best of all it will most likely contribute positive food for thought as you consider the bigger picture of an organisational transformation project.