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Definition of "Capability"


Definition of "Capability"



After reading this post ( , I explored the object "Capability". The object "capability" can't be connected to the object "application" neither to "functionality" ... But can be link to "Project".


I am looking for the definition in sense of  MEGA for the term "capability". The border line seems to blur between "functionality" and "capability"... I found a few sources, but they have not really helped me.


Can you give me a definition and the usage of this object ? And the purpose in EA ?


Many thanks

1 Reply
MEGA Partner

Re: Definition of "Capability"

Sorry for the late reply but I feel strongly that Capability modelling is an area in which Mega is quite weak and has over complicated matters (too many objects that are quite cryptically and indirectly connected); it is probably due to the fact that there are so many differing opinions as to the meaning of Capability in the World at large.


Mega defines a Capability as an "ability to do something" coupled with a date or time period. The "ability to do something" is effectively a business service (a promise to deliver or achieve something to an agreed contract) plus a means to achieve that something. The business service is achieved using a process (which naturally may interact with other processes) and application(s), depending upon how much of the delivery is automated.The business service is effectively an interface into the organisational system (not IT application!!) internals, an endpoint if you will. The functionality represents a change to a representation of the information behind the service (formally linked to a change in the system's information model if you want to get that strict).


A capability is therefore a relationship between (or grouping of) business service, process, application and functionality.


The date / lifecycle aspect then naturally captures the improvement of the set of services in a capability over a planned transformation. E.g. a capability transformation corresponds to either the improvement of a currently offered service (enhancement of its contract - e.g. quicker, more reliable, fewer faults etc.) or introduction of a new service. Rarely (as most organisations have a fairly static capability landscape, although their service levels are under continuous improvement) we see a new capability being introduced, which is effectively equivalent to offering additional services and the means to deliver them. Capabilities exist whether or not a project exists to change them.


This description is very simple, requiring few concepts that work at any level granularity.


It takes a bit of work to achieve this in Mega but one only needs the Capability, Process, Functionality, Application and Business Service / Protocol (depending upon how one models services) concepts. One can link Capability with Functionality via a dedicated City Block Area (one per Capability, one Capability per Business Service). Model one Functionality per Business Service. Functionality can be used to indirectly link Process with Capability and connect to Applications.


Otherwise one simple change to the meta model linking Business Service to Functionality would enable everything to be unambiguously connected.


Hope this provides food for thought.