Concept "capability" for #BPM, #entarch and #bizarch, version 1

1 Proposed definition of the concept "capability" 

Adapted from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/capability.html

capability, noun
[short] measure of the ability of a component to achieve a particular result
[long] measure of the proven possession of the characteristics and/or means and/or power and/or skills to achieve a particular result

Note1 : Is it necessary "... and/or power ..."?

Note 2: Capability is an attribute of a component - not a component in its own right.

результатоспособность или делоспособность(?), сущ.
мера обладания характеристиками и / или средствами и / или навыками для получения конкретного результата

capacité, nom
une mesure de la possession les caractéristiques et / ou moyens et / ou compétences pour obtenir un résultat particulier

So capability may be:
1. Capability as performance – “Demonstrated Result (DR)” / ”Required Result (RR)”
2. Capability as potential – “Potential Result (PR)” / ”Required Result (RR)”
3. Capability as capacity – “Architected Result (AR)” - maybe non-linear
4. Capability heat map – if RR>DR then (RR-DR)/RR else "1".
5. Capability maturity model – ??

Demonstrated Result – DR (i.e. observed over some time in the past in case of black-box components, e.g. services)

Required Result – RR (e.g. required by the corporate strategy)

Architected Result – AR (i.e. by design in case black-box & white-box components, e.g. processes)

Potential Result – PR (a priori estimation?)

2 Relationships between concepts 

A component may be implemented in three ways:

  1. implicit coordination of some assets (e.g. by a service) – capability of a component is based on “demonstrated result” or “potential result” – active approach
  2. explicit coordination of some assets (i.e. by a process) - capability of a component is based on “architected result” – proactive approach
  3. outsourcing – capability of a component is based on “demonstrated result” or “potential result” – reactive approach (because of the contract life-cycle) 

3 Related concepts 

ability, noun
proven possession of the characteristics and/or means and/or skills to achieve a particular result

system, noun
functional entity formed by a group of interacting, interrelated or interdependent components

Etymology: from the Latin systēma, which in turn is derived from the Greek σύστημα meaning “together”.
Note: enterprise or organisation is a system

structure, noun
internal arrangement of, and relationship between, components

Note: One can say organisational or corporate structure

component, noun
considered as a functional whole constituent part of a system

Note: component may be another system; in this case one can say subsystem

architecture, noun
fundamental orderliness (embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and the environment), and the principles governing the design, implementation and evolution, of a system

capacity, noun
specific feature of a component or an asset, measured in quantity and level of quality, over an extended period

Adapted from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/capacity.html

characteristic of a component, noun
a distinguishing trait, quality, feature or property

asset, noun
something valuable that a component owns, benefits from, or has use of, in achieving a particular result

Adapted from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/asset.html

business process, noun
explicitly-defined coordination for guiding the purposeful enactment of business activity flows

Note: A simple business process is an agreed plan to follow; the plan is a directed graph of (both parallel and sequential) business activities; the plan may include some variants and allow some changes.

business activity, noun
a unit of work

performance, noun
measurement that expresses how well something or somebody is achieving a particular result

key performance indicator, noun
quantifiable performance

throughput, noun
the rate at which a system achieves its goal

4 Groups 

The meaning of the concept “capability” is discussed in the following LinkedIn groups:

1. https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=84758&type=member&item=5894509808182112260&commentID=-1&trk=groups_item_detail-b-jump_last#lastComment

2. https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=1175137&type=member&item=5796714327490707456&commentID=-1&trk=groups_item_detail-b-jump_last#lastComment

3. https://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=2639211&type=member&item=5908276236370616321&commentID=-1&trk=groups_item_detail-b-jump_last#lastComment

5 Several variations in opinions about capability 

Q1: Capability – a characteristic of a system (Ravi) or an element of a system (Stephen, Louise) or possibility to reconfigure a system (Lalen)? My current understanding – characteristic of a component

Q2: Capability – an internal characteristic of system or an external characteristic of a system (Christian)? My current understanding – internal characteristic (because I would like to have an opportunity to architect it)

Q3: Capability – a potential only, i.e. to-be, (Ravi, Ben) or can be also demonstrated during operations, i.e. as-is? My current understanding – both

Q4: Capability – only ability or ability + assets (Stephen, Louise)? My current understanding – both are possible depending on situation

Q5: Capability – dimensionless quantity or what is its dimension? My current understanding – mainly dimensionless but sometimes a capacity of the system (i.e. its limiting/design parameter) is used as its capability

Q6: Capability – binary value (only "yes" or "no", "capable" or "not capable") or as a continuous value, e.g. in the rage between 0 and 1? My current understanding – continuous value.

Q7: Capability –it can be applied to components; can it be applied to assets? My current understanding – capability can be applied to both components and assets.


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