The delivery of "business solutions" depends on many things. But it starts with knowing and then producing the needed capabilities for success. Capabilities provide defined outcomes that are not a final conclusion, but the basis for continued assessment of value in terms the business understands.
There are several elements in the production of capabilities:
Capability – The capacity to be used, treated, or developed for a specific purpose.
- Objective – Something worked toward or striven for; a goal. Objectives are entities that are reached and their strategic value delivered.
- Feature – A prominent or distinctive aspect, quality, or characteristic. Features and Functions describe the static and dynamic behaviors of the system, but are not easily connected to business strategy.
- Function – A procedure within an application.
- Milestone – An important event. Milestones indicate that a point in time has arrived or has passed.
Capabilities answer the question “in order to achieve of objectives, using features and functions at this milestone we must possess this capability.” It’s the capability the business wants, not the features, functions, met milestones.
Capabilities Based Planning
- Capabilities Based Planning is planning, under uncertainty, to provide capabilities suitable for a wide range of business challenges and circumstances, while working within an economic framework.
- Capabilities Based Planning emphasizes flexibility, adaptiveness and robust capabilities, implying a modular building–block approach to Enterprise Services.
- When transformation does take place it is because new capabilities have come into use.
- A capability is an ability to effect an outcome, react to an input, or change an effect.
Before (features and functions):
- The General Ledger will be installed and operable in all financial centers by fall of 2006.
- After (Capability): Provide the Capability to acquire a $100M business in less than 90 days.
- A capability provides an outcome or effect without an a–priori specification of the outcome or effect.
- Features and functions require an a–priori specification in order to test for their existence or conformance to the specification
So here's an example of a needed capability and how it was provided by a larger telecommunications company.