Business Capability … You Have to Know in Order to Do
As many of you are aware, the Business Rules Forum Conference is now one of three conferences in the annual Building Business Capabilities (BBC) Conference (http://www.buildingbusinesscapability.com/), which includes the Business Analysis Forum, the official conference of the IIBA. So Gladys and I have had to do some hard thinking about the meaning of “business capability”. Here’s our take emphasizing business …
A business capability is not an application system, database, set of use cases, enterprise architecture, or any other IT artifact. Its design and implementation might depend on some or all of those things, but that’s a different matter.
Instead, a business capability is created as a business solution to an operational business problem. That solution and the problem it addresses have a scope (definite boundaries) that can be identified in terms of what business items make it up. The business solution is initially developed and expressed as a business strategy (a Policy Charter in our methodology, Proteus).
The business model you create in business analysis is the business architecture for the business capability, a blueprint enabling business people and Business Analysts to engage in a business discussion about what needs to be created, managed, operated, changed, and discontinued. Developing a business solution using a business model does not necessarily imply software development, but if software development does ensue (and it usually does), the business model provides a solid grounding.
Our definition of business capability comes down to this: What the business must know and be able to do to execute business strategy.
The part that many people miss is what the business needs to know. Quite simply: How can you really ‘do’ without knowing what your business rules are?
Tags: business analysis, business capability, business model, Proteus, strategy
Ronald G. Ross
Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.