A business capability is a capacity that a business exhibits, which is considered essential to the organization’s ability to function normally – for instance, Online Banking, if we’re talking about a bank.
Business capabilities belong to the business layer of an enterprise architecture, and are high-level concepts. This means they are fundamental building blocks and, as such, may incorporate people, processes, Applications and technology components.
Taking a step further, a business capability model is simply the network of capabilities found within the enterprise. Models are built by architects, often in collaboration with management, and their role is to provide the scope, context and high-level content required for business process development, performance improvement and redesign analysis. Building a business capability model has the added benefit of uncovering interfaces – be it between the capabilities themselves, or with the customer.
When starting a business, a solid capability model ensures subsequent work has a clear purpose and is justified within the larger project. Making use of one, management can correctly assess infrastructure investment requirements, which people to delegate to, and what processes to amend. In conclusion, business capability models are a valuable tool, enabling the organization to cut costs and lower time to value.