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Measuring an Organizations Capability Ability
By Samuel B Holcman

Capability Defined:

A capability is an integrated composite of goals, processes, data, roles, locations, and events that are organized to drive a company’s strategies to a specific desired outcome. Examples of names of capabilities includes development of products, management of vendors, protection of intellectual capital, development of web sites, management of logistics, buying of merchandise, management of customer relationships, innovation of technologies, marketing to international locations, management of brands, extensions of brands, innovation in manufacturing techniques, etc. The list of names of capabilities is endless! Of course, to completely and definitely understand a capability, an explicit definition of each capability is required. At a minimum, the definition of a capability must include the names and definitions of the goals, processes, data, roles, locations, and events that represent that capability.

An example of capability is shown below:

Capability Ability:

We often see an organization’s capability ability measured by only one number or measure. Since a capability contains a number of attributes or artifacts that the organization has various competencies within, a measure such as this is quite misleading. This is like telling someone that the average height of building in New York City is seven stories – quite limited in usefulness!

To accurately gauge an organization’s ability/competency of a capability, a truer picture of each “artifact’s” competency is required. As an example, an organization may be good at doing the process “Outfit Sailboats”, but has difficulties with the process “Prepare Charters”. Or, an organization may be good at achieving the goal “Achieve Zero Sailboat Complaints” but the organization’s “Charter Operations” roles are poorly defined and executed.

In order to accurately provide organizational guidance for increasing a specific competency, we have developed the Competency Radar TM – an easy to understand visual that precisely provides an organization with this guidance. An example of a Competency Radar is shown below:

If 100% of the Preparation of Boat Charters competency was being achieved, the six measures would all indicate “100”. This Competency Radar map would indicate that the organization was meeting approximately 50% of its Goals objective, 30% of its Process objective, 80% of its Data objective, 10% of its Roles objective, 70% of its Locations objective, and 60% of its Events objective. Further details can be displayed for each of these attributes, as shown below:

This Competency Radar, related just to the Data objective, shows 50% of the Sailboats data objective, 30% of the Suppliers data objective, 80% of the Maintenance data objective, 20% of the Customers data objective, 70% of the Preferences data objective, 60% of the Charter Data objective, and 40% of the Sales data objective being achieved, from a desired score of 100 from the Preparation of Boat Charters competency. An organization can quickly, and precisely, determine the path to capability competency by addressing areas of improvement identified by these Competency Radar maps.

If you are using analyzing capabilities in your organization, Competency Radar maps are essential!

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