Innovating strategic management and business design through Interweaving

The blog channels WorkEm's knowledge, skills, approaches and values.
MAY
01

The Capability Ignorance Challenge

The Capability Ignorance Challenge

The Capability Ignorance Challenge is a tough challenge for makers of capability maps.

It is a test of ignorance. It is a test of the knowledge of what capabilities are included and excluded in a capability map.

The Capability Ignorance Challenge
What capabilities are excluded and why?

 

Article: The Capability Ignorance Challenge

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APR
25

What are you talking about, the capability or its twin?

Capability-Twin-1440h

Talking about someones capabilities can be quite useful. In many cases it is clear that it is "the possibility and capacity to .." that is talked about, but in many cases its is the twin of the capability that is referred to.
The question becomes - What are you talking about, the capability or its twin? So, what is a capability and what is the twin?

See Capability Twins

 

 

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JUN
20

The Capability Test: Is the capability gold or just a word?

capability-test-bite-1-940w560h

The idea of capability has become a frequent talking point. However …

…the definitions of the idea of capability range from being equal to the concept of process to be loosely defined as a collection of resources or a component aimed at realising some outcome or purpose. Capability is an old general concept and there are uncountable kinds of capabilities, but only a few kinds interest people in analysis, design, or evaluation work. The proliferation of definitions and usages show few signs of slowing down. The differences in perception and use in and across peoples work may hamper the utility of using the concept of capability in an organisation.

If you wonder …

- if the capability or capability kind a just a Word, made out of Lead, or a newly discovered elementary particle located just beside Gold in the Periodic table?

- if the capability map is a Word Cloud or something relevant and useful to people and their Work-to-be-done?

… then Capability Test provides a way for practitioners to evaluate the value of capabilities. It is a neutral test, which can be applied to an actual capability, kind of capability, or a map of capabilities. It is neutral since it does not favor any particular kind or definition of capability.

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DEC
11

The dirty little capability secret: Success Criteria

The series is for you that use capability based methods, and not for method or framework builders.

An important question for any method or artifact is, how do you define success? This is especially important in this case where knowledge about the capability secret is likely to change the perception of what a capability is and what a capability can and should be used for.

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DEC
07

Digital Transformation presentation at BrightTALK

Please find my presentation about Digital Transformation and Interweaving, held 5 dec at BrightTALK. The slide deck contains a few slides that were not presented due to time.

At Slideshare

Enjoy!

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NOV
25

The dirty little capability secret: A quiz

The dirty little capability secret: A quiz

If you get some time over you should, from time to time, stop and reflect on the material  / artifacts you use in your work. Reflection is especially valuable on material / artifacts that experts, consultants and other service providers provide you with.

Here is a simple quiz to guide your reflection:

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OCT
27

The dirty little capability secret: The Yes ..., but.. dialog

The dirty little capability secret: The Yes ..., but.. dialog

Something interesting happened when I shared the capability secret with colleagues, professionals, and researchers. A “yes…, but …” dialog appeared. 

This kind of dialog and reactions, can important for you to be aware of when something new and simple is introduced and discussed. Especially if you use ideas and methods provided by others, such as experts and consultants.

The series is for you that use capability models, and not for method or framework builders.

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OCT
27

The dirty little capability secret …

The dirty little capability secret …

 … is the title of a series of articles that expose a secret behind capability based analysis, capability system thinking and capability management.

The series is for you that use capability models, and not for method or framework builders.

It is a secret that can, and often do, make thinking about capabilities go wrong and frameworks to deliver poor decision making material.

It is a secret that turns attention and efforts away from real business and organisational topics.

The secret is easy to spot and easy to understand. It is an insight based on practical work and research. Although confirmation bias and sunk costs may prevent the insight to take effect.

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JUN
06

Meaningful ... What do you want? - Business Capabilities

Meaningful ... What do you want? - Business Capabilities

In the previous Meaningful … article about Business Capabilities I covered 2 meaningful topics.

Meaningful ... Business Capabilities

  • You need to know what “Innovation” is before discussing am “Innovation Management Capability”
  • The result part of a capability depends on a number of source factors.

In this article I bring to the surface the question of what kind of capability you really want to include in a capability model or map?

Do yo want to be capable of ..

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JUN
05

Meaningful ... Business Capabilities

Meaningful ... Business Capabilities

What is more meaningful to you and in work you do, with others across boundaries? A seemingly simple question. A question that deserves some thoughts.

In this short article I focus on the tool of Business Capabilities. A new idea served hot to executives and management by consultants and analysts.

Let us examine two meaningful questions:

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JUN
01

Improving Capabilities from Open Group (TOGAF Business Capabilities)

It was with great interest that I opened the Open Group’s guide for Business Capabilities. This business architecture addendum is a welcome addition to their (information) technology oriented Enterprise Architecture framework - TOGAF. TOGAF is a well known, respected, and widely used framework with quite many practitioners. 

Half-way through the guide something started to bother me. Something felt very familiar. Then I realised that the guide follows the tradition of framework presentations. A framework is explained first, then the benefits of using the it, are assumed to be obvious and clear.

This article is aimed at people interested in getting some ideas on how to enrich capability based analysis and modelling based on frameworks such as TOGAF.

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MAR
30

Untangling: Is there more than a Capability to think about?

Untangling: Is there more than a Capability to think about?

Another innocent question with far reaching consequences. 

As I pointed out in the previous article, a capability depends on an underlying concept. Untangling: What comes first, economical concept or capability? But are there more to consider when looking at the world through capability lenses?

Yes, there are plentiful more to be aware of. The capability literature and methods are full of additional aspects. One may wonder if capability has become a wish list for missing strategical and operational talking points? The presence of these embedded aspects may, to a degree, explain why there are many variants of capability based analysis’s and planning methods. Some aspects are explicitly described, but many are tacit or implicit. 

In this article Im taking at look at how capabilities also reflect different Units

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MAR
24

Untangling: What comes first, economical concept or capability?

Untangling: What comes first, economical concept or capability?

An innocent looking question with far reaching consequences. 

The question comprises two parts. ‘What comes first’ brings up what is most important (salient) to people in work they do with others in an organisation. The second part brings up the relationship and dependency between an economical concept and a capability.

The answer is that economical concepts come first and are primary for people in-front of the model theoretical curtain. Without knowing what Customer Retention is and that it is important, a retain customer capability cannot be described. Keep reading to find out why. 

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MAR
21

Untangling Capability, Process, and Service (2) - How to?

This is the 2nd article of two and continues with the outline of the most important aspects to keep in mind while reading and untangling.

The 1st part of this article: Untangling Capability, Process, and Service (1)- How to?

Bridging the gap

I am using the technique of stripping to ‘undress’ specific definitions, frameworks, theories, and approaches of their non-essential parts to find the minimal definition. By remembering what have been removed we can later use this knowledge in analysis, comparisons, and (re-)creation of specific theories, approaches, and practices.

The parts that are removed, form an important knowledge base that can be used for intentional design of theories and approaches. Theory builders can use this knowledge base to better understand their own work and maybe unveil their own tacit and implicit assumptions.

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MAR
21

Untangling Capability, Process, and Service (1) - How to?

An untangling exercise benefits from being well though-out and structured. This article outline the most important aspects to keep in mind while reading.

The starting point for the untangling series: The wonderfully convoluted worlds of Capabilities, Processes and Services

Btw: these articles aimed at experts, working behind the curtain. If you don't mind a mental exercise, then please continue with the article(s).

If you are looking for “simplicity” then I suggest to skip to the end of the series where I present a fusion of the essences of “capability”, “process”, and “service”.

Human centric, work oriented, and instrumental

At the center of untangling three principles are important. The approach I’m take is human centric, work oriented, and instrumental. These principles offer a focus on what is most important (salient). They provide advice on how the evaluate performance (how well). The instrumental and enabling use of capability, process, and service ideas and analysis techniques must be worthwhile to people in work they do with others. The focus is firmly set on generating benefits for people, their work, problems and questions, and not on technical qualities of work products or techniques. Qualities such as workable, beneficial, material, acceptable, and agreeable take precedence over product qualities.

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MAR
06

The wonderfully convoluted worlds of Capabilities, Processes and Services

The wonderfully convoluted worlds of Capabilities, Processes and Services

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”, by Confucius.

A recent flurry of articles and posts reminded me of how complicated simple ideas can be. This simple quote captures the state of the beautifully convoluted worlds of capability, process and service based analysis and planning. 

On the other hand, It is not surprising that these discussions consume a large bandwidth since organisations, strategies, and businesses have existed long before ideas such as capability become fashionable. ‘New kids on the block’ are the talk of the town until people can understand, accept and work with them.

It is easy to find discussions that go around and around and around with no end in sight. People argue for their ways of thinking and doing that fit their practice. The nature of discussions is often advocacy (to influence) and not inquiry (to understand). In many cases, experts claim their ways and practices are the right ways and the others are wrong and don’t understand. Not very inspirational, motivational or productive! Many of the convoluted debates seem to be persistent in the fields of business architecture, enterprise (IS/IT) architecture, service architecture, and information modelling.

In a series of articles, I intend to look behind the discussions and explore what is similar and different regarding the ideas of capability, process, and service. The approach I’m taking is human centric, work oriented, and instrumental. A use of capability, process, and service ideas and analysis techniques must be worthwhile to people in work they do with others.

I’m not going to fall into the trap of claiming others are wrong. I’m not going propose a new specific approach that competes with everyone else's. Instead, I’m aiming at providing you with insights and reasoning tools so you can create your own approach or practice, or evaluate and adapt others.

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