What Does A Capability Map Look Like?
Various different patterns for structuring of a capability map have emerged as a common practice. Nevertheless, how you organize your capability map is of great importance.
Remember: The capability map and its structure represent the foundation of your business and how it should be perceived by your colleagues and stakeholders. As such, most capability maps tend to be built around the organization’s value chains.
Typically, the capabilities are arranged in a hierarchical order. In our example above, you can see a capability map on two levels. In principle, you are free to define as many levels as you like. However, the recommended best practice is to stick to two or three levels at most, in order not to get lost in overly granular details.
How Is a Capability Map Used?
Just like any regular map, the different aspects of a capability map can be highlighted following a colour scheme. In the most basic version, colouring can be used to depict the current state of the organization.
Based on this, you can, for example emphasize the areas that need to be changed in order to achieve your strategic objectives. Typically, this is done via the so-called heatmaps: the capabilities that require a high degree of change are highlighted as “hot”, and those that don’t require change are shown as “cold”. Alternatively, a green-yellow-red traffic light system can also be used.
What’s more, you can also use heatmaps to highlight other criteria and answer questions like: Which capabilities contribute to our differentiation in the market? Where are we facing data quality issues? In which areas should more investments be made? Where do we need additional training?
This last question in particular shows that everyone in the organization can equally benefit from a capability map. Your HR department, can for example also align your training programmes to your capabilities.
Apart from the above-mentioned, another important use case for a capability map is referring to them as an organizational framework. For example, your organization’s could also be structured according to your capabilities. This way, both the necessary and the unnecessary IT investments become more easily transparent.
Capabilities and the capability maps promote a common language across all business units of the organization. The capability map anchors a shared vocabulary among the stakeholders and thus also creates a common vision for the organization’s main building blocks and their importance.
Based on your capability analysis, the investments and corporate strategies can be aligned in a way that is transparent and clear for everyone. In that case, the improvement potentials and risks also become more easily identified. Focusing on capabilities helps you ensure that you don’t get lost in the details – like special cases in process flows, or current technical debts during your transformation.
Nevertheless, despite their immense value to your overall transformation, there is still one thing to keep in mind: Capability maps force an inside-out way of thinking. F
Check out the supporting materials below and learn first-hand how you can set up your capability portfolio efficiently, and feel free to get in touch with us to get a head-start on your transformation initiatives!
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