Step 2. Import and Define Business Capabilities

Having business capabilities in your repository is essential to understand how IT supports the business. Business capabilities show in a structured way all an organization's high-level activities that work to achieve its goals. It is essential to understand that Business Capabilities don't represent departments of your organization – User Groups in LeanIX are meant to do this instead. Defining Business Capabilities and understanding the relation between Business Capabilities and Applications is a very useful part of your portfolio assessment as it will allow you to discover redundancies, e.g., different Applications that fulfill the same purpose. It is an excellent way to understand how your IT supports specific tasks (jobs to be done), no matter the department or country.


More on Business Capabilities

For German-speaking LeanIX users, we highly recommend the book Business Capabilities by Wolf Pfannenstiel, which is one of the most comprehensive resource on this topic.

It is not an easy task to identify business capabilities, and it is an exercise that is meant to be done hand-in-hand with your business stakeholders. To help you get started structuring your business, we have published a Best Practice Capability Map.

A study we conducted amongst our customers showed that over 50% work with only two levels or less in their Business Capabilities. It is good practice to start with a small map and only move to more detail if required.

There are two things to consider when getting business capabilities into LeanIX:

  • Organize them into a capability hierarchy. A capability hierarchy is a structured view of your business capabilities that allows you to see how they relate. You can create this hierarchy using LeanIX's built-in Capability Modeling functionality.
  • Define Capability Properties: After creating the Capability Hierarchy, you can define additional properties for each Business Capability. For example, you can subscribe the responsible owner of the capability, the technology used to enable the capability, and the cost associated with the capability. This information can help you better understand each capability's impact on your organization.

To import Business Capabilities, please follow the Import and Export your Data article. Make sure to notice the highlight on hierarchies. Your import should look similar to this:

  1. Prepare the Excel sheet with the Business Capability information.

  2. Once the import is complete, you will see the Business Capability Fact Sheets available in your Inventory.

Learn more about business capabilities in this white paper: Business Capabilities: How to win the digital age with a common language for Business & IT.