Assess Capability Gaps - Business Analyst

Purpose

To identify new capabilities required by the enterprise to meet the business need.

Description

Assess the current capabilities of the enterprise and identify the gaps that prevent it from meeting business needs and achieving desired outcomes. Determine if it is possible for the organization to meet the business need using its existing structure, people, processes, and technology. If the organization can meet the business need with existing capabilities, the resulting change is likely to be relatively small.

However, if existing capabilities are inadequate, it will probably be necessary to launch a project to create that capability. Change may be needed to any component of the enterprise, including (but not limited to): business processes, functions, lines of business, organization structures, staff competencies, knowledge and skills, training, facilities, desktop tools, organization locations, data and information, application systems and / or technology infrastructure.

Input

Business Need: Capabilities are assessed against the business need to identify gaps.

Enterprise Architecture: The enterprise architecture defines the current capabilities of an organization.

Solution Performance Assessment: Identifies shortcomings, problems or limitations of an existing solution. In some cases, a solution may have capabilities that an organization is not using (most often, this occurs with a packaged solution or with outsourced services) which can also be assessed against a business need.

Elements

1. Current Capability Analysis

Gather as much enterprise architecture information as is available about the current state of the areas of the enterprise affected by the business need. The goal is to understand the organization’s business and how the business and technology architecture are supporting that business. If adequate information is not available, it will be necessary to develop the models and other descriptive information about the area of the enterprise that is under review. Once the current capabilities of the enterprise are fully described, they must be assessed against the desired objectives to determine whether the organization currently has the capability to meet the business need.

Capability Gap Assessment

2. Assessment of New Capability Requirements

If current capabilities are insufficient to meet the business need, the business analyst must identify the capabilities that need to be added. The business analyst will develop the models and other descriptive information about the future vision and describe the future state of the organization. A comparison of the current and desired future states will identify gaps in organizational capabilities that need to be filled to support the business vision, strategy, goals and objectives.

Some examples of capabilities include:

  • Business processes
  • Features of a software application
  • Tasks that an end user may perform
  • Events that a solution must be able to respond to
  • Products that an organization creates
  • Services that an organization delivers
  • Goals that a solution will allow stakeholders to accomplish

3. Assumptions

It will often be difficult or impossible to prove that the delivery of a new capability will meet a business need, even in cases where it appears reasonable to assume that the new capability will have the desired effect. These assumptions must be identified and clearly

understood, so that appropriate decisions can be made if the assumption later proves invalid.

Techniques

Document Analysis : Useful to understand the current state of the enterprise,in as much as that current state is documented.

SWOT Analysis : Identify how current capabilities and limitations (Strengths and
Weaknesses) match up against the influencing factors (Opportunities and Threats).

Stakeholders

Customer and Supplier: Customers and suppliers may be impacted if the business developed or changes the capabilities it has. They may also be in a position to provide or support new capabilities themselves, rather than requiring the organization to change in order to provide them.

Domain SME, End User, Implementation SME, and Sponsor: Will provide information on the strengths and weaknesses of current capabilities.

Output

Required Capabilities: An understanding of the current capabilities of the organization and the new capabilities (processes, staff, features in an application, etc.) that may be required to meet the business need.

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