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New Post 11/2/2008 12:15 PM
User is offline John
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Business Capabilities and Business Services 
Modified By John  on 11/2/2008 4:43:08 PM)

I have some trouble understanding the difference between a business capability and a business service.

From what i understand the business capability describes the 'WHAT' of a business instead of the 'HOW' which is described by a (business) process.

A business capability tells something about the value that is created by the organisation, instead of how this value is created. Now i've been reading a document from Archimate that distinguishes business capabilities, business processes and business services. This document describes a business service as value that is created to its enviroment.

Could somebody explain to me what is the difference between a business service and a business capability, cause to me they sound the same.

thanks!

 
New Post 11/2/2008 11:30 PM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
www.smart-ba.com
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Re: Business Capabilities and Business Services 
Modified By Guy Beauchamp  on 11/3/2008 2:32:48 AM)

Hi John_P,

The sad fact is that terms like this will mean different things to different BAs in different organisations. Welcome to my world of frustration with Business Analysis: anyone (IN BA land) can declare anything to be anything and there is no mandatory framework for telling them they are wrong.

Some people band together some of the time and agree certain terms and their usage (e.g. IIBA BABOK, Agile, UML, blah blah blah). These fads and fashions in BA come and go. I've written and ranted quite a lot about this - the underlying problem seems to be that there is no mandatory or empiric set of drivers that result in the need for a common set of terms and usage.

That doesn't help you (or me!). My answer has been to define what I need in order to do business analysis in such a way that

1. the suppliers of my BA information and the users of it (customers of it) agree that the terms and usage make sense and work in documenting the change requirements.

2. I can 'prove' the Business Analysis is correct in the context of the terms and usage I am using.

This works for me and I have been able to do a lot of Business Analysis quite successfully with this approach never having to worry too much about which BA guru/latest trend says what terminology I must use and how. It also allows me to quite happily go for any job using any methodology on the grounds that so long as conditions 1 and 2 are satisfied I don't care what certain things are called or how they are used. 

Bottom line (almost literally!): you should define the terms Business Service and Business Capability in such a way that conditions 1 and 2 are satisified and use them as much as you need in order to do your analysis.

I hope that helps.

Guy

 
New Post 11/2/2008 11:48 PM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
www.smart-ba.com
5th Level Poster




Re: Business Capabilities and Business Services 

P.s. re-reading this I am concerned that my comments could come across as dismissive and/or disrespectful of IIBA BABOK etc.

Actually I use the BABOK quite a lot as it makes a lot of sense. So do the terms and usage advocated by the people running the ISEB Diploma in Business Analysis. And Six Sigma. And SSADM. And etc etc etc.

This is not surprising: a lot of intelligent people put a lot of intelligent thought in to these things.

My point is that they all cover the same ground (analysis of change requirements) so they will inevitably cover the same fundamental laws and principles of Business Analysis - its just some of the time they will end up calling the same thing a different name and/or using it in a subtly different way.  So long as the Fundamentals of Business Analysis are in a particular method or approach (called anything the method likes and used - within reason - in roughly the same way) I am quite happy to get on and do the analysis with that method/set of terms.

And personally I wish there was just one set of terms and usages: science seems to manage uncovering new knowledge with just one set of terms and usage (the scientific method) but we BAs have hundreds of methods and thousands of terms for uncovering new change requirements!

And the reason, I would suggest, is that science has the reality all around us as the ultimate arbiter of what is right and wrong and we BAs don't.

And frankly that is annoying...

Guy

 
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