Overview of capability mapping

The building blocks of an organization are often described in physical terms, such as the number of shops, warehouses or trucks.  Sometimes the building blocks are described from a people perspective, like the number of staff, their skills or roles, or organizational structure.  We can also describe an organization in terms of the process or the way the business works, such as the supply chain flow, or just the way customers interact with the organization's online shop. 

A capability building block is just another way to view your organization, but instead of viewing your organization from a physical, people and process perspective separately, we combine them into a single building block.  So, a capability in its simplest form is the combined resources, capacity and abilities (people, process and physical) that describe what the organization or business does.  

For example, "Customer Service Management", "Software Development" and "Facilities Management" are all capabilities.  Each of these capabilities can be described from a people, process and physical perspective.  In the case of Software Development (Management) there are people like Developers and Solution Architects; processes like Agile methods; and physical like software tools used by Developers.

When describing the capabilities of an organization or business, you can simply list them in a spreadsheet, but once you have over 20 capabilities, it becomes difficult to understand the relationships between capabilities and even harder to communicate this with your colleagues.

In Jibility we visualise our capabilities using a simple capability map (see illustration below).

Note, a capability can be described by its sub-capabilities like the example given for Software Development. Hence, we refer to capabilities as "building blocks".

You can learn more about capability based planning in our blog article here.

Adding capabilities to your map

Jibility is designed to simplify the creation and editing of a capability map.  In Jibility, each capability is treated as a "building block" that you create and move around to represent the capabilities of your organization.

To add new Capabilities to your map, you can select and drag/drop a: 

  1. New capability; or

  2. Pre-defined or common capability from the Jibility library.

The Jibility library contains hundreds of pre-defined and commonly used capabilities.  For faster creation of your capability map, use the Search function (to the left) to filter and find a capability, then just select and drag/drop the capability to your capability map.

A capability can be composed of children or sub-capabilities. For example, a parent capability (level 1) can have zero or more sub-capabilities (level 2), and these sub-capabilities can also contain further sub-capabilities (level 3).  Jibility supports up to three levels only.  

Tips: Try to keep your capability map to no more than two levels only. This will make your map easier to understand and communicate.

Note, each capability on your map must have a unique name.  A capability that already exists on your map (determined by name) is automatically disabled for selection from the Jibility library.

Deleting a capability

To delete a capability, first select the capability and then click on the delete button (the trash can icon in the top left corner), as shown below.

Getting it right

Getting your capability map right can be a time-consuming process because (in reality), you can't achieve a perfect capability map and you don't need to (it's just a model).  Jibility is designed to let you cycle each step of the Jibility Canvas quickly, so that you can start sharing your thinking and get feedback as soon as possible.  

Focus on mapping the capabilities which can deliver your top objectives. The other capabilities are important to tell a complete story of your organisation's overall capabilities (and ensure that you have considered all the capabilities), but most important are the capabilities that delivers your top objectives.

Capability states

Creating a capability map will help you understand what the organisation does, but how would you describe what your organisation does today and what it needs to do tomorrow?  In Jibility, we assign a capability state to each capability to help describe whether a capability is:

  1. New and therefore required in the future; 

  2. Exists currently but not needed anymore; or

  3. Exists currently but a degree of change is required (low, medium or high level).

Color coding (or heat map) is applied to capabilities to help visualise the different states.  A legend of the color codes is illustrated below.

Tips: Hover your mouse over one of the capability states to get a description.

Tips: Double click on a capability state and you will enter into a painter mode (mouse pointer changes to a paintbrush).  This will allow you to paint multiple capabilities with the chosen state.  To exist painter mode just double click on the capability state again (or press the ESC key).

Note, Jibility supports a "Not Relevant" capability state.  This state means that the capability does not exist or is not required.  It is shown on the map to indicate that the capability was considered and is determined to be "Not Relevant".  Sometimes you need to include a few "Not Relevant" capabilities to save explaining to your colleagues that "Yes, I have considered this but it's not relevant".

What is capability based planning?

Did this answer your question?