MappIT in action – How to collect Business Context, Needs and Enabling Capabilities

When the Business and IT assessment is completed, we can start to analyze the future Business Strategy; in this way we complete the collection of Business information which represent your full Business Enterprise Architecture. This information are typically collected to guarantee and IT – Business alignment, identifying relevant Business context information, business driver and objective and then the Business Enabling Capabilities.

Let me first clarify these concepts.

Business Context is composed by all information related to where the Company operate:

  • Macro context information like Political, Social, Environment or Technological information
  • Market context information like Competition, Suppliers, Customers, New entrants….
  • Company context information like Economical and Internal situation, internal assets, unique capabilities…
  • Products and Services delivered by the company
  • Customer segment addressed b the company
  • Channel used to interact with the customer


Business drivers and objectives describe what are the business needs that the company want to target in medium-long terms, this refer also to the Business Vision.

The main difference between Business driver and objectives is that:

  • Business Drivers describe the vision and so what the company want to achieve; this is typically a general description regardless how and who (which OUs) will work on it
  • Business Objective describe how different OUs try to achieve the drivers and who is specifically involved in this (which OU). Typically the objective describe also some KPIs/KPOs which try to quantity this objectives.

Business drivers can be at the end achieved leveraging some company Business Capabilities, that (from an IT perspective) are the functionalities provided by IT systems which support people and process to run or improve the business and so achieve the business objectives. These capabilities is a group of functionalities (or requirements) grouped together in homogeneous way.

Obviously Drivers, Objectives and Capabilities are all three related in a chain of many to many relationship, where each driver can be supported by many objectives (and vice versa) and each objective can be supported by many capabilities. At the end Capabilities are detailed in many requirements



These components can be considered the backbone of the Enterprise Business Needs.

In the next part of this tutorial I will show to you how MappIT collect and display these information.

First of all we want to describe the Macro/Market and Company generic context, so we will open the Driver and Context form:

And then fill-up different sections with Name, Description, category of the topic, relevant key figures and source.

Source information is quite useful to track where we collect these information; this can be used along the other steps of the business discovery to remember where the information come from.

Next you collect information about your customers, products and channels entering these information in a grid view in MappIT:

For products you can collect the product family/category, some standard product information like market share and market growth and additional key volumes can also be collected.

For customers you can collect the type of different customer segments and additional key volumes (e.g. size of the segment) can also be collected

Same story for the channels

In this way you have collected all relevant business context information; now you can move to collect information about your business strategy.

First of all you will collect the Vision from Top Manager, meaning the Business Derivers; this information can later be collected in MappIT through the Business Driver and Vision tab, under the Business Drivers and Context form.

You can collect the name and descriptions, the category (organized in 3 main category: Customer Intimacy, Operational Excellence and Product Innovation) and the source/feedback.

Very important, you can then assign a relative priority to this driver; this weight will be later used to define the priority for the enabling capabilities (I will show this step later).

After collected the Business Vision we can move to the business objectives, for each of them we can collect:

  • Name
  • Type (Business, or IT)
  • Scope (Short or Long term)
  • Process area addressed by this objective
  • Business Organization impacted by this objective
  • KPI/KPO (in order to quantify the objective)

Then you can link the Business Objective to the Business Drivers through the coverage map, which permit you to define the relative linking weight between Drivers and Objectives:

You can do a similar activity to map the Enabling Capabilities; first of all you will collect all you relevant existing (if you are assessing) or future (if you are defining the target functional architecture) set of capabilities and their related attributes.

Main attributes are:

  • Name of the capability
  • Description
  • Status (if is a new or existing capability)
  • Relationships with the business context (processes, customer segments, channels and product supported by this capability)
  • Additional information (Notes, Feedback, Reference Docs, Source…)

Another important task to qualify the capability is to detail all its related requirements:

These requirements can be inserted one be one through the form we have seen before, or can be imported massively using cut and paste from and excel file, for doing this, click in the requirement leaf in the MappIT tree structure:

Then copy the same columns from and excel and paste into the grid.

Then you can link the Enabling capabilities with the Objectives they support:

You can also see which Drivers and Objective the capabilities support (and their related weights):

 In addition you can analyze the Business Architecture using the Analytics and Reporting tool or external tools like Tableau Public.

On the other side you can leverage the MappIT tool to create automatically some nice powerpoint slide for your such as a Capability Map (in this case organized by Customer Segments):


Or a set of capability Cards, like the following:

That’s all folks for today; stay tuned for another “How to”s

In future tutorial we will talk about:

  • how to evaluate the impacts of implementing the required Business Capabilities and how can we organize this impacts and related implementation actions into Initiatives
  • link this Business Needs to other parts of the Business Enterprise Architecture (which is the Operational Model composed by Processes and Organization)
  • link this Business Needs to other part of the IT Architecture




About FrankITecture

I'm an IT Consultant with many years of experiences in IT Architecture, IT Governance and IT Strategy projects in many Market Sectors (Telco, Finance, Retail...)
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1 Response to MappIT in action – How to collect Business Context, Needs and Enabling Capabilities

  1. Pingback: MappIT 2.0 – A comprehensive view of your IT Architecture and Governance | IT Governance and Enterprise Architecture made easy

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