Capability Assessment


Before we start off with a detailed Architecture Definition, it is important to assess and understand the architecture capability of the organization. It is important to understand the baseline and target capability level of the enterprise. This Capability Assessment is first carried out in Phase A. Later, it is updated in Phase E.

Such capability assessment can be performed on four levels:

  • Capability of Enterprise

Foremost is the capability of the enterprise as a whole. Does the enterprise really want to increase or optimize its capability? In which direction? It is important to understand the focus areas that are aligned with the development path desired by the enterprise.

  • Capability of the IT Function

The enterprise has several components to it. For an enterprise architect, the IT function is an important aspect to assess and evaluate. This includes checking for the capability or maturity level of the IT function within the enterprise? What are the likely implications of conducting the architecture project? Is the design governance, operational governance, skills, and organization structure ready for it?

What is an appropriate style for the architecture project? What is the ideal level of formality or amount of detail required for the architecture project to fit with the culture and capability of the IT organization? What is the maturity level of change and operation process?

It is important to assess the IT function on each of these points, to get an idea about what is possible.

  • Capability of the Architecture Function

After evaluating the entire enterprise, and the IT function as a whole, we now focus down to the particular architecture function that we want to touch. Is that ready for a change?

What is the capability and maturity of the architecture function within the enterprise? What are the current architectural assets? Are they maintained and accurate? What standards and reference models need to be considered? Are there likely to be opportunities to create re-usable assets during the architecture project?

  • Capability Assessment of the Gap to be filled

Where capability gaps exist, to what extent is the business ready to transform in order to reach the target capability? What are the risks to transformation, cultural barriers, and other considerations to be addressed beyond the basic capability gap?

Components of Capability Assessment


The capability assessment is an important output of the Phase A of the ADM cycle. This includes the following components

Business Capability Assessment


  • Capabilities of the business
  • Baseline state assessment of the performance level of each capability
  • Future state aspiration for the performance level of each capability
  • Baseline state assessment of how each capability is realized
  • Future state aspiration for how each capability should be realized
  • Assessment of likely impacts to the business organization resulting from the successful deployment of the Target Architecture

IT Capability Assessment


  • Baseline and target maturity level of change process
  • Baseline and target maturity level of operational processes
  • Baseline capability and capacity assessment
  • Assessment of likely impacts to the IT organization resulting from the successful deployment of the Target Architecture

Architecture Maturity Assessment


  • Architecture Governance processes, organization, roles, and responsibilities
  • Architecture skills assessment
  • Breadth, depth, and quality of landscape definition within the Architecture Repository
  • Breadth, depth, and quality of standards definition within the Architecture Repository
  • Breadth, depth, and quality of reference model definition within the Architecture Repository
  • Assessment of re-use potential

Business Transformation Readiness Assessment


  • Readiness factors
  • Vision for each readiness factor
  • Current and target readiness ratings
  • Readiness risks