Capabilities as Building Blocks

Susan Paul
Office Managing Vice President, Dallas Office

I’ve always liked the adage that ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.’  I got to experience just that recently.

A Pariveda team was putting together an approach for setting up a new organization for one of our clients. We were discussing where to start. After trying a few different angles that didn’t feel right, someone mentioned we should start with what capabilities the new group would need.

A colleague and I recently published a white paper on using business capabilities as a common language between different functions. We had been playing with different ways capabilities could be used to support planning efforts.  This was a perfect opportunity to try it out.

We started with the organization’s goal, broke it down into annual objectives and then mapped those to capabilities. Some of the capabilities were differentiators, in this case their sales channel. Some were core to being in that market, distribution. And finally some were just basic must haves, like legal.

Once we could map the key capabilities, we were able to see where the new organization was going to need to invest in people, processes and technology, again mapped to their overall goals.

Even risks could be mapped to capabilities and tied to goals to evaluate which were more and less acceptable.

Everyone on the Pariveda team quickly understood how we could use the capabilities as a relatively simple way to explain our approach and I was able to validate our thinking when we wrote the white paper.  What luck!

Susan Paul has recently co-authored a white paper, Business Capabilities: A Common Language. You can download the white paper here.

Susan Paul

About the Author

Susan Paul Office Managing Vice President, Dallas Office
As the Managing Vice President-Dallas at Pariveda Solutions, Inc., Susan leads Pariveda’s efforts across the Dallas/Fort Worth market to deliver successful technology and management consulting solutions. She is responsible for ensuring that we honor our commitment to developing talent in combination with creating value for our clients. Prior to her current role, Susan built and led Pariveda’s Strategy Practice, working with senior executives to collaboratively develop and operationalize their technology and organization strategies. Susan has a strong passion for creating lifelong relationships - spanning clients, partners and business colleagues and a commitment to developing a strong community for the women of Pariveda.

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