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Business Capability Map Examples & Templates

A business capability map is a visual representation or diagram that illustrates the various capabilities of an organization and how they interrelate to support the overall business objectives.

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What is a business capability map?

A business capability map is a visual representation or diagram that illustrates the various capabilities of an organization and how they interrelate to support the overall business objectives.

It provides a structured view of an organization’s capabilities and helps stakeholders understand how different aspects of the business work together to deliver value.

An essential step of the business capability model involves creating a map typically consisting of a hierarchical structure, with higher-level capabilities decomposed into more detailed sub-capabilities.

Capabilities can be at a high level, such as “customer relationship management,” or they can be more specific, such as “the ability to process credit card payments.”

A simplified three-level example of a business capability map for an e-commerce company could look like this:

  1. Sales & Marketing (High-level capability)
    1. Digital marketing (Mid-level capability)
      1. Paid advertising (Low level capability)
      2. SEO
      3. Email marketing
    2. Content creation
    3. Customer Relationship Management
  2. Operations:
    1. Product sourcing
    2. Inventory management
    3. Fulfillment
    4. Quality assurance
  3. Customer Service:
    1. Issue resolution
    2. Returns handling
    3. Customer communication
  4. IT:
    1. E-commerce platform management
    2. Data management
    3. Cybersecurity
  5. Finance & Administration:
    1. Financial management
    2. Legal and compliance
    3. Human resources

Business capability maps, such as the one above, allow organizations to analyze, prioritize, and align their capabilities with strategic goals, enabling effective planning and decision-making.

📚 Related: 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Enterprise Architecture Tools


The key value propositions of any business capability map

When an organization undergoes change, such as a merger, acquisition, reorganization, or strategic shift, it's crucial to understand the existing capabilities and identify the desired capabilities needed to achieve the new objectives.

A business capability map provides several value propositions for an organization:

  1. Improved strategic planning:
    Capability maps provide a clear overview of the abilities an organization has, which can help guide decision-making in line with strategic goals. They show where the organization has strengths and weaknesses and where investment could yield the most benefit.
  2. Alignment across the business:
    By breaking down silos and providing a common language, capability maps help align different parts of the organization. This shared understanding can improve collaboration and drive initiatives that are beneficial for the whole organization rather than just individual departments.
  3. Gap identification:
    A business capability map allows organizations to identify gaps in their capabilities, showing where they might need to invest in new technology, people, or processes to achieve their goals.
  4. Streamlining business processes:
    By providing a clear view of the organization's capabilities, capability maps can help identify redundancies and inefficiencies in the business processes. They allow an organization to streamline operations, reducing costs, and improving efficiency.
  5. Risk mitigation:
    Understanding where the organization's capabilities lie can help in risk mitigation. For example, if a company relies heavily on a capability that it isn't strong in, this poses a risk to the business.
  6. Driving innovation:
    Capability mapping can also drive innovation. By understanding what capabilities they possess, organizations can identify areas for innovation and improvement.
  7. Enhancing customer satisfaction:
    With a comprehensive understanding of its capabilities, a business can ensure it consistently meets and exceeds customer expectations, thus improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Examples and templates

Understanding the concept of business capability mapping is the first step, but visualizing and applying this tool effectively requires practical examples and flexible templates.

In this section, we'll provide several examples of business capability maps across different industries, alongside adaptable templates to guide you in creating your own.

However, it's crucial to note that these examples and templates should be viewed as starting points rather than prescriptive solutions.

Every organization is unique, with its own set of abilities, challenges, and goals. Therefore, while these resources can offer helpful guidance and inspiration, they may not accurately reflect the specific capabilities or structure of your organization.

Each company must define its own business capability map, customizing it to align with its unique strategy, structure, and operations. This individualized approach ensures your map accurately captures the essence of your organization, providing meaningful insights and a foundation for strategic decision-making.

With this in mind, let's explore some business capability map examples and templates that can provide a solid starting point for your mapping journey.

1. Business capability map for the manufacturing industry

This map encompasses key areas such as production, supply chain management, quality control, research and development, and customer service.

In the highly competitive manufacturing sector, capability maps enable organizations to align their capabilities with strategic objectives, optimize operational efficiency, and ensure effective resource allocation.

Manufacturing Business Capability Map Example

2. Business capability map for the energy industry

In the dynamic and rapidly evolving energy industry, capability maps enable organizations to align their capabilities with strategic objectives, optimize operational efficiency, and ensure effective resource allocation.

They drive sustainable energy production, grid reliability, environmental stewardship, and customer satisfaction in an increasingly complex energy landscape.

These maps could encompass key capabilities such as energy generation, transmission, distribution, management, trading, or energy services.

Energy Business Capability Map Template

3. Business capability map for the banking and finance industry

In this sector, where regulatory compliance, risk management, and operational efficiency are paramount, capability maps enable banks and financial institutions to align their capabilities with strategic goals, optimize processes, and ensure effective resource allocation.

In the finance industry, important capabilities are often retail banking, investment banking, commercial banking, regulatory compliance, and claims management.

Banking and Finance Business Capability Map Example

4. Business capability map for the pharmaceutical industry

Business capability maps within the pharmaceutical industry facilitate effective decision-making, resource allocation, and collaboration, leading to improved patient outcomes and sustained competitive advantage.

They provide a comprehensive visual representation of an organization’s core capabilities, including drug discovery, process research and development, product manufacturing, regulatory management, and supply & logistics.

Pharmaceutical Business Capability Map Template

5. Business capability map for the SaaS industry

In the highly competitive SaaS industry, capability maps drive product excellence, customer satisfaction, and sustainable growth in the dynamic and ever-evolving SaaS landscape.

These maps encompass key areas such as product development, platform and service operations, enterprise support, demand generation, people operations, and financial services.

SaaS Business Capability Map Template

Key components of a business capability map

  1. Capabilities: These are the high-level abilities that a business must possess to deliver value. They could be technical or non-technical, and span across multiple functions within an organization, such as marketing, sales, IT, human resources, and so forth. Capabilities are often defined independently of how they're achieved, focusing on the 'what' rather than the 'how'.
  2. Levels: A business capability map is usually hierarchical, with high-level capabilities broken down into more detailed, lower-level ones. For instance, a high-level capability like "Customer Relationships" might be broken down into lower-level capabilities like "Customer Support," "Customer Feedback," and "Issue Resolution."
  3. Relationships: These show how different capabilities are related or interact with each other. Understanding these relationships can help identify areas for collaboration or shared resources.
  4. Maturity: This refers to how well-developed a capability is within the organization. A capability might be assessed as being at a high level of maturity (well-developed, with well-defined processes and roles), or at a low level of maturity (underdeveloped, with room for improvement).
  5. Importance: Some capability maps also include an assessment of how important each capability is to the organization's strategy or goals. This is often highlighted with colors depending on the importance.
  6. Resources: These refer to the people, technology, information, and other resources that are required to support each capability. Understanding these resources can help identify potential gaps or areas for investment.
  7. Performance: Some organizations might also include an assessment of how well each capability is performing. This could be based on metrics like efficiency, effectiveness, customer satisfaction, and so forth.



Remember, the examples and templates we provided should be viewed as a starting point. Your organization's business capability map must be tailored to reflect your unique strategy, structure, and operational needs.

Once you understand business capabilities, we highly recommend exploring LeanIX's best practices when defining your own business capability map.

As your organization grows, consider adopting a robust solution like LeanIX's Enterprise Architecture Management to maintain a comprehensive and updated view of your organization's capabilities, supporting informed decision-making and strategic planning.

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Frequently asked questions on business capability map examples

What is a business capability template?

A business capability template is a predefined structure or framework that helps organizations define and document their core business capabilities. It typically includes sections for describing the purpose, scope, resources, processes, and dependencies of each capability.


What are examples of business capabilities?

Accurate capabilities depend on the organization but some of the most common examples of business capabilities include product development, supply chain management, customer relationship management, financial analysis, and marketing and sales.

Can you provide an example of a business capability template?

An example of a business capability template could consist of sections such as "Capability Name," "Description," "Key Activities," "Resources," "Dependencies," "Performance Metrics," and "Owner." This template helps ensure consistency and clarity when documenting and analyzing business capabilities.

How can a business capability template be used?

A business capability template can be used as a standardized format to document and assess an organization's capabilities. It helps identify gaps, overlaps, and areas for improvement, and provides a foundation for strategic planning, resource allocation, and decision-making.

What are some examples of business capability assessments?

Examples of business capability assessments include evaluating the effectiveness of a company's customer service capabilities, assessing the efficiency of its supply chain management capabilities, analyzing the innovation and R&D capabilities, or reviewing the financial management capabilities.

How can business capability templates support organizational change?

Business capability templates facilitate change by providing a clear overview of an organization's current capabilities and identifying areas that need improvement or restructuring. They help prioritize change initiatives, allocate resources effectively, and measure progress in building the desired capabilities.


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