Webinar: Using a Capability Model
A capability model is basically a list of the activities that an organisation does. For example, a typical University does the following:
- Teaching and Learning
- Commercial Activity
- Strategy & Governance
- Support Services
Within each of these, we can identify sub-categories. E.g. Teaching and Learning will include Curriculum Management, Student Attraction and Recruitment, Teaching Delivery, Assessment, and so on, and within each of these, we can identify sub-sub-categories. (in the jargon, the top-level capabilities are called “level 0” and the capabilities within those are called “level 1” and “level 2”).
This nested structure is called a capability model. You can see a diagram showing a capability model for typical UK University at the link below.
Capabilities are not organisational units – some capabilities may be enacted by several different units (e.g. all schools do teaching). Nor are they services. A capability is just an activity that some part or parts of an organisation does, and the model groups these by what is important to the organisation.
You may be wondering why we might want a capability model. They can be used for a variety of tasks, and a recent webinar gave a few examples.. Alex Leigh, an independent consultant, presented three uses of the UCISA HE Capability Model at one of the UK’s conservatoires (mapping growth strategy, operation planning, and selecting a student record system), and also one at the University of Hertfordshire (mapping data use in preparation for moving to the new HESA return).
The webinar was aimed at people who are familiar with the idea of a capability model but I think it would be relevant for anyone interested in the idea. Fortunately, the webinar was recorded and you can watch it yourself at the link below.
The capability model was created by the UCISA Enterprise Architecture Community of Practice, who also arranged the webinar.