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Top 5 Features of Capability and Technology Management (CTM)

Published By Dominique Trimino


Data can become out-of-date quickly. Once entered into a system, you’ll often find that, when you need it, it is already outdated. Capability and technology management (CTM) can serve as a single source of truth, a source of business and technology insights, and an encouragement of self-service. With such a source, enterprise architects are able to make the most out of their models to improve the advice they provide and ultimately drive action with confidence.

This is how enterprise architects (EAs) become trusted advisors—by empowering decision making from business owners to delivery teams to executives. They can provide an effective technology vision, implementation guidance, and business alignment by identifying risks and providing technology insights—at the moment of need. A single source of truth facilitates their focused analysis and decision-making.

So, what exactly is capability and technology management (CTM)?

Well, in a nutshell, it gives you visibility and control over the information that defines your business and drives key decisions. By getting a clear picture of the complex relationships between your business capabilities, technologies, and investments, you can understand how decisions impact the entire enterprise, enabling you to quickly execute change and achieve higher levels of business performance.

Now, let’s get into some top features to delve further into the benefits of CTM.

Top 5 features of Capability and Technology Management

  1. Portfolios. Anything in CTM can be managed as a portfolio, including products, services, and capabilities. With robust filtering and advanced reporting, the portfolio-driven user experience enables you to analyze, compare, and put any asset under management. Do you have IoT initiatives or initiatives to unlock the value of data? Create and manage information portfolios. Is your technology architecture moving toward modular services? Manage micro-service portfolios. Portfolios allow you to group assets into the different sets you want to manage together and analyze a set of capabilities, applications, or technologies by simply switching between portfolios.
  2. Node diagrams. Wish you had the ability to see across portfolios? Well, with node diagrams, you do. They allow you to:
    • Connect the dots between business strategies, capabilities, information, applications, technologies, and value streams, thus enabling system thinking
    • Visually see dependencies between components for impact assessment

It’s not just the component parts but the way your applications and capabilities are wired together that makes the difference between success or failure. When building the node, settings can be modified for instant ad-hoc analysis. You can easily build your view by picking the types of information you want to focus on. For example, when building interface maps, bring in application and information; for technology stacks, select application, software, and hardware.

Planview capability and technology management for Enterprise Architecture demo

  1. Calculations based on the model. How do you trace a path through the graph of application, processes, and infrastructure to ensure support of capabilities? Model-based calculations are derived from property values or relationships. They can roll-up scores through several layers in a multi-hop analysis.

For example, calculate functional redundancy that provides a score on an application based on the functional coverage of the application. A capability’s strategic value is based on the strategic weight of its supporting strategies and how important the capability is to the strategy.

Answer the following: will the technology be available when I need it? Will it scale as my business grows? Leverage calculations in visualizations like the node diagram and heat maps, coupled with user-defined thresholds (red/yellow/green), to answer these questions and bring attention to trouble areas as evidence for your recommendations.

  1. Reporting and visualizations. With ribbon-driven analysis and Power BI, you have instant access to important portfolio analysis viewpoints.
    • Ribbon-driven analysis. The ribbon gives each user an intuitive way to quickly analyze each portfolio. Each ribbon consists of tiles that provide a specific perspective of the portfolio. By moving through these tiles, users evaluate the same set of components from different points of view. Administrators can centrally build and publish pre-defined grid, report, and core visualization tiles
    • Power BI. Power BI extends the analysis experience you have through CTM with Power BI dashboarding capabilities—visually pleasing executive reporting. This provides the ability to analyze and present enterprise architecture data in a consumable way to support actionable insights, health tracking, and sharing and collaboration. With Power BI Desktop, you have full access to your model data to build interactive reports. If you need to visualize data in a different way, you can do so by leveraging the many different visualization types that Power BI offers (such as funnel charts, map charts, and stack bars)
  2. Visio modeling. Models serve many purposes—they help promote rich conversations by visually representing ideas or plans, as well as help align teams toward a common vision. They can be detailed, such as representing process flows or high level in the case of strategy mapping.

The Planview Portfolios add-in for Microsoft Visio enhances Visio capabilities with CTM data to create data-rich models in a familiar Visio experience. We enrich Visio with modeling concepts to preserve Visio’s flexibility, with the added consistency of an Enterprise Architecture repository.

You can architect and collaborate on new solutions, compare as-is and target models, and commit reviewed changes back to the repository. With the Planview Visio add-in, architects can target EA efforts to deliver “just enough” and “just in time” architecture.

Final Thoughts

Remember, enterprise architects become trusted advisors by empowering decision making from business owners to delivery teams to executives, all of which are supported by the top five features listed above. In recap, enterprise architects can leverage CTM to:

  • Work with IT and business leaders to determine what key initiatives enterprise architects can help support. This will drive which portfolios, data, and reporting to target in CTM.
  • Use node diagrams to uncover dependencies. As organizations are trying to become more agile, enterprise architects are in a unique position to express how the myriad parts contribute the whole. Different teams may not know what other teams are working on; Node diagrams can help inform cross-team dependencies, whether there is overlap in technologies, processes, or capabilities.
  • Use model-based calculations to highlight risks and other insights. Leverage these calculations in reports and visualizations to call attention to areas most in need of change. Embed them in CTM for portfolio analysis or serve them up in a Power BI dashboard for executive reporting.
  • Use the Visio add-in to create models and collaborate on solutions with other architects or product managers to provide clarity and intent.

If you’re interested in learning more about how capability and technology management can benefit your organization, be sure to register for a free demo of Planview’s CTM solution.

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Written by Dominique Trimino Product Manager

Dominique loves data. As product manager, she uses quantitative data, along with user experience to inform product decisions. She knows she does not know everything, but trusts she will learn just enough to be useful. With 10 years of experience in the Enterprise Architecture space, Dominique has seen many trends in this market. She applies this knowledge, along with unrelenting detail and her astute listening ear, to uncover product opportunities. Dominique is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin.