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WIKIPEDIA: Enterprise architecture is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a holistic approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy.

GARTNER: Enterprise architecture is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating, and improving the key principles and models that describe the enterprise's future state and enable its evolution.

FORRESTER: Enterprise architecture consists of the vision, principles and standards that guide the purchase and deployment of technology within an enterprise.

THE OPEN GROUP: Enterprise architecture is a discipline that helps the enterprise define, develop and exploit the capabilities in order to achieve the enterprise’s strategic Intent. An ‘enterprise’ is any collection of organizations that has a common set of goals and/or a single bottom line.



    Capability vs. Process vs. Service
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EA Capability vs. Process vs. Service

We are currently engaged with a customer (Insurance) that right in the middle of an ITSM rollout and also further increasing the adoption of TOGAF. So this means we need to marry the frameworks and align on terms. This falls into the tailoring of the framework but also the metamodel definition.

The first part, Process vs. Capability, has been defined generally as process is the how and capability is the what. This seems to be generally accepted by the industry.

What isn't clear is Capability vs. Service. What has been agreed so far is that they are both considered what's.

When looking at all the frameworks involved, ITIL, TOGAF, SDLC etc. the following is the set of definitions we landed on. The process to get to these was not very easy and straightforward. Coming up with clean / short definitions never is.

Both Process and Service are viewpoints on top of Capabilities:

Capability: is the what we do
Process: is the how we do it (--> how a capability is executed)
Service: is the how we access it (--> how a capability is accessed)

Hope this helps anyone when they come across this challenge.


keywords: Capability, Business Capability, Service, IT Service, Process, Business Process, TOGAF, Enterprise Architecture

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