Critical Capabilities

IT Capability Maturity Framework™ (IT-CMF™) contains 35 Critical Capabilities.

For each capability, IT-CMF incorporates a comprehensive suite of maturity profiles, assessment methods, and improvement roadmaps.

These are expressed in business language that can be used to guide discussions on setting goals and evaluating performance.

Managing IT like a Business:

To optimize the contribution of technology to the organization as a whole, the IT function needs to be managed using professional business practices. This involves shifting the focus away from technology as an end in itself towards the customers and the business problems to which IT can provide solutions. The Managing IT Like a Business macro-capability provides a structure within which the IT function can be repositioned from a cost centre to a value centre.

Critical Capabilities


Accounting and Allocation

Goal
The Accounting and Allocation (AA) capability aims to allocate the consumption of IT services to business units and to calculate the associated costs for chargeback/showback purposes.

Value
The Accounting and Allocation (AA) capability assigns costs of IT services proportionally and transparently to the users of those services, improving cost awareness and responsible usage behaviours.


Business Planning

Goal
The IT function’s Business Planning (BP) capability aims to link the IT strategy with IT operational planning. It represents the next level in planning detail following on from defining the IT strategy, ensuring that the necessary financial and other resources are allocated for implementation.

Value
The Business Planning (BP) capability links the IT strategy with operational delivery. It enables the development of multi-year investment roadmaps and plans to ensure that the IT strategy is successfully implemented.


Business Process Management

Goal
The Business Process Management (BPM) capability helps create an understanding of business activity flows so they can be more readily understood and developed, and so that errors can be reduced and risks mitigated.

Value
The Business Process Management (BPM) capability helps to make business activity flows more effective, more efficient, and more responsive to evolving business objectives.


Capacity Forecasting and Planning

Goal
The Capacity Forecasting and Planning (CFP) capability aims to understand what resources will be required to support IT services based on current and projected organizational demands.

Value
The Capacity Forecasting and Planning (CFP) capability anticipates the shifting needs for IT resources so that capacity can be cost-effectively added or reduced in a timely manner to meet changes in demand.


Demand and Supply Management

Goal
The Demand and Supply Management (DSM) capability aims to balance the business demand for IT services and the supply of those services.

Value
The Demand and Supply Management (DSM) capability can improve the business value that IT services deliver by reducing or eliminating supply surpluses and missed fulfilment opportunities.


Enterprise Information Management

Goal
The Enterprise Information Management (EIM) capability ensures that quality data is available to support the business activities of the organization.

Value
The Enterprise Information Management (EIM) capability provides appropriate operational data for business transactions, and consistently enables timely and informed decisionmaking.


Green Information Technology

Goal
The Green Information Technology (GIT) capability aims to manage IT operations in an environmentally sensitive manner, and to leverage IT to minimize the environmental impact of the wider business activities.

Value
The Green Information Technology (GIT) capability enables organizations to minimize their impact on the environment by using IT to deliver Triple Bottom Line (TBL) results – environmental (planet), and social (people), and financial (profit).


Innovation Management
Goal
The Innovation Management (IM) capability helps exploit IT in new and pioneering ways to satisfy business objectives.
Value
The Innovation Management (IM) capability helps improve the throughput of and yield from novel uses of IT and technology-driven innovation to solve business challenges.
IT Leadership and Governance
Goal
The IT Leadership and Governance (ITG) capability establishes a leadership style, and ensures that distributed IT decisions are supportive of the organization’s strategic goals and objectives.
Value
The IT Leadership and Governance (ITG) capability can improve the direction and consistency of leadership and distributed IT decision-making throughout the organization,  to accelerate realization of the organization’s strategic goals and objectives.
Organization Design and Planning
Goal
The Organization Design and Planning (ODP) capability aims to organize the IT function by establishing lines of authority, defining roles and functions, and specifying their interrelationships, so that IT employees can collectively deliver the objectives of the IT function.
Value
The Organization Design and Planning (ODP) capability enables the IT function to readily adapt its organization structure in response to business needs, strategic leadership goals, and the operating environment.
Risk Management
Goal
The Risk Management (RM) capability aims to protect the organization from risk exposures associated with Information Technology (IT).
Value
The Risk Management (RM) capability can reduce the frequency and the severity of risks associated with IT negatively impacting the organization’s business operations.
Service Analytics and Intelligence
Goal
The Service Analytics and Intelligence (SAI) capability aims to clarify the link between the performance of business processes and the performance of the underlying IT infrastructure and services – that is, to provide an end-to-end view of IT services.
Value
The Service Analytics and Intelligence (SAI) capability helps identify how best to configure IT infrastructure and services to meet business demand.
Sourcing
Goal
The Sourcing (SRC) capability aims to streamline the strategic planning and development of the IT supply base to optimize the contribution of the supply base to the organization’s strategic objectives.
Value
The Sourcing (SRC) capability fosters mutually beneficial partnerships with the supply base through developing appropriate sourcing relationships based on market knowledge and the business objectives.
Strategic Planning
Goal
The Strategic Planning (SP) capability aims to specify ways in which technology can enable and influence the business strategy.
Value
The Strategic Planning (SP) capability clarifies the purpose and goals of utilizing technology to optimize value generation.

Managing the IT Budget:

There are many challenges associated with managing the IT budget, including, for example, unplanned cost escalation, the cost of maintaining legacy systems, and management reluctance to invest strategically in new technologies.

The Managing the IT Budget macro capability looks at the practices and tools that can be used to establish and control a sustainable economic funding model for IT services and solutions.

Critical Capabilities

Budget Management
Goal
The Budget Management (BGM) capability aims to ensure that the allocated IT budgets are spent appropriately and within expectations.
Value
The Budget Management (BGM) capability helps ensure that IT budget planning is transparent and participatory, and that it responds to changing needs and unanticipated opportunities.
Budget Oversight and Performance Analysis
Goal
The Budget Oversight and Performance Analysis (BOP) capability aims to compare actual IT expenditure against planned IT expenditure, and in doing so provides management with the stimulus to confirm or reset budget allocations, where appropriate.
Value
The Budget Oversight and Performance Analysis (BOP) capability analyses past budgeting and expenditure patterns to inform decision-making on current planning for budget forecasts and allocations.
Funding and Financing
Goal
The Funding and Financing (FF) capability aims to generate reliable and flexible sources of funding for an organization, so that it can provide adequate investment and enable the IT function to deliver services and solutions to the organization.
Value
The Funding and Financing (FF) capability enables improved decision-making in selecting appropriate funding sources, in determining adequate funding levels, and in the initial assigning of funds for IT.
Portfolio Planning and Prioritization
Goal
The Portfolio Planning and Prioritization (PPP) capability aims to establish the investment portfolio composition for technology-related programmes and projects.
Value
The Portfolio Planning and Prioritization (PPP) capability helps ensure that the investment portfolio of technology-related programmes and projects is aligned to and optimized for the organization’s strategic direction.

Managing IT for Business Value

Investments in IT must be linked to overall business benefits. This means that the investments should not be viewed simply as technology projects, but as projects that generate business value and innovation across the organization.

The Managing IT for Business Value macro-capability provides a structure within which the IT function provides the rationale for investment in IT and measures the business benefits accruing from it.

Critical Capabilities

Benefits Assessment and Realization
Goal
The Benefits Assessment and Realization (BAR) capability aims to forecast, crystalize, and sustain the business benefits arising from IT-enabled change initiatives.
Value
The Benefits Assessment and Realization (BAR) capability helps an organization forecast and manage the realization of benefits from IT-enabled change initiatives.
Portfolio Management
Goal
The Portfolio Management (PM) capability aims to monitor and report on the status of an investment portfolio of IT programmes.
Value
The Portfolio Management (PM) capability helps ensure that the status of programmes is closely tracked to support early identification of potential issues and to minimize programme delivery conflicts.
Total Cost of Ownership
Goal
The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) capability aims to collect, analyse, and disseminate data on all costs associated with an IT asset or IT-enabled business service throughout its life cycle, from initial acquisition, to deployment, operations, and maintenance, to its eventual removal.
Value
The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) capability analyses the life cycle costs associated with IT assets and IT-enabled business services. It facilitates investment selections, drives service improvements, and helps control costs.

Managing the IT Capability

The IT function was traditionally seen as the provider of one-off IT services and solutions. In order to fulfil its role as the instigator of innovation and continual business improvement however, the IT function has to proactively deliver- and be seen to deliver-a stream of new and improved IT services and solutions.

This macro-capability provides a systematic approach to adopting that role, by effectively and efficiently maintaining existing services and solutions and developing new ones.

Critical Capabilities

Capability Assessment Management
Goal
The Capability Assessment Management (CAM) capability aims to provide the organization with an accurate picture of its current IT management capabilities, and to identify areas needing improvement.
Value
Capability Assessment Management (CAM) helps ensure reliability, repeatability, and validity in assessing IT capabilities and implementing improvement initiatives.
Enterprise Architecture Management
Goal
The Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) capability aims to deliver an overarching approach within which the IT function can design, deploy, and execute the organization’s business strategy.
Value
The Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) capability helps determine how the organization can most effectively plan the use of technology to achieve its current and future objectives.
Information Security Management
Goal
The Information Security Management (ISM) capability aims to protect the information held by the organization from damage, to prevent its harmful use (to people or organizations), and to facilitate its legitimate operational and business use.
Value
The Information Security Management (ISM) capability can help reduce the frequency and limit the adverse effects of information security breaches.
Knowledge Asset Management
Goal
The Knowledge Asset Management (KAM) capability enables employees to capture, share, develop, and leverage their collective knowledge to improve the performance of knowledgebased business activities and decision-making.
Value
The Knowledge Asset Management (KAM) capability facilitates better learning and decisionmaking by leveraging relevant knowledge.
People Asset Management
Goal
The People Asset Management (PAM) capability aims to manage the IT workforce’s employment life cycle to ensure adequate availability of competent employees.
Value
The People Asset Management (PAM) capability helps ensure that the employees with the right skills and competences are available to support the achievement of organizational objectives.
Relationship Management
Goal
The Relationship Management (REM) capability aims to ensure that liaisons and long-term interactions between the IT function and other business units foster business awareness, mutually align interests, and help minimize issues of conflict.
Value
The Relationship Management (REM) capability enhances goodwill, trust, and confidence between the IT function and the rest of the business.
Programme and Project Management
Goal
The Programme and Project Management (PPM) capability provides a methodical approach to achieving business objectives when planning, executing, and closing programmes and projects.
Value
The Programme and Project Management (PPM) capability helps ensure that programmes and projects are run in an agile and consistent manner to support the timely and predictable realization of expected business benefits.
Research, Development and Engineering
Goal
The Research, Development and Engineering (RDE) capability aims to identify new technologies that can deliver business value to the organization.
Value
The Research, Development and Engineering (RDE) capability enables the organization to investigate how best to use new technologies and usage models to deliver business value.
Service Provisioning
Goal
The Service Provisioning (SRP) capability aims to identify, deliver, and manage the IT services that enable the organization to meet its defined business objectives.
Value
The Service Provisioning (SRP) capability helps to ensure the organization’s strategy and objectives are supported by reliable and effective IT services.
Solutions Delivery
Goal
The Solutions Delivery (SD) capability aims to develop IT solutions that are effective in meeting business needs.
Value
The Solutions Delivery (SD) capability ensures a balance between quality, costs, and schedule during the development of IT solutions to meet organizational objectives.
Supplier Management
Goal
The Supplier Management (SUM) capability aims to manage interactions between the IT function and its suppliers.
Value
The Supplier Management (SUM) capability helps the IT function to build cooperative relationships with its suppliers, with a view to optimizing costs, creating shared value, and reducing supply-related risks.
Technical Infrastructure Management
Goal
The Technical Infrastructure Management (TIM) capability aims to holistically manage all physical and virtual components of the IT infrastructure to support the introduction, maintenance, and retirement of IT services.
Value
The Technical Infrastructure Management (TIM) capability provides a reliable, flexible, secure, and operationally efficient IT infrastructure to meet business requirements.
User Experience Design
Goal
The User Experience Design (UED) capability aims to address both the usability and the usefulness of IT services and solutions across various audiences, purposes, and contexts of use.
Value
The User Experience Design (UED) capability helps increase levels of proficiency and productivity through the use of actionable information from users in the design and maintenance of IT services and solutions.
User Training Management
Goal
The User Training Management (UTM) capability aims to ensure that users acquire the skills they need to use business applications and other IT supported services effectively.
Value
The User Training Management (UTM) capability ensures that users are proficient and productive in their use of business applications and other IT supported services.