Time to capability

Business folks use a term, time to market, to describe the time it takes to translate an idea for a new product into something real that can be sold to generate revenue.   Getting a product to market fast and first enables a company to charge a premium price and start to create loyal customers.

There’s an equally important concept, time to capability, that describes the time it takes to gain the ability to do something valuable.  This could be an individual’s desire to run a marathon or the mastery of a new professional skill.  It could be the capability of a business to reduce their time to market for new products from 18 months to 12 months while reducing their development cost by 50%.  It could be the military’s need to perform a new type of mission.

In my experience, time to capability is everything!  Once you have a capability, you can use it creatively, generate results with it, take risks with it by using it on new projects and thereby grow it through cycles of learning.

Time to capability can be divided into 2 parts, design time and implementation time.  Design time includes the “fuzzy front end” where ideas concerning what to improve and how to improve it are often churned and revisited.  From my experience, this is where the most time is wasted.  Capability selection and capability design are really just a network of decisions, so the key to design speed is better decision management and decision-making.  If you can frame and make 10, 20, or 50 capability design decisions using massively parallel thinking, then you can greatly reduce your time to capability.  I believe that a 10X improvement in capability design time is possible through better decision management skills and tools.

Implementation time is much harder to compress.  You can throw more bodies at the project, work overtime and challenge the troops with stirring speeches.  However, implementation uses your existing capabilities (e.g. processes, equipment, people) and capacity, so it’s really too late to make dramatic improvements in your speed.  So the secret to implementation time is the proactive decision to grow new capabilities for the future.

The Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF) patterns include technology and process capability decisions.  Within the strategy pattern, you’ll find a rich set of capability design decisions under the “Core Competencies” branch.

Reduce your time to capability by using one of the available patterns in the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF). Please contact the Decision Driven® Solutions team at trial@decisiondriven.com or solutions@decisiondriven.com to start your free trial of DDSF.

About decisiondriven

Innovator in Decision Management, Systems Thinking and System Engineering methods and tools
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