The 7 COBIT enablers are all described by a common structure, which helps us both understand and use the enabler in practice. This structure consists of 2 major areas – enabler dimensions and enabler performance management.
Enabler dimensions are made up of four parts; Stakeholders, Goals, Life Cycles, and Good Practices.
Stakeholders are parties who play an active role in an enabler. The stakeholders can be internal or external to the enterprise, possessing their own interests and needs, which can sometimes conflict.
A number of goals can be found in an enabler. If these goals are achieved, the enabler provide greater value. The enabler goals are the final step in the COBIT 5 goals cascade. These goals can be further split up in to three different categories: Intrinsic quality, Contextual quality and Access and security.
Each enabler has a Life Cycle. This starts from inception through an operational/useful life until disposal. This applies to information, structures, processes and policies. The phases of the life cycle consist of plan, design and build/acquire/create/implement and use/operate.
And finally, good practices can be defined. They provide examples or suggestions on how best to implement the enabler as well as what work products or inputs and outputs are required in order to support the achievement of the enabler goals.
All four parts of the Enabler Dimension can be found in all 7 enablers. This rule also applies for Enabler Performance Management which supports the practical use of enablers as well as the positive outcomes expected from the application.
It supports this by asking 4 questions. The first group of questions: Are stakeholder needs addressed? and Are enabler goals achieved? identify and measure the achievement of goals. These are called lag indicators. The second group: Is the enabler life cycle managed? and Are good practices applied? focus on the application of practice, dealing with the actual functioning of the enabler and metrics. These are known as lead indicators.