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Capability simply means that a person or machine has the ability to perform a required task. It is a binary measure. That simply means that it is physically possible in the current state to do something.

Capability should not be confused with yield or effectiveness (how good the resources is at doing the process), or with capacity (how often the resource can complete the task.)

For a machine, capability means that the task falls within the function of the machine. Obviously a drill press cannot bend metal. But that drill press may also be limited by the size of the hole it can make, the weight of the product is working on, the ability to access recessed areas, and so on.

For a person, capability can fall into the physical spectrum or can be related to training. For the physical side, whether a person can reach into a tight area, hold a miniature component, lift a heavy weight, and the like. Basically, it means can the person’s body perform the required task.

On the training side, it is a bit less clear. While a person can be trained to be capable of doing something, it does not mean that they are effective at it. Think of getting a fastball. You could take a person with no skills or training in swinging a baseball bat to a batting cage. You could give them a rudimentary lesson and send them in to hit a pitch. Does their training make them capable of hitting the ball? Yes. Is it likely that they will be successful in any sort of consistent fashion. No. Capability is only the first hurdle to overcome. They must also be trained to…

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