Business Analysis 2.0: Beyond the Basics

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A brief overview of BABOK 2.0 and its implications for Business Analysts. This presentation also shows the importance for all stakeholders - Product teams, Executives, Project Managers, etc. to understand everything that goes into Business Analysis and technology development. The focus is primarily on technology/software development, but the concepts apply to all types of product & service delivery

Transcript of Business Analysis 2.0: Beyond the Basics

Introduction to Business Analysis

BABOK 2.0Beyond the Basics of Business AnalysisD. BerglundSo What is a Business AnalystA Business Analyst can be defined a few different ways: BABOK 1.6: Works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systemsBABOK 2.0: Is any person who performs business analysis activities, no matter what their job title or organizational role may be

Traditionally, a Business Analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate, and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies, and information systems.

My DefinitionA Business analyst works to understand business problems, gaps, and opportunities and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals via clearly defined requirements (capabilities). Solutions may include IT systems, process improvements, or other organizational changes.2The Need for Business AnalystsBusiness Analysts help decision-makers determine the best way to meet the business needs through an understanding ofHow an organization accomplishes its goals/objectivesWhy the business exists (its purpose)How users perform their roles

This grounding in business needs, provides clarity into the right solutions that allow the business to more effectively meet its objectives and goals.

3Whats the BABOK?The BABOK is a standard, encompassing multiple knowledge areas, tasks and activities, and best-practices that helps BAs understand the sum of knowledge that is used within the Business Analysis profession.

Defining a set of standards (the BABOK) provides the following benefits: Creates a shared understanding of business analysis so were all on the same pageIt defines the Business Analyst role and activities so we know what to do!It describes the techniques that a Business Analyst should be able to perform so we get the job done It describes the competencies that are required to be effective So we get the job done well4What Else is the BABOK?Its not just for software/application requirementsIts not a How-to Guide: its a discipline Its Methodology-neutralYou can use: PESTLE, HEPTALYSIS, MOST, SWOT, Five Whys, etc.Its scalable to all projects regardless of their size and complexityIts compatible with various Lifecycles: Iterative, Agile, Waterfall, etc.

5So you want to be certified? Certification Requirements:5 years (7,500 hours) of business analysis work in the last 10 yearsAcceptable activities include:Hands-on business analysis activities (as described in BABOK)Coaching or mentoring Business Analysts with respect to business analysis activities Development of an organizations business analysis methodology and/or best practices (coming up with new/better ways to do BA work)Development of business analysis training coursesDemonstrated experience and expertise in at least 4 of the 6 BABOK Knowledge Areas (well get to these)At least a high school diploma or equivalent21 hours of BA professional development in the last 4 years2 professional references (not your aunt Margaret)Dont you mean PMBOK?7Think of PMBOK as the Project Management version of BABOK.PMBOK main focus is on project parametersBABOK main focus is on the product parameters

Instead of focusing on knowledge areas, the PMBOK defines 5 main stages/processes involved in a project:InitiatingPlanningExecutingControllingClosing

When combined, the PMBOK and BABOK:Complement each other with standardized definitions and terms for PM and BA activitiesThis helps us all get along.Create local communities of PM and BA professionals to meet and discuss common experiencesProvide certification models that establish consistent best practices and industry standardsProvide a common understanding of knowledge and skills for PM and BA professions

Origins of PMBOK/BABOK8Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)First published in 1987 by the Project Management Institute (PMI)A framework that defines project management and related concepts, describes the project management life cycle, and outlines related processesWritten with Project Managers in mind PMP certification

Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK)First published in 2006 by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)A framework that describes Business Analysis areas of knowledge, their associated activities and tasks and the skills necessary to be effective in their executionWritten with Business Analysts in mind CBAP certification

Lets work TogetherStrong PMWeak PMStrong BAA roaring success, great balance between getting accurate and thorough requirements and moving project alongToo much time developing requirements, project falls behind schedule, scope creep often occurs

Weak BARequirements arent well constructed, some may be missed, rework needed late in the process, schedule and budget suffers

Project failure!PMs and BAs: Dynamic Duos9BAs Contribution to DeliveryBeing a Business Analyst requires multiple skills and to be truly successful, you need to look beyond whats in front of you and dig deeper. As a Business analyst expect to:

Influence scoping and prioritization of features, sprints, and storiesUnfold the architecture, requirements, & business rulesIdentify business opportunity and define the Business ArchitectureEnsure that the solution meets the requirementsCollaborate with business and technical SMEsManage requirements repositoryIdentify Product Risk

Effective Business AnalysisAn Effective BA will go beyond checking boxes. To be truly effective a BA will:Analyze & solve problems (meaning you need to dig in and research)Understand the business (do you really know how the company makes money from the project?)Communicate effectively (write & speak clearly) Manage customer/client relationshipsLead/Facilitate discussionsNegotiate & build consensus (from bottom up and top down)Prototype data & processesPlan & manage activitiesFacilitate & develop business strategy Understand & manage organizational changeInfluence joint planning at all levels

Lets Define a Few ThingsEach knowledge area describes the tasks performed by business analyst to accomplish the purpose of that knowledge area.

Whats a task?Formal or informal, universally applicable Necessary components of a given Knowledge AreaNot limited to one knowledge areaCreates a completed output that has value Becomes an input to another taskCan be completed numerous times for one projectHas consistently defined inputs and outputs

TechniquesHow about a Technique?Describes how tasks are performed under specific circumstances.A task may have none, one, or more related techniques.BABOK techniques cover the most common and widespread usesTechniques may evolve, change with timeMethodologyDetermines which tasks and techniques are used to solve a business problemGenerally affects all tasks performed in a projectBABOK acknowledges methodologies, but... Neither defines nor prescribes methodologies Typically owned by individual authors

Techniques: ModelsA few examples of TechniquesClass ModelCRUD matrix (access rights) Data dictionaryEntity relationship diagrams Process / Flow modelsUse casesMore...

Heres an ExampleYour Task: Conduct Requirement ElicitationPossible Techniques:Brainstorming: you knowanything goes idea generationRequirements Workshop: scoping, discovering, defining, prioritizingInterviewPrototyping: my favorite map it out; construct/create to show others how the product might functionThe Big Daddy DefinitionRequirement areA documented representation of a condition or capability that is either:needed by a stakeholder to solve a problem or achieve an objective.that must be met or possessed by a solution to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed documents.

Making A Shift Towards ExcellenceIf you want to do more, then start working on the following behaviors.Expand from facilitating and transferring to visioningDont just accept face value. Question facts until you can model them and gain consensus from all stakeholders.Link Analysis: How do the pieces fit together? Does this make sense?Empower your communication with collaborationRather than specialize, expand your sphere of knowledge.Move from managing change to embracing changeAbandon your space and be face-to-faceLeadership: Recognize the future and influence stakeholdersOrganize: Its not just the Project Managers responsibility to be organized. Youll never be successful if you cant stay on top of things.

Realize Your Opportunity For SuccessUnfold requirements iteratively by coupling with the implementation of the business and the technical designers make sure both groups see the same thingsLead as an Analyst. Assume no one else will pick up the pieces. You may be the only one trying to tying everything together. Leverage the power of prototyping. Create visual representations to ensure everyone is on the same page (process flows, maps, prototypes, etc).Business rules are pervasive seek them out, document them and re-check. Are there exceptions?Adapt how you organize and characterize the requirements. Businesses are a fluid beast during a storm its better to be in a boat than on a dock. Get out there and see which way the tides are flowing.Take on the Product perspective: Look at the business case, consider the consumer, and recognize how the output will be used.Four BA FundamentalsBasic SkillsAnalysis, business / domain / IT knowledge, Advanced SkillsMeeting management, presentation, decision-making, conflict, negotiation Leadership SkillsCoaching, motivating, interviewing Peripheral Skills (e.g. sales)Who is involved in Business Analysis?Knowledge Area OverviewRequirements Management and CommunicationFundamentalsId