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Enterprise Analysis: Process or Content?

In earlier posts, I have been reasoning that the IIBA and BABOK are on their way to defining a generally applicable framework for requirements management best practices, and that the BABOK 2.0 will be the first significant manifestation of the distinction between process (the requirements life cycle) and content (the nature, or domain, of the requirements being managed).

Viewing the requirements management life cycle in that way, however, requires us to scrutinize the way in which Enterprise Analysis (EA), as currently defined in the BABOK, fits in:

  • EA is content because it is carried out specifically in the domain of business planning and business strategy.
  • EA is process as well, because it is a crucial first step in the requirements life cycle.

The question becomes: is there an EA-like step in the requirements life cycle within other domains?  Let’s explore this question by considering another domain, that of enterprise e-learning infrastructure and delivery (there are many other domains we could choose as well).  From the business strategy point of view, this is a tactical and operational aspect of the enterprise.  But from the e-learning director’s point of view, there is, of course, strategy involved, addressing questions about workforce trends, globalization of the enterprise, the presence of electronic performance support practices, learning-related data privacy, and many others.

So the e-learning director must:

  • Create and maintain the e-learning architecture
  • Conduct feasibility studies of e-learning infrastructure and delivery solutions
  • Determine the scope of e-learning infrastructure and delivery projects
  • Authorize the initiation of those projects
  • Interface with the project team to manage the projects’ value, track benefits, manage change and risk, etc.

Hmmmm.  Looks a lot like BABOK’s Chapter 2: Enterprise Analysis.  Which is the point being made. “Enterprise” is the content.  “Analysis” is the process.  An e-learning director reading BABOK Chapter 2, while pretending the title was “E-Learning Infrastructure and Delivery Analysis” would get some great guidance.