Mature BA Practices
To steer the course, we once again make use of a model, the BA Practice Maturity Model (Exhibit 2). As you can see, the model is in strict alignment with the BA Individual and Workforce Capability Model introduced previously.
The maturity levels of the BA Practice Maturity Model are described below (Exhibit 3).
Exhibit 3: BA Maturity Model Description
The Daunting Road Ahead
As you can see in Exhibit 4, there are many elements that need to be in place to implement a mature BA Practice. So, it begs the question: how are we every going to get there, and how fast can we get there?
Cultivating Mature BA Practices
A BA Practice Maturity Assessment Process and Practice Improvement Program are essential tools used to build a mature BA Practice. Together, they provide validated, accurate information about the current state of BA practices, accompanied by recommendations for improvement and support along the journey. In addition, the assessment determines the readiness of the organization to accept and support the new BA practices and formation of a BA Center of Excellence to plant the seeds and steer the course. Specifically, the assessments:
- Measure the ability of your organization to repeatedly deliver new business solutions that meet the business need and result in the expected benefits
- Provide a foundation and guidance for advancement of practices through prioritized, sequential improvements
- Provide an indicator of how effective your organization is in meeting business objectives and executing strategy through successful implementation of new business solutions
BA Practice Maturity Assessment
- What is it?
- An independent appraisal of organizational practices
- Why do it?
- Provides a foundation for advancement
- How is it used?
- Determines where we are today; where we want to be in the future
- How is it conducted?
- Uses an appraisal process based on assessment best practices
- BA practices assessed against what?
- Current capabilities are compared to a BA Practice Maturity Model based on BA industry best practices
The scope of the assessment needs to be broad, encompassing the following components:
- BABOK® Standards: BA Planning & Monitoring, Elicitation, Requirements Management, Enterprise Analysis, etc.
- BA Metrics
- BA Tools
- Knowledge Management
- BA Practice Support & Governance
- Change Management
- BA Competency & Career Management
- BA Training & Support
- Project Selection & Prioritization
- Customer Relationship Management
- BA Center of Excellence Effectiveness
The approach to conducting an organizational maturity assessment can be formal or informal. In either case, it is multi-dimensional, and includes planning meetings culminating in a kick-off session, administration of an assessment instrument, review of project artifacts and deliverables, accompanied by a series of interviews and focus group sessions. Information is synthesized, organized, validated and documented in a data summary report and an assessment findings and recommendations report containing a two-year roadmap and action plan for immediate next steps.
Formal or Informal Assessments
The BA Practice Maturity Model can be used as the basis for several types of assessments as described in the table below (Exhibit 5). Depending on how far you have come in your journey to cultivate mature BA practices, we recommend the most appropriate evaluation of your BA Practice.