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Tag: Enterprise

More Business Analysis Trends to Look for in 2009

The last Business Analyst Times of 2008, reviewed some of the important trends to look for in business analysis, or requirements management and development (RMD) in 2009. A global panel of experts from ESI International has its predictions about trends that will impact business analysis this year. These trends, listed below, acknowledge the growing importance of business analysis as a strategic, cross‑enterprise discipline, essential to the success of systems development, process improvement and change, especially in today’s volatile economic environment.

Better Sight for Strategic Enterprise Analysis

As businesses work to ensure short-term viability as well as long-term security, the critical thinking, elicitation and assessments skills of  BA professionals will play an increasingly important role in helping senior management see across the enterprise to deliver more accurate strategic analysis.

The Rise of the Center of Excellence

The need to demonstrate the value of business analysis while increasing efficiencies will result in more organizations establishing centers of excellence.  Centers will increasingly be valued for setting methodologies and standards that enable consistent sight across the full breadth of the enterprise.

Increasing Role in Successful Change Management

As businesses retrench and react to the unpredictable economic environment, well-executed change management will help ensure that decisions made are delivered as planned.  Essential to that success will be BA expertise in helping organizations thoroughly understand and document the change criteria and their cultural and economic impact.

Proving the Value of RMD

Smart businesses will be looking to contain costs across all areas in 2009.  It will be incumbent on BA professionals to effectively measure the value of business analysis and demonstrate its ROI to justify continued support.

The Role of the RMD will Elevate Above the Project

The combination of greater organizational reliance on RMD to ensure enterprise-level success and the increasing value of RMD experience and expertise will result in RMD stepping up to greater roles at the program and portfolio levels.

BA Experts will be Prized Members of Service-Oriented Architecture Project Teams

As enterprise-wide solutions become imperative for cost containment and other efficiencies, BA professionals will be prized on project teams for their ability to see across the enterprise as well as for their change management skills.

Strengthened Collaboration of Business Analysis and Project Management for Best Practices

Projects will continue to become more complex and more expensive.  Collaboration between business analysts and project managers will play an increasingly important role in ensuring that projects meet organizational needs and deliver promised ROI.

Growth of the Business Analyst Leadership Gap

As businesses increase their reliance on business analysis to drive change, help contain costs, ensure project success and gain accurate enterprise-wide insight, senior management will recognize the need to grow more BA leaders. Organizations will place greater emphasis on business analysis-specific career tracks, professional development and certification to close the gap.

Higher Value of High-Impact Communications

Driven by a need to make faster, more cost-effective business decisions, the often background skill of effectively facilitating diverse groups to achieve consensus through high-impact communications will be moved to the fore as a key business analysis role.

BA will Facilitate Greater Use of the Agile Software Development Methodology

As organizations look to continuously become more streamlined and cost-effective, Agile development will be increasingly viewed as a key solution. Business analysis will be valued for its ability to increase understanding of pre-planning activities and the ability to validate information early, supporting successful use of Agile for streamlining and cost-containment.

Glenn R. Brûlé, director of client solutions for ESI International, has more than 18 years experience in many facets of business, including project management, business analysis, software design and facilitation. At ESI, he is responsible for supporting a global team of business consultants working with Fortune 1000 organizations.

Enterprise Requirements Alignment: The Top Three Challenges

1. Change Management as an enterprise core competency. Consider any particular requirement. At any point in time, one of the following is true:

  1. The requirement is valid but not being met – in which case some aspect of the solution must be changed. 
  2. The requirement is not valid (even if it used to be) – subjecting it to further iterations of the requirements life cycle and corresponding changes to the underlying solution 
  3. The requirement is being met and will remain valid for the foreseeable future – in which case attention will turn to changes to the solution for increased efficiencies. (This means, by the way, that even the “as is” operational elements of an enterprise are as subject to change as the transformational elements.

    In other words, if the requirement is not being met, change is necessary. And if the requirement is being met, change is necessary. Earlier posts to this blog have said plenty about the position that everyone in an enterprise is carrying out requirements management within their respective domains. But what is requirements management but a specific form of change management?

2. Financial Fluency as an enterprise core competency. It is easy to construe scenarios in which the failure of even a single small-scope technical component of an IT based business solution can totally eliminate the solution’s business case. That means that senior management’s view of the solution’s status throughout the life cycle would ideally assimilate the status of that component, requiring the component’s owner to be able to express status in senior management terms of cost, risks, and trend. In other words, each contributor to a solution needs to be financially fluent within his or her domain. And, every time a change must be accommodated, contributors to the solution must reflect how that change impacts the financial picture for their own contributions.

3. The Business Analysis Center of Excellence (BACOE). Enterprise-wide consistency in managing changes to requirements and solutions, along with consistency in measuring, monitoring, and status reporting across, up and down the enterprise requirements hierarchy, demands an enterprise-level entity. This would serve to define and drive the implementation and continuous improvement of best practices in change management and financial management.

You might notice that I have not included in the top three the selection of a tool to underpin enterprise-wide change, requirements, and financial management. Tools are easy. The real challenge is driving the enterprise culture to the point where an understanding of one’s job in terms of requirements management, change management, and financial management is second nature.

Terry Longo has more than 25 years of IT experience, including software development, system and network administration, and instructing, as well as being responsible for the requirements, project management, and delivery aspects of complex training solutions. He currently holds the IT Service Manager ITIL and is responsible for HP Education’s ITIL, Project Management and Business Analysis curriculums in the US. Terry can be reached through or at [email protected]

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.