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. http://www.esi-intl.com/.