Monday, January 20, 2014

Business Analysis Approach (BA Planning & Monitoring)

Related with previous business analysis overview, today I post about the second chapter of BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) : "Business Analysis Planning & Monitoring". It is really inspiring, you can learn so much knowledge from this book. The Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area defines the tasks associated with the planning and monitoring of business analysis activities, including:
  • Identifying stakeholders.
  • Defining roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the business analysis effort.
  • Developing estimates for business analysis tasks.
  • Planning how the BA will communicate with stakeholders.
  • Planning how requirements will be approached, traced, and prioritized.
  • Determining the deliverables that the BA will produce.
  • Defining and determining business analysis processes.
  • Determining the metrics that will be used for monitoring business analysis work.

2.1 Plan Business Analysis Approach

Approach to performing business analysis, which stakeholders need to be involved in the decision, will be consulted regarding and informed of the approach, and the rationale for using it.

BA approaches describe the overall process that will be followed to perform BA work on a given initiative, how and when tasks will be performed, the techniques that will be used, and the deliverables that should be produced.

In order to plan the BA approach, the BA must understand the organizational process needs and objectives that apply to the initiative.

In many cases, organizations will have formal or informal standards in place regarding how business analysis is done and how it fits into project and other activities.

If no standards exists, the BA works with the appropriate stakeholders to determine how the work will be completed.

Business Need : The business analysis approach will be shaped by the problem or opportunity faced by the organization.

Expert Judgment : Used to determine the optimal business analysis approach.

Organizational Process Assets : Include the elements of  existing business analysis approaches in use by the organization.

Plan Driven : Approach focus on minimizing-up-front uncertainty and ensuring that the solution is fully defined before implementation begins in order to maximize control and minimize risk. The project sponsor will have the final authority to approve solution requirements, but it is common for sponsors to insist that other stakeholders grant their approval before the sponsor will. #WaterfallMethods

Change Driven : Approaches focus on rapid delivery of business value in short iterations in return for acceptance of a higher degree of uncertainty regrading the overall delivery of the solution. These approaches tend to be preferred when taking an exploratory approach to finding the best solution or for incremental improvement of an existing solution. #AgileMethods

1. Timing of Business Work
Plan driven approaches have most business analysis work occur at the beginning of the project or during one specific project phase.

Change driven approaches may have a business analysis effort conducted vary to produce an initial list of high-level requirements. This product backlog is then updated throughout the project as new requirements emerge. Throughout the project, these requirements will be prioritized and re-prioritized based on the business need.

2. Formality And Level of Detail of Business Analysis Deliverables
Plan driven approaches typically call for a significant amount of formality and detail. Requirements are captured in a formal document or set of documents which follow standardized template. The specific content and format of the requirements documents can vary depending on the organizational methodologies, processes and templates.

Change driven approaches favor defining requirements through team interaction and through gathering feedback on a working solution. Mandatory requirements documentation is often limited to a prioritized requirements list. Formal documentation is often produced after the solution is implemented to facilitate knowledge transfer.

3. Requirements Prioritization
Determine how requirements will be prioritized and how those priorities will be used to define the solution scope.

4. Change Management
Changes to requirements may occur at any time. Effective business analysis practices can significantly reduce the amount of change required in a stable business environment but cannot eliminate it entirely.

Plan driven approaches seek to ensure that changes only occur when they are genuinely necessary and can be clearly justified. Each change is often handled as a “mini project,” complete with requirements elicitation,, estimates, design. Changed requirements impact both solution scope and the project scope and the change management process will be incorporated into the overall  project management process.

Change driven approaches presume that it is difficult to identify all requirements in advance of their implementation. Changes to existing solution capabilities are simply prioritized and selected for an iteration using the same criteria as new features and capabilities.

5. Business Analysis Planning Process
The BA must determine the process that will be followed to plan the execution of businesses analysis activities. In most cases, this process will be integrated into a larger project plan.

6. Communication With Stakeholders
Communication may be written or verbal, formal or informal. Decisions must be made at the outset of the project as to the applicability of such communications technologies such email with regards to project decision-making and approval of deliverables.

Plan driven approaches tend to rely on formal communication methods. Much of the communication of the actual requirements is in writing, and often uses pre-defined forms requiring signatory approvals. All project documentation is normally archived as parts of the project history.

Change driven approaches focus more on frequency of communication than on formal documentation. Official documentation is often in writing, but informal communication takes precedence over more formal written communication. Documentation frequently occurs following implementation.

7. Requirements Analysis and Management Tools
The BA must identify any requirements analysis or management tools that will be used.

8. Project Complexity
The complexity of the project, the nature of the deliverables, and the overall risk to the business needs to be taken into consideration. The factors listed below increase the complexity of business analysis efforts as they increase :
  • Number of stakeholders   
  • Number of business areas affected   
  • Number of business systems affected   
  • Amount and nature of risk   
  • Uniqueness of requirements   
  • Number of technical resources required
  • Decision Analysis (9.8) : May be used to rate available methodologies against the organizational needs and objectives.
  • Process Modeling (9.21) : Process Models can be used to define and document the business analysis approach.
  • Structured Walkthrough (9.30) : This can be used as a means of validating a created, selected, or tailored business analysis approach.
  • Customer, Domain SME, End User or Supplier : The approach taken may depend on their availability and involvement with the initiative.
  • Implementation SME : The business analysis approach taken should be compatible with the implementation lifecycle used by the implementation team.
  • Project Manager : The project manager must ensure that the business analysis approach is compatible with other project activities.
  • Tester : The business analysis approach must facilitate appropriate testing activities.
  • Regulator : Aspect of the approach or decisions made in the tailoring process may require approval.
  • Sponsor : Th approach taken may depend on their availability and involvement with the initiative.
A business analysis approach may specify team roles, deliverables, analysis techniques, the timing and frequency of stakeholder interactions, and other elements of the business analysis process. A methodology is a formalized and repeatable business analysis approach. It includes a decision about which organizational process assets will be applied and any decisions made regarding tailoring of the process for a specific situation.

Next : Stakeholder Analysis

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