Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Business Analysis Performance (BA Planning & Monitoring)

At last we arrive at the end of chapter2. After a long sub-chapter about approach, stakeholder, activities, communications, requirements and now the last is performance. We as a BA  must ensure all activities are executed correctly and efficiently. Managing performance is also helpful for review and improve business analysis performance. Let's learn more from BABOK about the this performance of business analysis.

2.6 Manage Business Analysis Performance

To manage the performance of business analysis activities to ensure that they are executed as effectively as possible.

This tasks covers determining which metrics will be used to measure the work performed by the BA. It includes how to track, assess, and report on the quality of the work and take steps to correct any problems that may arise.

Business Analysis Performance Metrics : Actual performance measures are captured, analyzed, and become the basis for taking corrective or preventive action. Capturing actual performance metrics is a process that occurs through the business analysis effort and is implicitly a potential output from every business analysis task.

Business Analysis Plan(s) : These plans describe deliverables, activities, tasks, and estimates for all business analysis work. Conformance to these plans may be the primary metric used to judge performance.

Organizational Performance Standards : May include mandated performance metrics or expectations for business analysis work.

Requirements Management Plan : The requirements management plan may also set expectations for the frequency of changes to requirements and the work involved in managing that change.

1. Performance Measures
Performance measures are used to set expectations regarding what constitutes effective business analysis work in the context of a particular organization or initiative. Performance measures may be based on deliverable due dates as specified in the business analysis plan, metrics such as the frequency of changes to requirements or the number of review cycles required, or qualitative feedback from stakeholders and peers of the BA. Appropriate performance measures should enable the BA to determine when problems are occurring that may affect the performance of business analysis or other activities, or identify opportunities for improvement.

2. Performance Reporting
Reports can be in written format to provide for archival and tracking, or they can be informal and verbal, based on the needs of the project. Some reports may be made formally and orally as presentations to various levels of stakeholders and management.

3. Preventive And Corrective Action
The BA should assess the performance measures to determine where problems in executing business analysis activities are occurring or opportunities for improving the business analysis process exists. Once this assessment is complete the BA should engage the necessary stakeholders to identify the correct preventive or corrective actions. Preventive or corrective actions is likely to result in change to the business analyst plan.

1. General Techniques

Interviews (9.14) : Stakeholders may be interviewed to gather assessments of business analysis performance.

Lessons Learned Process (9.15) : Helps identify changes to business analysis processes and deliverables that can be incorporated into future work.

Metric and Key Performance Indicators (9.16) : Can be used to determine what metrics are appropriate for assessing business analysis performance and how they may be tracked.

Problem Tracking (9.20) :
May be used to track issues that occur during performance of business analysis for later resolution.

Process Modeling (9.21) : Can be used to define business analysis processes and understand how to improve those processes to reduce problems from handoffs, improve cycle times, or alter how business analysis work is performed to support improvements in downstream processes.

Root Cause Analysis (9.25) : Can be help identify the underlying cause of failures or difficulties in accomplishing business analysis work.

Survey/ Questionnaire (9.31) : Can be used to gather feedback from a large number of stakeholders.

2. Variance Analysis
The purpose of this technique is to analyze discrepancies between planned and actual performance, determine the magnitude of those discrepancies, and recommend corrective and preventive action as required. Variances can be related to planned versus actual estimates, cost, scope, product expectations, or any measure that have been established during the planning process.

Domain SME and End User : Should be informed of the performance of business analysis activities in order to set expectations for their involvement.

Implementation SME, Operational Support, and Test : Dependent on the effective performance of business analysis activities to perform their role. Should be consulted when assessing those activities.

Project Manager : The project manager is accountable for the success of a project and must be kept informed of the current status of business analysis work.

Sponsor : May require reports on business analysis performance to address problem as they are identified. A manager of BA may also sponsor initiatives to improve the performance of business analysis activities.

Business Analysis Performance Assessment : This include a comparison of planned versus actual performance, understanding the root cause of variances from the plan, and other information to help understand the level of effort required to complete business analysis work.

Business Analysis Process Assets : When the analysis of the performance of the business analysis work yields less than satisfactory result, it is helpful to review not only the result themselves, but also the process that produced those result. This process analysis often result in recommendations for improvement to the business analysis process. The revised process and templates for business analysis deliverables should be analyzed and documented and lessons learned should be recorded. These may be incorporated into Organizational Process Assets.

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