Professionalizing Business Analysis

Breaking the Cycle of Challenged Projects
IIBA Greater Boston Chapter Meeting January 2008

1. The Problem with Projects 2. Enter the IIBA
• • • • • • • Exponential growth The BA Body Of Knowledge Certified BA Professional The BA Role: Past and Future Managing Projects for Value Benefits Implementation Considerations

1. Enter the Business Analyst

1. Emerge the BA CoE

1. Summary: Breaking the Cycle of Challenged Projects


The Problem with Projects
 Too large  Too complex  Take too long  Almost always involve a significant IT component  Constant pressure to deliver
– Faster – Better – Cheaper

 Riddled with risk
– Unproven technology – Outsourced, global teams – Enterprise-wide implementations


The Past – a Dismal Record

I.T. Projects in the United States, 2004 Survey *

Over Time or Budget: 53%

Succeeded: 29%


Failed: 18%
* Source: The Standish Group, 2004 Third Quarter Research Report


The Present – Still Troubling
I.T. Projects in the United States, 2006 Survey *

Over Time or Budget: 46%

Succeeded: 35%


Failed: 19%
* Source: The Standish Group, 2006 Chaos Report

Nearly ⅔ of all projects fail or run into trouble.


The Cost of Failure

$80-145 billion per year is spent on failed and cancelled projects
25%-40% of all spending on projects is wasted as a result of rework (Carnegie Mellon) 50% are rolled back out of production (Gartner) 40% of problems are found by end users (Gartner)
Source: surveys by the The Standish Group International

What Have We Learned About Project Failure?
 Projects are too big and too complex
– Big projects fail more often

 Projects are not iterative
– Traditional PM has higher failure rates – Adaptive PM methods are emerging

 Requirements are ambiguous
– 60%-80% of project failures attributed directly to requirements

 Business involvement inadequate  Business alignment questionable  Business value not the focus


21st Century Projects
 Virtually all organizations of any size are investing in large-scale transformation of one kind or another  Contemporary projects are about adding value to the organization through:
– Breakthrough ideas – Optimizing business processes – Using information technology (IT) as a competitive advantage

“I think the 21st century will be the century of complexity.”
Professor Stephen W. Hawking, PhD


Why so Much Complexity?
 Initiatives are often spawned by:
– – – – – – – – – – Mergers or acquisitions New strategies Global competition Emergence of new technologies The need to drive waste out of the business Organizational restructuring New partnerships Cultural transformation Downsizing or right-sizing Enabling IT systems

 Most changes accompanied by:

 Others implement new lines of business and new ways of doing business (e.g., e-business)

The Nature of Project Complexity
Complexity Dimensions Project Profile for Business Transformation Projects Independent < 3 months < $250K 3 – 4 team members Moderately Complex 3 – 6 months $250K – $750K 5 – 10 team members Highly Complex > 6 months > $750K > 10 team members Complex, interdependent team structure, e.g., contractor teams, virtual teams, culturally diverse teams, outsourced teams. Team have not worked together in the past. Urgent need; Aggressive schedule; Deadline is fixed and cannot be changed; schedule, budget, scope, and quality have no flexibility Both problem and solution are difficult to define or understand, the solution is difficult to achieve and likely to be using unproven, interdependent, complex technologies; IT highly complex

Project Size Team Size

Team Team staffed internally; Team staffed with some Composition experienced leadership experienced internal and some external resources

Competing Demands

Schedule, budget and scope are flexible

Schedule, budget, scope can undergo minor variations, but deadlines are firm Either the problem is difficult to understand, the solution is unclear or difficult to achieve, or the technology is new to the organization; moderate IT complexity

Problem / Easily understood Solution Clarity problem and solution; solution is readily achievable using existing technologies; IT complexity low

*Source: The Standish Group International


Project Complexity, continued
Complexity Dimensions Independent Stability of Requirements Requirements understood, straightforward, stable Project Profile for Business Transformation Projects Moderately Complex Highly Complex

Requirements understood, Requirements are poorly understood, but are expected to change interrelated and largely undefined

Strategic Importance Political Implications Multiple Stakeholders

No political implications Some direct mission impact, Affects the core mission and has major minor political implications, political implications; is visible at highest 2-3 stakeholder groups levels of the organization, there are multiple stakeholder groups with conflicting expectations and interrelationships Impacts 2-3 business units, Aggressive scope. Large-scale moderately large scope organizational change that has impacts across the enterprise; spans functional groups or agencies; shifts or transforms the organization

Level of Change Impacts a single business unit; scope minimized


The New Project Leaders are Strategy Executors
 In the past, PMs were primarily implementers of solutions
– Narrow orientation focused on technical implementations – Skills narrow focused on budget, schedule, specs

 Role undergoing major transformation due to new business realities
– Effective project management tantamount to effective business management – Skills broadened, encompassing all aspects of business management

 Business Analyst role professionalizing  Project leadership teams emerging


How Well Do We Execute Strategy?
 Studies indicate that less than 10% of strategies successfully formulated are effectively executed
– 85% of executives spend less than one hour per month on strategy – 95% of the workforce don’t understand their organization’s strategy – 60% of organizations do not link strategies to the budget – 70% of organizations do not link strategies to incentives

Source: David Norton, Project Balanced Scorecards – a Tool for Alignment, Teamwork and Results. ProjectWorld & The World Congress for Business Analysts Conference Proceedings, November 2005


How Does It Work?
Str ate gic G

oa ls

Business Business Case Case

Project Project Performance Performance


Enter The IIBA (


Critical IIBA Information
 Vision
– To be the world’s leading organization for business analysis professionals

 Mission
– To develop standards for the practice of business analysis and for the certification of its practitioners

 History
– – – – Inaugural meeting October 2003 First Annual General Meeting, March 2004 Draft of version 1.4 of the BOK, October 2005, 1.6, July 2006 Version 2.0 available to the membership by February 2008



IIBA Body of Knowledge
Knowledge Areas
Requirements Planning & Management Enterprise Analysis Requirements Elicitation

Requirements Analysis & Documentation Fundamentals

Requirements Communications

Solution Assessment & Validation

NOT a methodology and does not prescribe or favor a methodology NOT a “how to do” manual; focuses on the “what” and offers generally accepted techniques for consideration


How Far We Have Come…
 Worldwide Membership – 6500  Chapters – 80  Countries – 60  CBAPs – 200  BA World and World Congress of Business Analysis



Enter the Professional Business Analyst
 Those organizations that are first to acquire and master Business Analysis competencies, and elevate them to a leadership role, will
– – – – React to and pre-empt changes in the marketplace Align projects to business strategies Flow value through the enterprise to the customer Achieve competitive advantage


Typical Business Analyst
 40 years old  Well educated  Paid $78K per year  Hails from IT  More than 5 years experience performing BA functions
– 36% > 10 years

 Analysis skills acquired on the job  Disturbingly, they report
– Most of their projects do not deliver all requirements
Source: The New Business Analyst: A Strategic Role in the Enterprise, November 2006 Evans Data Corporation Research Study

Ambiguity in the BA Role
Business Analysis Project Management 29.3% 18.7%

Developer, Engineer, Development Lead 15.4% Subject Matter Expert, Domain Expert Tester, Test Lead Other 13.5% 10.1% 13.0%

Conclusion: there is a need for Business Analyst competency and career

path definition

Source: The New Business Analyst: A Strategic Role in the Enterprise, November 2006 Evans Data Corporation Research Study


Business Analyst Career Path

Ability to perform strategic tasks with minimal direction



Strategic Planning Business & IT Strategy Enterprise Analysis Program and Portfolio Mgt. Mentoring Systems Engineering, BPR, Six Sigma Enterprise Architecture Business Case Development Elicit, Analyze, Specify, Validate, Manage Requirements Elicit, Analyze, Specify, Validate, Manage Requirements Scribe Simple models Help Desk support Business & IT Domains Project & Program Mgt. Systems Engineering, BPR, Six Sigma Requirements Engineering Business &/or IT Domain Project Management BPR, Six Sigma Workshop Facilitation Requirements Modeling PM/BA Principles BPR, Six Sigma Principles Business Writing


Ability to perform complex tasks with minimal coaching


Ability to perform simple-to-moderately complex tasks with minimal assistance Ability to perform simple tasks with assistance


Alternative Business Analyst Career Path
Typical Deliverables Associate Business Analyst • Trouble ticket resolution • Defect tracking • Requirements for maintenance and enhancement Business Analyst Senior Business Analyst • Business Case Requirements: • • Client Planning • Elicitation Presentations • • Client Proposals Analysis • Documentation • Client Coaching • • Mentoring V&V • • • • Business Consultant Feasibility Studies New business opportunity analysis Business Case Portfolio analysis

Typical Scope of Responsibility

• •

Production Support Small maintenance projects

1-3 low-risk projects 1 significant, high-risk • • within a business unit project / program across the enterprise •

Strategic planning Pre-project business analysis Portfolio management

Minimum Experience Certification Professional Affiliation

1 year

3 years

7 years

10 years Internal Certification PMI & IIBA member IIBA PMI chapter 23 officer

Masters Certificate in CBAP Certification BA PMP Certification PMI & IIBA member PMI & IIBA member PMI & IIBA member IIBA chapter committee

Staffing Surveys Reveal Increasing Demand for Senior BAs Who are Multi-Skilled
• • Systems engineering concepts and principles Complex modeling techniques •

Fundamentals of business analysis •

Business process improvement and reengineering •

Fundamentals of project management Capacity to articulate vision

Ability to conceptualize • and think creatively Techniques to plan, document, analyze, trace and manage requirements Requirements risk assessment and management •

Strategic and business • planning Communication of business concepts to technical audiences Business outcome thinking Business writing •

• Communication of technical concepts to non-technical audiences Testing, verification, and • validation Technical writing •

Organizational change management; management of power and politics Problem solving, negotiation, and decision-making Team management, leadership, mentoring, and facilitation Authenticity, ethics, and integrity Customer relationship management

• Administrative, analytical, and reporting skills Cost / benefit analysis •

• •

Rapid prototyping Technical domain knowledge

• •

Business case development Business domain knowledge

• •

Time management and • personal organization


Business Analyst Organizational Placement
Level Strategic Organizational Placement Part of an enterprise-wide PMO or center of excellence with a strategic focus Working on pre-project analysis, serving as BA for strategic initiatives, and managing projects for value • • In IT (67%)
• • The business may not take ownership of problems Difficult for BAs to feel like a “community of practice” and hard to manage BA standards and improvements


In BU (10.8%)

Intermediate Junior

Usually placed in IT Usually placed in IT


BA Role - The Past

Requirements Phase




Validation and Documentation


BA Role – The Future A Critical Role Throughout the Project Life Cycle
Study Period Strategic Planning Implementation Period

Enterprise Requirements Design Analysis

Implementation Period (continued) Construction Test

Operations Period

Operations Deliver and Deactivate Maintenance


Business Analyst Role Study Period
 The executive team cannot affect the transition to a strategy-focused organization alone  Information, process, tools and facilitation are provided by the Business Analyst to enable the organization to shift focus and activities to be strategy driven  Conduct analysis to inform the portfolio planning team
1. Create and maintain the business architecture 2. Conduct feasibility studies to determine optimal solution 3. Prepare the business case


Business Analyst Role Implementation Period
1. Planning Business Analysis activities 2. Requirements elicitation 3. Requirements analysis 4. Requirements specification 5. Requirements validation & verification 6. Requirements allocation and tracing 7. Requirements change management 8. Organizational change management


Business Analyst Role – Managing the Business Value
1. During the project life cycle
– Once projects are funded, they must be managed throughout the project life cycle to ensure that the business case remains valid and continued investment in the project is still warranted

1. After solution delivery
– Once the project delivers the new business solution, the Business Analyst ensures organizational measurements are in place: – Actual benefits that are achieved vs. – Benefits promised in the business case

1. For solution enhancements

Business Solution Value
Value = Benefits – Costs to Develop, Operate and Retire

Project Costs

Business Value


Cost to Develop, Operate and Retire the Solution

Where do Exceptional Business Analysts Come From?
 As with any leadership role, competency comes from:
– Acquiring education and training – Seeking mentoring and coaching – Leveraging organizational support – Setting up communities of practice – Jumping in headfirst to learn the discipline


Emerge the BACoE
 Those organizations that are first to acquire and master Business Analysis competencies, and elevate them to a leadership role, will:
– – – – React to and pre-empt changes in the marketplace Align projects to business strategies Flow value through the enterprise to the customer Achieve a competitive advantage


Benefits of CoEs
 Deliver strategic projects more effectively
– Accuracy of cost estimates improved 25% – Accuracy of schedule estimates improved 31% – Project stakeholder satisfaction improved 9%

 Boosts productivity by ensuring priority projects get the most attention
– Complete more projects on time and within budget with fewer resources – Allocate majority of resources to highest priority projects – Saved more than $3 million by reducing the number of small projects from 233 to 13 – Deliver a return in three to six months

Source: Santosus, Megan. “Office Discipline: Why You Need a Project Management Office.” CIO Magazine, Jul. 1, 2003.

Increase in Value Over Time
The Longer You Have Them, The Better They Work

Source: “PMOs: The Longer You Have Them, The Better They Work,” CIO Magazine, Jul. 1, 2003. <> (30 November 2004). CIO/PMI survey

CoE Implementation Considerations
1. Scope of disciplines: PM, BA, SE, IT, QA 2. Organizational alignment and positioning 3. Organizational maturity 4. Implementation approach 5. Focus on value


CoE Functions
C oE F unctions


Professional D evelopm ent


F ull Cycle Governance

- Practices and m ethodologies - T ools - Perform ance m etrics - Know ledge m anagement - Perform ance reporting - C ontinuous improvements

- Skill assessm ents - Education and training - M entoring and OT J training - T eam building - C areer Path : position descriptionsgrades , , com petencies and skill requirem ents

- C om petitive analysis - Business architecture - F easibility studies - Business case - Project investment decision package Staff augm entation : - BAs s /PM - R equirements analysts - V&V specialists - W orkshop facilitators

- Business program analysis - Strategic project resources - Portfolio management process support and facilitation - Benefits management


CoE Maturity Model

P h a se I

P h a se 2

P h a se 3

Project C entric
L im ited In flu en ce

D epartm ent Focus

Strategic Asset
S trateg ic In flu en ce


BA CoE Implementation

Implementation Steps

Visioning& C oncept Definition

Organizational and Implementation Planning Individual A ssessments

Form BA C oE Team s

Vision and mission Executive sponsor Guidance(steering team ) Business case Political management strategy Approval to staff BACoE planning team

Organizational readiness assessment Maturity assessment Individual business analysts knowledge and skill assessment

Kick-off Workshop Charter : - Strategic alignment - Scope - Authority - Services - Organization - Budget

Standard PracticesTools , , Metrics Education& Training Consulting Services


Demonstrate Value
 CoEs must deliver value to survive
– Value is not templates, tools, methodology, processes, training; these are means to driving value – Value is gaining efficiencies, achieving cost savings, increasing customer satisfaction, reducing time-to-market, increasing revenue and profit, reducing deficits, or increasing competitive advantage

 Too many CoEs wrap their mission and existence around the services they provide instead of their impact on the business  Executives buy value
Source: 40

Start Small – Transition to Complex Projects

More Complex Large Significant Risk Medium Moderate Risk Small Low Risk


Highly Complex Project

• Group of Related

Moderately Complex Project

• > 6 Mos.

Projects of Varying Complexity

Independent Project

• 3-6 Mos.

• < 3 Mos.

< $250K • 3-4 Team Members • One Business Unit • Clear Problem/Solution

$250K-$750K • 4-10 Team Members • Schedule Flexibility • Some Problem/Solution Ambiguity • Clear Requirements • > 1 Business Unit

> $750K • > 10 Team Members • Firm Deadlines • Complex Team Structure • Unclear Problem/Solution • Undefined Requirements • Unproven Technology • Large-scale Organizational Change

Project Complexity Model


Focus on BA Maturity CompassBATM Maturity Model
Continuous Improvement

Strategic/ Enterprise Focus

Organizational BA practices: •Continuous BA process & tool improvement •Maturity assmt. •Requirement defect prevention Individual BA practices: •Knowledge & skill assmt. •Professional development plans

Organizational Focus

•BA Center of Excellence •Business architecture •Feasibility studies •Business cases •Portfolio mgmt. •Resource mgmt. •Benefits mgmt. •Quantitative BA process mgmt. •Requirement defect tracking

3 Integrated
Project Centric

2 Documented
Ad Hoc

Requirements: •Communication •Traceability •Risk Mgmt Solution quality: •Allocation •Assessment •Verification & validation •Deployment strategy •Org. deployment readiness Defined, integrated BA: •Standards & tools •Training program

1 Initial
•Informal, inconsistent processes •Unstable environment •Most projects do not deliver all requirements

Requirements: •Planning •Elicitation •Analysis •Specification •Prioritization •Validation •Change Mgmt.


Expect Challenges

 PMs and BAs applaud their increased control
– But loathe the accountability

 Managers delight in the visibility into project progress
– But scoff at the added level of communication needed to get things done

 Executives like the deliberate assignment of responsibilities
– But balk at the investment necessary to support a central resource
Source: Dr. Donn Di Nunno CCP, CDP, IT ‘Owes’ Much to PMOs. 2005 Engineering, Management & Integration, Inc


Breaking the Cycle of Challenged Projects
 Core project leadership team  Collaboration vs. control  Iterative, adaptive solution development  BA maturity  Interdisciplinary CoE  Complexity management  Project Benefits/value management

Combining Disciplines Leads to Success
 An elevated role for the Business Analyst  A great team: core team leadership
– – – – Business analyst Project manager Business visionary System architect/lead developer

 Each taking the lead depending on the project needs  Determined to break the cycle of challenged projects


Traditional Project Team
Business Sponsor
Business Team & End-users Development Team

Business Visionary

Team Leads

Project Manager

IT Architecture Team

Test Manager Business Analyst
Test Team


Core Project Leadership Team
Business Sponsor Team Leads
Development Team

Business Team & End-users

Business Visionary Project Manager Architect Business Analyst

Test Manager

Test Team

IT Architecture Team



Structure Projects to Reduce Risk and Complexity
Follow the Recipe For Project Success
Ingredients: Mix with: Minimized scope, communications, software standards Full-time core team - business analyst, project manager, business visionary, lead architect/developer, coached by an involved project sponsor • No longer than six months • No more than six people • No more than $750,000
Source: The Standish Group International


Q and A
For Further Information: Kathleen B. (Kitty) Hass, PMP Project Management and Business Analysis Practice Leader


Tim e
uir em en ts Se Co rvi c Se rvic eL eC n f ig Ca p Av ac ev

Re q el on ura ity aila b Co st Ch An a n g e dR ele a p lo ym en t ility t. tio n

Breadt h

De s ig n

Co ns tru ctio n

IT Operations – ITSM/ITIL/COBIT IT App Dev – CMMI / Agile / Iterations


Te st


Inc id e an d P nt r ob le m Mo nit or i ng Op era an d t io n s Ma in t en an ce

Combining Disciplines Leads to Success

IIBA Definitions
 Business Analysis
– The set of tasks, knowledge, and techniques required to identify business needs and determine solutions to business problems

 Business Analyst
– Identify the business needs and help determine solutions to business problems – Responsible for requirements development and requirements management


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