Leading and Running a BA Practice - European BA Conference

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Dave Baskerville and Richard Patricks presentation on building and leading BA COPs.

If you have more than one Business Analyst within your organisation, forming a BA practice is a great way of creating a team ethos, ensuring the quality of BA deliverables and sharing best practice.

This presentation will show how a large financial institution, ensures their Business Analysts remain passionate about their employer, deliver top quality results and have great job satisfaction.

The presentation will include:

•The challenges of running a BA practice
•Ideas and solutions to overcome challenges
•An opportunity to discuss and share your own experiences and ideas
•Real-life examples of successful (and some of the not quite so successful!) initiatives.
No matter how big or small your BA community, you will take away some thoughts or ideas about what you could do to improve it.

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Leading and Running a BA Practice - European BA Conference

  1. 1. Leading & Running a BA Practice David Baskerville Richard Patrick
  2. 2. Leading & Running a BA Practice  A walkthrough of our old BA structure and the challenges it created  How the creation of a BA practice helped us to overcome these challenges  Success stories and ideas to takeaway  An opportunity to share your own experiences and ideas
  3. 3. Rich to complete….. What Is The Role of a BA & What Tasks Should They Undertake?  Main focus is on Business Requirements  Business Requirements & Designs  Business Requirements, Designs & Testing…..  Absolutely anything and everything the Project Manager wants us to do! The next few slides will show why it felt that way for us… Across different teams / companies, there are often conflicting views on what a BA is responsible for………
  4. 4. What Was Life Like Before The BA Practice ?…
  5. 5. Life Before The BA Practice… Structure • Head of Business Analysts • Lead Business Analysts • Senior Business Analysts • Junior Business Analysts Grade Director Vice President Assistant Vice President BA4 During the presentation we will refer to 4 main roles with the BA practice…..
  6. 6. Programme Manager Project Manager Project Manager Project Manager Lead BA Senior BA Junior BA Senior BA Senior BA Senior BA Programme Manager Project Manager Project Manager Lead BA Senior BA Senior BA Junior BA Life Before The BA practice… Structure • Before we had a BA practice we had 3 roles…… • Competition rather than communication………… • Approximately 10 individual change teams……
  7. 7. Programme Manager Project Manager Project Manager Project Manager Lead BA Senior BA Junior BA Senior BA Senior BA Senior BA Programme Manager Project Manager Project Manager Lead BA Senior BA Senior BA Junior BA Life Before The BA Practice… Structure Only about 10 - Performing general support duties on project across design / build and test • Approximately 145 BAs in the old structure Approximately 120 – Performing BA tasks across the bulk of the projects for the Retail Bank. A mix of permanent and contractor resource Approximately 15 – Generally running the larger / transformational projects, either on their own, or with teams of BA’s Senior BA Lead BA
  8. 8. What Challenges Did This Structure Give Us ?
  9. 9. Recruitment - How it used to work Who Owned Recruitment for BA’s? There was no specific owner… Recruitment completed by different Project staff all with different ideas on what they needed. Interviewing / acceptance criteria ? With different people interviewing with different BA criteria there was no consistency Who managed the overall BA numbers? There was no specific management of BA numbers / demand – Recruitment was reacting to demand in their own area. No Core locations for the BA team – people were spread over approximately 15 sites Was recruitment Internal or External? Large Numbers of Contractors recruited, as this was often quicker / easier. No investment in junior roles so little opportunity for career progression
  10. 10. Contractor / Permanent Ratio Contractors • 50-60% of total BA population – recruitment of contract resource was not controlled • High numbers remaining in place for 2-5 years – we retained a number of contractors and rolled them on to the next project when their existing projects ended • Key man dependency created - a number of BA’s were recruited for specific areas of knowledge expertise • No / little knowledge transfer on exit.
  11. 11. Assigning Work & Managing Performance Who Assigned the BA’s work ? Programme Manager responsibility – they decided who would work on which project. Opportunities to try new areas of work? Whilst the structure created areas of specialism, It also became a very ‘stove piped’ culture – it created areas of specialism with little opportunity to experience new areas. What type of work was undertaken? Assignment based on your teams priorities rather than what you wanted to work on / develop - large numbers of BA’s involved in project management work / testing etc. as dictated by the Project / Programme manager Who decided on your annual performance rating / bonus / Pay rise? Ultimately the Programme manager / project managers decided on these areas , as they were the leads on each of the projects.
  12. 12. BA Development & Career Progression Who developed the BA’s as a team? Any activities to develop the community of BA’s was run off the side of the desk – limited motivation for people to be involved What about reward and recognition? Generally managed at team level. BA performance was never consistency checked with other BA’s from other teams What about Professional Development? There was no sponsorship to follow the ISEB / BCS style accreditations – it was up to you to pursue this on your own. Training budgets generally used for project management style courses such as Prince 2 What about career development & progression? Little investment at the junior levels to create the flow through the BA grades. Hard to find experienced BA’s internally as no investment in the junior BA levels – as such recruitment was generally external. Limited internal progression.
  13. 13. Summary …… • In general, the BA’s had a lack of identity – very little community / practice activity or motivation to be involved • A general perception that there were never enough BA’s – in part because they were often performing non BA activities • There was no sponsorship / investment to develop the BA community professionally • No sense of working together – stove piped structure created competition which was not always productive • People other than BA’s were dictating the work we did / how we did it – We did what the Project Manager told us to! • Performance ratings did not reflect how good we were at being a BA
  14. 14. So What Did We Learn and What Did We Change?
  15. 15. The Business Analyst Structure x 1 x 20 x 150 x 40 Head of BAs Lead BA Senior BA Junior BA Lead BA Senior BASenior BA Senior BASenior BASenior BA Junior BA Junior BA Junior BA 211 Total number of BAs within the Practice (By the end of the year, 15% of these will be Contractors)
  16. 16. The Business Analyst Structure Old Structure Programme Manager Project Manager Project Manager Project Manager Lead BA Senior BA Junior BA Senior BA Senior BA Senior BA Programme Manager Project Manager Project Manager Lead BA Senior BA Senior BA Junior BA Lead BA Senior BA Junior BA Senior BA Lead BA Lead BA Senior BA Junior BA Senior BA Junior BA Senior BA Senior BA Junior BA Senior BA Senior BA Senior BA Head Of BAs Junior BA
  17. 17. BA Practice Vision rocess Clearly defined processes to ensure adherence to Governance eople To develop & support BAs so they perform at their highest potential ractice To build a industry leading BA Practice with effective tools and framework roject To provide high quality Business Analysis and design for change Our BA Leadership team have been working on refining a new BA Practice. Our work has been focused around four ‘P’s….
  18. 18. People eople To develop & support BAs so they perform at their highest potential rocess Clearly defined processes to ensure adherence to Governance ractice To build a industry leading BA Practice with effective tools and framework roject To provide high quality Business Analysis and design for change
  19. 19. People eople To develop & support BAs so they perform at their highest potential The quality of our output is directly impacted by the standard of our people. This initiative about making sure that our people are the best they can be. We play to their strengths and actively support development. Blueworks Live 1 Rational Composer 2 Etc. Agile 2 LEAN 1 Waterfall 2 Etc, Plan - Detailed Operational Design 3 Plan - User stories 2 Plan - Use Cases 2 Plan - User interface design 2 Plan - Data Analysis 3 Plan - Data Modelling 3 Etc, Online Banking 2 Retail Network 2 Telephony Channel 3 Mortgage Services 0 Etc, Applications Project Methodologies Business Analyst Deliverables Business Area Knowledge  Recruitment completed by specific accredited BAs and onboarding activity has been assigned to a specific Lead BA - Welcome Pack - Aide Memoire for Line Managers - Site visits - Mentoring & Buddy  Creation of a Skills Matrix - 148 competencies for 170 BAs - Common development areas - Assign staff to help with development needs
  20. 20. People Blueworks Live 1 Rational Composer 2 Etc. Agile 2 LEAN 1 Waterfall 2 Etc, Plan - Detailed Operational Design 3 Plan - User stories 2 Plan - Use Cases 2 Plan - User interface design 2 Plan - Data Analysis 3 Plan - Data Modelling 3 Etc, Online Banking 2 Retail Network 2 Telephony Channel 3 Mortgage Services 0 Etc, Applications Project Methodologies Business Analyst Deliverables Business Area Knowledge Key Definition No knowledge 0 For individuals with no prior knowledge or experience ofthe subject area, application or system Beginner 1 For individuals with limited knowledge or experience ofthe subject area, application or system Intermediate 2 For individuals with knowledge and experience ofthe subject area, application or system Advanced 3 For individuals with greatly developed knowledge and experience in the subject area, or ofthe application or system
  21. 21. People eople To develop & support BAs so they perform at their highest potential The quality of our output is directly impacted by the standard of our people. This initiative about making sure that our people are the best they can be. We play to their strengths and actively support development. Blueworks Live 1 Rational Composer 2 Etc. Agile 2 LEAN 1 Waterfall 2 Etc, Plan - Detailed Operational Design 3 Plan - User stories 2 Plan - Use Cases 2 Plan - User interface design 2 Plan - Data Analysis 3 Plan - Data Modelling 3 Etc, Online Banking 2 Retail Network 2 Telephony Channel 3 Mortgage Services 0 Etc, Applications Project Methodologies Business Analyst Deliverables Business Area Knowledge  Recruitment completed by specific accredited BA Project staff and onboarding activity has been assigned to a specific Lead BA - Welcome Pack - Aide Memoire for Line Managers - Site visits - Mentoring & Buddy  Creation of a Skills Matrix - 148 competencies for 170 BAs - Common development areas / help identify development needs  Reward & Recognition – instant and annual  Professional Accreditation  Publish Role Model qualities of BAs
  22. 22. Project roject To provide high quality Business Analysis and design for changerocess Clearly defined processes to ensure adherence to Governance eople To develop & support BAs so they perform at their highest potential ractice To build a industry leading BA Practice with effective tools and framework
  23. 23. Project roject To provide high quality Business Analysis and design for change Once we have the foundations in place we need to ensure that BA deliverables are working!  Introduced a new BA Operating Model - Use of the Skills Matrix to assign the correct resource to Projects - Confirmed the boundaries of the BA role to our Project Management colleagues  Assignment of resource is managed by a nominate Lead BA  Projects are split into Continuous Improvement and Strategic Change - Staff are assigned to one area or the other, but not on a permanent basis  Waterfall, Agile etc. and…! BAs are ready!  All BAs are made aware at an earlier stage Project Governance requirements  Lessons learned reviews - completed at regular stages throughout and at the end of the Project  Provision of a common set of guides and templates (KISS, Visual, Quality V Quantity etc.)
  24. 24. Practice roject To provide high quality Business Analysis and design for changerocess Clearly defined processes to ensure adherence to Governance eople To develop & support BAs so they perform at their highest potential ractice To build a industry leading BA Practice with effective tools and framework
  25. 25. Practice ractice To build a industry leading BA Practice with effective tools and framework This is about having the right foundations in place to provide a great place to work – job satisfaction, support to develop and innovate. The ability for our to exceed depend on these foundations Charities, Schools, Staff and the Practice are all winners!  New BA role – to attract, new recruits who have a passion for Business Analysis  Proactively support IIBA Events – 3 this year  Support our Citizenship Agenda  Practice Performance is dependent on the performance of individuals within it
  26. 26. Practice ractice To build a industry leading BA Practice with effective tools and framework Contacts Documents Leadership Members Team Calendars Help!
  27. 27. Process By having these processes for our People, Practice and Project initiatives, we ensure that BA staff always adhere to Governance & Control. It is robust, documented processes that underpin the other three Ps rocess Clearly defined processes to ensure adherence to Governance roject To provide high quality Business Analysis and design for change eople To develop & support BAs so they perform at their highest potential ractice To build a industry leading BA Practice with effective tools and framework A great example…
  28. 28. Process rocess Clearly defined processes to ensure adherence to Governance roject To provide high quality Business Analysis and design for change eople To develop & support BAs so they perform at their highest potential ractice To build a industry leading BA Practice with effective tools and framework
  29. 29. Process rocess Clearly defined processes to ensure adherence to Governance RACI Code Definitions: Responsibility Role is responsible for actually doing or completing the item Accountable Role is accountable for ensuring that the item is completed. Consulted Role whose subject matter expertise is required in order to complete the item Informed Role that needs to be kept informed of the status of item completion … we do make good use of a Project tool to ensure every body know the Roles & Responsibilities of a BA (and other staff associated with a Project) … Business Analyst Project Manager Test Manager Business Requirements R C C Operational Design A C C Training Approach / Delivery C R I UAT I C R a RACI matrix
  30. 30. BA Practice Vision Lead Business Analysts are responsible for driving forward BA Practice initiatives The success of the BA Practice relies on the whole community getting involved. People Practice Project Starters & Leavers Recruitment Roles & Responsibility Training & Quals Personal Development Plans Recognition & Reward Tools & Framework Practice Performance BA Intranet Knowledge Library Creativity & Innovation tools Communication BA Operating Model Citizenship Project Methodology Strategic & Small Change BA Compliance Methodologies Processes BEST skills organisation improvement consistency success customers PRACTICE technique optimal results solutionsgreat quality standard analysis development
  31. 31. BA Practice Vision Initiative Activity Starters & Leavers & Onboarding Ensure people have the right kit / induction / training / buddies / mentors etc. Training & Qualifications How to we accredit and train our BAs – BCS, Skills matrix Recruitment & Resourcing How to attract quality BA’s – close work with HR, and what projects do we align our people to? Roles & Responsibility / BA Operating Model What do we do? What are we responsible for ? Personal Development Plans Ensure performance measurement is fair and consistent across the practice Recognition & Reward How do we reward and recognise excellent performance Tools & Framework What tools / templates do we use – Req. Pro / Composer etc. Ensures consistency of deliverables
  32. 32. BA Practice Vision Initiative Activity Practice Performance How do we measure and track our performance – how do we know if we are successful BA Intranet Development & Maintenance of our intranet Communication Developing a communication strategy for the practice Creativity & Innovation tools Over to David for this one….. Knowledge Library Building a library of knowledge for our people Citizenship Community days . Money skills, life skills, fundraising Strategic & Small Change / Methodologies Looking at the governance and change processes across the large and small pieces of work BA Compliance Ensuring compliance in all we do
  33. 33. • In general, the BAs had a lack of identity – very little community / practice activity • A general perception that there were never enough BAs – in part because they were often performing non BA activities • There was no sponsorship / investment to develop the BA community professionally • No sense of working together – stove piped structure created competition which was not always productive. • People other than BAs were dictating the work we did / how we did it • Performance ratings did not reflect how good we were at being a BA Before the Practice The situation now • Over 200 BAs working on & leading 18 practice initiatives So How Have Things Changed – A Summary? • All BAs work exclusively on BA activities – helped by clear roles / responsibilities (RACI matrix) • New Head of BA role gives us a voice at senior level. Budget approved to get our BA’s BCS accredited • All BAs working together as a community in the new BA practice structure • Work is now agreed and allocated exclusively by Lead / Senior BAs • Ratings are now all about being a great BA and supporting the practice
  34. 34. Your Thoughts? Your Ideas? BEST skills organisation improvement consistency success customers PRACTICE technique optimal results solutionsgreat quality standard analysis development
  35. 35. Leading and Running a BA Practice  A walkthrough of our old BA structure and the challenges it created  How the creation of a BA practice helped us to overcome these challenges  Success stories and ideas to takeaway  An opportunity to share your own experiences and ideas
  36. 36. (Building), Running & Leading a BA Practice
  37. 37. Questions?
  38. 38. Leading & Running a BA Practice David Baskerville Richard Patrick

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