The Past, Present and Future of the BA Profession

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A (slightly edited) version of my presentation at Business Rules Forum 2009.

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  • For many organizations, strategy is an emergent phenomenonThey may not have a well defined set of goalsWhat they do may have little to do with those goals
  • Rework and abandoned systems$75B per yearFailed state DMV projects$45-67MCONFIRM rental car project$165MAutomating insurance policy processing$50MEuroDisney$4BFBI’s Virtual Case Mgt.$170M
  • The 20th century view is alive and well today—call it “naïve agile”Many (NOT all) Agilists assume that business value is what the users ask forIn practice users often ask for things that deliver zero or negative business value
  • Need for BAs = f(maturity, size, diversity)
  • BAs need to move away from thinking of themselves as IT folks
  • IIBA Research shows dozens of analysis techniques and notations in common useExpect to see drop as people standardize on tools
  • The Past, Present and Future of the BA Profession

    1. 1. The Past, Present, and Future of Business Analysis<br />The Journey to Professional Excellence2009<br />
    2. 2. 2<br />Introduction<br />Kevin Brennan, cbap®<br />V.P. Professional Development, IIBA®<br />Responsible for<br />IIBA® Standards (BABOK® Guide and Extensions)<br />EEP™ Program<br />IIBA Community Network<br />Career Centre<br />Delivering PD Opportunities to IIBA® Members<br />BA Experience<br />Over 10 years as a business analyst<br />Has used many different methodologies and worked in several industries<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis<br />
    3. 3. What we will talk about today<br />What is a business analyst<br />What do they do?<br />What do they need to know?<br />What is the state of the BA profession today?<br />Why must BAs improve?<br />Impact of bad business analysis?<br />What is the future of the profession?<br />3<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    4. 4. 4<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />Vision and Mission<br />Vision<br />The world&apos;s leading association for <br />Business Analysis professionals<br />Develop and maintain standards for the practice of business analysis and for the certification of its practitioners<br />Mission<br />IIBA® is an international not-for-profit professional association for business analysis professionals.<br />
    5. 5. 5<br />IIBA® Goals<br />Strategic Goals<br />Create and develop awareness and recognition of the value and contribution of the role of the Business Analysis Professional<br />Define the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®)<br />Publicly recognize qualified practitioners through an internationally acknowledged certification program<br />Provide a forum for knowledge sharing<br />Operational Goals<br />Ensure the long term viability of the organization<br />Enable sustainable growth to support the establishment of the IIBA® as a worldwide organization<br />Ensure financial viability to support the implementation and sustainment of the IIBA® operational and strategic priorities<br />Consistently demonstrate value of the organization to IIBA ® constituents<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    6. 6. Defining a Profession<br />What do business analysts do?<br />What is the BABOK® Guide?<br />6<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    7. 7. Defining Business Analysis<br />“Business Analysis is the set of tasks and techniques used to work as a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.”<br />7<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    8. 8. Less formally…<br />Business Analysis involves analyzing a business<br />8<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    9. 9. Orgs need self-awareness<br />“Organizational effectiveness does not lie in that narrow minded concept called rationality. It lies in the blend of clearheaded logic and powerful intuition.”<br />Henry Mintzberg<br />9<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />Source: © Mary Harrsch, used under CC BY-NC-SA<br />
    10. 10. Value of Business Analysis<br />It is about understanding:<br />How an organization works<br />Why the organization exists<br />What are its goals and objectives<br />How it accomplishes those objectives<br />How it needs to change to better accomplish objectives or to meet new challenges<br />It is about meeting business needs.<br />It is about ensuring investment in the right solutions.<br />10<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    11. 11. Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®<br />Version 2<br /><ul><li>Identifies currently accepted practices
    12. 12. Recognizes business analysis is not synonymous with software requirements
    13. 13. Defined & enhanced by the professionals who apply it
    14. 14. Captures the sum of the knowledge required for the practice of business analysis as a profession</li></ul>The set of tasks, knowledge, & techniques required to identify business needs & determine solutions to business problems. <br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />11<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    15. 15. BA Planning & Monitoring <br />12<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    16. 16. Elicitation<br />13<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    17. 17. Requirements Mgt. & Comm.<br />14<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    18. 18. Enterprise Analysis Structure<br />15<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    19. 19. Req’ts Analysis Structure<br />16<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    20. 20. SA&V Structure<br />17<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    21. 21. Underlying Competencies<br />18<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    22. 22. Techniques<br />BABOK Guide lists the most commonly used BA techniques<br />34 given detailed treatment<br />Many more mentioned briefly<br />All are used occasionally by a majority of BAs<br />19<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    23. 23. Core Business Model<br />20<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    24. 24. How do we know this is right?<br />IIBA followed the same process as used to develop ISO standards<br />Developed over 4½ years with multiple public reviews<br />Extensive input from industry experts<br />Backed up by surveys of over 1000 BAs<br />“Generally accepted” practice<br />Methodology-neutral<br />21<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    25. 25. Business Analysis Today<br />What is the value of business analysis?<br />How are companies using BAs?<br />22<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    26. 26. Constant Growth in IT Costs<br />Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis<br />23<br />
    27. 27. Projects: Riddled with Complexity<br />A Legacy of Complexity<br />Complex business environment<br />Multiple, inflexible systems functioning together<br />Unproven technology<br />Multiple products from diverse vendors<br />Complex project teams<br />Political sensitivity<br />Complex organizational structure<br />Coupled with Constantly Emerging New Trends<br />IT Alignment<br />Adaptive approaches<br />Agile development<br />Incremental delivery<br />Complexity-reducing design techniques<br />Limit interrelationships of system components<br />Solution design tools<br />New technologies<br />SOA, BPM, Web 2.0, SaaS<br />Requirements Mgt, Auto Test Tools<br />24<br />
    28. 28. IT Project Performance<br /> Nearly 2/3 of IT projects fail or are challenged<br /> What Measure is Missing?<br />Source: The Standish Group Project Resolution History<br />25<br />
    29. 29. What the Experts Say <br />Meta Group Research<br />“Communication challenges between business teams and technologists are chronic - we estimate that 60%-80% of project failures can be attributed directly to poor requirements gathering, analysis, and management.”<br />Forrester Research<br /> “Poorly defined applications have led to a persistent miscommunication between business and IT that largely contributes to a 66% project failure rate for these applications, costing U.S. businesses at least $30B every year.”<br />James Martin<br />“56% of defects can be attributed to requirements, and 82% of the effort to fix defects.”<br />&gt; 41% of new development resources are consumed on unnecessary or poorly specified requirements<br />Source: Keith Ellis, Business Analysis Benchmark Study, The Impact of Business Requirements on the Success of Technology Projects, IAG Consulting, 2008<br />26<br />
    30. 30. Root Cause: Quality of BA Work<br />Poor Requirements<br />Questionable Strategic Alignment<br />Inadequate Business Case<br />Deficient Practices<br />System vs. Business Specs<br />Business Benefits not Measured<br />Business Need<br />Not Met<br />Lost Opportunity<br />Inadequate Tools<br />Ineffective Prioritization and Resource Allocation<br />Inadequate Business Involvement<br />Inadequate Focus on Business<br />27<br />
    31. 31. If 40% of work is fixing errors<br />In 2008 alone,<br />$82.9 billion<br />$207,300 per BA<br />or<br />Enough to cure world hunger<br />(Estimated annual investment required worldwide, UN FAO, 8 Oct 2009)<br />28<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    32. 32. Actually it’s probably worse…<br />Stats are U.S. only<br />Doesn’t take into consideration:<br />Opportunity costs<br />Requirements that failed to deliver full potential benefit<br />Non-IT related requirements errors<br />29<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    33. 33. We Can Do Better<br />30<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />Source: IAG Business Analysis Benchmark - 2009<br />
    34. 34. Our Challenge:Close the Gap in BA Capabilities<br />31<br />
    35. 35. “Off Balance”<br />Without clarity in the Business Analyst role:<br /><ul><li>Focus on technology instead of the business
    36. 36. Rush to code/build
    37. 37. Insufficient customer involvement
    38. 38. Deficient requirements practices and tools
    39. 39. Not measuring business benefits</li></ul>32<br />
    40. 40. Typical BA<br />40 years old<br />Well educated<br />Hails from IT<br />&gt; 5 years BA experience<br />Analysis skills acquired on the job<br />33<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />Sources: Recession in America July 17, 2008, Business Week http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jul2008/tc20080717_842379.htm. The New Business Analyst: A Strategic Role in the Enterprise, November 2006 Evans Data Corporation Research Study<br />
    41. 41. Importance of Specialist Skills<br />34<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />Source: Forrester/IIBA Survey, 2009.<br />
    42. 42. Must Use Wide Range of Skills<br />35<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />Source: IIBA Survey, 2008<br />
    43. 43. Change Still Needed<br />We know what to do, but don’t do it<br />BAs believe that all aspects of role as defined in BABOK are important<br />BAs spend most actual work time on elicitation and specification<br />EA, SA&V known to be important but are still not being done<br />36<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    44. 44. The Future of Business Analysis<br />How is the BA role changing?<br />How will BAs adapt to new technology?<br />37<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    45. 45. Business & Business Analysis<br />Business<br />Developing, packaging, and selling products and services to customers to generate revenue<br />Business Analysis<br />Identifying and articulating the need for change, and facilitating that change<br />38<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    46. 46. The New Reality<br />20th Century<br />It’s about the technology<br />“If the business would just give us the requirements, we could build a custom solution”<br />or<br />“If we build it, they will use it and love it”<br />21st Century<br />It’s about the business<br />Architect the future state of the business when our strategy has been executed<br />Identify gaps in capabilities needed to achieve future state<br />Conduct feasibility analysis for best solution to fill gaps<br />Build and continually validate the business case<br />Elicit , analyze, evolve, iterate, validate requirements/solution<br />39<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    47. 47. How does BA Add Value?<br />Benefits of BA<br />Realization of Benefits<br />Avoidance of Cost<br />Identification of New Opportunities<br />Understanding of Needed Capabilities<br />Modeling the Organization<br />Models are useful for:<br />Communication<br />Training<br />Persuasion<br />Analysis<br />Compliance<br />Software Requirements<br />Direct Execution<br />KM and Reuse<br />40<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    48. 48. The Opportunity<br />41<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />Organization Need for BAs = (maturity, size, diversity)<br />MATURITY<br />SIZE<br />DIVERSITY<br />Number of Product Lines<br />Marketplace Uniformity<br />Number of Employees<br />Geographic Dispersion<br />Age of <br />Product Lines Marketplace Stability<br />Competition<br /><ul><li>Multiple product lines may require a combination of generalists and highly specialized individuals
    49. 49. Highly specialized industries or niche markets will require specialists
    50. 50. Established product lines & stable markets require limited business analysis
    51. 51. Competitive and developing markets have a critical need for highly experienced generalists and specialists in the competency domain (e.g., strategic, marketplace analysis)
    52. 52. Larger organizations can support higher levels of specialization
    53. 53. Smaller organizations may be more dependent on generalists and hybrid BAs (i.e., possess knowledge across multiple professional domains)</li></li></ul><li>Forces changing the BA role<br />42<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    54. 54. Four Stages of EA<br />43<br />Source: Enterprise Architecture as Strategy, Harvard Business Press.<br />
    55. 55. Implications for BA<br />44<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    56. 56. Specialist BAs Will Be In Demand<br />More companies will move to stages 3, 4, and beyond<br />Generalist, project-oriented BA will remain but not be alone<br />Top talent will gravitate to successful companies<br />Other roles than these will likely emerge<br />45<br />
    57. 57. Focus and Orientation Change<br />46<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis®<br />
    58. 58. Getting it Right<br />Three key stakeholders are needed to get it right.<br />Business Leaders<br />Managers of Business Analysts<br />Business Analysts<br />Together, you create an effect-ive management environment and community of practice<br />47<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />
    59. 59. Business Leaders<br />Represent the Vision of the organization to Managers and BAs<br />Empower your people to act<br />Reward innovation – even if it fails<br />Recognize that your success depends on your employee’s success<br />Walk the walk - Formalize the role<br />48<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br /><ul><li>If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
    60. 60. Antoine de Saint-Exupery</li></li></ul><li>Managers of BAs<br />Support the role of the BA<br />Formalize the role<br />Identify and fund training<br />Establish a community of practice<br />“Lead from the side”<br />Step forward, to protect the team<br />Step back, to give the team the credit<br />Step aside, to let them do their jobs<br />49<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br /><ul><li>Unless commitments are made there are onlypromises and hopes… but no plans.
    61. 61. Peter Drucker</li></li></ul><li>Business Analysts<br />Be assertive, not an order taker<br />Deliver on the Vision<br />Keep the goal at the forefront<br />Solutions, not documents<br />Performance, not perfection<br />50<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />It’s not strongest of the species that survive, or the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.<br />Charles Darwin<br />
    62. 62. Contact Information<br />Kevin Brennan, cbap<br />kevin.brennan@theiiba.org<br />Twitter: @bainsight<br />Get this presentation at <br />http://bit.ly/BRFIIBA<br />51<br />© International Institute of Business Analysis™<br />www.theiiba.org |community.theiiba.org| info@theiiba.org<br />

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