Struggling to define the ba role july 2008 v2Presentation Transcript
Struggling to define Business Analysis & the Changing role of a BA (requirements elicitation, to change manager and trusted advisor) Maria (Murphy) Horrigan Account Director Health & Human Services Regional Lead Business Analysis BA World Symposium July 2008
...previously, on Heroes
In an agile environment
Tools, practices, methodologies
Organisations, alignment and membership
... who are these guys?
BAs apply different powers and abilities in order to deliver on critical client needs – on projects, systems or processes
Heroes is a television show produced by NBC. This presentation was for educational purposes only and is NOT in any way, shape, or form affiliated with NBC , Tim Kring , or any other persons or organizations responsible for the production of Heroes, all trademarks and copyright belong to their respective owners . http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
“ I can’t stand to fly, I’m not that naive”
Not about being Superman and coming in to save the day…
It’s not about taking over another project members role, it’s about the expertise and tools we can offer
Five for Fighting – “Superman”
Save the cheerleader, save the world!
What powers and abilities do BAs need to help make stuff happen?
Hiro Nakamura -
Manipulate Time and Space
Need to go back and analyse what has happened in the past
Jump to see the future to inform the present
Not just show the way but help others to get there
Understand what systems can do to deliver outcomes for people
Know what is possible
Understand the business context, requirements, data modelling and processes involved
Mind reader “get inside peoples heads”
Its good to have BA dedicated to knowing what the business and users want from the system
Sometimes client doesn’t know what they want…only what they don’t want
A BA who can walk through walls of organisational silos
A BA who can talk to the business as well as the developers and translate between the two
Perform any role when you need it
Sometimes the gig requires a requirements specification, other times it’s a business cases, or mapping a business process or being that “trusted advisor”
You need a BA who has a toolkit, skills and abilities to adapt to any situation
A BA who can find the information and the missing pieces of the puzzle
Sylar (Gabrielle Gray)
We need BAs who can easily work out “how things work”
Pick up new abilities and skills as required to expand superpowers
Heroes = Business Analyst Manipulate Time & Space Technopath Cellular Regeneration Intuitive Aptitude Chameleon Phasing Clairvoyance Telepath Empath Business Analyst
What is the BA role all about?
We need to apply all our powers:
IT systems focus
Business and process improvement
Testing and validation
Communication and change management
... And more!!
Is the BA role debate our kryptonite?
So many powers!
What is our main focus of activity – our central concern?
Will our struggle to define our role threaten our existence?
Is BA a profession or not?
Where is the League of Justice for BAs?
Role vs Discipline – for good or evil?
Definition by Role:
Organisations have LOTS of roles we can fill
Roles vary from organisation to organisation
If role ≠ my BA picture, what am I, who am I?
Definition by Discipline:
Specialists in the field of business analysis are therefore business analysts
Don’t box me in!!!
If discipline definition ≠ my current role, am I really a BA?
Chickens and Eggs
“ Any definition broad enough to encompass the role is too broad to foster useful discussion of the discipline; any definition narrow enough for the discipline is too narrow for the role….basing either definition on the other means one is going to be insufficient. Trying to do both at once isn’t working, producing a classic chicken-and-egg problem”.
- Jesse James Garrett, IA Recon
Working thru “defining the damn thing” together
“ Community of Practice” can help shape the future of the profession
Shared approaches to work
BA Practice by description NOT prescription
It’s about learning and sharing…. “ Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com”
Obliged to be a member
Role defined by the project
Team defined by organisation
Focus on deliverables
Community of Practice
“ Because I’m interested”
Role described by the sum of the whole practice
Continual improvement of knowledge
Learning and sharing
What is a “Community of Practice”? “ Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com” “ Practice is a shared history of learning”
There are many Communities of Practice These are emergent, self-organising, social groups for learning, making and improving the domain – the central concern of the practice.
It’s dynamic…. “ Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com”
It’s a science arising out of many other sciences”…. Analysis Requirements Design User-centred Design & Architecture Business Process Management Project Management UAT Business Analysis Business Systems Analysis Programming and Development Adapted from “Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com”
Overlap of BA and PM role
Requirements gathering and management
Both the PM and the BA face the same challenges
Difficult to identify & document complete requirements up front
PM - Continuous process & practice improvement
BA – business process improvement and effective project management methodologies
Skills and Competency profile
Profile of an effective PM or BA are virtual identical
Morphed into one profession the “BA/PM”
Tools and Templates
Again virtually identical
image: http://www.lakefronthartwell.com/bm~pix/milkshake~s600x600.jpg BA Role PM Role
Not the center of the universe Central Concern Analysis Requirements Design BA Adapted from “Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com”
These Practices aren’t milkshakes More like a McFlurry
Central Concern will always overlap
Many practices, disciplines and areas of concern have overlap. E.g. UXD & IA; IA & BA; BA & EA
People will migrate from one area of concern to another based on their previous experience, skills and expertise, into new ones over time.
Even if we're called the PM, we might well be doing business analysis; or be called the BA on the project when we're really doing coordination and project management work.
There will always be differences between roles and activities we bring to our team and the central concern
Overlap of practice & identity – so who am I? “ Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com”
Community of practice – “homes for identities” Each of us tends to identify with a practice “ Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com” ABAA
Big BA vs Little BA Image: Based on the cover to Batman #9 by Bob Kane.
BA the …….. “ Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com” Activity: The actual work of analysing the “thing” Thing: The analysis “stuff” itself
Sending up the Bat Signal
How can we share ideas about:
The differences in our Titles?
Our evolving Role?
Our tools, methodologies and deliverables
How do we adapt to:
The demands of the rapidly changing business environment?
The impacts this has on our Discipline and Practice?
Harnessing the Social Computing Revolution for our Practice
Instant access to BA Community of Practice
Access to body of knowledge (in people’s heads, not in documents)
Communities of practice
Experts, gurus and thought leaders
Access to friends and their friends and their friends
This is “ what networking should be” - linkedIn
Leveraging: the power of many
The power of permission: trust
The power of networks: the friend of my friend is my friend
The cost (time, energy): easiest way (anytime, anywhere) to make contact, communicate, share, collaborate with “friends” and the BA Community of Practice
http://www.linkedin.com Linked in
Facebook – building online communities www.facebook.com
BAs in a changing environment:
Learning new powers from intersections NOT milkshakes
Leveraging Community of Practice
BAs “with powers and abilities far beyond normal man”:
Adapting and changing roles
Agile environment and tight timeframes
Analysis from strategy and policy to complex data issues
Case Study 1: BAs in this changing environment
Large paper based application process to be developed via the web
Involvement of multiple divisions across the organisation, other agencies
Political exposure due to external user interaction with system
Pressure from stakeholders to develop process transparency , accountability and efficiency
Requirements three years in the making
It’s Groundhog Day – the dreaded Business analysis spiral M Hodgson : “Ain’t no backseat driver” Requirements gathering Document divergent solution Analysis New Information Distraction Build
ISO:13407 Human‐centred design processes for interactive systems
Business-centred design M Hodgson : “Ain’t no backseat driver” Understand Business wants & needs Develop and document design solution Analysis New Information Workshop Possibilities Prototype and refine screen concepts Build Validate requirements
Sharing the solution – a new lifecycle!
The environment is rapidly evolving
BAs need to learn and adapt to survive
There are tools not made by BAs that we can look to for help
One size (approach) doesn’t fit all
Intersections of the ‘central concern’ is a strength to draw from
Give back to the community – blog about it!
Case Study 2: BA powers and abilities
Very political and high profile initiative
Policy still being developed on the fly
Tender is progress but delay in finding Vendor by Program launch date
Pressure for a deadline - (IT an afterthought) so Interim system deemed to be required.
3 weeks to develop high level requirement specifications
Required extensive data analysis - match one organisations product code’s to several other organisations
BA role description
Powers and abilities:
Project Management skills
Subject matter expertise in Health
In-depth knowledge of Medical products environment
Business case development
Forecasting needs for the longer term solutions
The complex environment – service rebate system
The complex data issue
Initiation & Scoping solution requirements (core functionality to calculate payments based on total sales (volume) by distributors.
Research and Analysis to define key reports, outline key business processes, identify critical success factors, undertake a high level risk analysis
Develop Requirements Specification
Develop Conceptual Design (prototype)
Project Coordinate the Development of the system for the business
Evaluate - User acceptance testing
In a changing environment:
Requirements and development are being done simultaneously
BA may have to draw on various disciplines
BA need to fulfil different roles during the project
Drawing on core capability of analysis was key to solving the complex data issues
BAs are key to understanding the business environment
BAs can add value through the entire project
BAs can become the trusted advisor for the business
We all need heroes…..
We are a thriving and growing community of practice
We can help support your Projects
Our analysis skills can be utilised during various phases of the delivery of an engagement
We have proven methodologies, frameworks and tools to add value and fulfil business needs
Central Concern BA
Questions? Maria (Murphy) Horrigan Account Director Health & Human Services Regional Lead Business Analysis Email: email@example.com Blog: www.barocks.com Web: www.smsmt.com