Just as there is the discipline of Business Analysis, there is the role of a Business Analyst. If we define the discipline based on the role then we may potentially be too broad as the role of as business Analyst varies from organisation to organisation and encompasses BAs working as commercial, process, financial, technical and systems analysts. If we define the role based on the discipline, then whatever the field of business analysis is, those who are specialists in this field are Business Analysts. This definition however could, in practice, become too narrow. Organizations representing Business Analysts are looking to certification or accreditation as a way of defining the role and bringing in some level of standardization in order to decrease ambiguity in the marketplace. Garrett however cautions that if we go down the track of defining the role we inevitably threaten someone’s sense of identity. If the Business Analyst's role differs from the organization's job description, then does it follow that they are not Business Analysts? Alternatively, if we define the role based on the discipline, then whatever the field of business analysis is, those who are specialists in this field are Business Analysts. This definition however could, in practice, become too narrow. The potential to be “boxed in” may result in Business Analysts having little influence or control over important aspects of projects, where Business Analyst competencies and capabilities are of great value and adding strategic value to organization goals and objectives for process improvement. In short, as a Business Analyst I do lots of things. Not very easy to put me in a neat box or label me … it limits the possibilities for my involvement to add value within projects, between projects, across programs and across the enterprise.
I came across an interesting article forwarded to me by some information architecture friends. The article on the discipline and role of Information Architects (IAs) was written by Jesse James Garrett in 2002 and the issue of defining the roles of Information Architects that they were struggling with back then, are very familiar issues that we are now facing as Business Analysts. If you enter the phrase “defining the damn thing” in Google you can still find remnants of that debate. Garrett suggests that we seem to be at an impasse in the definition debate: “ 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”.
This is where our Business Analysis “Community of Practice” can come together to shape the future of the profession. We should define the scope of what is business analysis as a discipline. Once we achieve this end, this will empower us to look at what the discipline offers in the way of frameworks and tools to interested practitioners, as the specialists in this field.
One way to understand them is to compare them to Teams. Often communities of practice thrive in the open nooks and crannies of traditional team structures, and effective management gives room for this, and lets it happen. One way to understand Communities of Practice is to compare them to something we’re all familiar with, a Work or Project Team. So let’s look at just a few characteristics of both. >> Teams are Involuntary -- you’re assigned to them -- but Communities of Practice are very organic, and people get involved in them because of their interest, not to fulfill an obligation. >> A team’s purpose is to deliver products, on delivery dates. But a Community of Practice’s purpose is its own evolution -- Learning, Making & Improving – the continual improvement of practice and knowledge among its members. There’s no delivery date -- even though the community often may set goals and work together on meeting them, it’s in the service of the ongoing evolution. >> And not only are a team’s members and goals assigned, it’s entirely defined by the organization’s management structure. Without an org chart, it wouldn’t exist. A Community of Practice is defined by the aggregate of its members, and whatever domain they happen to share in common. >> This means that management really doesn’t have much of an idea what to *do* with a CoP. It doesn’t fit the MBA concept of a managed organization. Even though, in almost any workplace, they exist in some form or another, and in many organizations they’re essential to the org’s success. [CLICK] Does this mean Teams and CoPs are mutually exclusive? No... in fact, sometimes the best teams have taken it upon themselves to become communities of practice >> They can work in a complementary fashion -- but often they end up blurring boundaries between other teams and branches in the organization. By the way this is something management often doesn’t understand: that when you put something organic down it tends to grow roots. If you’ve ever been in a team that you felt like you really grew with, and felt like a community, then were arbitrarily transferred to some other team ... you feel ripped out by the roots. So Communities of Practice emerge from conversations and shared learning. You choose to be a part of it ... in fact, it’s mostly unconscious ... you tend to just find yourself involved in it. It’s not about producing widgets -- it’s about learning and sharing.
I believe this where our Business Analysis “Community of Practice” can come together to shape the future of the profession. Etienne Wenger, who coined the phrase, defines it like this. Communities of practice are groups who share a concern or passion or, well, a practice ... and they learn how to do it better by interacting and learning from one another, and doing so on a regular basis. DOMAIN: A community of practice is not merely a club of friends or a network of connections between people. It has an identity defined by a shared domain of interest. Membership therefore implies a commitment to the domain, and therefore a shared competence that distinguishes members from other people. (Wenger) PRACTICE: Members are practitioners, developing a shared repertoire of resources: experiences, stories, tools, ways of addressing recurring problems. This takes time and sustained interaction. A good conversation with a stranger on an airplane may give you all sorts of interesting insights, but it does not in itself make for a community of practice. (Wenger) COMMUNITY: In pursuing joint interests in their domain, members engage in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and share information. They build relationships that enable them to learn from each other. A website in itself is not a community of practice. Having the same job or the same title does not make for a community of practice unless members interact and learn I especially like Wenger’s statement that the “practice is a shared history of learning” ... it’s a novel, enlightening way to think of practice. >>That is, practice is inextricably part of the conversation. It’s great that we have forums such as this to start and continue to build these conversations So as a Community of practice we have an opportunity to define the scope of what is business analysis as a discipline. Once we achieve this end, this will empower us to look at what the discipline offers in the way of frameworks and tools to interested practitioners, as the specialists in this field.
The idea of “community of practice” within our profession is a relatively new one, but the pattern of social behavior is as old as civilization itself. There are and have been multitudes of communities of practice, in all lines of work. They are essentially emergent social groups for learning, making and improving the domain -- the central concern of the practice. Source: http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page Variant cover art for Justice League of America #12. Art by Michael Turner . Promotional art for Fantastic Four #509 (March 2004), by Mike Wieringo and Karl Kesel Avengers vol. 3, #38 (Mar. 2001). Cover art by Alan Davis .
A community of practice is dynamic ... its members and their involvement shift over time. Members may come in and out, even its domain can sometimes migrate to a new focus. Sometimes it attracts outsiders who are loosely involved because they have an interest in the domain. These people are often part of other practices, and bring skills along with them. And this is all perfectly OK... in fact, it’s essential. This whole ecosystem of members and ideas is part of what helps these patterns thrive.
When this new central concern arose, people needed help figuring it out. They looked to the current conversations going on in existing communities, but if this concern wasn’t being addressed, at least not with the focus these folks were seeking, they found each other and started this new conversation. Most of us came from other practices, only a few of which are represented here ... and we all brought with us the methods, tools and points of view inherited from our practices of origin. And all practices arose, at least in part, from those that were already around. Because there’s nothing new under the sun ... every practice had to borrow from what existed already in order to make something new. Vitruvius, explaining the basics of Architecture two thousand years ago, says about that age-old practice that it “is a science arising out of many other sciences...” If it’s true for something as old and established as Architecture, it’s surely ok for us. But, still, all this connecting, overlapping and crossing of boundaries can cause some anxiety and consternation ... it makes us nervous to think things aren’t defined better than this.
Somebody’s trying to drink our milkshake. Now, if you haven’t seen There Will Be Blood, this reference didn’t make any sense, but let me explain. Daniel Plainview, pictured here, explains to another character in the movie that he ran a pipe from his property to the other’s, underground, and took his oil.
He uses a metaphor of milkshakes. And says that he snuck a straw from his milkshake into the other’s ... Now, there’s a tendency to think that one practice and another practice are separate properties, and that we have exclusive ownership to them. It makes us suspicious of connections, afraid that you’re going to take a straw and sneak it into our Milkshake and drink it. >> But this assumes that we work in silos, and that these practices could even exist completely separate. >> In defining and developing our systems, processes or applications, we really can’t afford to have silos. The output being defined and developed, be it a system or a process, has many facets, each with its own “central concern.” >> and Business Analysis is just one facet.
There’s a whole family of practices that, working together, produce the output on a project to solve a client problem -- and success will depend on these connections! We need straws! >> And just because the focus of my talk is on BA, it doesn’t mean that BA is the centre of the universe ... it’s part of this family of practices that are all needed to produce the required system or process for the client.
What we’re in isn’t a milkshake ... If anything, it’s a lot more like a McFlurry. It’s kind of impossible to separate it all out and still have the same result. The question is, how can we come to better understand what our central concern is, so the practice can function as an even better member of this family of practices? Let’s take some time to unpack this ‘central concern’ and understand it better. What is the nature of the client’s problems that this focus is trying to solve?
Even though all of us tend to be involved in multiple practices . . . ---- based on p 58 “Communities of Practice: Learning, Making & Improving” – Wenger We still tend to gravitate toward a single affiliation. >> Wenger has a fascinating explanation for how participation in communities of practice shapes our identity ... and that would take hours to get into ... but suffice it to say that identifying strongly with one’s practice is a very natural, powerful human pattern. In some ways it’s unavoidable. It’s a compulsion that drives all kinds of group identities, from unions to sports teams to nationalism. ---- based on p 58 “Communities of Practice: Learning, Making & Improving” - Wenger Also Wenger here: “ They provide homes for identities. They are not as temporary as teams, and unlike business units, they are organized around what matters to their members. Identity is important because, in a sea of information, it helps us sort out what we pay attention to, what we participate in, and what we stay away from. Having a sense of identity is a crucial aspect of learning in organizations. The corporate world is full of these displays of identity, which manifest themselves in the jargon people use, the clothes they wear, and the remarks they make. If companies want to benefit from people's creativity, they must support communities as a way to help them develop their identities.” http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/knowledge-garden/cop/lss.shtml
Even our tools and methods often become symbols in this group identity dynamic. Our publications and conferences sometimes behave like “flags” that, when attached to us, help reinforce our identity. ---- based on p 58 “Communities of Practice: Learning, Making & Improving” - Wenger “ They provide homes for identities. They are not as temporary as teams, and unlike business units, they are organized around what matters to their members. Identity is important because, in a sea of information, it helps us sort out what we pay attention to, what we participate in, and what we stay away from. Having a sense of identity is a crucial aspect of learning in organizations.
Another sticking point in our identity conversations circles around this distinction between “Big BA & Little BA” It was useful for a time, and helped us think about bigger issues and strategy. But now I fear itʼs become a source of misunderstanding. Little BA sounds demeaning and is used as an indication of being junior to other roles (i.e. Payed less), and Big BA is getting entirely too vague -- these days itʼs being used for anything from marketing strategy to psychotherapy. We need some better way to distinguish these extremes in our practice.
Itʼs understandable that we get emotional about this topic, because it relates to our very identities. We throw the term “BA” around a lot ... but it can mean a number of different things. And itʼs helpful to be clear on the distinctions. >> BA as a thing: the object we work on, the material we work with. We might say “hey could you look at the BA in these requirements specifications and see if it makes sense?” >> BA as an activity: the literal act of working on the ʻthingʼ ... “doing” BA. >> BA as a role: the “hat” you wear that says “Iʼm a person working on this at the moment” ... like in baseball, for a while youʼre a pitcher, then later youʼre a batter. These are just temporary roles used to designate what activity youʼre performing. >> BA as a practice: the shared history of learning among people who affiliate strongly with the role over time. >>BA is sometimes a title: but titles are really different ... theyʼre not necessarily based on the actual work you do or the practice you affiliate with; theyʼre arbitrary labels assigned to you by some authority. This is a real problem point for practitioners, because itʼs easy to slip into the logical fallacy that: if my title is Business Analyst, then everything I do in my job must be Business analysis. But doesnʼt necessarily have anything to do with the emerged PRACTICE of BA. Conversely, if your job is almost entirely about the Practice of NA, and your title is something different, like “ Technical Analyst” or “Useability Specialist” -- that doesnʼt mean youʼre not allowed to affiliate with BA as your practice of choice. It would be great if the whole world standardized on every title, but the vast majority of practices donʼt work that way.
… a communication and connectivity revolution … First we had the industrial revolution , followed by the technical revolution. and now by the connectivity revolution. As with other revolutions, it is impacting the social fabric of society . These impacts will be more severe, global, and will happen at higher speeds and frequency. We are experiencing this revolution in an agile environment that is also the age of the knowledge worker, of global access to data, instantaneous transaction, the empowerment of the individual and the blurring of technical enterprise boundaries. To take advantage of the new opportunities created by the global reach of the internet, governments and organisations have an important role to ensure that communities and individuals have access to the necessary infrastructure and information to enable them to accumulate knowledge locally so that they can participate in the increasingly connected world economy.
This social computing revolution is about instant access to a trusted network and communities of practice. Yes I’m busy and time poor but what I’ve realised, this is exactly why its for me. By using the social computing tools available to me I am sharing contacts with people I trust and learning how to quickly get through all the noise on the web, to the sites that are going to be interesting and relevant to me. WIC, its about a hot breakfast sure, but its also about networking - well social computing can help and is a valuable tool to harness in business to connect to those business contacts you have made today – as Linked In, a popular business site argues, this isn’t networking, it’s what networking should be. F orget about exchanging business cards with acquaintances that don’t know your work, or trying to renew professional ties when you need a favour, these sites can help you be more effective in your daily work and open doors to opportunities using the professional relationships you already have. You can leverage off the power of many and build your network through friends and friends of friends. It about getting connected and about trust and how that trusted network can work for you to access the knowledge you need. There are costs – time and energy but it is the easiest way anywhere anytime, to make contact, communicate share and collaborate with friends.
I’ve already mentioned LinkedIn. Its about managing your trusted network. LinkedIn is an online network of more than 9 million experienced professionals from around the world, representing 130 industries. When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional accomplishments. Your profile helps you find and be found by former colleagues, clients, and partners. You can add more connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know. Through your network you can: Find potential clients, service providers, subject experts, search for great jobs and get introduced to other professionals through the people they know. A lot of these applications now interface with one another Eg Linked interfaces with Sales Force ( a commonly used CRM application) to help with developing and promoting campaigns and events to your network.
Twitter is a global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question- What are you doing? Twitter is a free social networking service that allows users to send &quot;updates&quot; via SMS , instant messaging , email , to the Twitter website. You can answer on your phone, IM, or on the web! . . Twitter founded in 2006 Updates are displayed on the user's profile page and also instantly delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. So I can be at my work station or office and at the same time be able to keep up to date with where my friends are colleagues are at. Often, when a colleague has a difficult project they will send out the call on twitter for advice to their selected network. The trusted network we have developed on twitter is really a community of practice and these group members are willing to share their knowledge and thoughts. Some people may view knowledge as power, this group, however, sees the real power of knowledge is when it is shared. Its very challenging and exciting to be involved.
And more recently, there’s Facebook . I only joined this online community a few months ago. Features Powerful social networking hub Good way to create ‘community’ and brand loyalty Share profiles and interests with friends and business associates Who Everyone from average Joe to big business Accenture, Amazon, Apple, EA, Gap, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Pepsi, PWC and Teach for America. Social networks are used by two-thirds of the estimated 220 million online users in the U.S An estimated 200,000 new users each day
This is my own blog, ba rocks. I write about business analysis, information architecture, requirements and processes. It may way of learning and sharing knowledge with colleges and interested contacts. I have Adrian and Jonathon who are dedicated followers in Canada and the US and we each share a passion for developing eth discipline of Business analysis. I link to friends blogs and them to mine. I started this blog only 6 months ago, and now I author blogs for an international BA magazine who picked up my feed. I’m learning as I go, but I love the creativity and stimulation of blogging and when I get a comment back on one of my articles, I really try to connect with that reader and answer their questions. This is our outlet for sharing ideas and prompting thought. Its fun, its social, bit its also requires work and passion.
PharmBiz project – 3 years of analysis and still no development has commenced
It is important that the BALC reflects the iterative facilitation and co-ordination processes undertaken in dynamic environments and therefore the following skills/governance actions of Communication, Planning and Control are central to the approach and support the core elements/activities of the BA role and reflects the analytical process from initiation/definition through to conclusion. I see these six phases as: Objectives is to build a model that is able to accommodate the dynamic and iterative nature of many of today’s projects. what do you think about including design and development in the lifecycle? implementation 'to be effective'? i can see the ba being available as needed, but with limited resources being the norm, i usually move on to do more requirements work on a new project, and then to the next one... such that a number of projects that i did requirements for may be going on at the same time. my thoughts are that to be really effective in the role the ba needs to follow the requirements right through to implementation/release two reasons; a) your ba needs to be around at the end or else there is no accountability for quality of work. b) your ba needs to be there at least at uat to assist with interpretation, clarification and the development of workarounds. their domain knwlegde at this time makes them highly useful. i guess if you have a team of 15 bas not all of them need to be there, but the senior bas who have an end to end view of the product should be. surrounding the client vision are: key processes planning communication control phases initiation and scoping research & analysis requirements specification design development & implementation evaluation & conclusion
Multiple pharmaceuticals products are carried by wholesalers (over 4000 lines), yet only about 10 % of these are high volume. CSO was designed to ensure wholesalers carry all products and give community pharmacy choices of wholesalers Wholesale margin of 10% cut to 7.5% in 4 th CPA 4 big players (symbion, DHL, API and sigma) all selling nationally into pharmacies Pool of $150m with 12 million paid each month based on vol of PBS products sold Need to ensure they are PBS products (not OTC) and therefore needed to match wholesaler 6 digit code to the PBS code (but a product could be linked to more than one code as the product may appear multiple times in the PBS I different sections. Also some sections of the PBS were excluded form the count (eg section 100 drugs and RPBS).
This is in the General Benefit part of the Schedule. We have a mixture of neutral and isophane insulins, the form and strength is an injection with the insulins in the ratio of 30:70 and at a concentration of 100U per mL with each box containing 5 x 3mL vials. The quantity is 5 boxes and this combination provides a unique PBS item with the code 1763T. This same item is made by 3 manufacturers; Lilly, InnoLet and Novo Nordisk. For this exercise I am looking for the Lilly brand called Humulin. When I try to find my Humulin product in product files from 3 potential CSO Distributors, I find 3 different descriptions consisting of various combinations and contractions of brand name, form, strength and quantity. Each Distributor’s product file also allocates a product number, or PDE number, which is also unique for each Distributor. Without hammering the point too hard, we have approx 3000 brands listed on the PBS, and potentially 3 or $ CSO Distributors describing each of these 3000 brands in their own, unique style.
So what did we do? We developed a system called code mapper. Each wholesalers reference file was loaded and the product was then compared to the current PBS . Multiple listings were added until we had manually matched 3000 products times 4 wholesalers to 3000 different PBS items listings. Outcome Resolved complex data issues and delivered a system solution - on time, on budget
The Role of a BA vs. the Discipline of Business Analysis – very different. We need to come together as a community of practice to define the discipline and the role of a BA. Opportunity to more precisely define the discipline and then we can work on developing our methods, frameworks and tools to get eth job done
So fear not, BA is far from dead. Weʼre just getting started.
Struggling to define the ba role july 2008 v2
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 <ul><li>Business Analysis: </li></ul><ul><li>In an agile environment </li></ul><ul><li>Tools, practices, methodologies </li></ul><ul><li>Career path </li></ul><ul><li>Core competencies </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations, alignment and membership </li></ul><ul><li>Certification bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Business-critical roles </li></ul><ul><li>... who are these guys? </li></ul>
<ul><li>BAs apply different powers and abilities in order to deliver on critical client needs – on projects, systems or processes </li></ul>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” <ul><li>Not about being Superman and coming in to save the day… </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not about taking over another project members role, it’s about the expertise and tools we can offer </li></ul>Five for Fighting – “Superman”
Save the cheerleader, save the world! <ul><li>What powers and abilities do BAs need to help make stuff happen? </li></ul>
Hiro Nakamura - <ul><li>Manipulate Time and Space </li></ul><ul><li>Need to go back and analyse what has happened in the past </li></ul><ul><li>Jump to see the future to inform the present </li></ul><ul><li>Not just show the way but help others to get there </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
Micha Sanders <ul><li>Techno path </li></ul><ul><li>Understand what systems can do to deliver outcomes for people </li></ul><ul><li>Know what is possible </li></ul><ul><li>Understand the business context, requirements, data modelling and processes involved </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
Matt Parkman <ul><li>Telepath </li></ul><ul><li>Mind reader “get inside peoples heads” </li></ul><ul><li>Its good to have BA dedicated to knowing what the business and users want from the system </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes client doesn’t know what they want…only what they don’t want </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
D.L Hawkins <ul><li>Phasing </li></ul><ul><li>A BA who can walk through walls of organisational silos </li></ul><ul><li>A BA who can talk to the business as well as the developers and translate between the two </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
Candice Wilmer <ul><li>Chameleon </li></ul><ul><li>Perform any role when you need it </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes the gig requires a requirements specification, other times it’s a business cases, or mapping a business process or being that “trusted advisor” </li></ul><ul><li>You need a BA who has a toolkit, skills and abilities to adapt to any situation </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
Peter Petrelli <ul><li>Empath </li></ul><ul><li>Communicates </li></ul><ul><li>Engenders trust </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse abilities and skills </li></ul><ul><li>Passionate </li></ul><ul><li>Wants to “save the world” and make it better </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
Clare Bennett <ul><li>Cellular regeneration </li></ul><ul><li>Change can open wounds old and new </li></ul><ul><li>Need BA who can help with change management </li></ul><ul><li>Be resilient </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
Molly Walker <ul><li>Clairvoyance </li></ul><ul><li>“ Find anyone, anywhere” </li></ul><ul><li>A BA who can find the information and the missing pieces of the puzzle </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
Sylar (Gabrielle Gray) <ul><li>Intuitive aptitude </li></ul><ul><li>We need BAs who can easily work out “how things work” </li></ul><ul><li>Pick up new abilities and skills as required to expand superpowers </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page
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? <ul><li>We need to apply all our powers: </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements analysis </li></ul><ul><li>IT systems focus </li></ul><ul><li>Business and process improvement </li></ul><ul><li>Testing and validation </li></ul><ul><li>Communication and change management </li></ul><ul><li>... And more!! </li></ul>
Is the BA role debate our kryptonite? <ul><li>So many powers! </li></ul><ul><li>What is our main focus of activity – our central concern? </li></ul><ul><li>Will our struggle to define our role threaten our existence? </li></ul><ul><li>Is BA a profession or not? </li></ul><ul><li>Where is the League of Justice for BAs? </li></ul>
Role vs Discipline – for good or evil? <ul><li>Definition by Role: </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations have LOTS of roles we can fill </li></ul><ul><li>Roles vary from organisation to organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Too broad </li></ul><ul><li>If role ≠ my BA picture, what am I, who am I? </li></ul><ul><li>Definition by Discipline: </li></ul><ul><li>Specialists in the field of business analysis are therefore business analysts </li></ul><ul><li>Too narrow </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t box me in!!! </li></ul><ul><li>If discipline definition ≠ my current role, am I really a BA? </li></ul>
Chickens and Eggs <ul><li>“ 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”. </li></ul><ul><li>- Jesse James Garrett, IA Recon </li></ul>
Working thru “defining the damn thing” together <ul><li>“ Community of Practice” can help shape the future of the profession </li></ul><ul><li>Shared tools </li></ul><ul><li>Shared methodologies </li></ul><ul><li>Shared approaches to work </li></ul><ul><li>BA Practice by description NOT prescription </li></ul>
It’s about learning and sharing…. “ Andrew Hinton at inkblurt.com” <ul><li>Work “Team” </li></ul><ul><li>Involuntary membership </li></ul><ul><li>Obliged to be a member </li></ul><ul><li>Role defined by the project </li></ul><ul><li>Team defined by organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>Community of Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Voluntary membership </li></ul><ul><li>“ Because I’m interested” </li></ul><ul><li>Role described by the sum of the whole practice </li></ul><ul><li>Continual improvement of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Learning and sharing </li></ul>
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 <ul><li>Requirements gathering and management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both the PM and the BA face the same challenges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to identify & document complete requirements up front </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Process Improvement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PM - Continuous process & practice improvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BA – business process improvement and effective project management methodologies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Skills and Competency profile </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Profile of an effective PM or BA are virtual identical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Morphed into one profession the “BA/PM” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tools and Templates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Again virtually identical </li></ul></ul>
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 <ul><li>Many practices, disciplines and areas of concern have overlap. E.g. UXD & IA; IA & BA; BA & EA </li></ul><ul><li>People will migrate from one area of concern to another based on their previous experience, skills and expertise, into new ones over time. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>There will always be differences between roles and activities we bring to our team and the central concern </li></ul>
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 <ul><li>How can we share ideas about: </li></ul><ul><li>The differences in our Titles? </li></ul><ul><li>Our evolving Role? </li></ul><ul><li>Our tools, methodologies and deliverables </li></ul><ul><li>How do we adapt to: </li></ul><ul><li>The demands of the rapidly changing business environment? </li></ul><ul><li>The impacts this has on our Discipline and Practice? </li></ul>
Harnessing the Social Computing Revolution for our Practice <ul><li>Instant access to BA Community of Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Access to body of knowledge (in people’s heads, not in documents) </li></ul><ul><li>Communities of practice </li></ul><ul><li>Experts, gurus and thought leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Access to friends and their friends and their friends </li></ul><ul><li>This is “ what networking should be” - linkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraging: the power of many </li></ul><ul><li>The power of permission: trust </li></ul><ul><li>The power of networks: the friend of my friend is my friend </li></ul><ul><li>The cost (time, energy): easiest way (anytime, anywhere) to make contact, communicate, share, collaborate with “friends” and the BA Community of Practice </li></ul>
Case studies <ul><li>BAs in a changing environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning new powers from intersections NOT milkshakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agile environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leveraging Community of Practice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>BAs “with powers and abilities far beyond normal man”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adapting and changing roles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agile environment and tight timeframes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis from strategy and policy to complex data issues </li></ul></ul>
Case Study 1: BAs in this changing environment <ul><li>Large paper based application process to be developed via the web </li></ul><ul><li>Involvement of multiple divisions across the organisation, other agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Political exposure due to external user interaction with system </li></ul><ul><li>Data commercial-in-confidence </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure from stakeholders to develop process transparency , accountability and efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Requirements three years in the making </li></ul>
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
Lessons learned <ul><li>The environment is rapidly evolving </li></ul><ul><li>BAs need to learn and adapt to survive </li></ul><ul><li>There are tools not made by BAs that we can look to for help </li></ul><ul><li>One size (approach) doesn’t fit all </li></ul><ul><li>Intersections of the ‘central concern’ is a strength to draw from </li></ul><ul><li>Give back to the community – blog about it! </li></ul>
Case Study 2: BA powers and abilities <ul><li>Very political and high profile initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Policy still being developed on the fly </li></ul><ul><li>Tender is progress but delay in finding Vendor by Program launch date </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure for a deadline - (IT an afterthought) so Interim system deemed to be required. </li></ul><ul><li>3 weeks to develop high level requirement specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Required extensive data analysis - match one organisations product code’s to several other organisations </li></ul>
BA role description <ul><li>Powers and abilities: </li></ul><ul><li>Project Management skills </li></ul><ul><li>Test Management </li></ul><ul><li>Subject matter expertise in Health </li></ul><ul><li>In-depth knowledge of Medical products environment </li></ul><ul><li>Business case development </li></ul><ul><li>Forecasting needs for the longer term solutions </li></ul>
The complex environment – service rebate system
Approach <ul><ul><li>Initiation & Scoping solution requirements (core functionality to calculate payments based on total sales (volume) by distributors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research and Analysis to define key reports, outline key business processes, identify critical success factors, undertake a high level risk analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop Requirements Specification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop Conceptual Design (prototype) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Coordinate the Development of the system for the business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate - User acceptance testing </li></ul></ul>
Lessons learnt <ul><ul><li>In a changing environment: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Requirements and development are being done simultaneously </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BA may have to draw on various disciplines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BA need to fulfil different roles during the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drawing on core capability of analysis was key to solving the complex data issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BAs are key to understanding the business environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BAs can add value through the entire project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BAs can become the trusted advisor for the business </li></ul></ul>
We all need heroes….. <ul><li>We are a thriving and growing community of practice </li></ul><ul><li>We can help support your Projects </li></ul><ul><li>Our analysis skills can be utilised during various phases of the delivery of an engagement </li></ul><ul><li>We have proven methodologies, frameworks and tools to add value and fulfil business needs </li></ul>http://heroeswiki.com/Main_Page