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Practice makes perfect
Aiming for excellence
in business analysis
with David Morris CSM CBAP BA World
Equinox IT Business ...
… and why it’s
important just
now (in 2009)
Let’s explore what
we mean by
“excellence in
business analysis” …
Our organisations need
a bigger bang for their buck
ICT spending
↓30%
(IDC NZ Ecosystem Study 2009)
BAs are in a key position to assist our
organisations achieve more with less
… but we need to get better at
delivering
What challenges do we face in
delivering for our organisations?
Since 1994, every 2 years, the Standish Group has published the
Chaos Report, assessing our rates of success with project ...
Cancelled projects down a quarter
31%
24%
1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
CHAOS report, Standish Group
Cancelled p...
Challenged projects down a fifth
53%
44%
1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
CHAOS report, Standish Group
Challenged p...
Successful projects doubled
16%
32%
1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
CHAOS report, Standish Group
Definite improvement, but …
16%
32%
53%
44%
31%
24%
1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008
CHAOS report, Standish Group
… still unsuccessful on two-thirds
CHAOS report, Standish Group
Succeeded
32%
Challenged
44%
Cancelled
24%
So, what are the key factors that
contribute to success?
Requirements, scope, business case
32% • Strong elicitation and management of requirements
• Good control of solution scop...
Engagement with end-users
24% • Win their hearts and minds at the start
• Involve them throughout the project
• Set clear ...
Engaging with senior stakeholders
14% • Clear vision for project
• Strong backing from senior management support
of projec...
Competencies and leadership
10% • Strong leadership behaviours
• Appropriate team competencies and development
of project ...
Project management
20% • Wise and timely allocation of resources
• Just enough planning
• More frequent delivery to shorte...
Business analysts have influence over
80% of project success factors
Project
management
20%
Scope &
requirements
32%
Engag...
That was international, but it’s no
better in New Zealand
Maturity levels of BA practices
54%
2 3 4 5
2009 Business Analysis Baseline, IIBA NZ
practices below level 3
Not enough BAs have or are working
toward professional qualifications
66%practices have no or very few
professionally qual...
Too many BAs are still working solely
at the tactical project level
69%
Aiming for excellence can help
Community
of practice
Community of
competence
Development
Maturity
Centre of
excellence
Strategic
alignment
Community
of i...
Develop highly-effective business
analysts
7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R Covey
Aptitude
SkillsKnowledge
•...
Implement systems and structures
• Establish, monitor, and continually improve the
systems and processes for our BA practi...
Select appropriate methodology for
the business and technical teams
Drive
toward more
structure
Agile
Iterative
Waterfall
...
Improve service levels
• Improve requirements capabilities
• Agree how to manage scope, and keep to it
• Mandate business ...
Work at the strategic level
• Engage with senior stakeholders
• Guide selection of most value soonest delivered
• Follow t...
Start the journey toward excellence
Get buy in from the business
• Create a practice vision
• Recruit a senior sponsor
• Get all stakeholders on side
Assess where you are today
• Consider what measures should be in place
• Assess your practice’s current maturity
• Assess ...
Organisation readiness
Dark ages Tokenism Payback Partnership
Where is your organisation on this continuum, and how ready ...
Which heading
• Agree new heading
• Take first steps with new working practices
• Establish a regular training programme
Get ready to scale strategic heights
• Gear up to provide strategic enterprise analysis to
operate as an internal consulta...
When working with senior business
stakeholders, be willing to challenge
the emperor’s clothes
Monitor and adjust
• Collect metrics agreed beforehand
• Hold regular 360 reviews with stakeholders
• Be ready to pivot if...
Are we getting better at delivering?
• To help our organisations deliver more with less, we
have to up our game
• Aiming f...
LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/DavidJCMorris
Twitter twitter.com/DavidJCMorris
Email davidjcmorris@hotmail.com
Follow up
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Aiming for Excellence in Business Analysis

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On 24 July 2009, I was fortunate enough to speak at the BA World conference in Wellington, to talk about Centres of Excellence for business analysis, how aiming for excellence would help us overcome some of our challenges, on what those first steps would look like. This was the first public airing of the early stages of what would evolve to become my practice development approach.

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Aiming for Excellence in Business Analysis

  1. 1. Practice makes perfect Aiming for excellence in business analysis with David Morris CSM CBAP BA World Equinox IT Business Consulting 15 March 2009
  2. 2. … and why it’s important just now (in 2009) Let’s explore what we mean by “excellence in business analysis” …
  3. 3. Our organisations need a bigger bang for their buck ICT spending ↓30% (IDC NZ Ecosystem Study 2009)
  4. 4. BAs are in a key position to assist our organisations achieve more with less
  5. 5. … but we need to get better at delivering
  6. 6. What challenges do we face in delivering for our organisations?
  7. 7. Since 1994, every 2 years, the Standish Group has published the Chaos Report, assessing our rates of success with project delivery, and after 7 reports (in 2009), we have made some progress …
  8. 8. Cancelled projects down a quarter 31% 24% 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 CHAOS report, Standish Group Cancelled projects are those that never saw the light of day – ran out of budget, change of ownership, re-prioritisation, company went bust, etc.
  9. 9. Challenged projects down a fifth 53% 44% 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 CHAOS report, Standish Group Challenged projects are those that do get implemented, but not with all features, on budget, on schedule – or typically a combination of all three
  10. 10. Successful projects doubled 16% 32% 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 CHAOS report, Standish Group
  11. 11. Definite improvement, but … 16% 32% 53% 44% 31% 24% 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 CHAOS report, Standish Group
  12. 12. … still unsuccessful on two-thirds CHAOS report, Standish Group Succeeded 32% Challenged 44% Cancelled 24%
  13. 13. So, what are the key factors that contribute to success?
  14. 14. Requirements, scope, business case 32% • Strong elicitation and management of requirements • Good control of solution scope • Clear business case, kept in review throughout of project success Contributes to
  15. 15. Engagement with end-users 24% • Win their hearts and minds at the start • Involve them throughout the project • Set clear expectations, communicate, and deliver of project success Contributes to
  16. 16. Engaging with senior stakeholders 14% • Clear vision for project • Strong backing from senior management support of project success Contributes to
  17. 17. Competencies and leadership 10% • Strong leadership behaviours • Appropriate team competencies and development of project success Contributes to
  18. 18. Project management 20% • Wise and timely allocation of resources • Just enough planning • More frequent delivery to shorter timescales of project success Contributes to
  19. 19. Business analysts have influence over 80% of project success factors Project management 20% Scope & requirements 32% Engagement with business 24% Engagement with senior stakeholders 14% Competencies and leadership 10% CHAOS report, Standish Group
  20. 20. That was international, but it’s no better in New Zealand
  21. 21. Maturity levels of BA practices 54% 2 3 4 5 2009 Business Analysis Baseline, IIBA NZ practices below level 3
  22. 22. Not enough BAs have or are working toward professional qualifications 66%practices have no or very few professionally qualified BAs
  23. 23. Too many BAs are still working solely at the tactical project level 69%
  24. 24. Aiming for excellence can help
  25. 25. Community of practice Community of competence Development Maturity Centre of excellence Strategic alignment Community of interest Support Glenn Brulee
  26. 26. Develop highly-effective business analysts 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R Covey Aptitude SkillsKnowledge • Assess your team’s knowledge, skills, and aptitude • Agree development plans and mentoring • Set paths to certification
  27. 27. Implement systems and structures • Establish, monitor, and continually improve the systems and processes for our BA practices
  28. 28. Select appropriate methodology for the business and technical teams Drive toward more structure Agile Iterative Waterfall Drive toward more adaptive Organisation culture Conformance to the plan Rapid business value Projectculture StructuredAdaptive Pete Tansey
  29. 29. Improve service levels • Improve requirements capabilities • Agree how to manage scope, and keep to it • Mandate business cases, and actively review them
  30. 30. Work at the strategic level • Engage with senior stakeholders • Guide selection of most value soonest delivered • Follow through with benefits realisation review
  31. 31. Start the journey toward excellence
  32. 32. Get buy in from the business • Create a practice vision • Recruit a senior sponsor • Get all stakeholders on side
  33. 33. Assess where you are today • Consider what measures should be in place • Assess your practice’s current maturity • Assess team’s individual competencies
  34. 34. Organisation readiness Dark ages Tokenism Payback Partnership Where is your organisation on this continuum, and how ready are they to form a partnership? Rob Thomsett
  35. 35. Which heading • Agree new heading • Take first steps with new working practices • Establish a regular training programme
  36. 36. Get ready to scale strategic heights • Gear up to provide strategic enterprise analysis to operate as an internal consultancy
  37. 37. When working with senior business stakeholders, be willing to challenge the emperor’s clothes
  38. 38. Monitor and adjust • Collect metrics agreed beforehand • Hold regular 360 reviews with stakeholders • Be ready to pivot if things don’t work out
  39. 39. Are we getting better at delivering? • To help our organisations deliver more with less, we have to up our game • Aiming for excellence will help us achieve that
  40. 40. LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/DavidJCMorris Twitter twitter.com/DavidJCMorris Email davidjcmorris@hotmail.com Follow up

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