The Role of BA in Startups


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Presented to the IIBA Louisville Chapter, August 22nd, 2013

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  • Know more about me, Learn more about you.
  • My interest, how I define myself? A lot of interest(s).
  • I went to school at IU
  • Received a couple startup certs from UofL and Cal Berkeley
  • I work for a local non-profit startup in Health Information Exchange (HIO) as a ‘Manager of Reporting and Analytics, called KRHI
  • I’ve recently become the VP of Marketing and Communication for a non-profit Membership organization, IIBA
  • Recently invited to the Board of YPAL as the new ‘Director of Technology’
  • I became the Organizer of a local Meetup Group for the Lean Startup Circle - Louisville
  • I’m not defined by titles, I’m defined by what I do. I learn.
  • proAM Labs, is my organization in search of a repeatable and scalable business process.
  • Does this experience seem familiar to you?
  • Was it the FREE books? Was it to support the local IIBA, why?
  • Inspiration behind my investigation.. Why the “BA Role on Startups”?
  • Informal survey revealed.. Why the “BA Role on Startups”?
  • According to informal survey, BA have a very difficult task in mature companies and industry (not very sexy either) AND In startup or high growth market (which is much more accessible and sexy) The BA/PM certification is not preferred, they would much rather see relevant startup experience.
  • There are two realities – one for entrepreneurs and one for BA’s.
  • We’re in an enviable position, we have the ability to ‘effect change’ on the lives of local entrepreneurs and students of entrepreneurship.
  • Can anybody tell me the definition of a startup? Let’s start with the basics – by this definition the IIBA Louisville Chapter is a startup. I think we would all agree, this presentation, as a product is not going to scale us, but this is just an ‘MVP’ I’ll explain that later.
  • Let’s start with the basics – by this definition the IIBA Louisville Chapter is a startup. I think we would all agree, this presentation, as a product is not going to scale us, but this is just an ‘MVP’ I’ll explain that later.
  • Human institution - more then one person. creating a new product (or service) under conditions of extreme uncertainty. Pretty broad scope, right? A Startup by this definition is a ‘learning organization’ and if it can be learned, it can be taught.
  • You don't have to work in a garage to be in a startup.  Read More A startup is an institution, not just a product, so it requires management, a new kind of management specifically geared to its context.  Read More Startups exist not to make stuff, make money, or serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically, by running experiments that allow us to test each element of our vision.  Read More To improve entrepreneurial outcomes, and to hold entrepreneurs accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to setup milestones, how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting, specific to startups.  Read More The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.  Read More
  • Vision is where you define your idea, understand capabilities, get team members, Steering is where you ‘learn’ what is important, build an infrastructure that supports ongoing learning Acceleration is where you put your learning capabilities to the test.. Put your foot down on the pedal. “ The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup- how to steer, when to turn, (and when to pivot) and when to persevere- Then grow a business with maximum acceleration.”
  • Probably looks familiar to Fred Taylor’s Plan =>Do=>Check => Adjust? Many people are good at the idea and build part, tell story of Drew. but very rarely do they do the work of measuring, analyzing, learning. To start, you must consider.. What are we Learning? What do we need to Measure? What do we need to build ‘FIRST’ as a team, as an experiment, as our MVP.
  • Probably looks familiar to Fred Taylor’s Plan =>Do=>Check => Adjust? Many people are good at the idea and build part, tell story of Drew. but very rarely do they do the work of measuring, analyzing, learning. To start, you must consider.. What are we Learning? What do we need to Measure? What do we need to build ‘FIRST’ as a team, as an experiment, as our MVP.
  • Probably looks familiar to Fred Taylor’s Plan =>Do=>Check => Adjust? Many people are good at the idea and build part, tell story of Drew. but very rarely do they do the work of measuring, analyzing, learning. To start, you must consider.. What are we Learning? What do we need to Measure? What do we need to build ‘FIRST’ as a team, as an experiment, as our MVP.
  • Empathy:  This is where you work to identify a problem worth solving, mostly by engaging in customer interviews and collecting qualitative feedback. Stickiness:  Now you build an initial MVP and test it with early adopters. You’re looking for usage and retention. Virality:  Next you want to attract more users/customers. Virality (inherent or artificial) helps lower customer acquisition costs. At this stage you’re not only focused on virality, but also interested in experimenting with other acquisition channels, to see if you can bring in quality users/customers cost-effectively. Revenue:  Now you need to focus on the economics and make sure they’re sound. Are you earning more per user/customer than it costs to acquire them? Scale:  Finally, you get to scale. At this stage you have a product that’s solving a problem, a good number of active & retained customers, and the economics of your business (perhaps at a small scale) make sense. You now pour more fuel on the fire, or expand in other ways (through partnerships, targeting new markets, etc.).
  • If you don’t learn anything else today, know that Business Plans are DEAD. Do not recommend someone spend 6 months building a business plan with 5 year proforma, etc. Everything they do (6 months worth of work) will be wasted, once they meet their first customer. Next slide is how to see the big picture. Peter F. Drucker was a writer, professor, management consultant and self-described “social ecologist,” who explored the way human beings organize themselves and interact much the way an ecologist would observe and analyze the biological world. Hailed by  BusinessWeek  as “the man who invented management,” Drucker directly influenced a huge number of leaders from a wide range of organizations across all sectors of society. Among the many: General Electric, IBM, Intel, Procter & Gamble, Girl Scouts of the USA, The Salvation Army, Red Cross, United Farm Workers and several presidential administrations. Drucker’s 39 books, along with his countless scholarly and popular articles, predicted many of the major developments of the late 20th century, including privatization and decentralization, the rise of Japan to economic world power, the decisive importance of marketing and innovation, and the emergence of the information society with its necessity of lifelong learning. In the late 1950s, Drucker coined the term “knowledge worker,”
  • See the big picture, but start with the Market (Customer) what is your Value Proposition.
  • Seeing your ‘value proposition’ is much easier said than done. You need to know your customer, understand what their pains are.. Understand what value you are giving them by ‘doing the job’. You have to ‘BE the customer’
  • Holy shit, they ‘customers’ actually want us to do their job for them? –makes complete sense, make their life easier. The don’t want a drill they want the hole to be already drilled for them. That is the work, the value. So how do we do it-next slide… Theodore Levitt  (March 1, 1925, Vollmerz, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Germany – June 28, 2006, Belmont, Massachusetts) was an American economist and professor at Harvard Business School. He was also editor of the  Harvard Business Review  and an editor who was especially noted for increasing the Review's circulation and for popularizing the term globalization. In 1983, he proposed a definition for  corporate purpose:  Rather than merely making money, it is to create and keep a customer.
  • Has anybody ever heard the Americanized version of this as MBA=MBwA? “Manage By Walking Around”
  • So how do you find out the value proposition, you must start with an experiment that describes: Who you think the customer is.. What you think their problem is.. Knowing that you NOR the customer has the answer to either of the these questions.. If you look very closely, you can see the ‘Types of techniques’ used to gather feedback, requirements. (These are BA Techniques)
  • The customer interview process..look familiar? One Technique
  • Not a great definition for the Role of BA, this was taking right from the website.
  • What persona do you relate to more deeply, more emotionally? Another way put, if you had two paths to take as a student of business analysis, Which would you choose? The BA path OR The Startup path, which would be: more sexy more accessible *may result in new organizations   OR may be part of revitalizing mature organizations  
  • Who do you relate to more? I student with a reference book OR a person who has: vision, willing to take risk, seeking a process of validating learning?
  • Meaning “it” =entrepreneurship can be learned and can be taught.
  • Here is the eco-system described by Bill at MIT.
  • We know the Business Analyst toolkit.
  • The lack of a tailored management process has led many a start-up or, as Ries terms them, "a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty", to abandon all process. They take a "just do it" approach that avoids all forms of management. But this is not the only option. Using the Lean Startup approach, companies can create order not chaos by providing tools to test a vision continuously. Lean isn't simply about spending less money. Lean isn't just about failing fast, failing cheap. It is about putting a process, a methodology around the development of a product.
  • The Lean Startup methodology has as a premise that every startup is a grand experiment that attempts to answer a question. The question is not "Can this product be built?" Instead, the questions are "Should this product be built?" and "Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?" This experiment is more than just theoretical inquiry; it is a first product. If it is successful, it allows a manager to get started with his or her campaign: enlisting early adopters, adding employees to each further experiment or iteration, and eventually starting to build a product. By the time that product is ready to be distributed widely, it will already have established customers. It will have solved real problems and offer detailed specifications for what needs to be built.
  • A core component of Lean Startup methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop. The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible. Once the MVP is established, a startup can work on tuning the engine. This will involve measurement and learning and must include actionable metrics that can demonstrate cause and effect question. The startup will also utilize an investigative development method called the "Five Whys"-asking simple questions to study and solve problems along the way. When this process of measuring and learning is done correctly, it will be clear that a company is either moving the drivers of the business model or not. If not, it is a sign that it is time to pivot or make a structural course correction to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy and engine of growth.
  • Progress in manufacturing is measured by the production of high quality goods. The unit of progress for Lean Startups is validated learning-a rigorous method for demonstrating progress when one is embedded in the soil of extreme uncertainty. Once entrepreneurs embrace validated learning, the development process can shrink substantially. When you focus on figuring the right thing to build-the thing customers want and will pay for-you need not spend months waiting for a product beta launch to change the company's direction. Instead, entrepreneurs can adapt their plans incrementally, inch by inch, minute by minute.
  • How are you defined?
  • If you’re not already a member..
  • The Role of BA in Startups

    1. 1. The Role of BA in Startups Jason Holman VP of Marketing & Communications for IIBA – Louisville Chapter Manager of Reporting and Analytics for KRHI Director of Technology for YPAL Lean Startup Circle – Louisville Organizer CEO, proAM Labs
    2. 2. Main Goals: • Introductions, find out your interest in startups • Introduce you to most recent activity in startups (i.e. MVPs) • Introduce you to a role for us (as BA’s) in startups • Determine if IIBA has the right mechanisms in place
    3. 3. Universal Truth All organizations are limited by talent and capital, but time is the most important and limiting factor to success.
    4. 4. Who AM I?
    5. 5. Who AM I?
    6. 6. Who AM I?
    7. 7. Who AM I?
    8. 8. Who AM I?
    9. 9. Who AM I?
    10. 10. Who AM I?
    11. 11. Who AM I?
    12. 12. Who AM I?
    13. 13. Let’s talk about you..
    14. 14. Survey Questions: Personal •What books have you read (on startups?) •How do you feel about (startups?) •What’s your current job title? •How do you feel about the importance of data? Where do you come from? •What industry? •What stage of revenue growth is your company?
    15. 15. Survey says… this is what I thought… • 100% have read the BABOK, awesome… • Other books, maybe… • Other entrepreneurs in the room? Who is searching? • we came to the ‘BA Role in Startups’, based on…[what need] • Many ‘titles’ in many industries at different stages of growth. • Which is great, we’re a diverse crowd, lending ourselves to diverse workgroups who can come up with diverse solutions
    16. 16. WHY BA ROLE? IIBA Panel Discussion on AgileMy Inspiration: “Why is Agile so hard to incorporate into Enterprise environments while being adapted to startups?” •Startups have fewer resources (capital and talent) •Startups must be (more) agile •Startups haven’t defined a ‘repeatable and scalable’ process •Startups are not entrenched in doing things the way they’ve always been done
    17. 17. WHY BA ROLE? Develop Louisville Session IV: How do local Startups feel about the BA/PM role or more importantly, which ‘factor’ do they believe to be more important? (BA Cert vs. Startup experience) •Local Startups • Jonathon Irwin, RedeApp • Terry Goertz, Data Scientist, Appriss • Larry Briggs, Managing Architect, ZirMed • Andy Eastes, CEO & Co-Founder, Agile Harbor •Local Higher Education • Dr. Adel Elmaghraby, Professor and Chair, CECS, JB Speed School of Engineering, UofL
    18. 18. The Dilemma- are we crazy? How do we promote BA when our local startups don’t see the value? (seeing more value in ‘startup’ experience)
    19. 19. The entrepreneur’s reality:
    20. 20. Our (BA) reality (the BA Role) We believe… •Both knowledge and experience are important. •We want to increase value for all stakeholders in our • companies, • causes, • local community, • Membership organizations •In innovation •You (we) have a major part to play (a ROLE to play) How you define the role is up to you (or your personal interest)
    21. 21. What is a Startup? “A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.” -Steve Blank
    22. 22. What is a Startup?
    23. 23. What is a Lean Startup? “a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty” -Eric Ries
    25. 25. Lean Methodology • Vision • Steering • Acceleration
    26. 26. Lean Methodology • Learn
    27. 27. Lean Methodology • Measure • Learn
    28. 28. Lean Methodology • Build • Measure • Learn
    29. 29. Lean Analytics
    30. 30. Peter Drucker (WhO IS THIS)
    31. 31. Business Model Generation
    32. 32. Product / Market Fit
    33. 33. Harvard Business School “People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” - Theodore Levitt
    34. 34. Step 1: “Genchi Genbutsu” • ( 現地現物 ) means “go and see” and it is a key principle of the Toyota Production System. It suggests that in order to truly understand a situation one needs to go to gemba ( 現 場 ) or, the ‘real place’ - where work is done.
    35. 35. Validation Board
    36. 36. Customer Discovery Technique #1
    37. 37. Let’s focus on our role… • As a BA • As a Entrepreneur • As an Organization/Startup
    38. 38. What is a Business Analyst? Job titles for business analysis practitioners include not only business analyst, but also business systems analyst, systems analyst, requirements engineer, process analyst, product manager, product owner, enterprise analyst, business architect, management consultant, business intelligence analyst, data scientist, and more. Many other jobs, such as management, project management, product management, software development, quality assurance and interaction design rely heavily on business analysis skills for success. -IIBA
    39. 39. What (or who) is an Entrepreneur? “one who undertakes innovations or introducing new things, finance and business acumen, in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity. The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new businesses (referred as startup company); however, in recent years, the term has been extended to include social and political forms of entrepreneurial activity. When entrepreneurship is describing activities within a firm or large organization it is referred to as intra-preneurship and may include corporate venturing, when large entities spin-off organizations.” -Scott Andrew Shane, A General Theory of Entrepreneurship: the Individual-Opportunity Nexus
    40. 40. Who is an entrepreneur? Eric Ries describes an entrepreneur as someone who has: • strong vision for the future • appetite for risk-taking • needing a process to ‘validate continuous learning’ Bill Aulet, MIT Entrepreneurship Center director, says: “Many believe that entrepreneurship cannot be taught, but great entrepreneurs aren’t born with something special – they simply make great products.” -Bill Aulet, Author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship
    41. 41. There is no entrepreneur gene.
    42. 42. Virtuous cycle of Innovation
    43. 43. Pitch: BA/PM Cert vs. Entrepreneurship • How about both? Why do we need to trade-off? • Since Entrepreneurship can be taught and Business Analysis is the marketed and accepted role to help create business processes of value. • BOTTOMLINE: JUST LIKE LEARNING BA REQUIREMENTS & TECHNIQUES, WHY CAN’T WE TEACH ENTREPRENEURSHIP? • OR SINCE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAN BE TAUGHT, WHY NOT BY BA’s? We have skin in the game.
    44. 44. Agile Extension to BABOK What does the BABOK say about business analysis?
    45. 45. BA Techniques mapped to Agile BA Guidelines
    46. 46. Agile Extension Framework
    47. 47. BA Techniques - Discovery
    48. 48. BA Techniques - Discovery
    49. 49. BA Techniques - Delivery
    50. 50. BA Techniques - Delivery
    51. 51. What’s next?
    52. 52. Pitch: •What if we had a Center of Excellence for (local) Entrepreneurship? AND •Couldn’t we build a “get YOUR BA in 15 minutes a DAY” course?
    53. 53. Who AM I? Just a BA w/idea -(hopefully, of interest).
    54. 54. Get your free book! Show Lean Startup Circle Code: LeanSeries
    55. 55. Become an IIBA Member: • Access to a free copy of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) v2.0 • Free access to the Online Library of more than 300 books • Discounted fee for the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) and Certification of Competency in Business Analysis™ (CCBA®) certification exams • Knowledge sharing and networking opportunities through the IIBA Community Network • Access to the exclusive IIBA monthly publication Quick Tips for Better Business Analysis™ e-Bulletin • Eligibility to join a local IIBA Chapter • Access to a free copy of the Business Analysis Competency Model • Access to IIBA Webinars on a range of professional development topics • Job search capabilities using the Career Centre • Free access to the Agile Extension to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®) Guide
    56. 56. Or • Contact me at: • Twitter: @holman_jc • LinkedIn: • Louisville Lean Startup Circle • • Or contact us at for more info on IIBA Membership