The knowledge area Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring of the business analysis framework focuses on preparing and monitoring the execution of business analysis work. All outputs that are produced within this knowledge area are used by other knowledge areas, and therefore Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring is often seen as a first step in the framework.
Let’s think about how you prepare for a new assignment. Before you start any real business analysis work, you think critically about what you have to do, study available materials, talk to people in the initiative and try to find answers to the following questions:
The above-mentioned questions are just examples to illustrate preparation efforts that take place if you take up a business analysis assignment. You may have your own list of things to learn about. The important thing here is that the answers you get help you better understand the initiative, its scope and your role in it. They also help you in planning your work, so that it is done efficiently and effectively.
Being prepared contributes to achieving better results and defining business solutions that deliver the real value. The quotes “Think before you act” or “Proper preparation prevents poor performance” may be used here to reflect what this phase is for.
Additionally the Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring knowledge area contains elements of assessment and improvement of its own activities. When performing business analysis activities, you want to know whether the work you and your team do is truly done efficiently and effectively in line with organisational performance objectives. If not, corrective actions may be required that result in improved performance or prevent performance gets worse. This task ensures focus on continuous improvement.
Hopefully you recognise some of these aspects from your daily practice, don’t you? So now we can put all the elements that we discussed above as inputs, tasks and outputs that have to be performed in the Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring knowledge area.
|Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring|
|Input||Needs, (external) Performance Objectives|
|Task||Plan business analysis approach, Plan stakeholder engagement, Plan business analysis governance, Plan business analysis information management, Identify business analysis performance improvements.|
|Output||Business Analysis Approach, Stakeholder Engagement Approach, Governance Approach, Business Information Management Approach, Business Analysis Performance Assessment.|
Let’s take a quick look at each individual task and its role in the Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring efforts.
This task produces a Business Analysis Approach. The Business Analysis Approach defines how the business analysis for the initiative will be done. The approach depends on many factors. One of which is the selected planning approach: if you work according to the waterfall development life cycle you will have a high level of formality, and clear phasing in activities. If you work with an iterative development life cycle you will have less formality and continuous analysis activities. Next you derive the required deliverables and, tasks, needed to complete them including their timeline.
This task produces a Stakeholder Engagement Approach. We know that stakeholders can make or break the initiative. Knowing your stakeholders, and understanding their needs and expectations is essential to the success of any initiative. In this task we identify and analyse stakeholders to develop the best possible strategies for communication and engagement.
This task produces a Governance Approach for the initiative. The Governance Approach defines how decisions are made with respect to business analysis work e.g. prioritization, or approvals. You can think here about defining (1) who will approve deliverables, (2) who makes the final decisions in conflict situations, (3) how the change management process looks like, (4) who makes decisions about changes at the different stages of this process. Having these aspects clarified and documented somewhere saves a lot of time later in the initiative.
During business analysis work you receive a lot of input: documents, process descriptions, interview notes, etc. You have to plan how to deal with all this business analysis information, what you will keep, where and when it will be stored, who can access it. You also consider the requirements re-use: you can identify requirements that you can re-use, or decide to create requirements that can be re-used by others.
For requirements management purposes, you have to decide what requirements attributes you intend to use. You will also decide how you trace requirements to other business analysis information, e.g. models or code or test cases.
This is a special task in the Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring are. It is not about preparation for business analysis work, but about ensuring that the work is done effectively and efficiently. It also has an additional input: Performance Objectives. These objectives are used to define the metrics and measures for the business analysis process. If a discrepancy is detected between expected and measured performance, the improvements are defined and executed. Knowing what is expected of us, helps us perform at the expected level.
These are the five tasks of Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring in a nutshell. The next session will be about the Elicitation and Collaboration knowledge area. In the previous posts we explained the Business Analysis framework and introduced readers to the International Institute of Business Analysis.
If you wish to get more in-depth information about these knowledge areas, competencies or techniques please consider buying the BABOK® Guide, or become a member of the International Institute of Business Analysis. As an IIBA® member you receive your own (electronic) copy of the BABOK® Guide for further study.
BA Coach also provides online workshops about BABOK® .
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