Business Analysis Learnings October & November 2013

It has been a hectic October and November 2013.

In October, I traveled to Salzburg, Austria to participate in the first German speaking Business Analysis Development Day and then continued on to Vilnius, Lithuania; Warsaw, Poland; and Hamburg, Germany to participate in the Business Process Management Europe conferences.
In November, I attended the IIBA Building Business Capability conference in Las Vegas and then traveled to the IIBA Chicagoland Chapter to participate in a chapter event and the BA World conference. In addition to presenting, I had the opportunity to listen and learn from other presenters. I am still absorbing and synthesizing all the information I gathered but here are a few of my initial findings.

Business Analysis practice maturity varies around the world

As I have traveled from country to country throughout my tenure at IIBA and now as an independent consultant, I have had the opportunity to speak with local BA practitioners and to see first hand BA practices across different countries. Not surprisingly, business analysis practice maturity varies and is impacted by a variety of factors including the “personality” of the country, its size, and history. Leading the way – New Zealand and Australia, followed closely by the United Kingdom. Next up, South Africa. Then Canada, the USA, along with many countries in Western Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). The next group includes countries relatively new to business analysis that are either actively developing their BA capabilities or investigating how BA can provide a competitive advantage. It is comprised primarily of emerging economies – Brazil, India, Mexico, Poland, and Lithuania.

Roger Burlton, one of my co-presenters at the BPM European conferences and an expert in business process management, also assesses the maturity of BPM practices worldwide. His impression? Scandinavian countries lead followed by emerging economies such as Poland and Brazil. We are both impressed with the drive and attitude of practitioners and organizations in these emerging economies and as we continue to see economic improvement around the globe, it will be interesting to see if BA and BPM maturity has any visible impacts on the financial performance of these countries.

BA does not equal BPM but there is a lot of overlap

Business Process Management is comprised of both operational and change systems that support the multiple levels of the organization. Operational Systems either are / or support the factory / production lines that produce the products and services for the organization. The Change Systems delivers changes to the factory or production line. Business process management within the change system is Business Analysis.

Business Process Management

Process Level Change System (= Business Analysis)


Operational System
Enterprise Create Process Architecture
Develop Process Measurement System
Align Processes

Define & prioritize changes


Institute continuous improvement

Manage Enterprise processes
Monitor & Report on process performance
Process Understand Processes
Analyze Processes
Redesign Processes
Implement Redesigned Processes
Roll-out Redesigned Processes
Manage & execute specific processes
Define & prioritize changes
Institute continuous improvement
Implementation Implement projects to support process change (e.g., IT, HR) Resource & support functions (e.g., Training, Information Technology)

Business Architecture is Big “B” Business Analysis
Also known as Enterprise Business Analysis

Business Architecture describes the organization and includes: why does it exit – vision, mission; how does it operate – business processes; what does it produce – information, products; who does what – roles; where is it performed within the organization; and when is it done. These are all essential components of what a BA needs to understand before s/he can help facilitate the highest value change / solution for the organization.

What does an Enterprise BA do?

  • Identifies and defines business needs
  • Identifies opportunities for improvement
  • Understands overall business structure, strategy & impact on work efforts
  • Understands organizational culture, structure & impact on work efforts
  • Understands business architecture & can assess capability gaps
  • Identifies and proposes possible solutions Describes and selects a solution approach
  • Defines the new capabilities that the project, iteration or work effort will deliver
  • Determines justification of investment for proposed solution

Business Analysis is the first step in effective organizational change.
We need to educate business leaders on the importance of adopting and applying the discipline of business analysis.


Have something to Add? (Choose a platform below)

Speak Your Mind

Loading Facebook Comments ...