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. Our global economic systems are teetering on the verge of collapse and by all accounts the recovery will be sluggish
. Our legacy of business and technology complexity poses barriers to our ability to change quickly Adaptability and agility are essential for success in the global marketplace
. Getting it right the first time is the only option – there is no time for doovers
. Success requires a plan and approach that:
. Hits the mark
. Is executed without a flaw
. With expert skills
. Delivers real business value

Following is the Standish Group Project Resolution History


To be able to react to – and even pre-empt – change to remain competitive, organizations must be able to execute projects flawlessly. With so much riding on
successful projects, it is no wonder we have invested heavily in improved project management processes, tools and competencies over the last two decades.
Although project performance has greatly improved, it is still woefully inadequate.
Consider the progress we have made (Figure 1), which is mostly due to improved project management and to reducing the size of projects (smaller projects are much more likely to succeed). Even with the improvements, nearly two-thirds of IT projects continue to fail (nothing of value is delivered) or to be challenged (they are over time and cost, and likely did not deliver the full scope of functionality). What does this mean to our ability to compete in the
marketplace? We know that failed and challenged projects often come with significant financial impacts.
A few examples:
 Rework and abandoned systems: a combined $75B per year
 Boston’s “Big Dig” Public Works Project: $>10B overrun; Loss of life
 EuroDisney: $4B failure
 FBI’s Virtual Case Management System: $170M failure
 America La France ERP System
Implementation: lost $56M in revenue in 2007; filed for bankruptcy in 2008
Another study by TechRepublic, Inc. and its parent Gartner Group, Inc. ® revealed that a staggering 40 percent of IT projects fail, which costs IT organizations an estimated $1 million each year. Clearly, we must do better.

So, what is the root cause of our continued inability to deliver new business solutions faultlessly that hit the mark and add significant business benefit? Many experts have made the case that it is our gap in business analysis capabilities and competencies (Figure 2) that is the root.

Consider the following research results that helped drive the overwhelming consensus that the gap in business analysis capabilities poses a barrier to higher levels of project performance.
Communication challenges between business teams and technologists are chronic – we estimate that 60%-80% of project failures can be attributed directly to
poor requirements gathering, analysis, and management.
Poorly defined applications have led to a persistent miscommunication between business and IT that largely contributes to a 66% project failure rate for these applications, costing U.S. businesses at least $30B every year.
56% of defects can be attributed to requirements, and 82% of the effort to fix them.
More than forty-one percent of new development resources are consumed on unnecessary or poorly specified requirements.
3. The Challenge
Our challenge is to close the gap in BA capabilities and competencies. What will it take? Are today’s business analysts up to the task? According to the The New Business Analyst: A Strategic Role in the Enterprise, November 2006 Evans Data Corporation Research Study, the typical business analyst looks something like this:

40 years old
 Median income: $75K
 Well educated
 Hails from IT
 More than 5 years experience doing BA work
 Analysis skills acquired on the job
 Disturbingly, they report most of their projects do not deliver all requirements
In addition, today’s BAs fill many roles:
 Business analysis: 29.3%
 Project management: 18.7%
 Developer: 15.4%
 SME: 13.5%
 Tester: 10.1%
 Other: 13%
Clearly, BAs that are focusing on multiple roles and tasks involving diverse disciplines cannot devote the time and attention needed to build a mature BA Practice and a world class BA workforce. The current hybrid role is tactically focused, deep into project tasks.
Where is the industry heading to transition the BA from a tactical player into a more strategic asset?

According to a 2008 study, (Carey Schwaber and Rob Karel, The New Business Analyst, Forrester Research, Inc., April 8, 2008), the BA will retain the current tactical roles that are both IT and Business oriented:
 Improve operations through changes to technology
 Mostly generalists as opposed to:
 Information BAs
 Process BAs
 Rules BAs
 Experience BAs (usability)

Improve operations through changes to policy and process
 Business Process Mgt.
 Business Rules Mgt.
 Six Sigma
 Mostly functionally focused:
The industry will also begin to groom and field more strategic BA roles, driving BA Practice maturity to meet the 21st century needs of our organizations:

 Make the enterprise visible
 Keep the business and IT architecture in synch
 Make visible:
 Current state (as-is)
 Future state (to-be)
 Gap in capabilities needed to achieve the future vision
 Convert business opportunities into innovative business solutions
 Translate strategy into breakthrough process and technology change
 Cross-functional and cross-domain experts

How do we Cultivate Mature BA Practices?
The goal of our BA Practice Maturity Framework is threefold:
Implement rigorous Enterprise Analysis practices that include the following key activities:
 Building the current and future state business architecture
 Conducting rigorous opportunity analysis and problem analysis with a small expert team to ensure an understanding of the business need
 Conducting feasibility analysis with a small expert team to identify the most feasible solution to propose
 Developing a business case with a small expert team to propose a new project to build the solution
 Continually validating the assumptions and forecasts made in the business case throughout the project
 Conducting solution assessment and validation throughout the project
 Measuring the business benefits of the deployed solution as compared to the forecasts made in the business case

Implement effective Requirements Management practices:
Planning the requirements approach and activities
 Eliciting requirements using multiple elicitation techniques, and validating elicitation results
 Defining and specifying requirements using multiple techniques (e.g., text, models, tables, matrices)
 Analyzing requirements to ensure they are accurate, complete, and testable  Validating that the requirements meet the business need throughout the project
 Managing changes to requirements; welcoming changes that add business value; reducing the cost of change through iterative development
 Communicating requirements using custom messages for each stakeholder Conduct meticulous change management practices:
 Ensuring the organization is ready to operate the new business solution efficiently and effectively
 Managing the organizational change required to ensure the new business solution is operated efficiently and effectively
 Developing the necessary business artifacts: business policies, procedures, rules, training, retooling, restructuring
 Implementing an effective benefits measurement and management

To steer the course, Hass and Associated have developed the BA Practice Maturity Model


Level 4: Business Technology Optimization

Business Benefit: Technology is Used as a Competitive Advantage
Organizations at Level 4 recognize that advanced business analysis practices are needed to use technology as a competitive advantage. Level 4 organizations vest accountability for business/technology optimization in a centralized organization that represents the entire enterprise that is responsible for management of the business/technology optimization practices.
Specifically, to achieve Level 4:
 The enterprise BACOE is integrated with other centers of excellence (project management (PM), quality
assurance (QA), software architecture and engineering (SE) and manages the vision, goals, objectives, and plans to achieve business/technology optimization
 The following process and tools are developed, piloted, deployed, and institutionalized:
• Innovation: convert business opportunities into innovative new business solutions
• Strategy Development and Translation into breakthrough process and technology change
• Customer Relationship Management
• Organizational Readiness Assessments
• Organizational Change Management
 Quantitative BA Process Management Program Integrated with PM, QA, SE
 Business/Technology Optimization Training Program is developed and required

Level 3: Business Alignment

Business Benefit: New Business Solutions Meet Business Need; Strategy is Executed Organizations at Level 3 recognize that business analysis is essential to ensure business alignment of project goals, objectives, and the new business solutions deployed by the project teams. Level 3 organizations vest
accountability for business alignment in a centralized organization that represents the entire enterprise and is responsible for management of the business alignment practices.
Specifically, to achieve Level 3:
 The BACOE mission is the centralized Management of Resources, Contractors, Vendors
 The following process and tools for achieving business alignment are developed, piloted, deployed, and institutionalized:
• Enterprise Analysis
• Portfolio Management Support & Facilitation
• Strategic Alignment of Project Investments
• Solution Assessment and Validation
• Benefits Measurement Program
 Business/Technology Architecture exists for the current and future states
 A Business Alignment Training Program is developed and required

Level 2: BA Framework

Business Benefit: Business Requirements are Managed Organizations at Level 2 recognize that business analysis is a valuable capability by vesting accountability for it in a centralized organization that represents the entire enterprise and is responsible for the management of the
BA Framework. The organization, often referred to as the business analysis center of excellence (BACOE), assigns roles and responsibilities and establishes plans for developing, piloting, and deploying BA standard requirements management practices.
Specifically, to achieve Level 2:
 The BACOE is established and roles and responsibilities assigned to develop and manage the BA Framework
 The following process and tools for managing project requirements are developed, piloted, deployed, and
• BA Planning and Managing
• Requirements Elicitation
• Requirements Management and Communication
• Requirements Analysis
• Requirements defect prevention
 The knowledge management process and system is developed and is in place to archive, manage changes,
and provide appropriate access to all BA process and tool assets and actual BA artifacts
 A BA Framework Training Program is developed and required

Level 1: BA Awareness

Business Benefit: Business Analysis Value is Acknowledged At Level 1, an organization does not have plans to implement a business analysis practice, or it has plans, but they do not yet demonstrate an understanding of the value of business analysis