All organisations face external pressures that require informed decisions to be made about proposed investments and business change solutions. Business analysis is the professional discipline that aims to help businesses respond to these pressures by evaluating the feasibility of proposed investments, defining requirements, delivering relevant change solutions and ensuring that any changes are deployed effectively.
The concept of ‘service’ is becoming increasingly recognised in today’s business world with the customer experience being at the heart of a service offering, and this applies whether the customers are internal to the organisation, external or both. Not only do customers want to be able to ensure that anything they purchase offers benefits when deployed, they also want to feel that the experience of purchasing and obtaining the service meets their personal engagement needs.
The service offered by business analysts is focused on ensuring that business problems are well defined and address actual issues, and that business solutions offer valuable outcomes and do not result from ‘vanity’ or ‘panic’ projects. Current developments in technology and business working practices have caused business analysts to be under pressure to take on new tasks, work in different ways and even justify why a business analysis team should exist. Therefore, the need to clarify the business analysis service offering, communicate the value proposition and ensure that a team of highly skilled practitioners is available to deliver the service, has never been more relevant. Establishing this service requires leadership of the highest order. Business analysis evolves continuously, requiring ongoing consideration and clarification of each of the following concepts:
- offering the business analysis proposition (business analysis as a service);
- being a business analyst (business analysis as a role);
-doing business analysis (business analysis as an activity)
Business analysis is a professional discipline that aims to ensure that work systems are investigated, requirements are clarified, and proposed business and IT changes are evaluated. Business analysis, when conducted by skilled practitioners, can help organisations to spend investment funds with focus and insight. In many organisations, there are teams or communities of business analysts who wish to feel part of a distinct profession devoted to business analysis practice.
These business analysts understand that it is possible to have a business analysis career. They recognise that there are colleagues who are new to business analysis and they are prepared to offer support and mentoring to help them. In many organisations, grading structures exist for business analysts, required skills and competency levels are defined, training is delivered, and tool support is obtained.