What is Business Analysis?

For many organizations, effective business analysis is not an integral part of their project work. However, driven by the rise in project complexity, we see that business analysis is a key competency to project success. Business analysis involves identifying needs; recommending solutions; and eliciting, documenting, and managing requirements to deliver expected benefits.

When business analysis is properly accounted for and executed on projects and programs, high-quality requirements are produced; stakeholders are more engaged; the solution delivers intended value; and projects are more likely to be delivered on time, within scope, and within budget. For many organizations, effective business analysis is not an integral part of their project work. That contributes to projects not delivering the intended value.

“The focus is often on getting the requirements documented versus analyzing the requirements and ensuring they are properly understood and correctly prioritized.” said Lisa G. Meek, Director PM/BA Practice at Ciber.

Business analysis maturity of organizations

Highly mature organizations also experience above average performance across all the key organizational success metrics (see Figure 1). This was especially true with regard to strategy implementation, where the business analysts working in organizations with mature processes were three times more likely to identify strategy implementation as an area where their organizations performed well (66% versus 21%)

Of the respondents who rated their practices as highly mature, 82% stated that business analysis provides their organization with a competitive advantage, compared to only 58% from organizations working in organizations

with low maturity. And, 81% of business analysts whose organizations display a high level of maturity considered the role to be a greater contributor to obtaining a competitive advantage compared to five years ago—versus 58% from their low-maturity counterparts (see Figure 2).

Business analysis activities involve developing a  business case to:

  • Communicate the rationale for funding a project or program
  • Present the viable options for addressing the business need
  • Emphasize the value the organization seeks from the investment

Business analysis tasks include:

  • Pre-project strategy work, also known as needs assessment
  • Business analysis planning
  • Elicitation
  • Analysis
  • Monitoring and control
  • Solution evaluation

How business analysts spend their time?

Overall, respondents indicated they spend almost one-third of their time (31%) performing needs assessment and business analysis planning, and 41% of their time performing elicitation and analysis.

In low-maturity organizations, business analysts’ time is often not focused on business analysis tasks. In fact, professionals at low-maturity organizations spend nearly one-fourth of their time doing non-business analysis work and are often asked to fulfill many roles where they are limited in the amount of time they have to elicit and prioritize requirements.


Posted on Feb 13, 2019


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