Manage Business Analysis Performance - Business Analyst

Purpose

To manage the performance of business analysis activities to ensure that they are executed as effectively as possible.

Description

This task covers determining which metrics will be used to measure the work performed by the business analyst. It includes how to track, assess, and report on the quality of the work and take steps to correct any problems that may arise. This may feed into the development of future business analysis plans. The selected metrics are defined and described in the organizational process assets or the business analysis plans.

This task also describes how organizational process assets governing business analysis activities are managed and updated.

Input

Business Analyst Performance Metrics examples

Business Analysis Performance Metrics: Actual performance measures are captured, analyzed, and become the basis for taking corrective or preventive action. Capturing actual performance metrics is a process that occurs through the business analysis effort and is implicitly a potential output from every business analysis task.

Business Analysis Plan(s): These plans describe deliverables, activities, tasks, and estimates for all business analysis work. Conformance to these plans may be the primary metric used to judge performance.

Organizational Performance Standards: May include mandated performance metrics or expectations for business analysis work.

Requirements Management Plan: The requirements management plan may also set expectations for the frequency of changes to requirements and the work involved in managing that change.

Elements

1. Performance Measures

Performance measures are used to set expectations regarding what constitutes effective business analysis work in the context of a particular organization or initiative. Performance measures may be based on deliverable due dates as specified in the business analysis plan, metrics such as the frequency of changes to requirements or the number of review cycles required, or qualitative feedback from stakeholders and peers of the business analyst. Appropriate performance measures should enable the business analyst to determine when problems are occurring that may affect the performance of business analysis or other activities, or identify opportunities for improvement.

2. Performance Reporting

Reports can be in written format to provide for archival and tracking, or they can be informal and verbal, based on the needs of the project. Some reports may be made formally and orally as presentations to various levels of stakeholders and management.

3. Preventive And Corrective Action

The business analyst should assess the performance measures to determine where problems in executing business analysis activities are occurring or opportunities for improving the business analysis process exist. Once this assessment is complete the business analyst should engage the necessary stakeholders to identify the correct preventative or corrective actions. Preventative or corrective action is likely to result in changes to the business analysis plan.

Techniques

1. General Techniques

Interviews : Stakeholders may be interviewed to gather assessments of business analysis performance.

Lessons Learned Process : Helps identify changes to business analysis processes and deliverables that can be incorporated into future work.

Metrics and Key Performance Indicators : Can be used to determine what metrics are appropriate for assessing business analysis performance and how they may be tracked.

Problem Tracking : May be used to track issues that occur during the performance of business analysis for later resolution.

Process Modeling : Can be used to define business analysis processes and understand how to improve those processes to reduce problems from handoffs, improve cycle times, or alter how business analysis work is performed to support improvements in down stream processes.

Root Cause Analysis : Can help identify the underlying cause of failures or difficulties in accomplishing business analysis work.

Survey/Questionnaire : Can be used to gather feedback from a large number of stakeholders.

2. Variance Analysis

The purpose of this technique is to analyze discrepancies between planned and actual performance, determine the magnitude of those discrepancies, and recommend corrective and preventive action as required. Variances can be related to planned versus actual estimates,cost, scope, product expectations, or any measures that have been established during the planning process.

When variances between the actual work and the plan are found, variance analysis measures the magnitude of the variation. Variance analysis also includes studying the causes of the variance to determine if corrective or preventive actions are required to bring the business analysis work in line with the business analysis plans.

Stakeholders

Domain SME and End User: Should be informed of the performance of business analysis activities in order to set expectations for their involvement.

Implementation SME, Operational Support, and Tester: Dependent on the effective performance of business analysis activities to perform their role should be consulted when assessing those activities.

Project Manager: The project manager is accountable for the success of a project and must be kept informed of the current status of business analysis work. If potential problems or opportunities for improvement are identified, the project manager must be consulted before changes are implemented to assess whether those changes will have an impact on the project. The project manager may also deliver reports on business analysis performance to the sponsor and other stakeholders.

Sponsor: May require reports on business analysis performance to address problems as they are identified. A manager of business analysts may also sponsor initiatives to improve the performance of business analysis activities.

Output

Business Analysis Performance Assessment: This includes a comparison of planned versus actual performance, understanding the root cause of variances from the plan, and other information to help understand the level of effort required to complete business analysis work.

Business Analysis Process Assets: When the analysis of the performance of the business analysis work yields less than satisfactory results, it is helpful to review not only the results themselves, but also the process that produced those results. This process analysis often results in recommendations for improvement to the business analysis process. The revised process and templates for business analysis deliverables should be analyzed and documented and lessons learned should be recorded. These may be incorporated into Organizational Process Assets.

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