How PMI-PBA defines the Business Analysis?

In my last PMI-PBA® class, we had a good discussion on what is Business Analysis and why project managers, product owners, system analyst, quality analyst need business analysis skills? I facilitated the discussion where the conversation turned to go deep in various business analysis activities from project initiation to closure.

The discussion ended with an understanding that business analysis is a skill set which you used in evaluating the business value of a solution, planning the solution activities, analyzing the solution requirements, monitoring if the solution is on track to deliver the business benefits and finally in evaluating if the solution met the Business Need. In PMI-PBA®, these are the broader activities and comes in the Business Analysis.

Now the answer to next question who performs these activities? –  According to Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide, these activities are assigned to the resources which have business subject matter expertise. The Business Analyst is one who performs these Business Analysis activities regardless of their title is a Business Analyst. You may or may not have Business Analyst assigned to your projects. Anyone in your project doing these business analysis activities, actually taking part in the Business Analysis.  Roles like Project Managers, Business Analysis, System Analyst, Product Owner, Product Manager, Portfolio Managers, Quality Analyst needs Business Analysis skills.

Let’s have a closer look at Business Analysis tasks mentioned in PMI-PBA® content outline associated with each PMI-PBA® domain:

Need Assessment:

  1. Work with business stakeholders to analyze the business problems to develop a high-level solution scope for the Business Case.
  2. Develop project goals align with organization goals and objectives
  3. Identify stakeholder values using elicitation tools and techniques to provide a base for requirement prioritization

Planning:

  1. Review the Business Case and project goals & objectives to develop a context of planning
  2. Plan strategies for Requirement Traceability Matrix to monitor and validate the requirements
  3. Develop Requirement Management Plan to establish a roadmap for delivering the expected solution.
  4. Identify methods for requirements change control system.
  5. Discover methods for document control system to establish a standard for requirements traceability and versioning.
  6. Collaborate with stakeholders to define business metrics and acceptance criteria to evaluating when the solution meets the requirements

Analysis:

  1. Elicit requirements using individual and group elicitation techniques
  2. Work with stakeholders to analyze, decompose, and elaborate requirements using techniques like dependency analysis, interface analysis, data & process modeling to clarify product options.
  3. Evaluate product options and capabilities to determine which requirements are accepted, deferred, or rejected.
  4. Using decision-making techniques obtain sign-off on requirements from the stakeholders.
  5. Involve in writing requirements that are measurable and actionable.
  6. Validate requirements to ensure requirements meet the intent of stakeholders and aligned with goals & objectives.
  7. Define acceptance criteria and metrics to evaluate whether the solution meets requirements.

Traceability and Monitoring:

  1. Track requirements using Requirement Traceability Matrix
  2. Update requirement status through its lifecycle states in order to track requirements towards closure.
  3. Communicate requirements status to stakeholders using communication methods to keep them informed of requirements issues, conflicts, changes, risks, and overall status.
  4. Manage changes to requirements to maintain the integrity of the requirements and associated artifacts.

Evaluation:

  1. Validate the solution’s test results against the requirements acceptance criteria to determine whether the solution satisfies the requirements.
  2. Using quality assurance tools and methods identify gaps in solution to resolve inconsistencies between solution scope, requirements, and developed solution.
  3. Obtain stakeholder sign-off on the developed solution using decision-making techniques to proceed with deployment.
  4. Evaluate the solution to see how well the solution meet the business case

Check yourself – If you are involved any of these tasks, you are involved in business analysis irrespective your formal designation.  Business Analysis gives you a mastery in working with business stakeholders and are critical to the success of the project. Business Analysis skills makes you more marketable especially  when you are a contributor in any of above Business Analysis activities. During past two years, we can clearly see that request for effective business analysis is growing especially for the PMI-PBA® certificate.

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