Plan and Monitor

Business Analysis - Planning and Monitoring

The Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring knowledge area includes the following tasks:

Plan Business Analysis Approach

Describes the planning of business analysis work from creation or selection of a methodology to planning the individual activities, tasks, and deliverables.

There are various planning methods used across industries. We can fit them between predictive and adaptive approaches.

  • Predictive approaches: To optimize control and reduce risk, concentrate on reducing up-front ambiguity and making sure that the solution is established before implementation starts. When requirements can be successfully established prior to implementation, the danger of an improper implementation is unacceptable, or when involving stakeholders offers major obstacles, these approaches are frequently adopted.

  • Adaptive approaches: Concentrate on delivering business value quickly in brief iterations in exchange for accepting a greater level of uncertainty around the final delivery of the solution. These methods are frequently chosen when seeking out the optimum solution in an exploratory manner or when seeking to gradually enhance an existing solution.

The business analyst needs to be aware of tolerance for uncertainty of the enviroment of the project.

When choosing a business analysis approach, factors such as the complexity, scale, and risk of the effort to the firm are taken into account. The nature and breadth of business analysis work might change, and this can be reflected in the technique, depending on how complex and risky the situation is.

Depending on the number of stakeholders or business analysis resources participating in the venture, the strategy may also be changed. The strategy may be changed to include more process steps as the number of stakeholders grows in order to effectively manage the business analysis work.

  • Other factors that can impact complexity include:

    • Size of the change
    • Number of business areas or systems affected
    • Geographic and cultural considerations
    • Technical complexities
  • Factors that can impact the risk level of a business analysis effort include:

    • Experience level of the business analyst
    • Extent of domain knowledge held by the business analyst
    • Level of experience stakeholders have in communicating their needs
    • Stakeholder attitudes about the change and business analysis in general
    • Amount of time allocated by stakeholders to the business analysis activities
    • Any pre-selected framework, methodology, tools, and/or techniques

Plan Stakeholder Engagement

Describes understanding which stakeholders are relevant to the change, what business analysts need from them, what they need from business analysts, and the best way to collaborate.

Ensuring effective collaboration with stakeholders is essential for maintaining their engagement in business analysis activities. Collaboration can be a spontaneous event. However, much collaboration is deliberate and planned.

Choose the collaboration strategies that best serve each stakeholder group’s interests and guarantee that their interest and involvement are maintained throughout the campaign. While arranging a collaboration, some things to keep in mind include:

  • timing and frequency of collaboration
  • location
  • available tools such as wikis and online communities
  • delivery method such as in-person or virtual
  • preferences of the stakeholders

Plan Business Analysis Governance

Defines the components of business analysis that are used to support the governance function of the organization. It helps ensure that decisions are made properly and consistently, and follows a process that ensures decision makers have the information they need.

Examples of this include: requirements management, business analysis risk management, and allocation of business analysis resources.

Plan Business Analysis Information Management

Defines how information developed by business analysts (including requirements and designs) is captured, stored, and integrated with other information for long-term use.

A governance mechanism is made sure to be in place, and any misunderstandings are clarified by business analysts. A governance process identifies the decision-making structure, procedures, and data needed to make choices. How needs and designs are approved and prioritized is described by a governance process.

  • Determine the process for requesting changes: Choose which specifications and designs the change control process applies to, as well as whether it covers all changes or just those that fall inside a certain range in terms of size, expense, or amount of effort. This procedure provides information on how to submit a modification request, when it can be submitted, who can submit it, and how it will be communicated.

  • Determine the elements of the change request: identify the information to be included in a proposal to support decision making and implementation if it is approved. Possible components to consider on a change request are:

    • Cost and time estimates: for each area affected by the proposed change, the expected cost of change is estimated.
    • Benefits: an explanation of how the change aligns with the initiative and business objectives to show how the change adds value. Benefits considered include both financial benefits and tactical benefits such as implications to scope, time, cost, quality, and resources.
    • Risks: an analysis of risks to the initiative, the solution, or business objectives.
    • Priority: the level of importance of the change relative to other factors such as organizational objectives, regulatory compliance requirements, and stakeholder needs.
    • Course(s) of action: the course of action for the change includes an assessment of the components of the change request (cost, time, benefits, risks and priority). It is common to identify several alternative courses, including those recommended by the requester and by other stakeholders so decision makers can make a choice that will best serve the needs of the initiative

Identify Business Analysis Performance Improvements

Describes managing and monitoring how business analysis work is performed to ensure that commitments are met and continuous learning and improvement opportunities are realized.

Techniques for Better Planning and Monitoring

Keep them in mind for planning and monitoring purposes, use the best combination of them for your particular case;

  • Brainstorming: used to identify possible business analysis activities, techniques, risks and other relevant items to help build the business analysis approach.

  • Business Cases: used to understand whether elements of the problem or opportunity are especially time-sensitive, high-value, or whether there is any particular uncertainty around elements of the possible need or solution.

    • Document Analysis: used to review existing organizational assets that might assist in planning the approach.
  • Estimation: used to determine how long it may take to perform business analysis activities.

  • Financial Analysis: used to assess how different approaches (and the supported delivery options) affect the value delivered.

  • Functional Decomposition: used to break down complex business analysis processes or approaches into more feasible components.

  • Interviews: used to help build the plan with an individual or small group.

  • Item Tracking: used to track any issues raised during planning activities with stakeholders. Can also track risk related items raised during discussions when building the approach.

  • Lessons Learned: used to identify an enterprise’s previous experience (both successes and challenges) with planning business analysis approach.

  • Process Modelling: used to define and document the business analysis approach.

  • Reviews: used to validate the selected business analysis approach with stakeholders.

  • Risk Analysis and Management: used to assess risks in order to select the proper business analysis approach.

  • Scope Modelling: used to determine the boundaries of the solution as an input to planning and to estimating.

  • Survey or Questionnaire: used to identify possible business analysis activities, techniques, risks and other relevant items to help build the business analysis approach.

  • Workshops: used to help build the plan in a team setting

This tool will help you to better plan and monitor the on going status of the project as it evolves: