BANTER Business Analysts on Business Analysis

15/06/2020

Business Analysis to Business Architecture

 

Business Analysis to Business Architecture

Here we look at the key competencies for consideration when Business Analysts step into a Business Architecture role and provide two sample case studies from the extended Be Positive team.

 

Business Architecture underpins an organisation’s strategy. It is used to represent what an organisation is doing and to determine what they should be doing in the future – and why it makes sense to do it.

 

Business Analysis is concerned with helping organisations to execute that strategy - making sure that the changes that support the strategy are the best changes to fit the business need.  Business Analysis and Business Architecture come together in strategic deployments when:

 

  • Shaping the building blocks that are needed to deploy strategic initiatives

  • Developing the action plan and impact analysis

  • Helping the organisation make sound investment decisions on strategic initiatives

  • Making sure that changes to the underlying architecture are made following the implementation of a change

 

Comparison of roles

Whilst there are significant differences between Business Analyst activities and those of the Business Architect there are also many similarities, with the Business Architect role sometimes being seen as a ‘dialled up’ version of the BA role.

 

A Business Analyst will:

  • Focus on the fine detail

  • Specify change that enables the organisation execute strategy

  • Work in specific areas of the organisation that will be subject to change

  • Models data, processes and requirements

  • Elicit requirements from a variety of sources and analyse these

  • Be assigned on delivery projects and/or initiatives

 

 

A Business Architect will:

  • Look at the big picture

  • Focus on strategy development, sitting above project level

  • Consider internal and external forces on the organisation

  • Provide a market perspective and connects the business with the rest of the world

  • Consider the whole business system

  • Model capabilities, value streams, organisational structures

  • Think at a conceptual level

  • Have a high level of authority and autonomy

 

 

Both Business Analysts and Business Architects will:

  • Work with ambiguity

  • Aim to reduce complexity

  • Take a holistic view of people, processes, organisation, information and technology

  • Require excellent stakeholder analysis and management skills

  • Be adept at problem solving, a variety of modelling techniques and critical thinking

  • Have excellent analytical skills

  • Be effective at written and verbal communication

 

 

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BA Simplified is the perfect place to start your BA journey. Our easy-to-follow online course lets you learn Business Analysis, through a full project lifecycle, at a pace that suits you. You get access to 9 info packed modules, knowledge tests, downloadable content and a final completion certificate.  Try module 1 FREE today.

 

Business Analysis to Business Architecture - Case Study 1

Ash is a Strategic Business Analyst with over 15 years’ experience on change projects. She has a background in technology projects and prior to being a Business Analyst, Ash was a Systems Analyst and an IT Delivery Manager.

 

She was assigned to a large transformation project during the Feasibility Stage. Ash was assigned to the programme, before it was an official project as she had a reputation for excellent delivery and knowledge of the process and systems under investigation.

 

The organisation was considering a number of options including sale of part of the business, outsourcing of processing or significant investment in new IT systems.  Ash worked closely with the Business Architect, they jointly analysed options and impacts. They used a variety of modelling and analysis techniques and engaged at the most senior levels in the organisation.

 

 

 

Once an option was approved and the programme formally initiated, Ash remained assigned to the project. She was asked to sit on the Design Forum, which validates changes for each work stream across the whole enterprise architecture.

 

Ash used many of her underlying competencies on this assignment:

  • Critical and conceptual thinking

  • Building relationships at all levels in the business

  • Visual thinking and modelling

  • Subject matter expertise

 

She also felt her background in programming and systems analysis helped her bridge the gap between strategic Business Analysis and Architecture.

 

Competency development

If we look at the competencies of the Business Analyst, we can identify those competencies that will need to be supercharged in the move from BA to Business Architect.

 

 

Business Analysis to Business Architecture - Case Study 2

Peter has recently moved into a junior Business Architect role after a secondment to the Global Solution Architecture team of a large retail bank.

 

He had been a Business Analyst for 4 years working on a variety of projects from small changes, to regulatory initiatives to digital transformation projects.  He was assigned to the Solution Architecture team after working on project to launch an app for mortgage calculations for prospective customers.

 

He was seem as being particularly innovative in his approach – trying new ideas, challenging the status quo and considering the proposed solution from the customer perspective at all times. He was very keen to learn more about the digital technology side of the business – not just as an enabler but as an integral part of the business strategy.

 

 

One of the things he really enjoys is links across the industry, and he attends industry wide events and conferences. He is also working on building his network connections, especially with start-ups and is encouraged to get out of the office and arrange meet ups when possible.

 

Some of the biggest challenges he has found moving from the Business Analysis role have been:

 

 

  • Working as part of a support function that is consulted, rather than being allocated to specific projects

  • Thinking and modelling conceptually and not being involved in the project detail

  • Putting the theory into practice when it comes to strategic analysis

  • Engaging at executive level rather than with senior management

 

Peter had formal Business Architecture training, which gave him a great grounding in strategy, operating models, organisational design, process and capability modelling, financial modelling and governance.

 

Peter’s secondment resulted in a permanent move to the Business Architecture and Design team. His underlying competencies of - stakeholder management, political awareness and self-belief made him a stand out candidate with high potential for a Business Architecture role.

 

References:

  • Business Analysis 3rd Edition – D Paul et al

  • BABOK ® - IIBA®

  • BIZBOK® - Business Architecture Guild

  • https://www.process.st

 

 

 

Why not try our online course - BA Simplified?

BA Simplified is the perfect place to start your BA journey. Our easy-to-follow online course lets you learn Business Analysis, through a full project lifecycle, at a pace that suits you. You get access to 9 info packed modules, knowledge tests, downloadable content and a final completion certificate.

 

Try module 1 FREE today

 

Try our online course BA Simplified today - FOR FREE

BA Simplified is an easy-to-follow online course lets you learn Business Analysis, through a full project lifecycle, at a pace that suits you. ACCESS YOUR FREE DEMO HERE and test drive module 1 free. No card required for demo set-up.
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