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  • Zdj─Öcie autoraKarolina Zmitrowicz

Business Analysis planning - deliverable driven approach

Pretty often you ask how to effectively plan analytical work in a project. Efficiently - that is, so that the desired goals are achieved with a reasonable amount of work. Many people use the approach based on simple task decomposition (WBS) - we break the analysis work into individual activities and tasks, these we estimate, create a schedule for the analysis project and assign responsibilities. An approach well known from classic project management. Unfortunately, this approach - although reasonable in principle - can generate several risks like scheduling activities that contribute nothing and are simply unnecessary, or, on the other hand, skipping important tasks.

Task-driven planning is one method. I personally use the deliverable-driven approach. I assume that we don't carry out projects just to perform a series of activities, but to deliver specific results. Therefore, I start by defining the results (work products) first, and then identify the intermediate products, activities, methods and resources needed to achieve those results.

That way, I can focus on planning the delivery of value rather than doing tasks for the sake of doing them.

This approach works regardless of the method of activities adopted or the standards followed. I personally apply the practices of BABOK Guide and IREB adapted to the context

I propose the following approach:

1. Identify work products: start by identifying the work products that need to be delivered as part of the analysis process. These work products can include requirements documents, process models, and other artifacts.

Outcome: a clear definition of what needs to be produced.

2. Create structure for artifact traceability: establish a structure for artifact traceability. This involves defining relationships between different artifacts and ensuring that there is a clear traceability path from requirements to design and implementation

Outcome: definition of realities and dependencies between artifacts, especially input-output relationships.

3. Analyze work product creation: Once the work products are identified, analyze how to create these work products. Determine the tasks and activities needed to create each artifact. This may include determining the initial sequence of activities, assigning responsibilities, and estimating the effort required for each task

Outcome: identified activities necessary to produce the desired work products.

4. Identify methods and techniques: From the deliverables and work product analysis, identify the specific methods needed to create the given artifacts. This includes determining the sequence of activities, assigning responsibilities, and estimating the effort required for each task

Outcome: defined / selected methods and techniques

5. Identify competencies: identify the competencies and skills required to perform tasks and apply specific techniques. This includes analyzing the competencies of the team involved in the analysis work and identifying any gaps. As a result, you will be able to take action to address specific deficiencies such as training or outsourcing some of the work to external specialists.

Outcome: definition of skills needed to complete specific tasks, identified training /outsourcing risks

6. Define the business analysis approach: The first step is to define an appropriate method to conduct business analysis activities. This involves determining the overall approach, sequence of actions, techniques, and tools that will be used

Outcome: consistent definition of WoW (Way of Working).

By following this approach, you can plan the business analysis process in a structured and efficient manner. It focuses on delivering the required work products while avoiding unnecessary activities.

Here is a sample list of artifacts with a traceability structure.

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