Business Analysis

PMI-PBA Pilot Participants Recommend Certification

PMI’s latest practice guide tackles the need for more thought leadership in the field of business analysis — which is quickly becoming recognized as an essential competency for effective projects and programs.

Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide will be available for free download for six months on PMI’s requirements management web page. A print version will be made available as well at a later date. This is the fourth practice guide released by PMI and follows successful titles on change management, complexity and organizational methodology.

Recent research by PMI, including their Pulse of the Profession® in -depth report on requirements management, has shown that as organizations begin to recognize how to utilize business analysis to their competitive advantage, there is an increasing demand for practitioners with the required business analysis skills.

The practice guide defines business analysis as the set of activities performed to identify business needs, recommend relevant solutions, and to elicit, document, and manage requirements.

Although, at many organizations, these tasks are performed by those with the title of business analyst, PMI research shows that it also may be performed by other roles, including: agile team members; business architects; data, functional, operational, systems, or user experience analysts; product managers; project managers; requirements managers or analysts, software requirements analysts, systems, or value engineers, and more.

However, regardless of the title, business analysts play an important role in projects and programs and their work often starts before a project begins and extends post project to ensure stakeholder satisfaction and benefits realization. The guide also offers important collaboration points where business analysts and project managers should work together towards more successful business outcomes.

Business analysis involves effort in a variety of domains — from identifying business needs to solution evaluation. PMI’s role delineation study identified five domains: needs assessment; planning; analysis; traceability and monitoring; and evaluation. Within each of these domains, there are a series of supporting tasks and activities. Each of these tasks and activities are defined and explored for practical application in the practice guide.

The guide is filled with tips that business analysts can put to work immediately on their projects. For example, under Needs Assessment, the guide says:

For each prospective solution option, the business analyst should assess various feasibility factors to determine how well the proposed solution will contribute to the goals and objectives of the organization and to understand how well each potential option solves the problem at hand.

And under the Solution Evaluation domain, the guide provides the following advice:

When the actual results of solution evaluation do not match the results that were expected, it is important to analyze the cause of the discrepancies uncovered. Many of the analysis techniques utilized when evaluating the solution initially can be used here.

Start learning more about how you can improve your business analysis practice by downloading a complimentary electronic copy of the guide. Also, if you perform business analysis as a part of your role, consider exploring the recently-launched PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA) certification.

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