BA CoEs, in one form or another, have been around for over two decades. This longevity may very well speak for itself as this is a very long time given today’s appreciation and variety of methodologies, and the technological developments to support them. Much of the discussions around BA CoEs however have remained static. While other disciplines have modified their approach to continue to be of value; allying their tactic to compliment the focal points of a company, the dialogue around business analysis and BA CoEs has remained limited to the subject of process.
As businesses acknowledge the value of business analysis – the result of the absolute necessity to drive business results through projects – they are struggling to figure out three things:
What are the characteristics of their current BA workforce, and how capable does their BA team need to be?
What is needed to build a mature BA Practice?
How are we going to get there?
Creating a BA Center of Excellence (BA COE) is a proven method for effectively reaching these goals with a BA team. In addition to improving BA performance in the traditional fields of elicitation and drafting, they aid in improving the other ‘soft’ skills that are becoming increasingly mandatory for a BA to possess.
Babies and Business Analysts go through four stages, as they open their eyes and see.
In Stage 1, with eyes closed, BAs are blind to their organization’s mess.
In Stage 2, as their eyes begin to open, BAs see in black and white: a single process step, template or isolated requirement.
In Stage 3, the mobile movement of the outside world attracts and delights them: industries, methodologies, collaborations and emerging trends.
In Stage 4, they strengthen their muscles: the analytical and creative skills used to facilitate organizational futures and protect their parent enterprise in this new economic climate.
In the twenty-first century, business processes have become more complex; i.e., more interconnected, interdependent, and interrelated than ever before. Businesses today are rejecting traditional organizational structures to create complex communities comprised of alliances with strategic suppliers, outsourcing vendors, networks of customers, and partnerships with key political groups, regulatory entities, and even competitors.
Understanding why BA CoPs fail is an essential part of strategic planning. If you can identify the gaps in your own organization, you will be in a much better position to put a plan in place to "Mind the Gap." This article will look at 10 common reasons why BA CoPs fail.
Part 1 of this series examined the components a Business Analysis Community of Practice should optimally include. This article sets out the first four steps that must be taken in order to establish a successful BA CoP.
It’s commonly agreed that it’s good to floss, eat plenty of fruit and have a Business Analysis Community of Practice. So why is there no common industry definition of what a BA CoP is, what it does, and how to protect it from “cost-saving” initiatives?
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