Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM)


The “Big Picture” for a Strategic BA job!



In my view BABOK (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge) v3.0, by introducing the BACCM framework, has provided the world of business analysts the equivalent or extension of the famous triple constraints (scope, time and cost) that once revolutionized the project management world. BACCM, in fact, encapsulates the triple constraints and goes beyond by empowering the BA in their daily task to ask fundamental yet powerful questions at every stage of business analysis work. 


BABOK summarizes them as:

  1. What are the kind of changes we are doing?
  2. What are the needs that we are trying to satisfy?
  3. What are the solutions that we are creating or changing?
  4. Who are the stakeholders involved?
  5. What do stakeholders consider of value?
  6. What are the contexts that we and the solution are in?

I am sure this framework will be much discussed and deliberated in the faculties of management and business analysis in the days to come. BABOK emphasizes that neither one of these six core concepts is complete without the other. A continuous and holistic evaluation of the relationship among these six concepts is suggested for robust business analysis work. For the first time, we have a BA framework that supports the consulting role of the business analyst professional in unlocking true value proposition of organisational change drivers. The ability to influence, negotiate, and communicate at the strategic level will be tested as BAs rise to be strategic partners.

Coming from a Blue Ocean strategy consulting background, I am tempted to view the BACCM framework as a “Blue Ocean” treasure house for the often undervalued Business Analyst. BACCM emphasis on the six core concepts and its variations (in BABOK words “No single concept holds greater importance or significance over any other concept”) empowers us to plot the “strategic canvas” of Blue Ocean Strategy, probably for the first time ever. By carefully choosing and building competencies around the six core concepts BAs can unlock the strategic potential and chart interesting career options. There is no wonder that in the recent years, BA professional competency is climbing the charts and is rated consistently in the top leadership traits. The BACCM framework is an academic endorsement of the same. It takes true leadership mettle and enormous behavioral strengths to tie together the constantly changing and interacting landscape of value generation, while being mindful of the organisational context, focused on stakeholder needs, and solution options, aligned to the change to which businesses aspire.

In my view, this is a true game changer! This elevates the BA profession perception from monolithic elicitation, analysis and management of requirements to a “trusted advisory” consulting art. It calls for competencies to evaluate the complex, continuously changing and integrated web of value drivers. It is worthwhile to note, as always, “With great power comes great responsibility”. As the industry starts embracing this strategic role of a business analyst in enterprise design, business architecture and business leadership, it is imperative BAs prepare (quantitatively and qualitatively) to be the business analysis pioneers of this new value exploration.

The framework could not have arrived at a more appropriate time than ours! 

Businesses throughout the world are dealing with unprecedented complexities, competitive pressures and disruptions. Digital revolution is a reality that none can ignore but it has to be fulfilled without compromising organisational security, customer data and policies. In such a multi-faceted Organizational context, Leadership teams would be looking for BAs who are very adept at identifying, communicating and managing the gaps between expectations and constraints. With time to market playing an all-time significant role in gaining strategic advantage, Organisations expect the modern BA to be agile and multi-tasking with an ability to switch between ground level details and overarching vision seamlessly. The BACCM framework also provides clue towards the newer Training needs of Enterprise strategic BAs. Training to tap into one’s character and broadening one’s knowledge on Organisational culture and context will be on top of the training charts. The new strategic function cannot be performed sitting aloof and unaware of the organisational and team pulse. Seemingly invisible to the 6 core concepts of BACCM i.e. (Value –Contexts-Stakeholders-Needs-Solutions-Change) resides the crucial element of Organizational Culture.  Culture is like glue, and BAs need to understanding it, honor it, enable it, embed it and often rely on it – to move the 6 wheels towards a common goal.

Beyond BACCM? 

BACCM will equip the modern business analyst to deal with today’s challenges. But it is just a beginning! The leadership journey of the BA propelled by the framework will bring interesting new parameters into the equation and take away some. As Organisations recognize and nurture and mature to the “Human Capital“ (“Human capital is all about leadership, culture, learning, well-being, flexibility, workforce planning, strategy, change management, diversity & inclusion”-Juliet Bourke Partner, Human Capital, Deloitte) mode of Business analysis , there could be amazing blend of competencies chartered for BAs.  From Product, Process and Productivity , BAs could move on to worry more of the Triple Bottom-line, i.e. People, Profit and Planet in the new context!  BABOK V3 provides compelling clue to this changing landscape of Business analysis. 

The new definition of Business analysis “Business analysis is the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders” replaces the V2 traditional definition of BA as “Business analysis is the set of tasks and techniques used to work as a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals”.  This new definition clearly shows that modern business analyst will be a facilitator or enabler for business change and transformation.

Is this journey without challenges? 

Definitely not. While business analysts have to continue to be best at their traditional BA role, that of gathering and documenting requirements professionally, they also have to now take leap to the unknowns. There will be ambiguity and disorder at the onset; nevertheless BAs have to learn and master the art of chasing the Whole truth even while bits and pieces are juggled around. There will be challenges in defining performance structures and anchors around this new strategic role of a business analyst. Along with tangible outcomes, there will be a need to define the relevant “intangibles” for the new role. The motivation and spirit of the new BA, who adopts the BACCM model, have to be kept high through right interventions, training & reward and recognition mechanisms. The rewards to reap are abundant. The Organisation will get a new brand of “Leadership” ready and “holistic vision “folks who can be groomed easily to leadership and strategic roles.
These change enablers will cut through resistance (leveraging shared vision and quick actions) and deliver business value to change initiatives at remarkable speed and accuracy.

To summarize, in IIBA chief Kevin Brennan’s beautifully crafted words, “Through the BABOK® Guide v3, IIBA is advocating for the importance of business analysts as leaders who contribute to enterprise-wide success through alignment of change with strategy, and innovation in business architecture, processes, and information technology”.

Author: Suraj Panicker, Senior Business Analyst

Suraj Panicker is an IIBA Melbourne chapter member, working with ANZ, Melbourne as a Senior Business Analyst. Suraj is a PMP/Prince2 practitioner & a Foundation Fellow Certified Leadership Practitioner from Australia Graduate School of Leadership. He has worked in Australia, India, Japan and the UK consulting for Dell, Logica, eFunds & major banks of the world (JP Morgan, CIBC, RBS, BTMU, Westpac, NAB, BankSA & ANZ) in various transformation, business continuity and business process excellence initiatives.

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sudha posted on Thursday, September 24, 2015 2:13 AM

Your article is very nice.

Sudha J
Research Analyst
Fhyzics Business Consultants Pvt. Ltd.

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