Search

So, you think you don’t need Business Analysis?  

The classic definition of Business Analysis is that it is research carried out to identify business needs and implement solutions to promote growth and achieve organizational objectives.  Then why are there organizations that still don’t feel the need to carry out this crucial process? The line between business and technology is blurring. Businesses need to adopt technology to survive and those that do it successfully learn to balance the IT resources with the business needs. This crucial but often ambiguous role is carried out by a business analyst. Its crucial because business analysts have to combine their savvy communication skills with superb technological skills to communicate, facilitate, and analyze operations. And it is ambiguous because a business analyst has no defined area, and can work in either operations, marketing, finance or engineering. To understand if they can survive without BA, organizations need to see their success rate in IT-related projects. Can they achieve 100% success rate without a dedicated liaison between IT and technology and specialists who can understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization to successfully suggest and implement improvements? The answer is probably a no. A Standish Group research shows that a staggering 31.1% of all IT-related projects get cancelled and the success rate for any project impeded with cost and schedule reruns is only 25%. An organization however small or big cannot survive with just a 25 % margin. BA’s on the other hand are actively involved in reducing costs. This they do by reducing rework—by focusing on the right requirements and eliminating unnecessary change, ensuring efficient utilization of stakeholder time, and by finding solutions that will help achieve project targets, cost-effectively. These processes will ensure shorter delivery time, increased productivity, higher employee morale, and a higher rate of project success. And the best benefit—satisfied customers who will value the quality and finesse brought into the projects. As organizations mature and take on complex, time intensive projects, they cannot afford to bypass an integral area of project management that will help meet their business objectives and succeed in this competitive environment.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews

So, you think you don’t need Business Analysis?  

561
So, you think you don’t need Business Analysis?   

The classic definition of Business Analysis is that it is research carried out to identify business needs and implement solutions to promote growth and achieve organizational objectives.  Then why are there organizations that still don’t feel the need to carry out this crucial process?

The line between business and technology is blurring. Businesses need to adopt technology to survive and those that do it successfully learn to balance the IT resources with the business needs. This crucial but often ambiguous role is carried out by a business analyst.

Its crucial because business analysts have to combine their savvy communication skills with superb technological skills to communicate, facilitate, and analyze operations. And it is ambiguous because a business analyst has no defined area, and can work in either operations, marketing, finance or engineering.

To understand if they can survive without BA, organizations need to see their success rate in IT-related projects. Can they achieve 100% success rate without a dedicated liaison between IT and technology and specialists who can understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization to successfully suggest and implement improvements?

The answer is probably a no. A Standish Group research shows that a staggering 31.1% of all IT-related projects get cancelled and the success rate for any project impeded with cost and schedule reruns is only 25%. An organization however small or big cannot survive with just a 25 % margin.

BA’s on the other hand are actively involved in reducing costs. This they do by reducing rework—by focusing on the right requirements and eliminating unnecessary change, ensuring efficient utilization of stakeholder time, and by finding solutions that will help achieve project targets, cost-effectively.

These processes will ensure shorter delivery time, increased productivity, higher employee morale, and a higher rate of project success. And the best benefit—satisfied customers who will value the quality and finesse brought into the projects.

As organizations mature and take on complex, time intensive projects, they cannot afford to bypass an integral area of project management that will help meet their business objectives and succeed in this competitive environment.

Shweta

Shweta Iyer

Blog Author

A writer, traveller and culture enthusiast, Shweta has had the opportunity to live in six different countries and visit many more. She loves researching and understanding the Internet of things and its impact on life. When she is not writing blogs, she’s busy running behind her 6 year old with a bowl of veggies

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Suggested Blogs

Risk vs Issues [ Based on Various Factors ]

Can you guess a reason behind project failure? Here’s a hint. A poor risk or issue management can lead to project failure. According to PMBOK, risk can be defined as an uncertain event or condition that results in a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives. Whereas, an issue can be defined as an event or condition that has already happened and has impacted or currently impacting the project objectives. There are certain grounds on which we can differentiate issues from risks. Let’s take a look at the differences. Difference between Risk & Issues Before moving to the core differences, let’s take a look at the comparisons between examples of risk and issues through the following chart: Risks Issues A critical resource might leave the project A team member resigns Team members of the project might take vacations during the critical time of the project. No one can be confirmed when team members would take vacations. There may be unanticipated requirement changes. New functionality has been found that needs to be added to the scope of the project. Something new might come up after impact analysis that may push the project dates. Two new changes which are the outcome of Impact analysis resulted in pushing the project deadline by a week.   First of all, let’s look at the high-level difference between “Issues” & Risks”: Now let’s see how risks & issues play an integral role in a project: In general, if a project manager identifies all the possible negative risks and their respective response plans within the project, then the possibility of issues can be drastically reduced.  (i.e. prevention is better than cure). However, certain unforeseen situations may still arise which turn out to be issues. They could be certain potential risks which were unidentified in the past. They could also be risks which have been already identified, where the risk response plans are inadequate- and those events turn into issues and impact the project. If a project manager pays inadequate attention to risk management, there is a greater possibility of his spending his valuable time & efforts later in managing the issues that arise! Now, when it comes to issue management the project manager will document the issues in the “issue register” and will perform an issue analysis to identify the possible “work-arounds” to fix the issue. For example: Let us suppose there is a FIRE in the room. If we consider this in the context of issue & work-around, we say that there has been an occurrence of a fire, and we need to put it off by using a fire extinguisher. Since issues are present focused, there is a very limited time available to identify the work-arounds required to fix the issue. Once the work-arounds are identified, it’s also equally important that such issues should not get repeated in the future. There should also not be any possibility of re-occurrences in a different form, in order to bring it to a permanent closure.  In case of a re-occurrence then such events will be treated as “risks” because risks are future focused. They will be documented in the “risk register” and then sufficient risk response plans should be identified to cover those possible future risks. What are the types of risks in Project Management? Risks in projects are inclusive of both internal risks that are associated with the successful completion of each project as well as the risks that are beyond the project team’s control. The following are a few of the most common project risks: Cost risk: This refers to the escalation of project costs as a result of poor cost estimating accuracy and scope creep. Schedule risk: This refers to the risk of activities taking longer than expected. Drifting away from the schedule typically increase costs which leads to a delay of receiving project benefits and possible loss of competitive advantage. Performance risk: This refers to the risk of failure to produce consistent results with project specifications.   There are some other risks which result in cost, schedule, or performance problems and create other types of adverse consequences for the organisation. They are as follows: Governance risk: This risk relates to the board and management performance with regard to ethics, community stewardship, and company reputation. Strategic risks: These risks are the result of the errors in strategy like choosing a technology that can’t be made to work. Operational risk: These risks comprise of risks from poor implementation and process problems like production, procurement, and distribution. Market risks: These risks comprise of risks related to foreign exchange, competition, interest rate, and commodity markets. This also includes liquidity and credit risks. Legal risks: These risks arise because of legal and regulatory obligations which include contract risks and litigation brought against the organisation. External hazards risks: These risks are incurred due to storms, floods, and earthquakes. Other than these, vandalism, sabotage, terrorism, labor strikes, and civil unrest are responsible for such type of risks. What is the importance of risk identification? The most important step in risk management is identifying risks. It involves generating a comprehensive list of threats and opportunities which are based on events that might prevent, enhance, accelerate, degrade, or delay the achievement of your objectives. You can’t manage risk without identifying it. But how to identify risks? One of the key steps in a proactive risk management process is to identify risks. You must look at the following sources in order to identify your project risk: Sources Description Risk registers and risk reports Provide a foundation for the evaluation of existing risks and their potential risk to an objective. Issues log It comprises of the issues and the actions considered to resolve them. Analyze the issues that were formally identified as risks. Audit reports These are the independent view of adherence to regulatory guidelines which include a review of compliance preparations, access controls, security policies, and risk management. Business Impact Analysis (BIA) It is a detailed risk analysis that is done in order to examine the nature and extent of disruptions and the likelihood of resulting consequences. Internal & external reviews These reviews are undertaken in order to evaluate the adequacy, suitability, and effectiveness of the department’s systems, and to plan for the scope of improvement.   Perspectives for Risk Management It is important to realise the perspectives for risk management and evaluate them during a program’s life continuously in order to anticipate risks at an early stage and tackle issues appropriately. Few of the risk management perspectives are as follows: Strategic level: The interdependencies of the program with other initiatives, its outcomes, and benefits realisation are affected by the strategic level changes. These changes are driven by: External factors like political, economic, social, legislative, environmental, and technical Internal political pressure Inter-program dependencies Working with third-party suppliers along with other cross-organisational initiatives can be grouped under this level. Program level: The focus of a program is to deliver benefits to an organisation that positively or negatively affects both internal and external stakeholders. Risk Management for a program must be designed to work across organisational boundaries to ensure effective engagement of stakeholders and accommodation of different interests. The principal areas of risk and issues within a program are driven by: Aggregating project threats Lack of direction from the group of leaders Lack of clarity about expected benefits and buy-in from stakeholders Complexity of outcomes You should also consider the compilations associated with working across the organisational boundaries as another factor Availability of resource Lack of certainty about funding This also includes unrealistic timelines that increase program delivery risks. Project level: Project outputs help in delivering the outcomes and benefits within a program. Focusing on the risk and issue management on project perspective is important Areas leading to the rise of project risks and issues, resource constraints, scheduling issues, and scope creep It may lead to issues and risks if the project is unsure of what it is delivering. Operational level: The transition of a project to new ways of working and new systems can lead to further sources of risk as projects deliver the outputs. The following areas can be included in the operational level perspectives: The quality of the benefit-enabling outputs from projects within program Cultural and organisational issues Output transfer to operations and the ability to cope with new ways of working The risks can further be identified in stakeholder support Industrial relations Availability of resources to support changes.   Early warning indicators for risks in project management The early warning indicators for project management can be defined as follows: In order to anticipate potential problems, there needs to be proactive risk management. These indicators offer advance warning about trends or events that can affect the outcomes of the program adversely. The sensitive risks can be tracked with the help of these indicators. Few of the early warning indicators are delays in delivery of expected or planned benefits, requests to change key program information, increase in aggregated risks, changes to organisational services, structure, and processes. Further, these indicators should be able to measure valid indicators, reviewed on a regular basis, and they should use accurate information. This ensures the effective functioning of the early warning indicators. The other methods which can be deployed to evaluate risks are as follows: Record the weighted average of the anticipated impact through the calculation of estimated monetary value. Calculate the accepted discount rate through the net present value calculation. Aggregate the risks together using a simulation technique through risk model. To conclude An experienced and certified project manager knows that every project involves identifying and managing project risks and project issues. Further, they are aware of the fact these risks and issues can be responsible for knocking a project off its track and divert the focus of the team away from fulfilling their responsibilities and goal achievements. This blog will help you to differentiate between project risk and project issues along with the key steps for identifying the risks. You will also understand the importance of risk identification and the perspectives of risk management. The blog also throws light on the early warning indicators to realise the risks in project management. This information will surely help you to realise the upcoming risk and avoid it for a smooth continuation of your project.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
2417
Risk vs Issues [ Based on Various Factors ]

Can you guess a reason behind project failure? Her... Read More

The 7 Principles of PRINCE2®

There is a wide range of project management methodologies available in the market, but PRINCE2® is one of the most widely used project management methods that has been used by the enterprises and businesses in more than 150 countries. One of the sheer benefits of the PRINCE2® method is that it can be applied to different projects, irrespective of their sizes and business verticals. It is noticeable that the PRINCE2® project management method can be used in IT as well as non-IT projects too. It is a comprehensive project management method that can be applied to any project irrespective of their geographical location, industry sector and project size.  The PRINCE2® course covers basic four elements: themes, processes, principles and project management. There are some impeccable benefits of a PRINCE2® certification for candidates. There are two major types of certification available in the PRINCE2® project method: PRINCE2® Foundation qualification PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification The foundation program is a basic course that covers basic principles and themes for supporting individuals who work in a project environment supported by PRINCE2®. Candidates who belong to engineering and technology can go for this Foundation qualification course.  The PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification course is an advanced course that covers all the aspects of the PRINCE2® method including themes, processes, principles and project management. You will get a comprehensive introduction to the PRINCE2® project management method. There are some institutes that also train candidates for PRINCE2® management roles that are essential when the project is very big and complex. Here, the managers will be able to complete the project by assigning roles and responsibilities to the team members effectively and will be able to complete the project in a coordinated, consistent and superior manner. These courses are designed by experienced trainers who have years of experience and expertise in the domain and have a proven track record in the PRINCE2® project management. All you need to do is hire the best institute that offers the best PRINCE2® course and also helps in the placement activities too. There are businesses and enterprises that ask for candidates with a PRINCE2® certification; either foundation or practitioner certification. If you have this credential in your resume, it will improve your chance to get a job. All you need to do is to search for the right institute on the internet or your local business directory and that is all.  What is PRINCE2® and why it is so popular amongst businesses? Projects in Controlled Environments, PRINCE2® is a high-quality project management method that has carved a niche for itself by offering superior project management processes, no matter how big or small your project is. It adds streamlined, controlled project management principles and themes that help managers to manage and control projects easily and effectively.  You might still wonder whether PRINCE2® is the right tool for project management. What are the benefits of it? Why should you implement it on your current project management tools? To make things easier, we will discuss 7 principles of PRINCE2® method in details here. It is a process-based method that helps businesses to manage the project from start to finish. As we all know, before starting a project, it is important to plan it to avoid last-minute hurdles and hindrances. With the help of the PRINCE2® method, all the stages of the project are clearly described, roles and responsibilities are assigned to the teams and control and management of the project are easier to track. 7 principles of the PRINCE2® 1. Continued business justification: No matter which project you are working on, your project must have a clear justification including a clear requirement, a defined customer, feasible and scalable benefits and a complete cost assessment. This is the primary principle of the PRINCE2®. It helps you to stay focused on the project and you will be able to drive all your efforts to the common goal of the project- the desired goals and outcomes. 2. Learn from experience: Also, it is important that all the experiences are recorded for the future course of actions. Furthermore, it will help teams to learn from their mistakes and they will be able to finish projects with more dedication and expertise as they have learned lessons. All the stages and their outcomes are recorded in the PRINCE2® environment to make consistent and reliable learning.  3. Defined roles and responsibilities: When the team members have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, it becomes easy for them to work with dedication and it also improves their productivity and performance too. With a PRINCE2® management method implementation, you would be able to define the roles and responsibilities of each team member to work more efficiently and effectively with unparalleled outcomes. 4. Manage by stages: Also, projects are completely broken in different sections and stages to manage them more effectively and accurately. Once the stage is over, it is reviewed by the superiors and learning will be recorded for the future course. This further helps management to ensure that the project is on its track and there are no loopholes involved in it. 5. Manage by exception: Board members are senior executives who have major roles and responsibilities in the organization and they cannot allocate time for the project on a daily basis. What they will be able to do is to define baseline requirements and assign them to the project manager. Some of the measurable elements of the project are time, cost, risk assessment, scopes, and others. If there are any issues such as project running late or is not on the track or goes out of budget, the project manager will take appropriate actions. However, there are some issues that might impact the establishment. Such issues are exceptions and here, board members intervene and make decisions. 6. Focus on the product: Also, teams are there to ensure that the deliverables are measured accurately and precisely and meet the project objectives. Superior quality control is the main thing that is always checked and compared with the requirements. 7. Tailor to suit the project: Different projects have different tailored requirements and with the PRINCE2® environment, tailored approach for each project is possible. The PRINCE2® method will be able to cater to your custom needs by adjusting different aspects of the method such as a number of team members, the amount of oversight and stage planning. Why PRINCE2®? What 2 stands for? There are chances that you might wonder what 2 stands for the PRINCE2® method. Well, the original PRINCE version was developed and introduced in the late 1980s specifically to manage IT projects. However, in 1996, the approach was reviewed and updated as per the latest issues and hindrances faced by the project management teams across the globe. A team of experienced project management specialists of more than 150 public and private organisations worked and updated the version and developed a new version that is more effective, efficient and accurate. The latest version is more improved and precise that addresses almost all the issues in a very defining manner. This latest version is called PRINCE2®. The number of roles in PRINCE2® PRINCE2® There are a total of three core roles: the project board, the project manager and the team. However, there are additional supplemental roles defined to make the project management more streamlined and linear.  We will discuss the total of 7 roles in PRINCE2® The customer The customer is the one who owns the project and is paying the organization for the project to be completed.  The user The user is one who will use the deliverables of the project or one who will be impacted by the outcome of the project. Sometimes, the user and the customer are the same people. The supplier A supplier is a person who possesses the expertise to complete the project and is responsible for delivering the best outcomes decided by the customer. He offers the knowledge and skills to complete the project. The project manager A project manager is a person who will monitor and control the complete project. The project manager is a very special person who is responsible for completing the project successfully. From planning, organising and controlling the work, everything will be done by the project manager. Also, the project manager will be responsible for forming the team and assigning roles and responsibilities to the team members and overseeing the work assigned to them. The project manager will also ensure that the project gets completed in the required timeframe and the outcomes are measurable and accurate as per the customer’s requirements. The project team and team managers The project teams are the ones who will perform the duties and tasks assigned to them effectively and efficiently. There might be one team or multiple teams to perform various tasks and actions. Teams might have a separate team leader who is responsible to ensure that the given tasks are completed in time. The administrator If the project size is small, the project manager will take responsibility of the administrator. However, in big and complex projects, the administrator is required. The administrator will be responsible for the setting up of meetings, tracking of the daily deliverables, updating everyone involved with the projects about important instructions and specifications about the project. A separate project support office is established to ensure that the project runs smoothly and completes in a given timeframe. The project board includes multiple people such as the customer, the end user and the supplier. There are three perspectives that are checked by the project board: The viability of the project is defined and checked by the customer to ensure that the project is important and should continue. The user ensures that all the needs are being met to complete the project on time. The supplier has a major responsibility. They will ensure that the project is running in the right direction and is offering a practical solution to the issue. The 7 phase process for the PRINCE2® project management method. Here, we will break the complete project management process in 7 parts to understand it more clearly.  1.Starting up a project Here, a customer submits a project requirement called the project mandate. It is a brief introduction to the needs and objectives of the project. The organization will access the project requirements and will make sure whether the company is able to complete the project or not. Once the project is approved, the customer will give a more detailed brief including actions, resources and other crucial information to complete the project.  2. Project direction Now the organization managers will check out the viability and justification of the project by reviewing and evaluating the project brief. They will assign a project manager and other necessities to complete the project. 3. Project initiation The project initiation document will be prepared by the project manager. The document will cover a comprehensive plan and six different factors including cost, quality, scope, time, risk and advantages.  The documents will be sent to the project board for approval and once the board approves the plan, the project will start.  4. Stage controlling The whole project will be broken into different stages and to complete these, teams will be formed and assigned responsibilities.  The project manager will map the process for each project stage and will take actions when any hindrances and loopholes arise.  5. Product delivery management The main responsibility of the project manager is to compare the deliverables and expectations from the project board. They will ensure that the deliverables meet the expectations.  Once the project is completed, the board will review it and ask for revisions and changes if needed.  6. Stage boundaries management The manager and the board will evaluate and review the deliverables at each project stage to ensure that the project is going in the right direction. 7. Project closing Once the project is completed, the project manager will close threads such as documentation, outcomes and reporting. The PRINCE2® is a very effective and superior project management method as it offers impeccable opportunities to the project board and the project manager to track the success of the project at each stage of the project.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
9880
The 7 Principles of PRINCE2®

There is a wide range of project management method... Read More

PMI-ACP® Agile Certification Requirements and Processes

So. you want to get your PMI-ACP®  certification and are wondering what the PMI-ACP®  Certification course requirements and processes are! You are in the right place and this post will hopefully be beneficial in guiding you with regard to all the optional and mandatory steps required to apply for the certification. It’s obvious, whenever someone start a process (Certification Education) or anything new, the first question that comes to mind is, where should I start , and what are the requirements. The PMI-ACP® certification has been recently launched by PMI® . Here we have compiled a list of all the PMI-ACP® certification requirements and processes step by step in detail.   PMI-ACP® Certification Requirements and Processes There are basically seven steps required for PMI-ACP® certification; some are optional while others are mandatory. Step #1: User ID: This is optional. Go to PMI.org and create a User ID. This is not mandatory but there are benefits and I will mention a few of them: Free. You will be able to create a profile and your mode of payment, which makes later access easy. You will get up to date information from PMI®.   Step #2: Eligibility: This is the tricky part and most people get confused. (You can also go to PMI.org and perform the following steps to get updated information as PMI® may change their rules from time to time. Go to PMI.org —> select Certification —>select PMI-ACP. The eligibility is listed. Diploma: · High school. · One year of General Project Management experience with 2,000 hours of work with project teams. · Eight months of Agile Project Management experience with 1,500 hours of work with project teams using agile methodologies. · 21 hours of Agile Project Management Training.   If you think you are eligible, move to step 3. Step #3: Membership: This is optional and is different than your user id. PMI® has a membership service, which offers some benefits. There are several types of membership and the fee is different for each type. Please do check PMI® Membership and Types, PMI® Membership Fee and PMI® Membership Benefits. Also please visit PMI.org for updated information on membership, types, and benefits in details and check whether the membership suits your needs or not. We are mentioning a few benefits of membership here: Free access to PMI® library and a free copy of PMBOK Access to Local PMI® chapter, useful for getting PDUs and networking Waiver in PMI®-ACP fee and re-certification fee   Step #4: Application: Refer to Step #2, mentioning the education and project hours. Now you have to submit an application to PMI® showing proof of your education, the project hours and project management training that you have undergone. Previously, you had to do it online but now PMI® offers a downloadable pdf as well. You have to fill in the required details covering all processes and the hours you spend on each process. Step #5: Fee: When you submit your application, you will be contacted within a few working days and will be asked to deposit the fee for certification. Now as was mentioned previously, the fee is different for both members and non-members. Step #6: [one_half] A: Application accepted: You will be asked to proceed and schedule your exam at a Prometric center. B: Audit: PMI® randomly selects some applicants for an audit process.[/one_half] Step 6 has two parts as you can see; either your application will be accepted or put a hold for an audit. If you are one of the unlucky ones that are caught in the audit process then you have to show written confirmation from the bodies who authorize the education, experience and project management training. Step #7: Schedule exam: Once you are done with the above steps, the last step is to schedule your exam according to your convenience at prometric.com. However, before you schedule your exam, I would encourage you to read this article to familiarize yourself with the PMI®-ACP Exam Format.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
PMI-ACP® Agile Certification Requirements and Pro...

So. you want to get your PMI-ACP®  certification... Read More

Useful links