Business Analysis

“When I have one week to solve a seemingly impossible problem, I spend six days defining the problem. Then, the solution becomes obvious”.— Albert Einstein

Fast growing organizations and advancing technology in today’s fast paced economy has created a demand for effective and flexible IT systems to support the change. Gathering accurate requirements to produce a robust end-product in a timely and effective manner has become crucial to mitigate risk and save time.

Long View recognizes this need, and aims to match the demand. We have a continuously building team of BA’s, currently standing at 26 in Calgary, BC, Denver and Houston where, we are working on IT infrastructure Projects such as Data Centres, Windows 7 Deployments, Network, Cloud, Mobility and Telecom.

The business analysis profession is still relatively in its infancy. Although there used to be a notion that today’s Business Analyst (BA) varies widely from company to company and from project to project, that it is not conceivable or practical to come up with one list of all responsibilities and skills an analyst should hold, this is slowly fading away.

Business analysis is the art of gathering and analyzing details of a business, which eventually paints a picture of what it is that the business aims to achieve and play a pivotal role in the life of any company.

The best way to describe the role is that it’s the face of the business to the project team, and the face of the project to the business. This forces them into many roles; a facilitator, negotiator, journalist, investigator and storyteller. BA’s are equipped with many tools, skills and techniques that allow them to wear many hats and effectively elicit, document, validate and manage requirements.

Within this field at Long View there are different types of BA’s (Consultant/Process, Technical and Strategic).  My experience has been working as a consultant/process BA on a Windows 7 migration project, where I worked for 15 months. Key responsibilities undertaken through this period were;

  • Engaging IS Business Partners and managers to inform them about the changes and when/how they will occur and maintaining these relationships so that we had their support and backing.
  • Gathering and validating application and hardware requirements from each department  to make sure they are met after the transition.
  • Maintaining our database with current information.
  • Liaising with the application team, support team and business when unexpected issues occur such as identifying new requirements.
  • Planning migrations, creating/improving migration processes and leading  a team of migration specialists.

My colleague on a similar project is a Cross Technical (Infrastructure) BA and Process BA, and they primarily ensure the company requirements are captured and documented so the deployment teams have complete and accurate information to use in setting up new PC’s.

Another Strategic BA at Long View works on creating business case for IT infrastructure projects supported financial analysis (ROI & TCO). Their role requires them to reach out to vendors/partners for product info, quotes and workshops, plan and schedule for infrastructure projects, as well as gather and communicate stakeholder requirement.

Other examples of projects that BA’s at Long View work on include:

  • Consultant/Process BA: Support Tool Needs Analysis project where a client is deciding on a support tool to use in the future
  • Consultant/Process BA: Data Center Relocation
  • Strategic BA: Business Case Development for an infrastructure upgrade and consolidation of seven data centers with a need to have a DR site
  • Strategic BA: Assist an operational team set their strategy and roadmap for the next 3 years

Recognized associations like the International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA) and Project Management Institute (PMI) are now providing qualifications in this field and writing standard practice for BA’s, further defining the role of a BA. For more information about the certifications, please visit the following links;

IIBA:http://www.iiba.org/

PMI BA: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/PMI-Professional-in-Business-Analysis-PMI-PBA.aspx

Get in contact with Long View’s Project Management Office:

http://www.longviewsystems.com/hybrid-it/compliance/project-management-office/