IIBA ECBA – Business Analysis and Strategy Analysis (IIBA – ECBA)
- Section Overview
The Business Analysis and Strategy Analysis course is the fifth one of the Business Analysis certification program, which includes a total of 14 courses. The content is aligned with a Business Analysis Body of Knowledge guide, and in this course we are going to look at the knowledge area, strategy analysis, and the four tasks that make it up. It covers everything from assessing the current state of operations, doing some visioning regarding a desired future state, determining what the risk are that will need to be managed, and then coming up with the best strategy for realizing the desired future state.
The first part of the course called Strategy Analyzes includes the following content introduction to Strategy Analyzes, Strategy Analysis and the Business Analysis Core Concept Model and an exercise on understanding strategy Analyzes The second part of the course deals with current and future state analyzes and includes analyze current state inputs and elements analyze current state guidance and techniques analyze current state stakeholders and outputs and you’ll see it’s pretty standard. Define future state inputs and elements, define future state guidelines and techniques, define future state stakeholders and outputs.
And finally, an exercise on defining current and future states. The third part of this course is called Assess Risk and includes information about assessing risk inputs and elements, assessing risk guidelines and techniques, assess risk stakeholders and outputs, and finally, an exercise on performing a risk assessment. The fourth and last part of this course, the one called Define Change Strategy, includes the following concepts define change strategy inputs and elements, define change strategy guidelines and techniques and lastly, an exercise on defining change strategy.
I am Soyen and I will be your instructor. You can use this course to improve your business analyzes knowledge and abilities, and to obtain the certifications provided by the International Institute of Business Analysis Analyze. That’s the broad picture for an even broader view before actually starting this course, an overview of the whole program.
- Introduction to Strategy Analysis
Introduction to Strategy Analysis After completing this topic, you should be able to recognize characteristics of Strategy Analyzes. The purpose of the Strategy Analyzes knowledge area is to define the current state and future state that addresses the business needs. Possible solutions are identified to address both strategic and tactical initiatives. This knowledge area addresses need for the enterprise, a division, department, product, project, or iteration. Strategy analysis contributes to the overall solution. It describes the business analysis work that must be performed to collaborate with stakeholders and impacts elicitation and collaboration in order to identify the need that contributes to Requirements Analyzes and design definition.
The resulting solution in solution evaluation will align with the higher and lower level strategies. It contributes to the Business Analyzes plan by providing solution scope. The value spectrum illustrates how Business Analyzes activities begin with identifying the need and potential value by defining solution scope and continues through requirements analysis and Design definition to align requirements to the value delivered. Finally, conducting solution evaluation to identify if the resulting solution meets the business goals. Strategy Analyzes activities define effective ways to achieve business objectives. It provides the context for the requirements and design tasks the business analyst engages in and facilitates strategic thinking to identify value and transition states.
A relationship model depicts how elicitation and collaboration relates to other knowledge areas. The three main interrelated knowledge areas are elicitation and collaboration business Analyze planning and monitoring and requirements lifecycle Management These knowledge areas link to a cycle of secondary interrelated knowledge areas made up of Strategy Analyzes, Requirements Analyzes, and Design Definition and Solution Evaluation. The Business Analyzes value spectrum depicts the three knowledge areas of Business Analyzes along horizontal spectrum, which indicates potential extending to the left and actual extending to the right.
The three sections in order are strategy analyzes, requirements, analysis and design, definition and Solution evaluation. Strategy Analyzes is first and closest to the potential end of the spectrum and includes needs and the solution scope. The Requirements Analysis and Design Definition section is the second section of the spectrum and contains requirements and designs. The Solution evaluation section is closest to the actual end of the spectrum and includes proof of concept or prototype, pilot or beta and operating. Strategy Analyzes defines effective ways to achieve objectives, enables strategic thinking to generate value and identify needs both strategic and tactical.
The Activities and Strategy Analysis identifies needs of a strategic or enterprise wide level to initiatives or new product releases, or at a tactical level to address performance needs. Strategy Analyzing defines future and transition states to go from current state to future state. Predictability refers to the nature of the range of possible solutions. When the future state is easily defined, this contributes to a predictable outcome. For example, a Fire service manually schedules resourcing using Excel and Whiteboard. The obvious solution is to automate.
Also, when transition states are clearly defined by the Stakeholder, it’s easier to predict the outcome. And when the Stakeholder knows what their goals and objectives are. A strategy can be planned if the outcome is unpredictable. The business analyst focuses on mitigating risk, testing assumptions and plans. This is often an Iterative activity where the business analyst will establish some assumptions, assess risk, and work with stakeholders to further define what the needs are. What is predictable is the future state is easily defined, transition states are clearly defined and the clear strategy can be planned. The unpredictable side requires a focus on mitigating risk and testing assumptions. Strategy development is iterative. Don’t forget that.
- Strategy Analysis and the BACCM (TM)
Strategy analysis and the business analyzes. Core concept model. After completing this topic, you should be able to recognize how Business Analyzes core concepts are applied while conducting a strategy analysis. Business analyst will use various techniques outlined in the Business Analyzes plan to identify current state needs. Needs include anything related to people, processes and technology that align to the business objectives. In the Forest Service example, the need is to meet collective agreements when scheduling overtime and time off and reduce errors related to those. The business analysts will work with the stakeholders to prioritize their needs and ensure that everyone understands why the change is occurring. The Business Analyzes will determine desired future state by identifying measures and key performance indicators and desired outcomes.
The desired outcomes in the case of the Fire Service is to redeploy resources and automate the scheduling process, providing an easy to use interface with a variety of input methods such as from a smartphone. Changes refer to the description of the future state with a list of high level requirements, process maps and measures. These documents should also include any assumptions, constraints, current state descriptions, desired state descriptions, and dependencies. A change strategy can be communicated in a business case, product, roadmap or a plan.
A solution is the scope for the change strategy. The scope is based on the differences between the current state and what’s needed to reach the future state. The six core concepts are changes, solutions, context, value, stakeholders and needs. This requires you to identify current state needs, prioritize needs, and determine desired future state changes. Define Future State and create a Change Strategy At this point, the future state is described at a very high level. It provides a clear definition of the outcomes that will satisfy the business needs and goals, and it allows for the business analysts to work with their stakeholders to ensure that they can reach consensus on what needs to be achieved in order to be successful. The future state can be within any context. It can talk about business processes, data and information, staff, competencies, facilities, and line of business.
The solutions cop determine description that can include text and visual models to give a good complete view of what needs to change. The context is particularly important to the change strategy. The change occurs in the context of the existing environment, which includes stakeholders, technology, processes and business rules. Other initiatives, internal and external politics, competitors and industry structure are just a few of the elements taken into consideration when addressing the change strategy. The business analyst will assess the potential value of the solution by conducting financial analysis to determine if the solution is financially justified and that is communicated in a business case.
Solutions deal with defining the solutions cope for the change strategy. Consider the context when developing a change strategy. Metrics will be used to determine if the current state is delivering a value to the organization, and any gaps will inform the value for the future state. The business analyst collaborates with stakeholders to ensure there is an agreement on the current state and the change needed to meet future state requirements. Stakeholders such as vendors contribute to understanding the current state and providing solutions and suggestions. The business analyst develops a strategy that will meet the stakeholders needs. The potential value of the solution should be assessed, there should be collaboration with key stakeholders and the strategy should be developed that will remain meet stakeholders needs.
- Exercise: Understanding Strategy Analysis
Understanding Strategy Analyzes after completing this topic, you should be able to demonstrate your understanding of principles related to Strategy Analyzes. This involves the following task recognizing characteristics of Strategy Analyzes and recognizing how business analyzes core concepts are applied while conducting a strategy analysis. Strategy analysis contributes to the overall solution by describing the business analysis work that needs to be done. How does the Strategy Analyze this knowledge area relate to the other knowledge areas? Here you have the options. Remember, it’s better to take your time and try to answer by yourself and then compare with my answers. Here you have the options. It contributes to the business analysis plan by providing solutions up.
It describes all the business analysis work that must be performed to collaborate with stakeholders and has an impact on elicitation and collaboration. It is the overarching principle governing all other knowledge areas. It is independent of other knowledge areas. And here you have the answer. Option One this option is correct. The solution evaluation all higher and lower level strategies will be aligned to provide solutions up. Option Two this option is correct. Strategy Analyzes impact solicitation and collaboration in order to identify the need that contributes to requirements, analysis and design definition. Option three disruption is incorrect. The Strategy Analyzes knowledge area does not govern the other knowledge areas. Option four dissipation is incorrect. Strategy Analyzes is used in conjunction with other knowledge areas when performing Business Analyzes task.
The value spectrum is useful when analysts need to align requirements to the value delivered. How does Strategy Analyze fit within the value spectrum? Here we have the options. It identifies the need and solution scope and provides the context for requirements and design tasks. It includes an assessment of sources of risk. It provides the business analyst with the opportunity to assess the risk. And finally, it allows the analyst to identify processes that are not productive. And here you have the answer. Option One this is the correct option. The value spectrum illustrates how business analyzes activities begin with identifying the need and potential value. By defining solution scope, the business analyst engages in and facilitates strategic thinking to identify value and transition states.
Option Two this option is incorrect. Strategy Analyzes does not provide information on sources of risk. Option Three this option is incorrect. Risk assessment is performed at a late stage. Option Four this option is incorrect. Strategy analysis identifies the solution scope and needs within the value spectrum. It doesn’t consider the productivity of processes. Strategy analysis describes the business Analyzes work that needs to be performed. In doing so, it contributes to the overall solution. Which of the statements about Strategy Analyzes are true? Here you have the options strategy Analyzes defines current and future state to address the business need.
The value spectrum provides an illustration of how business analyzes activities begin with identifying the need and potential value by defining solution scope. When the future state is easily defined, it contributes to a predictable outcome. The goal of strategy analysis is to promote ethical business activities and finally, strategy analysis seeks to elaborate ways to achieve business objectives. And here you have the answer. Option One this option is correct. Strategy Analyzes focuses on defining the future and transition states needed to address the business need and the work required is defined both by the need and the scope of the solution space. Option Two this option is correct. Identifying the need and define the solution scope is the start of business analyzed activities as seen on the value spectrum. Business analyzed activities also need to align requirements to the value delivered.
Option Three this option is correct if the future state is easy to define, outcomes are generally predictable, but when the outcome is unpredictable, the focus shifts to mitigating risk and testing assumptions. Option Four this option is incorrect. The goal of Strategy Analyzes is not to promote ethical business activities. Its purpose is to find the most effective way to apply the capabilities of an enterprise in order to reach a desired set of goals and objectives. Option Five and the last one this option is incorrect. Strategy Analyzes Six the most effective ways to achieve business objectives, needs, changes, solutions, context, value and stakeholders are core concepts of business analysis. How are these core concepts of business analysis used while conducting a strategy analysis? Here we have the options identifying current state needs to plan an effective strategy.
Defining the desired future state while defining the change strategy. Defining the scope of the solution as part of analyzing the strategy analyzing every aspect of business accounting practices as part of compiling a change strategy and finally excluding stakeholder needs from the strategy analyzers in order to reduce cost. And here we have the answer. Option One this option is correct. Needs include anything related to people, processes and technology that align to the business objectives. Option Two this option is correct changes referred to the description of the future state with a list of highlevel requirements, process maps and measures.
A change strategy can be indicated in a business case, product, roadmap or a plan. Option Three this option is correct. A solution is the scope for the change strategy. The scope is based on the differences between the current state and what’s needed to reach the future state. Option Four this option is incorrect. The aspects of business accounting practices are not part of the core concept of Strategy analyzes. Option Five this option is incorrect. Stakeholder needs would not be included in the strategy analyzes when business analysis core concepts are followed. The business analysis core concept model includes needs, changes, solutions, context, value and stakeholders. Which of these actions taken while conducting strategy analysis show how the core concepts of business analysis are applied?
Analyzing the context to make sure that the change strategy is appropriate ensuring that the potential value makes the change strategy worthwhile collaborating with stakeholders to ensure that the strategy will result in a solution that meets their needs, ignoring desired outcomes while defining the change strategy, and keeping the scope of the solution as small as possible. And here you have the answer. Option One this option is correct. The change occurs in the context of the existing environment, which includes stakeholders, technology, processes and business rules. Other elements also taken into consideration when addressing the change strategy include other initiatives, internal and external politics, competitors, and industry structure.
Option Two this option is correct. To ensure that a potential value makes a change worthwhile metrics should be used to determine whether the current state is delivering the value to the organization. Option Three this option is correct. Stakeholders can contribute to understanding the current state and providing solutions and suggestions, so it’s important that business analysts collaborate with them so that they can develop a change strategy that will meet stakeholder needs.
Option Four this option is incorrect. This action is not in line with core concepts of business analysis. Desired outcomes are an important factor to consider when defining the change strategy. Option Five this option is incorrect. Keeping the solution scope small is not in line with core concepts of business analysis. The entire enterprise needs to be considered when developing a change strategy.
- Analyze Current State: Inputs and Elements
Analyze current state inputs and elements. After completing this topic, you should be able to recognize issues around current state analyzes that a business analyst must consider. The purpose of the task define current state is to understand the context and existing capabilities of the domain under analyzes needed to meet the business need. Inputs include confirm the elicitation results confirm the elicitation results are validated by stakeholders after analystation activity. The inputs would also include business needs. The task itself is to analyze the current state to see if there is some value and or issues within the current state. The output is current state description and business requirements. Business needs are derived from the problem faced by an organization or from opportunities faced by the enterprise. Opportunities can take the form of a competitive advantage with a new product or the acquisition of another company. Customer dissatisfaction could result in lost market share and result in lost revenue. Lost revenue can also occur because of process errors. Describing the problem or opportunity is the starting point for all business analyzers work. It explains why the change is needed and is the initial step in describing the scope of the initiative needs drive analyzes of the current state and help identify areas for improvement that could include reduction of errors and costs or increases in productivity. The task analyzed current state has the inputs confirm the recitation results and needs.
The output is a current state description and Business Requirements business needs are problems or opportunities faced by the enterprise. Examples include new opportunities, customer dissatisfaction, and lofts of revenue. This is a starting point for all business analysis work to analyze the structure. The business analyst assesses the reporting structure within the organization to understand and it will assist in influencing the change. Communication channels will also be identified and provide input to the business analyzes plan. The business analyst determines its impact of the implementation to departments and stakeholders.
Culture is about an organization’s value and beliefs. When analyzing the current state, the business analyst will determine whether cultural changes are needed and to determine if stakeholders are satisfied with the current state and understand why the change is needed. Cultural assessment should be included in an organizational readiness assessment, which may drive additional needs. A capability centric view takes into consideration the knowledge that organization has core capabilities. Describe the essential attributes of an organization that makes it unique in the market.
Capabilities are organized as a hurricane with relationships to other capabilities. Gaps between capabilities are easily identifiable through their relationships. When a new product is introduced, new capabilities may be needed to close the gap. This approach is used for combining existing capabilities to find innovative solutions. A process centric view addresses improvement to current activities. This addresses organizations end to end with a view to deliver value to the customer. The reporting structure needs to be assessed to determine its impact on implementation. Culture requires determining whether cultural changes are needed and if the stakeholders are satisfied with the current state. This is useful for identifying ways to improve performance and reduce cost.
Reviewing the business architecture assists the business analyst to understand how elements of the current structure fit together and how changes will impact the architecture. Internal assets identify resources used in current state and determine if they will provide value. Technology and infrastructure is assessed on how information systems support current state and if changes are needed in order to meet business needs. Current policies could limit certain actions. For example, accessibility policies could affect the user interface and the tools used by stakeholders who require them to integrate with the solution. Policies provide guidance regarding decision-making which levels and budget thresholds it ensures decisions are made appropriately based on organizational governance.
Policies are reviewed by the business analyst to ensure procurement of resources fall within guidelines. The current state is impacted by external influences which may present constraints, dependencies or drivers on the current state such as trade, currency, value and employment or lack thereof. A for profit company may find an increase in exports because of the home country value of its currency requiring productivity changes. The capability centric view is organized as a hierarchy. Relationships are easily identifiable and is useful for combining existing capabilities to find innovative solutions. The process centric view is organized end to end, delivers value to customers and is useful for identifying ways to improve performance. Business architecture relates to an understanding of how elements of the current state fit together. Internal assets are needed for identifying resources used in the current state. Technology and infrastructure needs require assessing how information systems support current state. Policies could therefore limit certain actions and provide guidance regarding decision making, appropriate behavior and procurement of resources.
The existing technology may need to be modified rather than purchasing new technology. This is particularly true for not for profit organizations that have to make the most of what they have due to limited budgets. The regulatory environment is a big driver for change in both profit and not for profit organizations. The current state may rely heavily on supplier solution that is implemented with many integration points. Making change difficult. Customer service and pricing demands impact that current state. If a customer segment has dwindled, the organization may have to make tough decisions on how to increase market share or change product offerings to meet another market segment needs.
Competition in the current environment and entry of new competitors need to be taken into consideration by the business analyst. Industry structure dictates how value is delivered to customers. The cosmetic industry, for instance, is driven by fashion trends and value realization is very different than the value delivered by insurance industries. The structure of the industry should take into consideration when renewing the current state. The factors that influence the current state are macroeconomic factors technology, regulatory environment, suppliers, customers, competitors and the industry structure.