Monday, June 11, 2012

Getting Approval for a BA Assessment - Start with a Business Case

by Kitty Hass and Lori Lindbergh, PhD

We know it can be very difficult to get approval to invest time and resources into building a mature BA Practice.  Executives often think this can be done with existing resources.  There are many reasons why this approach almost always fails:
  • Existing resources may not have the knowledge and skills to build a mature BA Practice.
  • Existing resources are often over-allocated.
  • The change is often trivialized, and therefore, no change management plan exists.
  • All BA stakeholders are not involved in planning and executing the change effort.
  • A BA capability assessment is not performed, so it is unclear which foundational practices are flawed, and therefore should be improved first.
To embark upon a BA Practice Maturity Program it is necessary for you to start with a BA Assessment to truly understand the current state and the recommended improvements for the near term.  To propose the BA Assessment, build a solid business case for the effort. Elements of the business case should include the following:

1       Executive Summary

2       Business Need
2.1     Assessment Drivers and Expectations
2.2     Business Goals and Objectives 
2.3     Stakeholders        
2.4     Opportunity Analysis      
2.4.1  Business Problem  
2.4.2  Business Opportunity     
2.4.3  Desired Outcome  

3       Capability Gaps  
3.1     Current Capabilities        
3.2     New Capabilities Required  
      
4       Solution Approach 
4.1     Potential Options  
4.2     Feasibility Analysis of Options Considered
    
5       Recommended Solution Scope  
5.1     Description 
5.2     Scope
5.3     Implementation Approach 
       
6       Business Case      
6.1     Benefits      
6.2     Costs

As with any project investment, without a strong business case, you will most likely have difficulty obtaining the support you need to achieve success. If you would like a sample business case for a BA Assessment, please send an email to kittyhass@comcast.net.

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