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Running a Centralised BA CoP: The Top 10 Financial Benefits

Are you considering or debating running a formal and centralised Community of Practice (CoP)? In one of the few papers published on the topic, Diaz Research highlights that CoPs can be powerful but are too often overlooked as simple talking shops, noting key differences between informal and formal CoPs.

An informal CoP is initiated and run by its members with occasional gatherings and some form of intranet presence. Formal or centralised CoPs, in contrast, are usually run by a “Head of Profession” who takes full responsibility for management, resourcing, pay and performance. Here we focus on the financial benefits of a fully centralised CoP.  

At a BA Manager Forum Event in 20171, a group of BA Leaders were asked to assess the benefits of operating a centralised CoP from three different perspectives: the organisation, the individual and the purely financial.  

The group came up with the following list of the top ten financial benefits. If each point was quantified, the list would make a compelling case for the financial value of a centralised CoP led by a designated BA Leader. 

The top ten financial benefits are, (in no particular order):  

  1. Clearer visibility and closer management of resources, improved utilisation and less “bench” time. Potential reduction of costly external consultants.   

  1. Better view across the entire change portfolio, reducing any duplication of effort. For example, ensuring GDPR efforts are coordinated and standards are reused. 

  1. Sharing best practice opens up opportunities for upskilling and improves the CoP capability, again reducing reliance on external consultants.   

  1. Upskilling promotes earlier engagement and better shaping of change projects. Projects focus on ‘doing the right thing’ and unnecessary projects are not progressed.  

  1. Greater support, career opportunities and job satisfaction for CoP members improves staff retention, resulting in reduced recruitment and contract resource costs.  

  1. A dedicated CoP attracts highly-skilled BA practitioners, bringing added value and expertise.   

  1. Reuse of materials, templates and artefacts (continually improved and updated) offers consistency and saves time.  

  1. Avoid the costs incurred when other leaders have to manage business analysts. Not having a BA Leader is a false economy, this is clear to see if they leave.  

  1. Better skilled and motivated staff make less mistakes, saving the expense of re-work.    

  1. The BA Leader can reduce the likelihood of business analysts being allocated to project support or administrative work that does not require their specialist skills, instead deploying them where they are of the greatest value.  

The full paper relating to the BA Manager Forum workshop can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/yva6ry84

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