Over the last twenty years business analysis has developed as a specialist discipline. During this time business environments have become increasingly dynamic requiring organisations to constantly review strategies and improve processes. Business models have changed, for example with the growth of IT outsourcing and the extension to off-shoring. There is no longer a perception that IT improvement is an end in itself but rather that IT must enable business improvement, and investments in technology must provide value for money. These changes have resulted in organisations employing increasing numbers of business analysts with the remit to ensure that business needs are clearly understood and requirements accurately defined.
In today's business world, there is a growing acceptance that business analysis provides organisations with expertise that is vital for business success. Business analysts are employed at various levels of seniority and with different areas of specialist knowledge. The role of the business analyst has been clarified and variants of the role identified. Development paths have been defined. There are business analysis qualifications and standards. In short, the business analyst profession has 'come of age'.
Assist Knowledge Development Limited have developed a model to represent the development of the business analysis discipline. This model is the Business Analysis Maturity Model (BAMM). This model is supported by a development model - the BAMM Development Programme (BADP).
The Business Analysis Maturity Model (BAMM)
The Business Analysis Maturity Modeltm represents the evolution of the business analyst's role along two dimensions:
This represents the breadth of the business analyst's role, varying from a specific focus on improving individual systems, to a wider examination of business processes and, ultimately, to considering improvements across an entire area of an organisation.
This refers to the degree of influence wielded by the business analyst and the growth of their ability to influence the thinking of the management of the organisation.
Find out more about System Improvement, Process Improvement or Business Improvement.
At the bottom left of the model, the business analyst is working on projects where initial options have been considered and the direction of the project determined. At the top right of the model, the business analyst will be working with senior management to consider the range of business improvement options available to the organisation.
The BAMM Development Programme (BADP)
Increasing recognition of the value organisations derive from business analysis has brought a corresponding rise in expectations. As a result, business analysts are now required to shoulder more responsibilities and to contribute significantly to organisational effectiveness. The focus is no longer on technical skills alone but on the complete range of competencies that the professional business analyst requires.
If business analysts are to achieve the level of professionalism employers demand, a definition is needed against which business analysts can benchmark their role and skills. The Business Analysis Maturity Model has been developed to provide this benchmark. The BAMM encapsulates maturity from three perspectives:
- the development of individual business analysts - a benchmark for their role, skills requirements and responsibilities.
- the development of the organisation - a statement of the progression of business analysis within an organisation and the potential for the development of the role
- the development of the profession - a reflection of how the business analyst role has evolved and increased in scope and authority