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10 business analysis trends to watch

Glenn R Brûlé
April 2, 2012

Business analysts will need to take a three-dimensional approach to fully capture requirements, which organisations recognise as the foundation of successful project and contract delivery. Effective requirements management and development will demand a wider perspective in order to drive full business impact, according to a trends update by training specialists ESI International.

These 10 trends were determined by a global panel of ESI International’s senior executives and consultants.

1. Demand for greater organisational efficiency will increase demand for business architecture, business rules and business process experts
Unrelenting economic and financial pressures perpetuate this trend as organisations are realising that it’s all about business efficiencies and not necessarily technology. Organisations will first look inward to make improvements before making more technology investment outlays. Organisations will again rely on business analysis to examine business architecture, rules and processes that will enable these internal improvements in efficiencies.

2. Government agencies will invest seriously in the role of business analysis
Government agencies have finally seen the light that poor articulation of requirements is at the root of many of their functional ills. Taxpayers demanding more ‘bang for their buck’ will have all levels of government seeking better requirements management and development to fulfil their missions.

Calls for agencies to be more efficient in serving the public, more collaborative working across agencies, and more accountable for ensuring that procurements are delivering what they are supposed to will make business analysis indispensable to their success.

3. Agile methods will continue to gain traction
Agile practices show no signs of letting up in their dominance as the leading framework on which to base quality deliverables. Business analysts and project managers will struggle to fit their title into the Agile space, but will need to realise quickly that it is not about them—it’s about the end state.

4. Emergence of a hybrid role of project manager and business analyst
The drive to create greater organisational efficiencies will spur the global emergence of a project role that mixes the project manager and the business analyst. This evolution is inevitable as organisations will increasingly question whether they can afford to fund multiple resources working toward the same end goal. The widespread adoption of Agile practices (see above) that break down titled positions will further drive this trend.

5. Business analysts will enhance skills to make their business case to stakeholders
Far too many talented business analysts have been missing the mark in their interactions with stakeholders and it’s time they polished their delivery. Business analysts now need to step up their game, not only in presentation and communication skills, but being proactive in articulating the value of the projects they propose in order to make effective business cases to stakeholders.

Optimally, business analysts should take on almost a leadership role that will force them to increase their level of interaction as well as the level of people with whom they interact to really sell the benefits of the product—and the contribution of business analysis—to the organisation.

Glenn R Brûlé
Glenn R Brûlé is the executive director of Global Client Solutions at ESI International. He has more than two decades of focused business analysis experience and is a recognised expert in the creation and maturity of Business Analysis Centers of Excellence.
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