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The Strategic Business Analyst (Or, Who Me?). BADD Iowa May 2, 2008. Outline. Contest All I Want The BA’s Role The SLM Implementing the SLM Some Examples. Contest. Three volunteers. You could win a Major Award!. All I Want From Life Is.

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Outline l.jpg
Outline

  • Contest

  • All I Want

  • The BA’s Role

  • The SLM

  • Implementing the SLM

  • Some Examples


Contest l.jpg
Contest

  • Three volunteers.

  • You could win a Major Award!


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All I Want From Life Is

  • Everyone makes decisions that are aligned with strategy.

  • Everyone makes decisions that properly use resources.

  • We use these decisions to win in the marketplace.

  • A pill that gets me in shape and makes me eat healthier.


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Whither Strategy?

  • Strategy has different meanings to different people.

  • I prefer (actually demand) Michael Porter’s definition:

    Strategy = Sustainable Competitive Advantage


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The BA’s Role

Business Analysis Planning

Solution

Assessment

And

Validation

Requirements

Analysis

Enterprise

Analysis

Elicitation

Requirements Management and Communication

The Fundamentals


How can this be strategic l.jpg
How Can This Be Strategic?

  • Most companies cannot articulate their strategy. Therefore, how can a BA use strategy to improve decision making?

  • How best to utilize resources is subjective.

  • Sadly, BA’s are toast.

  • But wait . . .


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What If There Were . . .

A simple to understand,

Easily communicated,

Immediately implementable,

Way to articulate and use strategy to improve decision making?


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There Just Might Be . . .

  • The Purpose Alignment Model (or SLM).

  • This model views business processes, business rules, and, therefore, requirements in two dimensions:

    • The extent to which they differentiate us in the marketplace.

    • The extent to which they are mission critical.


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Purpose – The SLM

High

Differentiating

Partnering

Market

Differentiating

Who Cares?

Parity

Low

High

Low

Mission Critical


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In Practice

High

Innovate,

Create

Do We Take

This On?

Market

Differentiating

Achieve and

Maintain

Parity, Mimic,

Simplify

Minimize /

Eliminate

Low

High

Low

Mission Critical


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An Example – CPG

  • ERP project to replace legacy system.

  • Legacy sequence of data entry:

    Name, Telephone, Address

  • ERP sequence of data entry:

    Name, Address, Telephone

  • Business requirement was to customize ERP sequence to match legacy sequence


Using purpose l.jpg
Using Purpose

Is data entry sequence here

or here

or even?

High

Partnering

Differentiating

Market

Differentiating

Who Cares?

Parity

Low

High

Low

Mission Critical


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Project Example (Real Life)

“Requirements” = 3000 function points

  • Result: Better product in half the time and 60% of the original cost.

Anything

here?

What goes

here?

Most are

usually here

Anything

here?


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Specifics

  • Differentiating was to improve the process for distributed document collaboration.

  • Product management, development, and business analysis worked together to create a unique, on-line method to create, review, and finalize documents.

  • For the other modules, the company benchmarked and mimicked market leaders.


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Graphically - Before

Project Tracking

Document Mgmt

Document Edit

Document Library

Search

EDGAR Integration

High

Market

Differentiating

Low

High

Low

Mission Critical


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Graphically - After

High

Document Edit

Portal

Market

Differentiating

Project Tracking

Document Mgmt

Document Library

Search

EDGAR Integration

Low

High

Low

Mission Critical


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The Key to Using Purpose

  • What simple decision filters can we use to identify what is “Differentiating”?

  • These decision filters should link to strategy (in fact, are a good way to define and articulate strategy).

  • These decision filters are powerful tools in the hands of a BA.


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Linking BA Role and Purpose

  • Analyze the enterprise (articulate strategy).

  • Elicit meaningful requirements (self-filtering).

  • Analyze requirements (differentiating / parity?).

  • Assess and validate solutions (what makes us best at differentiating? How can we simplify and streamline parity?).

  • Manage and communicate requirements (simple question – differentiating or parity?).

  • Analyze business plans (gaps provide project roadmaps).


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Example – Custom Pricing Engine

  • Current business rules require multi-dimensional pricing. Imagine 6 dimensional space:

To get to price, find

the right combination:


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Pricing Engine

  • These business rules treated pricing as if it were “Differentiating”.

  • But, decision filters identified products (not pricing) as differentiating.

  • Pricing is “Parity”. Therefore, uniqueness is wasted. How to simplify and streamline?

  • Solution: Standard product pricing with standard discounts based on past year’s dollar volume and promotions. No customization.


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Example – Split Payments

  • eCommerce and catalog order management system supported split payments?

  • Split what? Pay with a combination of credit cards (as many as you want).

  • Required a significant customization. Are split payments differentiating or parity?


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Split Payments

  • Differentiating includes product selection and customer service. Therefore differentiating.

  • Not so fast, if differentiating,

    Let’s advertise!

  • Treat exceptions like exceptions.

  • Inelegantly handled with standard functionality.


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Fine, How Do I Start?

Make better decisions

Distill to simple questions

Define the decision criteria

Example Questions:

Will this lower lifetime cost?

Will this lock up long contracts?

Present the model


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Lessons Learned

  • Emphasize (all the time) the mission critical nature of parity.

  • Purpose is not priority.

  • What is both differentiating and parity changes over time.

  • The more distributed the decision filters the better the results.

  • Purpose shifts the burden to behavior change.


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Did I Get What I Want?

  • Everyone makes decisions that are aligned with strategy – the decision filters.

  • Everyone makes decisions that properly use resources – designing around purpose improves resource use.

  • We use these decisions to win in the marketplace – by making the differentiating truly differentiating.

  • A pill that gets me in shape and makes me eat healthier – still waiting.


One last example payroll l.jpg
One Last Example – Payroll

BP

LG

One Payroll

CP

SLM: Payroll = Parity (15 minutes)

Net result, one system, one set of rules,

standard codes and process.


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Questions?

[email protected]


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Shameless Plug

Stand Back And Deliver

New book by Pixton,

Nickolaisen, Little, and

McDonald

Published by Addison

Wesley in early 2009


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