This week I thought it would be fun to engage the community by providing a bit of insight around what is in store with PMI’s Foundational Standard in Business Analysis. I have seen the question posed more than once, “Why do we need this standard?”
As we mentioned at the product launch, PMI was waiting to hear from the community after the unveiling of Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide. Did the community want and need more? Was the community wanting to see PMI move forward with the development of a foundational standard to support the business analysis profession and serve as a reference for the PMI-PBA®? Well, the answer was very clear by the feedback received, and so here we are developing the standard!
The core development team brainstormed ideas for building off the success of the practice guide while also addressing the most recent trends in the industry and the needs/desires of the community. So let’s take a look ahead…
- The new foundational standard in business analysis will align well with the PMBOK® Guide, and by doing so will help project managers and other team resources understand how the work of business analysis aligns to the work of project management. The business analysis standard will align and integrate the knowledge areas and process groups presented in the PMBOK® Guide to help address the confusion surrounding how business analysis is performed in relationship to project management.
- But wait!! Business analysis is performed outside of projects, and therefore equally important will be the alignment to PMI’s Portfolio and Program Management standards. There has been much misinformation in the community regarding the scope of business analysis and therefore this alignment should help address those concerns.
- Now our team would be remiss to simply frame up an IT-centric waterfall-based standard. We know business analysis is performed on a lot of projects including IT ones; but we also recognize the importance of understanding what business analysis looks like in iterative and adaptive project life cycles too. PMI’s Foundational Standard in Business Analysis will embrace adaptive (agile) project life cycles as much as predictive (waterfall) approaches. And while I am talking about the breadth of this standard, let me also mention “across industries”. So think of this new standard as a one stop reference for business analysis across life cycles, across project types and across industries.
- Speaking of one stop reference, one of the biggest thrills for me in seeing PMI move forward on these business analysis initiatives, is that for the first time in our community PMs and BAs can have standards that align, use a common vocabulary, and emphasize the desired and well-needed collaboration that many organizations struggle with. By having these two critical disciplines under one PMI umbrella, teams can easily obtain complementary resources required to make their projects, programs and portfolios successful.
- Also, PMI’s Foundational Standard in Business Analysis will continue to utilize the collaboration points that the community so loved with the practice guide. We aren’t stopping by looking solely at the PM and BA roles, but instead are looking at how business analysis resources work across the organization with many role types to perform business analysis successfully.
- Last, but certainly not least, let me also share that we really put the focus on business analysis and not business analysts. Does this seem odd? Well let me explain that many adaptive life cycle projects such as Scrum, don’t recognize the role of the business analyst explicitly and so we need to evolve too! Ellen Gottesdiener and Mary Gorman so eloquently state this point in “It’s the Goal, Not the Role” and this team is really taking this to heart. The objective is to focus attention on how business analysis supports the end goal - successful product delivery, regardless of job title performing the work. We continue this thinking within PMI’s Foundational Standard in Business Analysis.
We hope you are as excited as we are about the evolution occurring with these critical disciplines and being able to finally align and come together under one umbrella, share a common framework and language and move us towards a shared understanding of what it takes to perform business analysis. We can’t wait for you to engage with us further during future review processes and help contribute to this advancement in business analysis to support project, program, and portfolio efforts.
So what do you think? What are you looking forward to seeing and what ideas are valuable to you and your organization?