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Practice Areas: Business Analysis/Requirements Management, Construction, Energy
Can Business Analysis reflect Manufacturing and Construction industries?
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After recently passing my PMI-PBA Exam, I found that most of the materials used during my study was developed by software industry professionals. From one side this is a development industry which is re-thinking of new development methodologies in BA. However, as an Industrial Engineer, I feel that a lot can be developed to reflect the manufacturing and construction industries.
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Hi Ismail,

Firstly, congrats on earning your PBA. I write mine in two weeks.

Secondly, I am really interested in your premise. Could you give me one or two examples of what made you think this.
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I can't see why not. It is better if BA can reflect both, it will add value. As Steven mentioned, can you give us some examples ?
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Hello Steven and Rami,

The reason i thought about this is because i believe BA is an investment vehicle that capture the hidden needs and convert them to solutions / Projects.

So in the practice guide, I was expecting a chapter about investment (the real reason for BA) to include topic such as: Strategic growth, partnerships and company analysis, type of companies, accusations, Hedging and funding methods for the solution.

Then i thought about the manufacturing and construction industries. Both are having concept development methodologies which are related to BA. some of the concepts are as following: Concept Selection, Front End engineering and Basis of Designs.

In reality, Business Analysts are involved with funding the project and producing its concept. then the project is initiated and followed by the project manager who validate the scope with the BA at the end of the project.
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2 replies by Rami Kaibni and Steven Zachary
Jan 02, 2016 8:28 AM
Rami Kaibni
...
I would add also Value Engineering as a concept.
Jan 02, 2016 11:04 AM
Steven Zachary
...
Ismail,

There is a lot to that post. Let's break it down.

Firstly, what methodologies are you referring to in the construction industry? I would be very interested to review.

I'm also most interested in what hedging and funding you think a BA Should be part of selecting? This seems like more rthe role of a traditional financial analyst but I might not be understanding your point fully.
Network:58546



Jan 02, 2016 1:08 AM
Replying to Ismail Barakat
...
Hello Steven and Rami,

The reason i thought about this is because i believe BA is an investment vehicle that capture the hidden needs and convert them to solutions / Projects.

So in the practice guide, I was expecting a chapter about investment (the real reason for BA) to include topic such as: Strategic growth, partnerships and company analysis, type of companies, accusations, Hedging and funding methods for the solution.

Then i thought about the manufacturing and construction industries. Both are having concept development methodologies which are related to BA. some of the concepts are as following: Concept Selection, Front End engineering and Basis of Designs.

In reality, Business Analysts are involved with funding the project and producing its concept. then the project is initiated and followed by the project manager who validate the scope with the BA at the end of the project.
I would add also Value Engineering as a concept.
Network:60180



Business analysis is a transformational process. It is meant to take business, abstract goals and change them into implementable strategies, tactics and projects.

There is nothing that limits business analysis to a specific industry. Of course, you can specialize, either by industry or by technique. (I was once an information analyst, focusing on extracting strategic data requirements for organizations.)
...
1 reply by Ismail Barakat
Jan 03, 2016 3:41 AM
Ismail Barakat
...
Stephane, I understand the generic approach of PMI to make BA a general topic for all, I agree to keep it also as new BAs will enter the domain in future.

However, if every industry presented its own "Best Practices" from the BA practice guide that will be more relevant to industry professionals who might not be aware of the new concept of separating BA from PM duties. and we might come up with some better techniques.

That was the purpose of this post.
Network:8056



Jan 02, 2016 1:08 AM
Replying to Ismail Barakat
...
Hello Steven and Rami,

The reason i thought about this is because i believe BA is an investment vehicle that capture the hidden needs and convert them to solutions / Projects.

So in the practice guide, I was expecting a chapter about investment (the real reason for BA) to include topic such as: Strategic growth, partnerships and company analysis, type of companies, accusations, Hedging and funding methods for the solution.

Then i thought about the manufacturing and construction industries. Both are having concept development methodologies which are related to BA. some of the concepts are as following: Concept Selection, Front End engineering and Basis of Designs.

In reality, Business Analysts are involved with funding the project and producing its concept. then the project is initiated and followed by the project manager who validate the scope with the BA at the end of the project.
Ismail,

There is a lot to that post. Let's break it down.

Firstly, what methodologies are you referring to in the construction industry? I would be very interested to review.

I'm also most interested in what hedging and funding you think a BA Should be part of selecting? This seems like more rthe role of a traditional financial analyst but I might not be understanding your point fully.
...
1 reply by Ismail Barakat
Jan 03, 2016 4:00 AM
Ismail Barakat
...
Steven, Just to clarify, I am not referring to specific methodology for construction.

On the Other hand, most if not all construction projects that are done in my area are based on traditional project management. "PMBOK" has been proven to lead the project management practice and its it simply not geared towered agile approach. I think the main reason is that Organizations are not ready yet to accept this transformation from waterfall to agile.

The second part of your reply about Hedging & Funding; It is understood that financial institutions will only fund projects based on solid business case which is a BA deliverable during needs assessment. .
Despite of the fact that the sponsor is responsible to provide the fund but the BA has to convince the sponsor and maybe support him to make finance decision. Accordingly a BA has to play a part of this activity.

Let me put it in the following sequence:
1. Business Objective of any company is to make money
2. Money is an output of investment
3. Investment is to fulfill a business need
4. business need if documented in a business case
5. Then all the deliverable of Needs assessment
6. Hedging, Funding, Financial feasibility, Concept, etc.
7. BA domains [ BA Planning, Requirement elicitation & Analysis]
8. Value Engineering , Value Preposition, FEED, etc.
9. Solution evaluation
10. Project Initiation.

Please correct me if i missed something.
Network:1816



Ismail,

Firstly, examples in PMI's BA Practitioner's guide are more geared towards software industry, yes, I agree. I am not sure which other materials you used, so you can mention those for our understanding on the background to your question.

Secondly, BA is not an investment vehicle in my opinion. For the examples you mentioned, there might be subject matter experts like investment analysts. The job of BA is to liaise with subject matter experts and get the requirements that can be executed as part of the project, track the requirements, define test cases to make sure the product output conform to the business objectives, etc and to translate the requirements into what the project team understands (in my field, IT, it means translating the business requirements into something the software development team understands) and in these situations, BA needs to know the language the project team understands (in every industry it might be different and here also SME's help is needed). BA is not a specialization for each field, its tools are techniques are all geared towards gathering, defining, refining, tracking business requirements.
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2 replies by Ismail Barakat and Steven Zachary
Jan 03, 2016 2:17 AM
Steven Zachary
...
I second this. The practice guide actually explicitly states for the BA to consult with (a) the project manager for his estimating experience (b) A financial analyst to complete the cost benefit analyst.

Working with the financial department based on their own particular hurdle rates will lead to the best outcomes.
Jan 03, 2016 4:13 AM
Ismail Barakat
...
Adil, Thank you for the explanation, I totally agree with it. As you said BA is geared towards software.

My point is to expand that role to other industries.
Network:8056



Jan 02, 2016 4:22 PM
Replying to Adil Muhammad
...
Ismail,

Firstly, examples in PMI's BA Practitioner's guide are more geared towards software industry, yes, I agree. I am not sure which other materials you used, so you can mention those for our understanding on the background to your question.

Secondly, BA is not an investment vehicle in my opinion. For the examples you mentioned, there might be subject matter experts like investment analysts. The job of BA is to liaise with subject matter experts and get the requirements that can be executed as part of the project, track the requirements, define test cases to make sure the product output conform to the business objectives, etc and to translate the requirements into what the project team understands (in my field, IT, it means translating the business requirements into something the software development team understands) and in these situations, BA needs to know the language the project team understands (in every industry it might be different and here also SME's help is needed). BA is not a specialization for each field, its tools are techniques are all geared towards gathering, defining, refining, tracking business requirements.
I second this. The practice guide actually explicitly states for the BA to consult with (a) the project manager for his estimating experience (b) A financial analyst to complete the cost benefit analyst.

Working with the financial department based on their own particular hurdle rates will lead to the best outcomes.
...
1 reply by Ismail Barakat
Jan 03, 2016 4:15 AM
Ismail Barakat
...
Steven, In my opinion, If a BA understand the financial analysis will be more efficient in developing a solution rather than a financial analyst to understand the business.

So yes, Sometime a BA has to do the financial analyst job or at least understand how it is done.
Network:32



Hello Friends,

Thank you all for your constructive contribution and sharing of experience, I really appreciate all your inputs and interest in the post. To make things simpler, I will only reply on the part of having BA for different industry.

If we agree on the objective of applying it outside the currently dominating industry (software) we will start discussing the scope and function of business analysis in this particular industry.

My apology for late reply due to time difference. Please find the individual replies below.
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1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Jan 03, 2016 6:21 AM
Rami Kaibni
...
Thank you for raising this subject up Ismail, it is very interesting.
Network:32



Jan 02, 2016 10:59 AM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
Business analysis is a transformational process. It is meant to take business, abstract goals and change them into implementable strategies, tactics and projects.

There is nothing that limits business analysis to a specific industry. Of course, you can specialize, either by industry or by technique. (I was once an information analyst, focusing on extracting strategic data requirements for organizations.)
Stephane, I understand the generic approach of PMI to make BA a general topic for all, I agree to keep it also as new BAs will enter the domain in future.

However, if every industry presented its own "Best Practices" from the BA practice guide that will be more relevant to industry professionals who might not be aware of the new concept of separating BA from PM duties. and we might come up with some better techniques.

That was the purpose of this post.
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