In 2015, IIBA published it’s Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) v3, which places a high emphasis on developing the BA Core Concept Model (BACCM). The BACCM is a significant part of testing for certification. So to better understand the BACCM and how it relates to the Knowledge Areas, I will attempt to explain how the BACCM ties everything together.
According to BABOK, v3, the following table represents the application of the Six Core Concepts to the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area.
First, some basics. The Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area is concerned with setting the guidelines of how the analysis will be done, as well as how the effectiveness of the analysis will be measured. Putting it another way, it’s deciding how we will analyze the analysis. I know, redundant. But how else will we know if we are working our plan, or if our efforts are practical and efficient? So for the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area (the focus of this article), it is in this context that the Six Core Concepts of BACCM are being applied. So let’s expand the relationship between these concepts and Planning and Monitoring.
In applying the Core Concept of Change to the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area, the business analyst considers how changes will be made to the plan and monitoring documents. If Planning and Monitoring need revision, how will that revision occur? Just as a project should have a change request process, so should the analysis.
For example, in the middle of analysis, a new regulation has been enacted requiring additional information to be captured and analyzed if your company exceeds some threshold. The additional data will likely require changing the analysis approach because there will be a requirement to measure the company against that threshold. This new requirement forces an alteration to the plan.
How will such a change be requested and approved? How will the change in the plan be incorporated with existing plan documents? Of course, this will affect the project solution at some point, but for the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area, the project solution is not the focus. The effect will be documented in the “Business Analysis Approach” document (BABOK v3, 3.1 Plan Business Analysis Approach) as well as the “Governance Approach” document (BABOK v3, 3.3 Plan Business Analysis Governance Approach).
In applying the Core Concept of Need to the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area, the business analyst is determining the best approach for conducting the analysis. The primary consideration is in the context of the change and includes:
- How to best get the information needed for the analysis and how to represent the results?
- What are the tools and techniques needed?
- Why are these better than other options?
The Business Analysis Approach, Stakeholder Engagement Approach, and Governance Approach all impact Need. Need then affects the “Information Management Approach” document (BABOK v3, 3.4 Plan Business Analysis Information Management).
In applying the Core Concept of Solution to the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area, it is again important to remember we’re analyzing the analysis. This can take you in two directions:
- How do we determine what kinds of analysis should be performed? This is the Planning part.
- How can we determine the impact of the analysis on the resulting implemented solution? This is the Monitoring part.
In dealing with Monitoring, we can ask questions like the following:
- How do we know if there were items missed?
- How do we know if we’ve added too much?
- If there are errors in the implemented solution, are those resulting from the analysis, the requirements, or the implementation?
- How do we identify if there are there missed changes, need unrepresented or uninformed stakeholders?
- Did it achieve the expected value?
As it relates to Planning and Monitoring, the Solution joins with the Need as influencing everything. Need focuses on the motivation – Why are we revising our Planning and Monitoring documents. On the other hand, Solution focuses on execution – How will these documents be changed.
In applying the Core Concept of Stakeholder to the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area, we need to understand what the stakeholders need to see from the analysis. Doing this analysis during the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area could reveal that individual stakeholders need a high-level view, while others need greater detail. Some may need to see technical aspects, others need a financial assessment, and others need to see that everything is going according to plan. Understanding the full set of stakeholders needs dovetails well with the Need core concept. You cannot fully understand Need unless you understand Stakeholders. This will impact the “Stakeholder Engagement Approach” document (BABOK v3, 3.2 Plan Stakeholder Engagement).
In applying the Core Concept of Value to the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area, we need to know what is valued by Stakeholders and how to demonstrate that the value is achieved. As such, Value is an integral part of the other concepts of Change, Need and Stakeholder. as well as the primary driver for how the Solution will be measured.
Here, the question is, how is Value determined. Planning and Monitoring will be concerned with the value equations for the final product, as well as how to confirm the potential value will be verified. But it will also be concerned with the impact of the Analysis effort on value.
In applying the Core Concept of Context to the Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area, we need to ask Why. Why is this change to the Business Analysis plan required? Why do the stakeholders value certain items? Why is this analysis required?
When we discussed the Core Concept of Change, we gave an example involving a new regulation. Understanding the new law would provide the context.
With the perspective of the BACCM, we have a framework for understanding the various aspects of Planning and Monitoring. And that framework can be leveraged to produce a complete set of plans for this Knowledge Area.
BABOK v3, ch3