InetSoft Webinar: Evaluate Business Analysis Practices

This is the continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft on the topic of "Top Trends for Business Analysts." The speaker is Rick Smith, Senior Business Analyst at InetSoft.

Competitors are starting to evaluate business analysis practices and some of the output of those practices it is to create a Center of Excellence. It’s a place where all BAs can grow and mature their profession. It’s a place to access the tools and information of a competency development framework and methodology.

A Center of Excellence is not a simply a SharePoint portal and a dumping ground for all kind of information. When I talk about a Center of Excellence, I am looking at an owner. I am looking at a director level type of individuals sitting at Center of Excellence. We’re talking about establishing standards and practices in collaboration with other disciplines within an organization including software development and quality assurance and project management, and supply chain, however your organization is built.

We are looking at a strategic type of organization again giving an opportunity to business analysts who, when they grow up, are the strategic analysts within an organization. So, it is becoming very prevalent not just in North America and not just in India, I am seeing it happen in Europe. I am seeing it happen in Japan and Australia. All over the world we’re starting to see COEs, and I think this has been the year that it really has come to life.

#1 Ranking: Read how InetSoft was rated #1 for user adoption in G2's user survey-based index Read More

And so let’s put up another poll, ‘does your organization have a business analysis center of excellence, community of practice or some sort of “centralized” resource that Business Analysts can use to help them with day to day activity?

Most people probably currently are working on developing it. It’s new enough in North America that people are still trying to figure out how to fit it within their organization. We got yes at 25%, no at 58% and currently working is 17%.

That’s a good affirmation that we are starting to see some signs of the rise of the business analysis center of excellence, and I think this is a great opportunity for business analyst. We are making progress in our profession, so this is phenomenal.

We have a question from the audience, ‘do you find that agile and other practices will eventually make the waterfall method obsolete?’ Gosh, I hope so, and I think we are trending towards that. I think some of the larger government type entities will hang on to the waterfall practices for some time. If I had to make a guess, I would say it will be five years at a minimum before we start to see signs of the waterfall environment at government agencies start to peter out.

In the corporate world, in the private world, I think it’s going to come faster than that. We have got the business analyst with programming background. So let me jump to the next slide. Thanks everybody. Keep the great questions coming.

Is it a trend for the project manager or the business analyst to be at the same hierarchy level? The way agile is going these days, I think one of the biggest hurdles is going to be hierarchy. There is a lot of hierarchy that goes on in organizations, and I think in order for us to fully implement and adopt the agile framework and SCRUM methods, we have to get rid of this hierarchy. I am okay with title hierarchy. However, it gets us into a little bit of trouble I think. I would say Project Managers and Business Analysts are peers and must be peers within an organization, no different than software developers and quality assurance people are.

view demo icon
View a 2-minute demonstration of InetSoft's easy, agile, and robust BI software.

Business outsourcing folks invest in the development of their business analysis practices. It is really interesting to note that if you look at some of the major outsourcing companies, whether they are in Brazil, whether they are in India or the Ukraine, there are some great outsourcing practices. What I am starting to see happen, and a lot of customers of these outsource vendors are really ramping up the business analyst profession.

Previous: Key Ingredient for a Successful Business Analyst