Enterprise Analysis (BABOK KA)

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The benefits of Agile methods are becoming more obvious and compelling. While the most popular practices were developed and proven in small team environments, the interest and need for using Agile in the enterprise is growing rapidly. That's largely because Agile provides quantifiable, "step-change" improvements in the "big three" software development measures - quality, productivity and morale. Confirming Agile's benefits, hundreds of large enterprises, many with more than 1,000 software developers, are adopting the methodology.

Regarding software architecture, it's interesting to note that it is the "lighter-weight" Agile methods, specifically Scrum and XP, that are seeing the broadest adoption in the enterprise.

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Enterprise Analysis is a knowledge area which describes the Business analysis activities that take place for an enterprise to identify business opportunities, build a Business Architecture, determine the optimum project investment path for that enterprise and finally, implement new business and technical solutions. The question you may ask: Does this really differs from Enterprise Architecture, and if so, how?

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Although you can do ‘standard’ requirements gathering for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) projects, there is now an evolving a set of analysis techniques, methods and approaches that purport to be better suited to information gathering and design specification. I will call these generically Service Oriented Analysis.

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Business Analysts are required to contribute to a project in a number of ways: primarily by identifying the needs of the target community; building the Communications Plan; defining use case models; and Business Requirements document. In order to do their job effectively a large element of a BA’s time must be spent understanding and managing stakeholders in the project... From a CIO’s viewpoint the skills they look for in a good Business Analyst include an aspect of stakeholder management and an ability to find a path through the likely problem zones.

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This year, organizations will be picking themselves up and dusting themselves off, becoming more savvy, agile and proactive. Business analysts are well positioned to help organizations meet the challenges of putting their houses back in order by helping to answer the question: “How and where do we create efficiencies that will help mitigate the sting of another possible economic downturn?”

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The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® 2.0) is the definitive guide to the profession of business analysis. Every business analyst can profit from it, and few analysts can afford to be without it.

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Agile development practices introduced, adopted and extended the XP-originated "User Story" as the primary currency for expressing application requirements within the agile enterprise. The just-in-time application of the user story simplified software development and eliminated the prior waterfall like practices of overly burdensome and overly constraining requirements specifications for agile teams.

However, as powerful as this innovative concept is, the user story by itself does not provide an adequate, nor sufficiently lean, construct for reasoning about investment, system-level requirements and acceptance testing across the larger software enterprises project team, program and portfolio organizational levels. In this whitepaper, we describe a Lean and Scalable Agile Enterprise Requirements Information Model that scales to the full needs of the largest software enterprise, while still providing a quintessentially lean and agile subset for the agile project teams that do most of the work.

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Not unlike gardening, Enterprise Analysis takes very careful stock and consideration of the current state of your environment. By IIBA® definition, Enterprise Analysis is:

  • The identification of business opportunities
  • Development and maintenance of a business architecture
  • The determination of optimum project investment
     
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There are great shifts that happen in technology and culture. Sometimes they occur sequentially, as WWII created a need for advanced computing, and the PC forever changed the nature of work.

Sometimes they happen concurrently, where pressures, both positive and negative, take place in tandem. We are in such a time of change now, with great crises and great opportunities for organizations and the people who love them. One of these challenges is the failure of Enterprise, Business and Technical architecture.

Why do the Three Stooges so often stumble and fail?

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When ModernAnalyst asked me to propose an article for their issue on Enterprise Architecture, I thought about the question framework developed by John Zachman, that provides the basic building blocks of that practice.  The primary function of a Business Analyst is to ask questions that uncover requirements then to document those requirements so they may be developed into a useful, useable system.

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As budgets tighten and organizations continue trying to achieve return on investment faster, cheaper and with better results, they are trying to create and evolve their overall enterprise architecture.

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There appears to be a gross misunderstanding about Architecture, particularly in the information technology community. Many people seem to think that an implementation, an end result, is Architecture. To use an Architecture and Construction example, many people think that the Roman Coliseum is Architecture.

The Roman Coliseum is NOT Architecture. The Roman Coliseum is the RESULT of Architecture. The RESULT of Architecture is an instance of Architecture, an implementation. In the end result, the implementation, you can see an instantiation of the Architect’s Architecture. If an Architect had not created the descriptive representations (the Architecture) of the Roman Coliseum, they could not have built the Roman Coliseum. They couldn’t have even ordered the stones they required in order to build the Coliseum without the Coliseum Architecture which had to be created long before the Coliseum was constructed.

Architecture is the set of descriptive representations that are required in order to create an object. If you can’t describe it, you can’t create it. Also, if you ever want to change the object you created, Architecture constitutes the baseline for changing the object once it is created, that is, it is the baseline for changing the object IF you retain the descriptive representations used in its creation and IF you ensure that the descriptive representations are always maintained consistent with the instantiation.

If the object you are trying to create is so simple that you can see it in its entirety at a glance and remember how all of its components fit together at excruciating level of detail all at one time, you don’t need Architecture. You can "wing it" and see if it works. It is only when the object you are trying to create is complex to the extent that you can’t see and remember all the details of the implementation at once, and only when you want to accommodate on-going change to the instantiated object, that Architecture is IMPERATIVE. Once again, without Architecture, you are not going to be able to create an object of any complexity and you won’t be able to change it (that is, change it in minimum time, with minimum disruption and minimum cost).

 

So, the question is, what constitutes the set of descriptive representations relevant for describing an object such that you can create it and change it with minimum time, disruption and cost?

Author: John A. Zachman

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Two years ago, some of my friends pressed me intensely to be more definitive about the Framework concepts. Even though, I had written “The Book”, they were specifically asking me for definitions of the entities that comprise the metamodel of Row 2 of the Enterprise Framework. It has taken me and a team of dedicated folks two years, however we have progressed far beyond the original requirement.

We have produced descriptions, not only of the entities of Row 2 of the Enterprise Framework, but also we have definitions of the entities of Row 1, Row 2, Row 3, Row 4, Row 5 and Row 6 of the Enterprise Framework plus descriptions for the Product Framework (where I learned about the Framework classification in the first place), for the Profession Framework (that I used to call the I/S Framework, the “meta Framework” relative to the Enterprise Framework) and for the Zachman Classification Framework (the Framework classification for all Frameworks).

This work is particularly significant at this point in time for several reasons.

Author: John A. Zachman

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In previous articles, I discussed ways in which business analysts can become organizational consultants, driving innovation, problem solving and strategic solutions within their companies.

In addition to the traditional tools of project business analysis and the emerging tools of enterprise business analysis, another toolkit can be exceptionally helpful.

This is the rich group of practices from the Quality and Process Improvement methodologies, including Six Sigma, Lean, Theory of Constraints (TOC) and Systems Thinking.

Although these methodologies are used in many organizations, their tools have not yet been widely incorporated into either project or enterprise business analysis.

In this article, I will focus on combining a Voice of the Customer (VOC) with the “Ends Planning” exercise from Idealized Design.

Author: Sam Cherubin

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Billions of dollars earmarked for new technologies, at the same time billion-dollar projects are failing. Virtual teams who can’t implement Virtualization. Service Oriented Architecture when customers are no longer oriented towards your services.

Where can you turn to? Who can you trust?

Enterprise Business Analysis is the solution

EBA is Strategic, Process and Organizational Consulting:
o Strategic – Planning and execution.
o Process – the steps.
o Organizational – the whole enchilada.
o Consulting - Internal or external, the combination of expertise and intuition, Techne and Poesis, improvisation and practice in planning and supporting the enchilada’s goals.

You are already familiar with EBA, under its many masks for the diagnosis of the patient, and prescription for the cure:

  • Best Practices
  • Change Management
  • Coaching/Mentoring
  • Process and Operational Improvement
  • Strategy Development
  • Technology analysis, recommendations and implementation

Author: Sam Cherubin

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