One of the knowledge areas included in the IIBA BABOK is Enterprise Analysis. I have noticed that when BAs review this knowledge area for the first time, many exclaim “BAs don’t do this!”. Honestly I must say that I had the same reaction the first time that I looked at the detailed tasks outlined. The knowledge area includes things like Strategic Planning, Business Architecture development and Business Case development. For those of us who have worked at large companies, these tasks are usually owned by a separate group called Strategic Planning or Corporate Planning.
However, the more that we talk about these tasks, the more than I see BAs doing this kind of work every day. We don’t do it formally and often do it unconsciously but we do it. Experienced analysts are always questioning why we are doing a particular project or task, we are always thinking about how to spend our time in the most effective way for our employer and we are always considering how does this work fit with other groups in the organization. If a business stakeholder asked for a technology change that would negatively impact another corporate group, we would discuss the ramifications and brainstorm for another solution!
I would encourage BAs to become more aware of how much you do think about strategic issues for your organization. When you talk with a business stakeholder about how to improve their process you are thinking strategically and you are doing informal business case or cost benefit analysis. Don’t sell yourself short – BAs are very strategic and perform Enterprise Analysis all of the time.