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Business analysis for understanding complexity

Business analysis for understanding complexity

For government and business alike the need for understanding complexity of problems and projects is on the rise. This is the driving force behind the demands and trends of the business analysis profession.

Increasing complexity is driving the trends

In Jan 2016, Modern analyst reported that the top trends in business analysis profession included:

  • The shifting role of BA toward communicating, instead of documenting.
  • Wider adoption of a professional BA approach to increase organizations’ agility.

These trends in the business analysis profession are driven by the need of organisations for understanding complexity inherent in the problem-solution context of modern day projects and programs. Organisations becoming more complex and so too are the problems being solved and the solutions being presented. This increase in complexity of context is causing the rise in demand for people who are expert in understanding complexity. Skilled and talented business analysts’ are ideally positioned to meet this demand.

“For every complex problem there is a solution that is concise, clear, simple, and wrong.” said H.L. Mencken.  So too, is this the lesson of business analysis. That unless the problem is understood, only luck will deliver a solution. By defining, describing, investigating, evaluating and measuring, the business analyst ensures that the end-solution aligns and solves the problem. This focus by the business analyst on the problem and for understanding complexity, is the defining difference between the role of the business analyst and that of the more solution focused project roles such as the architect, project manager and developer.

A professional approach to understanding complexity

The core purpose of business analysis is to understand, measure and monitor complexity regarding the context in which they work. It is towards understanding complexity that the majority of techniques and processes of the profession are designed and applied in everyday practice.  A professional and talented business analyst will use these tools to determining the natural conflicts that originate between the management, resources, money and employees of an organisation. It is the role of the business analyst to undercover and address the understanding of an organisation so that strategic and effective decisions can be made. To do this, the business analyst needs to understand the entire business, its’ technologies, culture and history.

It is very rare that government projects operate in a simple context. To the contrary, government projects are usually highly complex with a multitude of factors spanning technology, policy, process and of course, politics. Very rarely does the organisation or project sponsor truly understand the context they operate in. It is too big, too obtuse and too complicated to be understood without investigation. And so, every government organisation has to deal with complexity from within and from outside.

Business analysis in the modern day brings to the organisation a strategic and professional approach to understanding complexity. One that takes dedication, skill, experience and natural talent. These are the reasons that drive the trends of the profession. These are the reasons that every government organisation must learn to best harness the skills and talents of all business analysts within their ranks.