Enterprise analysis is one of the six knowledge areas required by a business analyst professional. But first, lets start with knowledge areas. What is a knowledge area?
A knowledge area defines the skills and knowledge required by a business analyst professional. It represents a complete set of concepts, terms and activities that make up a professional field, project management field or area of specialization.
Enterprise analysis is described as “the BA activities necessary to identify a business need, refine and clarify the definition of that need and define a solution scope that can be easily implemented by the business”.
In simple words, Enterprise Analysis consists of activities for defining business needs, recommending a solution to meet those needs, and substantiating the cost of the solution.
There are various analysis approaches which are used by a BA in a systematic approach to do enterprise analysis. Below mentioned are a few important and widely used business analysis techniques by most professionals.
SWOT Analysis stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats. This model is used to understand influencing factors. A brainstorming session can be conducted to know the factors. Strengths and weaknesses are generally internal to the organizations and are generally considered as internal factors. Opportunities and threats are mostly external factors, these may include new competitors, new technology and new market places.
GAP Analysis Gaps are the differences between the current and future states. Gap analysis compares the states to identify differences between them. This provides a foundation for measuring investment of time, money and resources. It can be conducted by a basic excel sheet and no formal procedure is there to conduct this analysis. This is one of the best analysis followed by any organization for process improvement.
Feasibility Analysis is generally done at the initial stages to determine the possibility of doing a project within the budget, time and technology
Root cause analysis, also sometimes called as problem analysis. As the name suggests it mainly focuses on finding out the root cause of any problem that is lying in the organization. To find out the problem we have a few techniques that are as listed below.
A few techniques are
- 5 Why: This technique is used to get to the root of the issue. For each answer, a further why is asked until the root cause for the issue is found out.
- Tabular method: It is a process where a master table is created and can be referred to anytime needed.
- Fishbone diagram: This technique mainly focuses on people, process, machines, materials and environment.
Decision Analysis Helpful in making wise investment choices. Key Components:
- a) financial factors – This considers present and past performance to determine next steps.
- b) Non-financial factors – These are the informal and uncertain information about the processes.
Strategy Analysis is the direction or scope for any business in long term, which helps in gaining profits by implementation.
The techniques involved in strategy analysis are as listed below
- Porter’s Five force model
- External and internal environmental analysis
- PESTLE technique which focuses mainly on Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological and Legal factors
- MOST technique which factors in Mission, Objective, Strategy and Tactics.
Based on above mentioned techniques, analyst can determine which solutions can be selected to resolve the issue. The output of this knowledge area provides helpful background information for the Requirements Analysis knowledge area as well as the Solution Assessment and Validation knowledge area. The work done during Enterprise Analysis is also helpful for long term strategic planning as it paints a picture of the current state and capabilities of the business
Before any new project is started, analysts and business stakeholders should understand how the project goals and objectives fit into the overall direction and plan for the enterprise. Without the Enterprise Analysis activities this wouldn’t be possible.