The new Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK® Guide) Version 3 has just been released by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), and I am so excited to talk about the BACCM—the Business Analysis Core Concepts Model™. If you’ve been following the development of BABOK® Guide V3, you may already be familiar with this model, as it’s been discussed and presented for a couple of years now. But for many of you, it may be new. I love this model and am hoping many of you will adopt it as a great way to plan, analyze, and communicate to managers and other stakeholders about business analysis.Let me give you a brief introduction to the model and encourage you to read the detailed description in the BABOK® Guide V3. As you can see, there are six components that make up the model, and each component is associated with every other component. These six components form a complete picture of an organizational change and can be used to better analyze and communicate the change to the stakeholders.
Core Concept: Stakeholder
The stakeholders are the people, or groups of people, who can impact the solution or be impacted by the change.
Core Concept: Need
The need is the business problem to be solved, opportunity to be exploited, or constraint (such as a regulation) that must be met.
How Are Stakeholder and Need Related?
The association between stakeholder and need recognizes that different stakeholders may have different needs, even within the same project or change. For example, if I am updating an e-commerce website, the customer stakeholders need easy, efficient access to products, while the marketing stakeholders see this as an opportunity to gather more customer data during a purchase. Balancing these different stakeholder needs is a challenging part of analyzing and designing a solution.
Core Concept: Solution
The solution is the answer to the need. A solution can include a new product, technology changes to hardware or software, a process change, or a personnel change—anything that will satisfy the need.
How Does Solution Relate to Stakeholder?
The association between stakeholder and solution recognizes that different stakeholders may have different ideas about the solution. In the e-commerce example, the customer stakeholders may want a quick checkout option where they don’t have to fill out too many data fields, while the marketing stakeholders may want the checkout process to ask each customer where they learned about the website and what other products they are interested in. Again, balancing these different preferences in the solution is important and requires the team to analyze the costs and benefits of each.
Core Concept: Value
This may be the easiest component to understand, but it’s the most difficult to measure. Value is the benefit that the stakeholders (and the organization) will receive from the solution. Ideally, benefits will be measurable (e.g., increased revenue, decreased costs) but often they are more subjective, such as improved goodwill or a smaller environmental footprint. The association between value and stakeholder reminds us that different stakeholders may get different types of value from the solution.
Core Concept: Context
The context is the part of the organization that is affected by the change. It also includes any environmental conditions that are related to the implementation of the solution. This component of the model is critical, because solutions are implemented in environments where other processes and systems already exist. Understanding how a new solution will interact with its environment is an important part of the analysis. Different stakeholders may work in different contexts, and the solution may operate differently in different environments.
Core Concept: Change
I’ve been using the word “change” in many of these definitions because this is the component that describes how we transform the organization to increase its value. The change may be accomplished by initiating a project or a program. Changes may also be managed as continuous improvement initiatives. Changes should be controlled, with the goal of improving the organization. In terms of its associations with the other model components, the change will involve different stakeholders in different ways. Also, the change may be rolled out differently in different contexts.
Although I haven’t given examples of all of the associations in the model, hopefully you get the idea. To more fully appreciate this model, think about a change you have been working on, and identify each component. Now think about the associations between them. I think you will find that by mapping your work to the model, you will be analyzing at a deeper level and developing new questions to ask of your stakeholders. And that is the value of a model—it helps us think about problems and solutions in new ways!
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