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Unleashing the Full Potential of a Performance Measurement Program for Business Analysts

By Adriana Beal, Principal Consultant, Beal Projects, LLC
 
Decades of research targeting high-performance organizations provide overwhelming evidence that monitoring performance is a critical element of good management. Still, the number of companies that monitor the performance of their business analysts, or do so with a focus on value creation, are very few.
 
Common objections to measuring the performance of business analyst ranges from “the type of work I do is too subjective to be measured” to “we don’t have time for this”. But the truth is you can’t create drastic improvements in performance without developing a clear understanding of what is causing performance problems. Measurement is what allows companies to go from “we have a problem” to “there is a performance problem, and this part is caused by lack of competence and skills, this by lack of stakeholder involvement, and this by poor processes”.
 
There is no such thing as a job that can’t be measured or evaluated. The very purpose of a job is to accomplish some result. If the result can be defined, then the performance expectations can be expressed in similar terms. It’s true that performance measurement is badly done in many organizations—there are too many or too few measures, the metrics aren’t useful, people have to spend too much time collecting data for useless measures, and so on. It’s also true that ill-conceived measures are as likely to cause performance to decrease as it is to increase, so we need to be careful about the selection of measures, to avoid overcomplicating our performance measurement system, or creating a distorted view of performance.
 
Managers and BAs finding it difficult to justify the value of having BAs assigned to projects at their early stage, or justifying budget for training  or sending BAs to conferences to get them exposed to new ideas,  will find the answer in objective performance measures that focus on value creation. Comparisons between projects that didn’t have a competent business analyst involved, and projects that had a skilled BA responsible for creating quality requirements, will likely show a substantial difference in value-adding measures such as number of requirements defects found during development, number of change requests submitted because the solution wasn’t fit for purpose, project slippage caused by requirements errors and omissions, customer satisfaction, number of user complaints, and user adoption rates.
 
In the webinar Unleashing the Full Potential of a Performance Measurement Program for Business Analysts, you will find solid arguments for taking the necessary steps to implement an effective performance measurement program for business analysts. The webinar also provides a case study to illustrate how this type of initiative can help your organization identify the root causes of performance problems and remove the obstacles that are preventing its business analysts from operating at their maximum level of effectiveness and efficiency.

©iStockphoto.com/ayzek
 
Adriana Beal, principal consultant at BealProjects.com, has a background in Electrical Engineering, with an MBA in Strategic Management of Information. She has been working as a consultant for the past 15 years, creating requirements for complex software projects and helping companies align their IT projects with business strategy. Adriana started researching performance measurement 10 years ago, to help clients in the Fortune 100 list improve the way they measure the performance of IT projects and teams. Since then, she has seen drastic improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of the work of business analysts in organizations adopting the practices she recommends.