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KPIs for Business Analysts

Mariana Mitevska, President, IIBA Sofia Chapter, Bulgaria
 
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” (Peter Dracker).  This statement hides lots of questions for Business Analysis managers, including what to measure, how to assess, and quantifiable or qualifiable metrics to use?
 
BABOK® Guide introduces a KPI definition relevant to performance measurement of a solution and solution components. But how do we evaluate the process and practices undertaken to achieve this output?
 
This question has been covered in the workshop ‘KPIs for Business Analysts’ held in February 2016 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
 
As a result of several discussions held, the business analysts came up with the following conclusions:
 
What is a good KPI for business analysts?
A good KPI should comply with the following characteristics:
  • Agreed - all stakeholders should agree on the business analysts’ KPIs. This might be similar to the BABOK® KPI characteristic for "Communicated", but not exactly. Here "Agreed" KPI means "Communicated" KPI which has got feedback and reached a consensus on its definition.
  • Calibrated - scaled with expectations, scope and goals.
  • Proper to the business environment - a KPI should be applicable to the relevant context of usage - waterfall vs. agile process, BA position in the organization - team assignment (IT/Business team), internal/external BA, level in the organization (junior, regular, senior), level of business analysis (system analysis, business systems analysis, enterprise analysis and etc.).
  • Relevant to the assessment purpose - a KPI target purpose should be clearly stated - to predict (to set leading indicators) or to track (to set lagging indicators) the business analysts’ work. Leading indicators are those that predict the future. Lagging indicators are those which reflect facts that developed in the past.
  • Weighted – KPIs should have its own weight and priority may not weigh equally.
How often the KPIs should be consumed and refined?
There are two main cycles of consuming and refining KPIs:
  • For in-house business analysts
    • 6 months for middle management
    • 12 months for agents in operations
  • For outsourced business analysts
    • each deliverable should end up with retrospection of the achieved
What is the definition of KPIs for business analysts?
KPIs are commonly defined with negative perspective like the following examples:
  • Could we consider escalations as a KPI?
  • How many times a BA task was rejected and returned for rework?
Despite, some examples for positive measures can be:
  • How happy are developers and business people from the BA work?
  • How often do stakeholders express gratitude to a business analyst?
What are the benefits from KPIs for business analysts?
KPIs for business analysts are most often used to: 
  • assess performance of the role
  • blame somebody 
The following list of KPIs can be used to evaluate business analysts:

Category KPI
Communication and Planning
  • Percentage deviation from BA estimates
Requirements Management
  • Number of affected processes that were not changed (Any existing process that should have been enhanced as part of the change that BA worked on)
  • Number of organizational standards not followed
  • Average number iterations (compared to predefined standards)
  • Has the BA managed to prioritize his requirements? - Yes/No
  • Requirements prioritization
    • Percentage of requirements prioritized

BA Skills and Knowledge
  • Number of BA tools & techniques used?
  • How successfully are the tools & techniques used?
  • Does the BA suggest solutions? - Yes/No
  • Percentage of accepted suggestions for improvement that the BA raised
  • Does the BA learn and improve his skills?
    • Number of learning hours, preferably related with results from learning
    • Number of training (knowledge transfer) hours, preferably related with results from training
    • Number of self-improvement hours, preferably related with results from training
  • Does the BA apply lessons learned? (or repeats same mistakes)
  • Number of reusable requirements logged in
  • Adaptivity with the organizational culture
  • KPIs for BA organizational skills:
    • Number of meetings to number of conclusions and agreements
    • Number of reviews and comments to number of stakeholders
    • Percentage of rescheduled meetings
    • Percentage of deadlines met by stakeholders
Stakeholder Satisfaction
  • Subjective opinion on BA skill of stakeholders (Stakeholders feedback)
  • Stakeholder satisfaction
    • Were the requirements clear? (are the requirements clearly documented and visualized)
    • How would you evaluate the BA’s communication skills?
    • How would you evaluate the subject matter expertise?
    • How would you evaluate the completeness of the analysis? (did the BA manage to involve all stakeholders)
    • How would you evaluate the proactivity of the BA?
    • (As a BA) Was my opinion taken into consideration?
    • How would you evaluate the engagement level of the BA?
    • Open field for recommendations - number of unique recommendations
  • Was the BA prepared for each meeting/interview he schedules?
    • (Percentage) of the implemented features that are actually used after implementation
    • Number of satisfied business needs
  • How long did it take for the solution to be adopted?
  • Number of issues escalated for consultation (this would measure the BA reputation with stakeholders)
Change Management
  • Number of change requests (that are not initiated because of a Business change) within project scope:
    • on project milestones
    • after deployment
(This KPI would measure missed requirements, stakeholders, systems that have impact from the change)
  • Number of defects on requirements bugs
Effectiveness
  • Contribution - Value of benefits the BA brought in with his changes. Any innovations implemented by BAs? (in terms of process and organization of work)
  • Does the BA manage to stick to budget and needs? (avoid Gold Plating)
  • Velocity of execution - KPI that tracks velocity of a BA team's BA skills and knowledge