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4. Strategy Horizon

4.5 Feedback and Learning

Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide

Decision makers frequently delay launching initiatives until the information they have provides them with confidence that the initiative will be successful. These decisions to delay are made because decision makers lack the ability to learn quickly and make timely strategic decisions.

At the Strategy Horizon, agile business analysis provides just enough information to decide whether to begin a new initiative. Specifically, this means answering the questions:

  • Is there a need to satisfy?

  • Is the need aligned with the organization’s strategic objectives?

  • Is it worth satisfying that need?

  • Do we believe we have the right team to provide a good enough solution?

  • Are we able to measure the success of the initiative?

Once the decision to start a new initiative is made, further analysis is done at the Initiative Horizon.

Communications between Horizons is a continuous process of feedback and learning. Analysis done at the Strategy Horizon provides useful information to teams at the Initiative and Delivery Horizons. Learning is created at both the Initiative and Delivery Horizons that enables effective decision making at the Strategy Horizon.

Continuous and timely feedback loops enable rapid decision making. The constant flow of information from multiple initiatives to the decision makers at the Strategy Horizon facilitates the making of timely strategic decisions.

At the Strategy Horizon, business analysis practitioners continuously analyze and communicate information that is available at the Initiative Horizon. Business analysis practitioners operating at the Strategy Horizon collaborate closely with the business analysis practitioners operating at the Initiative Horizon.

Agile business analysis at the Strategy Horizon involves analyzing large amounts of changing data with complex relationships. This generally involves multiple business analysis practitioners conducting analysis in different areas and multiple decision makers from different domains making independent decisions. For example, an accountant might be looking at changes to cash flows while a marketing manager is looking at changes in customer behaviour. Each independent decision may have an impact on the outcome of other decisions made elsewhere in the organization. Business analysis practitioners play a central role in facilitating the continuous feedback and learning between stakeholders within the Strategy Horizon.