“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:
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