Building a Business Analyst Competency & Training Program. Presented by Tom Ryder

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1 Building a Business Analyst Competency & Training Program Presented by Tom Ryder October 30, 2012

2 Today s Presentation About me Background on UPS UPS at a glance History of innovation The reasons why UPS invested in a BA competency improvement and training program Why a competency improvement and training program is important What we hoped to accomplish How the program was built, established, modified and administered How improvement in the competency of business analysts and their contribution to the business has been demonstrated Lessons learned 2

3 About Me Project Leader, UPS Information Systems At UPS 19 years 14 of which have been in a business analysis role B.S. Finance St. John s University, NY M.S. Management Information Systems, New Jersey Institute of Technology Started at UPS as a Financial Analyst Worked primarily on UPS financial systems and projects Assignment in 2009 on the UPS Application Life Cycle (ALM) transformation UPS Business Analysis Competency & Training Program Establish UPS Enterprise Business Analysis Practice UPS Business Analysis Practice Lead December 2009 July

4 About Me Project Leader, UPS Information Systems At UPS 19 years 14 of which have been in a business analysis role B.S. Finance St. John s University, NY M.S. Management Information Systems, New Jersey Institute of Technology Started at UPS as a Financial Analyst Worked primarily on UPS financial systems and projects Assignment in 2009 on the UPS Application Life Cycle (ALM) transformation UPS Business Analysis Competency & Training Program Establish UPS Enterprise Business Analysis Practice UPS Business Analysis Practice Lead December 2009 July 2012 In July a new assignment which includes responsibility for a team of business analysts Now I have to do what I ve been telling everyone else they have to do Eat my own cooking 4

5 UPS at a Glance UPS is the world s largest package delivery company Founded 1907 $53.1 billion corporation 398,300 Employees Serves more than 220 countries million daily customers Unmatched customer service Moves more than 15.8 million packages a day 32.1 million daily tracking requests Reaches every address in North America and Europe Leading global logistics provider Ranked 8 th overall of the Information Week 500 ranking of the most innovative U.S. users of business technology 5

6 Over a Century of Innovation 6

7 Over a Century of Innovation 7

8 Our Mission and Challenges In 2009 an effort to improve our application lifecycle management was launched Goal: become a more efficient I.T. organization Add more value to the business Focus on process and people Support from our CIO Challenges: Business Analysts spread throughout the organization Over 330 people identified as Business Analysts when we started Various reporting structures, geographically dispersed No single understanding, approach or expectations for business analysis Parochial views to what BAs did and what was best approach Business Analysts couldn t always easily talk to one another Didn t have one language for business analysis Business Analysts not portable from different domains 8

9 What We Wanted Business Analysts who understand the business, business needs and business problems Problem solvers BAs to make recommendations to improve business processes / software / organizational structure help develop the solutions, innovate BAs to be change agents for the organization Good BAs add value to both a project and an organization Common established expectations Standard skills Skilled Business Analysts will be sought out by the organization to be part of a project team BAs who invest in themselves Culture of continuous self improvement Add value to the business 9

10 What We Wanted Business Analysts who understand the business, business needs and business problems Problem solvers BAs to make recommendations to improve business processes / software / organizational structure help develop the solutions, innovate BAs to be change agents for the organization Good BAs add value to both a project and an organization Common established expectations Standard skills Skilled Business Analysts will be sought out by the organization to be part of a project team BAs who invest in themselves Culture of continuous self improvement Add value to the business We wanted better business analysts 10

11 What We Wanted Business Analysts who understand the business, business needs and business problems Problem solvers BAs to make recommendations to improve business processes / software / organizational structure help develop the solutions, innovate BAs to be change agents for the organization Good BAs add value to both a project and an organization Common established expectations Standard skills Skilled Business Analysts will be sought out by the organization to be part of a project team BAs who invest in themselves Culture of continuous self improvement Add value to the business We wanted better business analysts We needed to raise the bar 11

12 What We Did Started out talking to various groups around the company Not just BAs, other stakeholders Discussed the good and the bad Identified best practices and common areas for improvement Spoke to people, primarily through the IIBA, to find out what they were doing Figured out how we wanted business analysis to be at UPS Using an existing Requirements Development and Management Process as our starting point, we modified it with what we had learned Socialized it Now we had a playbook that we could all use 12

13 What We Did Started out talking to various groups around the company Not just BAs, other stakeholders Discussed the good and the bad Identified best practices and common areas for improvement Spoke to people, primarily through the IIBA, to find out what they were doing Figured out how we wanted business analysis to be at UPS Using an existing Requirements Development and Management Process as our starting point, we modified it with what we had learned Socialized it Now we had a playbook that we could all use Next challenge: How do we get people to execute? 13

14 Created a Framework We realized we needed training to teach people what we needed them to do and to get us all on the same page, get the common understanding We also thought we needed to have people demonstrate (prove) that they could do what they learned Not just another corporate training class Wanted what was learned to be ingrained To prove we had raised the bar we needed to show people improved, that they grew in their competency That the investment paid off and value was being added 14

15 Created a Framework We realized we needed training to teach people what we needed them to do and to get us all on the same page, get the common understanding We also thought we needed to have people demonstrate (prove) that they could do what they learned Not just another corporate training class Wanted what was learned to be ingrained To prove we had raised the bar we needed to show people improved, that they grew in their competency That the investment paid off and value was being added We called this KNOW, SHOW and GROW 15

16 Created a Framework We realized we needed training to teach people what we needed them to do and to get us all on the same page, get the common understanding We also thought we needed to have people demonstrate (prove) that they could do what they learned Not just another corporate training class Wanted what was learned to be ingrained To prove we had raised the bar we needed to show people improved, that they grew in their competency That the investment paid off and value was being added We called this KNOW, SHOW and GROW KNOW = Training SHOW = Demonstrated ability to produce work as taught and to our standards GROW = Demonstrated improvement in BA skills as perceived by stakeholders and manager 16

17 Created a Framework We realized we needed training to teach people what we needed them to do and to get us all on the same page, get the common understanding We also thought we needed to have people demonstrate (prove) that they could do what they learned Not just another corporate training class Wanted what was learned to be ingrained To prove we had raised the bar we needed to show people improved, that they grew in their competency That the investment paid off and value was being added We called this KNOW, SHOW and GROW KNOW = Training SHOW = Demonstrated ability to produce work as taught and to our standards GROW = Demonstrated improvement in BA skills as perceived by stakeholders and manager We believed this framework would provide accountability 17

18 Training Determined what we wanted covered in training Utilized the IIBA Competency Model and BABOK, research, feedback we received and our own experience We wanted professional trainers with strong business analysis backgrounds to help us develop and deliver the training Thorough search and vetting of training vendors Utilized the IIBAs list of endorsed vendors Several vendors became strong contenders One began to stand out Consistent message about the emphasis of business analysts understanding the business, business problems and being problem solvers Adding value to the business Continuous professional improvement Understood that we wanted to raise the bar and have accountability 18

19 Training In conjunction with the vendor we developed two training classes for our curriculum We called the classes BA101 and BA201 BA101 = Business Analysis Essentials BA201 = Advanced Topics in Business Analysis Provide training in essential business analysis skills for experienced and less experienced practitioners Each course is comprised of: 4 days of classroom training on BA skills, ½ day of UPS specific topics Pre-class work Reading Online training module 360 evaluation Pre-class exam Post class exam Program is administered by our Business Analysis Practice 19

20 Training BA101: What is business analysis Project participants and their roles Elicitation techniques Scope the project Defining and detailing requirements Requirements analysis As-Is workflow analysis Business process modeling Identifying essential business processes UPS Requirements Development Management Process and templates 20

21 Training BA201: Understand and document the business environment Use standard templates to elicit and document processes Look beyond the current technology or procedures to discover the true nature of the business activity Define the true business problem Ask the right questions to identify the core business processes and the business rules that control or guide them Document functional requirements that specify how users will interact with the software and how the software will respond Deliver consistent, detailed use case descriptions Use several diagrams including use case diagrams and BPMN workflow diagrams Look at the business area objectively after business requirements are documented and organized to present alternative design solutions that meet the customer needs Consider usability when developing prototypes Learn communication strategies for working with virtual teams and tips for conducting virtual team meetings Understand the foundations of UPS financial processes 21

22 The Training Results Over 300 BAs have attended the training BAs are now have a common language and common understanding Increased consistency Greater collaboration among BAs We raised the bar Some people have moved out of the Business Analyst job family Not everyone passes the exam Some people decide that being a BA is not for them From over 330 BAs to 262 practicing BAs Our best BAs are still our best BAs We have elevated the bottom by pushing up Raised the bar 22

23 Post-Class Deliverables After each training class the BAs are required to submit a sample of their work that adheres to the guidelines and demonstrate proficiency (show) Needed more than a test you could study for, need to deliver Post BA101: As-is business process model, accompanying narrative, rules, essential business process, business data dictionary Post BA201: To-be business process model, accompanying narrative, requirements, rules, use cases This is a critical aspect of the accountability We ve made an investment, now show you can do the work The managers of BAs are involved in the reviews Guidelines place a limit on the number of submission attempts for a particular deliverable Promotes consistency Most importantly, demonstrate that you apply what you ve learned 23

24 BA 360 Evaluation The purpose of the BA360 Evaluation is to get feedback from the people BAs work with (stakeholders) to help measure improvement in core BA competencies (GROW) Specifically pre and post training Feedback provided by answering a series of questions about key BA skills Areas such as: Communication (listening, elicitation, facilitation, verbal, written) Understanding of customer needs and business process Problem solving Identify areas of strength and for improvement Develop improvement plans Continuous improvement 24

25 BA 360 Evaluation Over time we ve seen improvement in key BA competencies as measured by stakeholders In particular in the areas in understanding, articulating and contributing to solutions to business problems Scale is from 0 to 2 O = little or basic, 1 = competent, 2 = exceptional Below 1 is considered improvement needed Areas of Improvement Baseline Scores 6 Month Post Class Scores Score Improvement Demonstrate understanding of current business processes Understanding of business problem to develop a solution Demonstrate understanding of how requirements will impact systems

26 Results Over 90% of practicing business analysts have completed the training Passing rate on the post-class exams is over 90% 26% of business analysts have completed all three aspects of the Know, Show, and Grow program by achieving certification Goal is to increase that percentage over time Everyone has skin in the game Business Analysis is now a more respected profession Recognized standards Higher expectations Culture of continuous professional development Accountability Feedback from stakeholders is our BAs have improved, continue to improve, are more aligned with the business and are making a more valuable contribution to the business 26

27 Lessons Learned Accountability must be built into the program Support from the top critical Support from the middle is also very important Recognize that change is hard Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Need demonstrated results (CSF) Exam program frequently, make changes if necessary Professional development does not end with the training and certification The cream usually rises to the top To have overall improvement need to raise the bar for everyone, pull up the people at the bottom 27

28 Lessons Learned Accountability must be built into the program Support from the top critical Support from the middle is also very important Recognize that change is hard Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Need demonstrated results (CSF) Exam program frequently, make changes if necessary Professional development does not end with the training and certification The cream usually rises to the top To have overall improvement need to raise the bar for everyone, pull up the people at the bottom A rising tide lifts all boats. - John F. Kennedy,

29 Cartoon used with permission of modernanalyst.com 29

30 THANK YOU 30

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