Sample Business Studies Paper on The six core concepts of business analysis

Strategy Case Study

Q1. Introduction to Strategy and Enterprise Analysis

Strategies employed in firms determine the most effective use of organizational capabilities and resources to establish attainable goals, objectives, and business outcomes. Using a strategic analysis approach, analysts can collaboratively work with the enterprise’s key stakeholders to identify the strategic and critical needs, offer solutions to address the needs, and align the new strategy with other higher and lower-level strategies (Nicholas, n.d.). Strategic analysis is targeted at defining future actions to meet an enterprise’s needs and identifying activities inherent in those needs and solutions. However, the strategic analysis approach is dependent on the type of changes. Zhong et al. (2020) recognized the disruptive impact Big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile and cloud computing have had on the information technology industry (IT) and enterprises. They have transformed the process of social and corporate management. The impact of these changes is evident in Unihei Telecom’s case study as it intends to introduce a novel Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) system for managing tangible and intangible resources providing a modern interface operating through the corporate intranet. This section of the paper aims at creating a Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM) for Jeeves by highlighting the model and the concepts tied to the case study and project and documenting any vital assumptions.

Business Analysis Core Concept Model (BACCM)

The BACCM is a conceptual framework for business analysis and applies to different perspectives, industries, methodologies, and/or organizational levels. The model is defined by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and outlined by the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) as containing six critical concepts for analysis (Milani, 2019). The model defines business analysis, allows communication between all stakeholders, helps determine and evaluate core concept relationships, and provides tools for interpreting the effect and outcomes of the applied analytical approaches. The core concepts include (i) need, an opportunity/problem that should be addressed; (ii) change, transformational actions in response to the need; (iii) solution, a specific approach for addressing one or multiple needs; (iv) stakeholders, individuals/groups tied to the change, need, or solution; (v) value, the importance, worth, or utility of a specific aspect to the stakeholders; and (vi) context, circumstances influencing, are influenced by and offer insights into the change (Ramos, 2019). These concepts and their interconnectivity are provided in Figure 1 and comprise all activities inherent in business analysis and offer a robust tool for understanding organizational changes.

Figure 1: BACCM six concepts and their relationships.

Source: (Ramos, 2019).

Concepts Applicable to the Case Study, Project Interrelations, and Assumptions

Considering the case study and the core concepts identified above, the concepts tied to the case study include context as the company was established to connect people. Information sharing and synchronization should be seamless to ensure the objective is met in light of the importance of understanding big data. In addition, it is the concept of need where the company needs to shift from the old approach to corporate reporting employing multiple outdated technology platforms containing bolt-on aggregators built in MS Access databases and MS Excel spreadsheets containing complex macros. Further, there is the concept of change where the firm has introduced new FRM systems providing customized solutions for each department. The systems allow resource management via a novel interface using the corporate intranet. Finally, there is the concept of stakeholders as the new system change tends to affect the operations of the Corporate Finance department responsible for managing multiple systems and databases, including employing complex excel spreadsheets to push the multilevel FRM initiatives across the company. The reporting formats and the capacity to access data do not meet the stakeholders’ needs, who depend on the information for decision-making and preparing reports.

The concepts are tied to the project as they highlight the inherent need of the enterprise to make changes in its approaches to big data management, processing, and reporting. In addition, in the current state, changes were made to address the issue/need by introducing new FRM systems and the impact of the change on the decision-making and reporting process. Furthermore, they highlight the potential areas where changes can be made throughout the project through stakeholder involvement. The primary assumption is that a strategic and enterprise analysis will generate the required knowledge to implement the new FRM systems effectively. This will allow the involvement of a project manager in the project and the seamless transition to the new system.

Q2. Analyze Current State

Current State Description for the Project

Current state analysis is comprehending the present situation of an organization. The analysis provides the basis and context of change and allows the business analyst (BA) to understand the rationale for a change in organizational operations and the impact of the change efforts (Nicholas, n.d.). Each change is motivated by s prevailing problem or an imminent opportunity that cannot be dealt with in the prevailing enterprise state. The BA hence works with the stakeholders to establish the need driving that change and make the change possible. In this context, understanding the stakeholders’ needs becomes vital for strategy development that will produce desirable outcomes (Nicholas, n.d.). Technological innovation is the primary factor creating the current state at Unihei and the context for change. Determining the current state’s scope is critical for establishing a change environment (Nicholas, n.d.). The model’s detailed level of the present state determines the degree of stakeholder involvement and the need for external resources.

In light of the introduction of the new project, the company’s current state is that there is an enormous Corporate Finance department managing several systems and databases via complex excel spreadsheets. The outcome is delayed reporting, increased susceptibility to erroneous reporting, and increased instability and unwieldiness of the spreadsheets. Further, the reporting formats and data accessibility (drill down/aggregate) do not meet the stakeholders’ needs, primarily those dependent on such information for daily business decision-making and report compilation for external stakeholders.

The initial few months of holding the position of facilitator of business analysis for a new project involved organizational stakeholder engagement. From the engagement, the scope of the business analysis comprises planning and managing all the tasks, activities, and deliverables with an inherent assumption that there is a team of business analysts (BAs) and experts in the area that I will be leading. In addition, reporting to the project manager, establishing the best approach for gathering, documenting, and designing reports. The requirements here will include establishing the appropriate methodology, techniques, and means of explaining and gaining support. Furthermore, planning and managing workshops for collecting data needs, usability requirements, and reporting design approaches. The scope also includes building a data dictionary and validating this dictionary with experts in the areas and leaders within the finance department where the technology appears to have a significant impact. Further, designing appropriate report designs and formatting with the key features for consideration being usability, navigation, and data presentation. Also, working with the technical team to ensure the operational needs are met, conducting cost management, impact analysis, and assessing additional requirements and reporting to the stakeholders for approval/rejection. Moreover, there will be consistent reporting to the senior stakeholders on the project’s progress, risk analysis and management, offering different options as solutions, developing recommendations, managing report reviews, and facilitating the establishment of a centralized point of sharing information related to the project.

In light of the new project, the data in the new system will be contained in a shared information layer within the new FRM server and overnight files sent from the previous JD Edwards (JDE) based Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) system and the novel real-time interfaces ERP systems. Therefore, the old reporting approaches and FRM systems will be simultaneously eliminated. The new system will be accessible via the company’s intranet and from all devices managed by the company, including smartphones, to promote convenience in accessing data, especially for those who need the data for daily decision-making. The new system will be a synchronized and harmonized single source of information for all departments and the company to meet the stakeholders’ needs. There are situations where specific data fields not available in the current ERP/JDE will be requested, and these, as part of the strategy, will be built into these systems. Further, a business intelligence (BI) system contained in an Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) server will be created to aggregate, calculate, and present vital information fed into the system. Moreover, a suite for creating standardized reports for key and senior stakeholders will be incorporated and will include reports that can be accessed via the dashboards and other detailed formats. Furthermore, there will be training on BI analytics to build the capacity to generate better reports or make changes to the suite.

There is funding approval for improving reporting requirements, approaches, and designs which is among the primary problem areas for the company and a vital next step for improving the current FRM system introduced under the project. The scope of work here will involve identifying the new data requirements and sources, identifying the system interfaces, mapping new processes, capturing stakeholders” roles and responsibilities, building a data dictionary and validating any computations, and creating and validating a hierarchical model for data aggregation and presentation, defining requirements for Identity and Access Management (IAM), and developing a budget and the process and time frame for coming up with a detailed report.

Business Analysis Techniques Utilized and Rationale

The guidelines and tools employed for current state analysis comprise “business analysis, enterprise limitation, organizational strategy, solution limitation, solution performance goals, solution performance measures, and stakeholders’ analysis results” (Rizvi, 2017, p. 68). Multiple techniques are available for conducting a current state analysis. For this case study, the business capability analysis (BCA) was employed, which involves evaluating what a business does and can do and assessing performance, establishing risk areas, and prioritizing investment of resources (Weese & Wagner, 2017). These analyses and evaluations are all done within the context of strategy and operations for a company. The rationale for employing the BCA technique is that it allowed an evaluation of the current process inherent in the company relating to its previous and present FRM system, its inherent challenges and risks, and the potential solutions. The BCA approach was also employed as it allows evaluating the current efforts (the project) the company has put in place to address the reporting challenges and identifying solutions that can be put in place to address the problem.

In addition, the functional decomposition technique was also used. The analytical approach involves dissecting a complex process for examining its individual components (Hayes, 2021). The function is considered the task in a larger process where the decomposition splits the process into smaller and easily understandable units. The technique was employed as it allowed the breaking down and understanding of the tasks performed by the old and new FRM systems. The breakdown allowed the understanding of the problematic areas, identifying areas for improvement through the current project, and where to invest resources for improvement. Finally, the business case technique was also employed, which justifies the rationale for undertaking a project through evaluating the costs, benefits, and risks inherent in the alternative solution options, which offers the rationale for the preferred solution (Bradbury et al., 2019). The rationale for employing the technique is that it allowed the analysis of the previous systems and their inherent weakness and how the current project will make improvements hence justifying undertaking the project.

Assumptions

The assumption is that there will be minimal resistance to project implementation as the current approach considers all the needs of the stakeholders at all levels. The assumption was considered a tool, the rationale being that any change is accompanied by some degree of resistance, as evident in the case study. Therefore, the assumption was an effective tool to highlight that there will be minimal resistance to project implementation and promote buy-in. Another assumption is that the new system will seamlessly interface with existing systems. The assumption is a guideline as it will allow the management to devise solutions for systems failure.

 

References

Bradbury, P., Jamil, T., Mills, C., & Shermon, D. (2019). APM body of knowledge. (R. Murray-Webster, & D. Dalcher, Trans.) Buckinghamshire: Association for Project Management.

Hayes, A. (2021, November 19). Functional decomposition. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/functional-decomposition.asp

Milani, F. (2019). Digital business analysis. Berlin: Springer.

Nicholas, J. (n.d.). Introduction to strategy analysis. Business Analyst Mentor. https://businessanalystmentor.com/strategy-analysis/

Ramos, E. (2019, April 17). The six core concepts of business analysis. Medium. https://medium.com/swlh/the-six-core-concepts-of-business-analysis-90d4c0e7ef47

Rizvi, S. H. (2017). Rizvi’s ECBA exam prep guide. Altona, Manitoba: FriesenPress.

Weese, S., & Wagner, T. (2017). CBAP/CCBA certified business analysis study guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Zhong, Z., Haoran, W., & Junsheng, W. (2020). Analysis of enterprise strategic management issues and coping strategies based on big data analysis. E3S Web of Conferences, 214, p. 01017. doi:10.1051/e3sconf/202021401017