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At IIBA UK, we believe that good quality business analysis, along with recognition of the BA role, is absolutely essential for organisational success. With this in mind, we're extremely pleased to report that we have contributed to a UK Government inquiry which is examining the skills required in the Civil Service. We are equally pleased to report that our submission was endorsed by the BA Manager Forum.

Whilst there are undoubtedly some highly skilled BAs in government, our research suggests that recognition of the role within government is by no means universal and varies by department or organisation. In carrying out research for the report we:

The interviews were particularly illuminating. We heard stories of the views of BAs being disregarded, and we heard how some BAs struggle to get engagement early enough in the project. Figures obtained under the FOI indicate that significantly less is invested in BA training than Project Management training within government. Our examination of one high profile project failure showed a lack of analysis is likely to have contributed to the outcome.

Not only this, we heard a variety of success stories that showed how change could be progressed effectively when business analysis does take place. We heard how some stakeholders became real 'converts' and would find ways of unofficially engaging the BA team.

Drawing on the evidence, our submission encourages the Public Administration Select Committee to consider Business Analysis as a key capability which should become an integral part of the Civil Service Capabilities Plan. In the submission, we argue that investment in, and recognition of, the Business Analysis profession within the Civil Service will help to:

  1. Encourage holistic thinking when carrying out projects: Ensure that all impacts are considered, thereby reducing the risk of project failures.
  2. Reduce the reliance on expensive external consultants: Business Analysts play an important internal consultancy role. They provide a layer of internal innovation, expertise, challenge and scrutiny. In addition they build vital knowledge of the organisation and the way it works.
  3. Reduce the risk of project failure: Whilst project management can help you "do the thing right" and will help you manage scope and costs, business analysis will help you to "do the right thing". It encourages early and regular thinking that ensures the right solution is chosen. It ensures that the business environment is constantly scanned for any changes, ensuring that any potential solutions will fit.

Our specific recommendations were to:

  1. Accord greater recognition to the BA role;
  2. Provide a clear career and development path for business analysis and provide adequate training;
  3. Provide ongoing professional development for business analysis practitioners;
  4. Encourage the use of internal business analysis resources first before looking to external consultants.

These recommendations were expanded in detail in our formal submission. We're also really pleased to say that our submission was supported and endorsed by the BA Manager Forum which shows cross-industry agreement and collaboration on this matter.

Our full report has been formally accepted as an input to the inquiry by the Public Administration Select Committee.

Read IIBA UK's submission to the inquiry here

We're extremely encouraged that the committee has accepted our report as an input to the inquiry, and we eagerly await the output.

For more information about this initiative please contact Adrian Reed.

The following volunteers were involved with this initiative: