Starting a new year often means annual performance reviews in organizations, as well as setting objectives for the upcoming year. Being a BA, I prefer when my business analysis performance objectives are SMART, making it easier to work towards their achievement through the year.
However, I have always found it hard to define measurable objectives for what I do as a BA. The nature of our job, where success depends a lot on the collaboration of your stakeholders and on soft knowledge, probably explains why it’s such a challenge.
Recently, I had the opportunity to face the challenge with my colleagues at work. Our goal was to find some key indicators of our work performance as BAs and BSAs (analysts in my team have one profile or the other), in an Agile/Kanban context, where we can’t easily measure our performance after each of our deliverables.
We wanted to create a tool that could be reused over time so that we can compare the effects of any change made to our practices. The tool also needed to be as short and simple as possible so that our stakeholders would be willing to provide their feedback. Finally, we wanted to be sure that we would cover the key dimensions behind Business Analysis while staying relevant in our business context.
Dimensions of Business Analysis performance
After some brainstorming (and arguing about the precise wording we should use), we came up with 7 dimensions that we thought were important to measure to get a better idea of our business analysis performance in our specific business context.
Many of these dimensions reflect a core value of our organization, i.e. customer satisfaction. You can also see that many dimensions relate to some areas of the BABoK, which we used to carefully select the elements we wanted to measure.
Warning: while these indicators are relevant to any BA, they also need to be adapted to your business context. Keep that in mind before you use them (or before you protest in the comments 🙂 ).
- Customer Responsiveness | How well do you handle analysis requests from your stakeholders?
- Industry, Market and Business Knowledge Application | Are you knowledgeable of your stakeholders context, and do you apply this knowledge through your work?
- Solution Approach Appropriateness | Are you proposing solution approaches that are appropriate to the needs and to the business context?
- Business Needs and Requirements Elicitation & Analysis Quality | Are requirements aligned with the real needs of your stakeholders?
- Dealing with Constraints and Changes | Do you handle constraints and change requests in a constructive way?
- Facilitating Collaboration among Stakeholders | Do you show leadership and collaboration skills until the solution is implemented?
- Overall Contribution to the Solution Delivery Process | Applying the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to Business Analysis
Download sample questions now!
With these dimensions in mind, two sets of questions (one for BAs, another slightly different for BSAs) were prepared and sent to our key stakeholders to measure our performance as a team. We used them as a group evaluation, but we could have done it on an individual basis too.
The first exercise was used to set the baseline for future evaluations, which were completed every six months. Based on the results, we were able as a team to identify some areas that needed improvements, and implement those changes through the year. Our annual business analysis performance assessment was easier to complete based on these real and objective feedback.
Do you like what you’re reading?
Do you use other dimensions to measure your performance as a BA? Share them with us in the comments below!