A Simulationist's Framework
for Business Analysis

Part 03:

What Is Business Analysis?

R.P. Churchill

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

www.rpchurchill.com/presentations/TWSLseries/03_WhatIsBA www.rpchurchill.com | Portfolio | Presentations
30 Years of Simulation

Continuous simulation of the heating of a square billet and Discrete-Event simulation of a multi-phase process.
30 Years of Simulation


  • Paper (Chemical/Process)
  • Nuclear (Power Generation)
  • Metals (Steel, Non-Ferrous)
  • HVAC (Building Control)
  • Insurance, Banking, Legal
  • Security, Inspections
  • Passenger Processing
  • Medical Facilities
  • Evacuations
  • Area Control
  • Threat Response
  • Logistics, Supply
  • Maintenance and Reliability
  • Staff Level Determination
  • Fleet Management



  • Design and Sizing
  • Operations Research
  • Real-Time Control
  • Operator Training
  • Risk Analysis
  • Economic Analysis
  • Impact Analysis
  • Process Improvement (BPR)

Architectural Considerations

  • Continuous vs. Discrete-Event
  • Interactive vs. Fire-and-Forget
  • Real-Time vs. Non-Real-Time
  • Single-Platform vs. Distributed
  • Deterministic vs. Stochastic
BABOK Definition

"Business analysis is the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. Business analysis enables an enterprise to articulate needs and the rationale for change, and to design and describe solutions that deliver value."

The practice is difficult to get a mental grip on because it can be rather nebulous and yet all-encompassing. Like my favorite partner dance, which I referred to last week, I can't always tell when you are doing it, but I can surely tell you when you're not doing it.

It can involve strategy, tactics, or operations. It can be performed in the context of a project or across the environment of an entire organization.

It is about understanding where you are, where you're going, and how to get there. (This is almost the biggest thing you need to understand.)

Business Analysis Perspectives
  • Agile: How to get people to work together to effect useful change in an efficient manner. (It's all about communication!)
  • Business Intelligence: It's all about the data! (A future talk will address this.)
  • Information Technology: IT systems aren't the only reason to do this work, but it often seems like it.
  • Business Architecture: How to manage, shape, and inspire the organization.
  • Business Process Management: (Physical and information) stuff comes in, gets worked on, and goes out. (See SIPOC and COPIS.)
Business Analysis Roles and Interfaces

Roles Served In

  • business architect
  • business systems analyst
  • data analyst
  • enterprise analyst
  • management consultant
  • process analyst
  • product manager
  • product owner
  • requirements engineer
  • systems analyst


Roles Worked With

  • customer
  • database analyst
  • developer
  • graphic designer
  • operations manager
  • project manager
  • solutions architect
  • stakeholder
  • subject matter expert (SME)
  • UI/UX designer
  • user

One doesn't tend to start a career in one of the roles on the left. Rather, one tends to grow into them from the more specialized roles on the right.

My Framework:
  • Project Planning
  • Intended Use
  • Assumptions, Capabilities, Limitations, and Risks and Impacts
  • Conceptual Model (As-Is State)
  • Data Sources, Collection, and Conditioning
  • Requirements (To-Be State: Abstract)
    • Functional (What it Does)
    • Non-Functional (What it Is, plus Maintenance and Governance)
  • Design (To-Be State: Detailed)
  • Implementation
  • Test
    • Operation, Usability, and Outputs (Verification)
    • Outputs and Fitness for Purpose (Validation)
  • Acceptance (Accreditation)
  • Project Close
My Basic Framework: Simplified
  •   Intended Use
  •   Conceptual Model (As-Is State)
  •   Data Sources, Collection, and Conditioning
  •   Requirements (To-Be State: Abstract)
    • Functional (What it Does)
    • Non-Functional (What it Is, plus Maintenance and Governance)
  •   Design (To-Be State: Detailed)
  •   Implementation
  •   Test
    • Operation, Usability, and Outputs (Verification)
    • Outputs and Fitness for Purpose (Validation)
My Basic Framework: Iteration and Communication

Regardless of the structure of the engagement, the activities in each phase are carried out in an iterative fashion that continuously incorporates review, feedback, and correction both within and between phases.

Link to detailed discussion.

Structure of the BABOK
  • Chapter 1: Introduction (structure of the BABOK)

  • Chapter 2: Key Concepts (basic context of business analysis)

  • Chapters 3-8: Knowledge Areas (the basic flow of what gets done)

  • Chapter 9: Underlying Competencies (Analysis, Behavior, Domain Knowledge, Communication, Interaction, Tools/Tech)

  • Chapter 10: Techniques (50)

  • Chapter 11: Perspectives (Agile, BI, IT, Business Architecture, Process Management)

  • Appendices

BABOK Knowledge Areas vs. Bob's Framework
Bob's Framework Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring Elicitation and Collaboration Requirements Life Cycle Management Strategy Analysis Requirements Analysis and Design Definition Solution Evaluation Requirements per BABOK
Project Planning X x
Intended Use x X x x x Business Requirements
Assumptions, Capabilities, Limitations, and Risks & Impacts x X x
Conceptual Model
(As-Is State)
x X X
Data Sources, Collection, and Conditioning x X
(To-Be State: Abstract)
x X X x X Stakeholder Requirements
(To-Be State: Concrete)
x x X X Solution Requirements
(Functional and Non-Functional)
Implementation x X x X x x Transition Requirements
Test Operation, Usability, and Outputs
x X
Test Outputs and Fitness for Purpose
x x X
x X
Unified Theory of Business Analysis
  1. Solution vs. Engagement
  2. Fifty Business Analysis Techniques
  3. Commonly Used Software Tools
  4. Management Contexts
  5. Business Analysis within Project Management

Link to detailed discussion.

Unified Theory 1: The Solution vs. The Engagement

How much of either process are you a part of?

Link to detailed discussion.

Unified Theory 2: The 50 Techniques
1Acceptance and Evaluation CriteriaSolution
2Backlog ManagementEngagement
3Balanced ScorecardEngagement
4Benchmarking and Market AnalysisEngagement
6Business Capability AnalysisEngagement
7Business CasesBoth
8Business Model CanvasBoth
9Business Rules AnalysisSolution
10Collaborative GamesEngagement
11Concept ModellingSolution
12Data DictionarySolution
13Data Flow DiagramsSolution
14Data MiningSolution
15Data ModellingSolution
16Decision AnalysisSolution
17Decision ModellingSolution
18Document AnalysisSolution
20Financial AnalysisBoth
21Focus GroupsSolution
22Functional DecompositionSolution
24Interface AnalysisSolution
26Item TrackingEngagement
27Lessons LearnedEngagement
28Metrics and KPIsSolution
29Mind MappingSolution
30Non-Functional Requirements AnalysisSolution
32Organizational ModellingSolution
34Process AnalysisSolution
35Process ModellingSolution
38Risk Analysis and ManagementBoth
39Roles and Permissions MatrixSolution
40Root Cause AnalysisSolution
41Scope ModellingBoth
42Sequence DiagramsSolution
43Stakeholder List, Map, or PersonasEngagement
44State ModellingSolution
45Survey or QuestionnaireBoth
46SWOT AnalysisBoth
47Use Cases and ScenariosSolution
48User StoriesSolution
49Vendor AssessmentBoth
Solution: 30     Engagement: 11     Both: 9

Link to detailed discussion.

Unified Theory 3: Software Tools
5Azure DevOpsSolution
4Team Foundation ServerEngagement
3Google DocsEngagement
2MS DynamicsEngagement
2Visual StudioSolution
2SQL ServerSolution

Software greatly aids sharing and communications, so BAs will concentrate on this. However, a huge amount of solutioning will be aided by specific, technical software or will be software, with which BAs may tend to be less involved.

Link to detailed discussion. Link to survey results.

Unified Theory 4: Basic Engagement Contexts

Link to detailed discussion.

Unified Theory 4: Engagement Context Variations

Link to detailed discussion.

Unified Theory 5: Business Analysis Embedded Within Project Management

Project management creates the environment and manages the resources. Business analysis solves the problem.

PMs and BAs are sometimes called "frenemies" There can be plenty of overlap. Do what works!

Link to detailed discussion.

Solution Contexts
  • internal vs. external customers
  • standard solution vs. open-ended solution
  • imposed by competition
  • opportunity from new technology
  • automation
  • standardization / modularization
  • rearrangement or streamlining
  • Lean vs. Six Sigma
  • profiling
  • incremental vs. The Big Kill
  • end-of-life, replacement, and repurposing
  • entirely new solutions
  • improved management techniques
  • general technical solutions

Link to detailed discussion.

This presentation and other information can be found at my website:


E-mail: bob@rpchurchill.com

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/robertpchurchill