Case Study :Delivering step-change growth in Business Analysis capability

Peter was the driving force behind transforming the business analysts … from a disaffected group of individuals into a confident, well trained, highly motivated community. Under his guidance, the BA practice focused equally on People, in particular on developing appropriate career paths, education and communication, and Process, notably standardisation of the BA role, provision of support and resourcing the right individual for each job

Martin Hancock

Leader of IBM UK’s business analysis community


Leading Financial Services organisation: in-house Business Analysis team of 25 growing to 100 FTE


Low levels of capability of the Business Analysis function was diagnosed as key cause of extensive re-work and low productivity of projects (£150m annual spend).


 The Challenge

  • Large, complex multi-site Business Change & IT organisation with c.1500 professional staff.
  • Annual budget for change programmes of c£150m.
  • Poor Requirements definition and requirements management was diagnosed as a key cause of extensive re-work and low productivity
  • Low levels of resource available.
  • Very few experienced BA’s. Ratio of permanent to contractor staff too low.
  • Low level of support available from central HR recruitment team. The organisation had low credibility in the external market place for BA’s.
  • Low morale, disengagement of existing BA’s. Attrition of BA’s to other organisations.
  • Low credibility with senior stakeholders and other project roles e.g. Project Managers, IT Architects and Designers. Many projects did not see the need for the role of a BA or formal requirements capture.
  • Process-averse organisation: JFDI attitude with sponsors / project managers


 Results & Benefits

  • Achieved CMMi Level 3 – new processes developed, processes deployed consistently, BA’s trained and capable, processes measured and under continuous improvement,
  • Significant cost savings by reducing numbers of expensive contractor resources and reducing re-work of requirements
  • Grew the number of fully effective permanent Business Analysts from 25 to c100
  • Raised levels of staff satisfaction amongst the BA’s
  • Implemented a professional community of practice to raise productivity, knowledge sharing and employee engagement
  • Raised professional credibility of the BA community with key stakeholders
  • Implemented an improved performance management and career development framework.



  • Current State assessment and confirmation of Future State aspirations
  • Identification, evaluation and selection of improvement opportunities
  • Road map for improving capability – prioritised actions and rationale
  • Provide support: finance, resources and sponsorship, change management & communications, programme management and governance
  • Small full-time team with part-time involvement of others


 Success Factors

  • High engagement of stakeholders
  • Provide strong visionary leadership for a disparate group of professionals with low morale
  • Attract strong external Business Analysts to an organisation with recent history of redundancies
  • Pragmatic approach to deliver process improvements
  • A comprehensive joined up implementation programme


Project Deliverables

Business Analysis processes

  • Agreed, documented and published processes for requirements definition and requirements management. Delivered 15 standard business analysis work products to support the new processes. Communications and education to all stakeholders.
  • Intranet-based sharing of templates and exemplars.
  • Creation of a network of Subject Matter Experts and work product champions.


  • Developed standard role profiles mapped against SFIA and behavioural competencies
  • Revamped the resourcing of BA’s onto projects to ensure best use is made of the range of experienced BA’s and in-experienced BA’s. Improved the permanent: contractor mix.
  • Established cross site community of practice for BA’s


  • Key skills identified, implemented career paths and a learning & development programme
  • A resource plan leading to recruitment & capability development plan for permanent staff
  • Mentoring from more experienced BA’s & induction and on-boarding for new staff

Speed bumps & pitfalls to overcome

  • Getting the balance right; organic growth versus formal programme
  • The right people to lead the communities were in demand elsewhere
  • Gaining initial buy in and support and then once up and running keeping the community agenda manageable and business focussed
  • Obtaining time from busy professionals in a delivery focused organisation