Comparative Analysis of Business Analysis and Business Process Management Capabilities

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A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF BUSINESS ANALYSIS
(BA) AND BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT (BPM)
CAPABILITIES
Paul Mathiesen, Faculty of Science and Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, p.mathiesen@connect.qut.edu.au
Wasana Bandara, Faculty of Science and Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, w.bandara@qut.edu.au
Houra Delavari, Faculty of Science and Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, h.delavari@qut.edu.au
Paul Harmon, Business Process Trends, 1819 Polk Street #334, S an Francisco, CA 94109, USA, pharmon@sbcglobal.net
Kevin Brennan, International Institute of Business Analysis, 3605 Sandy Plains Road, Suite 240-193, Marietta, GA 30066, USA, kevin.brennan@theiiba.org

Abstract
Many initiatives to improve Business processes are emerging. The essential roles and contributions of Business Analyst (BA) and Business Process Management (BPM) professionals to such initiatives have been recognized in literature and practice. The roles and responsibilities of a BA or BPM practitioner typically require different skill-sets; however these differences are often vague. This vagueness creates much confusion in practice and academia. While both the BA and BPM communities have made attempts to describe their domains through capability defining empirical research and developments of Bodies of knowledge, there has not yet been any attempt to identify the commonality of skills required and points of uniqueness between the two professions. This study aims to address this gap and presents the findings of a detailed content mapping exercise (using NVivo as a qualitative data analysis tool) of the International Institution of Business Analysis (IIBA®) Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide) against core BPM competency and capability frameworks.

Keywords: Business analysis, Business process management, capability, competency, Body of Knowledge.

1

Introduction

Recent Gartner studies (e.g. Gartner, 2010) identify the corporate management of business process improvement as the number one business and technology priority of CIO‟s in 2010. Organisations typically use Business Process Management (BPM) as a set of structured methods and technologies to better manage their core business processes. As a r esult, BPM has become a powerful competitive tool for organisations (Bandara et al., 2009). A wide variety of activities fall under the broad umbrella of “Business Process Management” increasing the need for multi-disciplinary practitioner training in a variety of process techniques (Harmon & Wolf, 2010). As organizations become more process oriented and BPM tools and techniques continue to evolve, the need for BPM expertise increases. The differing roles of process owners, process analysts, process architects, and managers of BPM centres of excellence are just some of the positions for which specialized BPM skills are required (ABPMP, 2009; Bandara, et al., 2009). Hass (2008) argues that the skills of a Business Analyst (BA) are emerging as a valued business competency, especially for IT projects as a BA can hold a leadership role in many projects; focusing exclusively on the business need and adding business value. In practice, business analysis is an essential component of proj ect success, regardless of whether technology is involved or not (Hass, 2008), and at the same time, BPM skills are also highly emphasised for organisational success (Alibabaei, Bandara, & Aghdasi, 2009; Antonucci & Goeke, 2010).

Discussion at Australia‟s leading BPM practitioner conference (Leonardo ProcessDays 2010) highlighted the fact that the industry is struggling to make a clear distinction between the two professions. By way of example, the function of a Business Analyst is often said to be; to identify, monitor, prioritize and implement enhancements to the target solution, to continue value adding to the business (Hass, Horst, &...
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