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Business Analysis Techniques by Paul Turner, Debra Paul, James Cadle

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3 CONSIDER PERSPECTIVES
INTRODUCTION
One of the key aspects of business analysis is working with stakeholders.
Stakeholders can support or resist change, they can clarify or confuse
requirements, and they have knowledge that the analyst needs to acquire.
As a result, the importance of working closely and effectively with stakeholders
cannot be overstated.
Once an investigation of the business situation has been carried out the BA needs
to take time to think through the issues that have been raised. At this point
thinking through the information gained and the perspectives of those providing
that information can be invaluable in uncovering inconsistencies, hidden agendas
and personal priorities. Failing to think about these points, or delaying this
thinking until a problem arises, can derail or undermine later work. Potential
impacts could be the rejection of a business case, requirements conflicts, or, even
worse, the failure of new processes and systems.
The process for working effectively with stakeholders has three major steps:
stakeholder identification;
stakeholder analysis;
stakeholder management.
Stakeholder identification (Techniques 23–25)
Stakeholder identification involves considering all of the major groups that could
have an interest in the business situation or project. This is done in order to
identify the stakeholders within these groups who may have working links or
interests with the area under investigation.
There are three techniques that are used to identify the stakeholders for a
particular business analysis assignment:
stakeholder nomination during interviews or workshops;
background research through document analysis;
the stakeholder wheel.
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BUSINESS ANALYSIS TECHNIQUE
Identifying the stakeholders is extremely important if conflicts are to be avoided
later in the project. Many initiatives have been derailed when an alternative
point of view has emerged, sometimes at a late stage. Identifying the interested
parties early on will help analysts to understand the range of views, and, where
necessary, handle the differences.
Stakeholder analysis (Techniques 26–29)
Stakeholder analysis is concerned with examining all of the stakeholders or
groups of stakeholders and categorising them according to factors such as their
level of influence and their areas of concern. It is important to carry out this
analysis, since this will provide a means of deciding the stakeholder management
strategies to be adopted.
There are four major techniques that are used to analyse stakeholders:
the power/interest or power/impact grid;
CATWOE, VOCATE or PARADE;
business activity modelling;
RACI or RASCI.
Analysing stakeholders is the key to working well with them. This is essential if
business analysis work is to be successful in delivering business improvements.
Early analysis of stakeholders can prevent the occurrence of many problems, in
particular:
late (too late!) emergence of conflicts;
misunderstandings about business needs;
implementation of poor solutions;
communication problems;
resistance or even antipathy.
Stakeholder management (Techniques 30–32)
Stakeholder management provides the basis for ongoing work with the
stakeholders during a project. It involves identifying and implementing
management strategies that enable analysts to deal with a range of stakeholders.
These management strategies are based upon the categorisation that has been
carried out during stakeholder analysis. They have to be supplemented by
additional techniques that help during the stakeholder management process.
These techniques assist with influencing stakeholders, negotiating with them
and managing conflict between them.
Three techniques that help with managing stakeholders are covered in this section:
stakeholder management planning;
the Thomas–Kilmann conflict mode instrument;
principled negotiation.
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