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9 June 2008

Carnival of Business Analysts # 8 - Enterprise Analysis

Previously in the Carnival of Business Analysts we have investigated several of the knowledge areas described in the BABOK (v1.6)
This month we are looking at Enterprise Analysis area of BABOK(v1.6).

The BABOK defines Enterprise Analysis as:
"Enterprise Analysis is the Knowledge Area of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BA BoK) that describes the Business Analysis activities that take place for organizations to (1) identify business opportunities, (2) build their Business Architecture framework, and (3) determine the optimum project investment path for the enterprise, including implementation of new business and technical system solutions."

There is a great chart (Table 1.0 in Chapter 2 of the BA BoK) that shows the activities involved in Enterprise Analysis and what the role of the Business Analyst is in each of them. An enterprise level view is needed to ensure that the business value of projects meet the needs of the entire organization.

When looking for good articles on Enterprise Analysis, there are some resources out there that can be leveraged. Now that Enterprise Architecture is beginning to mature as a field, there are more and more resources available to help you improve your skills or give you ideas on what to do to be successful.

In his blog, Andy Blumenthal has an article called The Business Analyst and Enterprise Architecture. This article is a great description of how the Business Analyst relates to the Enterprise Architect. I don't agree with every word, but I think he gets pretty close to the crux of the matter.

In the article The rise of the enterprise architect Daljit Roy Banger talks about what a good enterprise architect needs to know. He also takes a stab at describing how to choose someone as an enterprise architect. Once you've decided that you need more Enterprise Analysis this is a good piece to get you started on what makes a good Enterprise Architect. It is heavily tilted toward the technical side of EA which is both good and bad depending on your organization.

At Agile EA, there are several whitepapers that address doing Enterprise Architecture in an Agile manner. The first two are about how to do Enterprise Analysis using an Agile methodology. They're a good idea for how to go about the process of Enterprise Analysis. The crosswalk between the two sets of activities needs to be done, but the Agile methodology works well for collaborative efforts - I'm sure it can bring some value to the Enterprise Analysis area as well.

The “Building a case for Agile Enterprise Architecture pt. 1” whitepaper at Agile EA references The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) quite a bit. Definitely a group worth reviewing when implementing the Enterprise Analysis practice area.

At BA Insight, there is an article from May of last year that still has value today. On Enterprise Analysis and Strategic Thinking talks about how Enterprise Analysis should be performed by BAs but is quite often ignored.

And of course, we can't forget our own with this great post by Craig which includes a link to some EA community blogs.

Enterprise Analysis is a key part of any business so it is the best interest of every business analyst to understand how to do it.