How development of Business Analysis capability resulted in better deployment of resources

Business Analysis Competency Assessments
Objective

To raise the standard of Business Analysis in Australia through the development of competency standards and competency levels, and their associated assessment tools and certification processes.
Scope

The scope of the standards included all forms of business analysis used in support of decision-making at all levels in organisations and in projects.

Approach

Two levels of competency assessments were provided. For Self-Assessments the candidate completed an online questionnaire and received an automatically-generated assessment report setting out their current competency level (overall and across 22 competency dimensions) and the requirements for them to move to the next level. For Certification, the Self-Assessment was followed by an in-depth 2-3 hour interview with an Accredited Assessor, in which the self-assessment scores were revised and agreed; a final assessment report was then generated along with a competency certificate.

Aggregate reports were also provided that enabled teams and the organisation to better understand their collective strengths and weaknesses. Assessors needed to have their own competency certified and then attend a 2-day training and assessment course. This provided them with provisional accreditation to a specific competency level, which was then confirmed through observing them through at least 3 certification interviews.

Brooke Institute staff developed the competency frameworks, technical manual, assessment questions, system requirements, delivery processes, certification processes, accreditation processes, quality assurance processes, training material and other collateral. They also conducted numerous certification interviews and assessor accreditation courses, as well as administering the online self-assessment tool and the quality assurance process.

Results

At an individual level, the Business Analysis competency assessments allowed development plans to be better focused and structured. The candidate’s manager usually attended the Certification interviews and managers consistently reported that this gave them more insight into their people in a shorter time than any other approach. At an organisational level the assessments provided an accurate picture of their business analysis capability profile that allowed better targeting of the training budget and more specific recruitment briefs.

Individuals invariably found that the Certification process provided them with new and deep insights into their own capabilities and helped to clarify their career objectives.

“One (very experienced) candidate reported that the Certification interview was the best personal development session she had ever experienced.”

From an organisational perspective, managers reported a significant uplift in productivity as a result of individuals better understanding the range of business analysis competencies and the different levels at which they can be employed. More importantly, the deeper understanding of their business analysis capability provided by the assessments enabled organisations to better deploy current resources and better target their investments in developing capability through training and recruitment.