Closer Look: The Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring Knowledge Area

Sometimes our project success is directly related to the quality of planning that gets done. This is true for your overall project as well as for the business analysis activities to be done and the business analysis deliverables to be produced during the project life cycle. In the BABOK® Guide, these planning tasks are part of the Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring knowledge area.  This key knowledge area lays the groundwork for successfully defining, planning and completing the business analysis work for your project.  As a business analyst, your focus is on planning and monitoring the business analysis work on a project, not on planning and managing the whole project.  That is typically the responsibility of your project manager.

This knowledge area also addresses monitoring and reporting on the business analysis work being performed on your project once the planning is complete and the work is underway. This ensures that your project’s business analysis efforts produce the desired outcomes and that the business analysis work is done right.  The tasks in this planning-focused knowledge area generate several key business analysis deliverables, such as your business analysis approach, business analysis plan, requirements management plan, business analysis communication plan and the results of your stakeholder analysis. Typically, these business analysis deliverables become part of your project management plan and all of its pieces and parts.

As a business analyst on your project, there are six recommended tasks you perform as part of this knowledge area.  These tasks focus on planning how the business analysis team will approach a specific effort as part of the project.  You are responsible for developing, defining, and managing the roles and tasks associated with this work. Your task list from the BABOK® Guide includes:

  • Planning the business analysis approach
  • Conducting your stakeholder analysis
  • Planning your project’s business analysis activities
  • Planning your approach to business analysis communication
  • Planning your requirements management process
  • Managing business analysis performance across the project life cycle

Remember, the goal of your project is to define, develop and deliver a solution that addresses a business problem, need or opportunity. The project’s business analysis team contributes to achieving that goal across the project life cycle.  The tasks in the Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring knowledge area occur throughout the project life cycle.  Many of these tasks are done as a part of pre-project activities or become the basis of a project’s controlled start phase. You will use the business analysis deliverables you create at the beginning of your project to define, govern and monitor the performance of business analysis tasks across the project life cycle.

Keep in mind that the plans and approaches developed for the overall project as well as the business analysis part of things may require updates and additional details as each subsequent phase of the project life cycle is planned for!

Check out Learning Tree’s introductory business analysis course if you are looking for a great way to get started or fine tune your skills as a business analyst on your projects.  Happy planning!

Susan Weese

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