The Top Five Questions about ITSM Business Analysis

A few weeks back I wrote a DITY about The Top Five Questions of ITIL V3. While ITIL® V3 training provides IT organizations with the knowledge and skills to successfully adopt the best practices outlined in the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), additional training ensures a successful outcome of that adoption.

The following DITY is the second of a four-part series that outlines the additional training areas IT organizations should consider when adopting IT Service Management (ITSM) as the basis for the delivery of quality IT services.

1. What is Business Analysis?

According to Wikipedia, The term Business Analyst (BA) describes a person who practices the discipline of business analysis. A BA is responsible for analyzing the business issues at all levels of business, government, and non-profit organizations.

There are at least four tiers of business analysis:

  1. Planning Strategically - the analysis of the organization business strategic needs.
  2. Operating/Business model analysis - the definition and analysis of the organizations policies and market business approaches.
  3. Process definition and design - the business process modeling (often developed through process modeling and design.
  4. IT/Technical business analysis - the interpretation of business rules and requirements for technical systems (generally IT).

Within the systems development life cycle domain (SDLC), the business analyst typically performs a liaison function between the business side of an enterprise and the providers of services to the enterprise. Common alternative roles in the IT sector are business analyst, systems analyst and functional analyst, although some organizations may differentiate between these titles and corresponding responsibilities.

In its book "A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK)", the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) describes the role as: "the set of tasks and techniques used to work as a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals."

2. What Business Analysis (BA) training and certifications should an ITSM organization pursue?

Business Analysis training and certification programs provide IT Professionals with the knowledge and skills to effectively identify and communicate the needs of the business back to the IT organization. Having members of your IT organization trained and certified in Business Analysis methods will open a line of communication with the business that will dramatically increase your chances of ITSM success.

Business Analyst Professionals (CBAP®)

The IIBA® has created the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®), a designation awarded to candidates who have successfully demonstrated their expertise in this field. This is done by detailing their hands-on work experience in business analysis through the CBAP® application process, and passing the IIBA® CBAP® examination.

Certified Business Analysis Professionals are experts in identifying the business needs of an organization in order to determine the best solutions, a role that is increasingly seen as a vital component of any successful ITSM project. More and more companies are recognizing the CBAP® designation and the value and expertise that these professionals bring to their organizations.

3. What options are available for students to take the CBAP® certification exams?

Business Analyst Professionals (CBAP®)

The IIBA® has created the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®), a designation awarded to candidates who have successfully demonstrated their expertise in this field. This is done by detailing hands-on work experience in business analysis through the CBAP® application process, and passing the IIBA® CBAP® examination.

Once qualified, students can take a 150-question, three and one-half hour, closed-book multiple-choice computer-based examination, which is administered at IIBS testing centers worldwide. Testing center locations can be found by visiting the IIBS Exam Information webpage.

Eligibility requirements include:

4. What ITSM roles & responsibilities can one assume with Business Analysis training and/or certifications?

The following outlines the roles and responsibilities an individual can assume in an IT organization once he or she successfully completes Business Analysis training for that role.

ITIL Service Design Team

RoleResponsibilitiesRecommended BA Training & Certifications
ITIL Service Level Management SpecialistResponsible for maintaining and improving business-aligned IT service quality through a constant cycle of agreeing, monitoring, reporting and reviewing IT service achievement.CBAP Certification
ITIL Service Capacity & Continuity SpecialistResponsible for optimizing the delivery of IT Services by matching the business demand for IT services to IT resources, along with providing a systematic approach to the development of an IT Service Continuity Plan to ensure that IT services are protected or can be restored as quickly as possible after a disaster.CBAP Certification
ITIL Service Catalog & Supplier Management SpecialistResponsible for managing the information contained within the Service Catalog, ensuring that it is accurate and reflects the current details, status interfaces and dependencies of all services that are being run, or being prepared to run in the live environment.

Also responsible for ensuring that services supplied by external suppliers provide a quality of service to the business consistent with the money being spent to obtain those services.
CBAP Certification
ITIL Service Design Practice ManagerResponsible for day-to-day management of the ITIL service design specialists who are responsible for translating strategic plans and objectives and creating the designs and specifications for execution through service transition and operations.CBAP Certification

ITIL Expert Mentors

RoleResponsibilitiesRecommended BA Training & Certifications
ITIL Lifecycle ExpertLeads the teams responsible for reviewing and building the organization's IT Service Lifecycle plan. Historically, these roles comprise of individuals from the IT Engineering or Program/Project management organizations who have a 360° view of how IT operates in the context of the enterprise.CBAP Certification
Hybrid Expert #1: Mid-Level Manager Customer RelationsResponsible for identifying and coordinating IT improvements to increase customer satisfaction.CBAP Certification
Hybrid Expert #3: Mid-Level Manager IT OperationsResponsible for ensuring daily IT Operations meets customer satisfaction requirements.CBAP Certification

5. Why will BA training & certification improve my chances for a job or promotion?

A recent Gartner report examined long-term trends in IT. It concluded that over the next five years IT would transform itself into a business-focused, process-oriented organization delivering the agility and innovation that enterprises need to maintain their competitive advantage in the marketplace. In effect, IT would be delivering Business Technology solutions that would exploit technology in support of business objectives.

When examined in detail, the Gartner report predicts that IT as we know it will evolve into a Business Technology Organization (BTO), integrating itself into the enterprise or mission value chain. IT's focus will shift from traditional cost avoidance return-on-investment (ROI) from technology projects to total business value delivered to the enterprise or mission.

To support this new delivery model, Gartner and other believe that IT will need to retool its workforce to be trained and certified in the following areas:

Having one or multiples of the above certifications will improve your chances of not only landing a job or promotion but also position you as one of the early adopters in a space that is destined to be one of the high growth areas for 2010 and beyond.


Hopefully you will find the above information useful as you and your company enters and begin to experience the value of the exciting new world of ITIL Version 3.

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