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Business Analysis: An Approachable Framework for Healthcare Experience

The human experience in healthcare encompasses vastly more than patient encounters. It also includes the experience of other effected stakeholders. From community outreach and employee well-being to providing patient amenities and maintaining volunteer satisfaction, human experience leaders in healthcare develop and run programs and services designed to optimize the experiences of the staff, community, and clients. A business analysis framework for healthcare experience, provides leaders with a common framework from which to approach these varying initiatives.


Smiling businesswoman holding a laptop in a business meeting.

THE ECLECTIC WORK OF EXPERIENCE LEADERSHIP

Sometimes represented as a division or a department or even a single role within an institution, the responsibilities of those leading human experience efforts can appear varied and disparate. It's not uncommon to see professionals in this space with eclectic job titles listing a variety of seemingly unrelated organizational entities, from valet to employee recognition to service recovery to the administration of the volunteer program.


However, there is a common denominator. The thread that runs through all the experience-related services is problem solving. Each experience initiative from spiritual care to staff cheer is in response to the identified organizational need.


Due to the diverse nature of human experience initiatives it can sometimes be difficult to approach the work with a common framework. One methodology is to use a business analysis approach as a framework. In a very simplified sense, business analysis is the act of translating business needs into business solutions, which is indeed very much the work of human experience leaders.


In this article we'll discuss what exactly business analysis is, the business analyst mindset, and how the business analysis framework can be applied.


BUSINESS ANALYSIS DEFINED

The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK), which is published by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), defines business analysis as “the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders”.

In other words, business analysis is meeting identified organizational needs and providing solutions to those needs. In the human experience space, these solutions are often human-engineered solutions, such as the creation of a patient family advisory council (PFAC) to elicit the voice of the community or a pet therapy program lifting the spirits of staff.


Business analysis provides a common framework from which to approach business no matter what the industry or the initiative.



APPLYING A BUSINESS ANALYSIS APPROACH

Business analysis is versatile. It can be performed on a variety of initiatives within an organization. Broader than project management, a business analysis approach can be of benefit whether you are working on a project or improving process.


Processes involve continuous iterations that create the same product or service repeatedly, while projects are temporary endeavors with a defined beginning and end.

For example, starting a discharge phone call program is a project, but instituting the processes that maintain it moving forward is a process.

Business analysis is the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders

A business analysis approach can be applied to projects or processes that are strategic, tactical or operational in nature. While strategy is the action plan that takes you where you want to go, the tactics are the individual steps and actions that will get you there. And your operational activities are the activities you have in place to maintain it. A business analysis approach can be applied to an initiative of any of these natures.


Business analysts document workflows and processes accurately. They make businesses more efficient and consistent. They give an accurate picture of current operations and can identify gaps in current processes. A business analyst can see where changes will lead to improvements in quality.


WHO IS A BUSINESS ANALYST

According to the BABOK, a business analyst is anyone who does the work of business analysis regardless of their title in the organization.


The activities that business analysts perform include:

  • Understanding organizational objectives and challenges

  • Analyzing needs and potential solutions

  • Devising strategies to meet needs

  • Driving change

  • Facilitating stakeholder collaboration

A novelty coffee mug with saying about business analysts

Sound familiar? A quick review of these essential tasks and the work of human interaction leaders in healthcare appears immediately relatable.


Successful business analysts have a clear understanding of organizational goals and objectives; they know to how to measure what matters. Successful business analysts combine analysis and insights with their subject matter expertise and domain knowledge to recommend solutions. And successful business analysts continue to learn about the organization as it evolves.


Related: Measure for Measure: Start You Data Story Where it Matters

Business analysis is made-up of a variety of tasks, competencies, and knowledge areas that guide these activities for the best possible outcomes.


BACCM ™ FRAMEWORK

One helpful tool in business analysis is the BACCM ™ framework. This business analysis core concept model is part of the BABOK. It provides a framework from which to approach work on any initiative from a business analysis mindset.

IIBA logo

The framework consists of 6 core concepts. Each of the six are fundamental and all are equal, and each is necessary to facilitate the desired change being addressed in the project or process.

Core Concept

Definition

Change

the act of transformation in response to a need

Need

a problem or opportunity to be addressed

Solution

a specific way of satisfying one or more needs in a context

Stakeholder

a group or individual with a relationship to the change, the need, or the solution

Value

the worth, importance, or usefulness of something to a stakeholder within a context

Context

the circumstances that influence, are influenced by, and provide understanding of the change

This business analysis framework allows for common meaning to all business analysis work, no matter the scale or nature of the project or process under investigation or development. It provides a basis with which to communicate by providing common terminology. It allows for understanding of the interconnectedness of the core concepts and provides the foundation for better analysis.


Evaluating the impact of any of these core concepts at any point during an initiative can establish both a foundation as well as a path forward.


A BUSINESS ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK FOR HEALTHCARE EXPERIENCE

One of the most common applications of the business analysis approach is to engage in strategy analysis. Strategy defines the most effective way to use organizational resources to reach the desired objective.


STRATEGY ANALYSIS

Strategy analysis describes the business analysis work that must be performed to analyze the current state, define the future state, assess risks, and define the steps and actions that will bridge the gap to make the program or service a reality.


Taking a project or a process or a department or an organization from a current state to a future state involves strategy. Every human experience initiative has involved a strategy to move it from a concept to implementation.


There are four key business analysis tasks needed in strategy analysis: 1) analyzing the current state, 2) defining the future state, 3) assessing risk, and 4) defining the actual steps in transition.


When those tasks are couched in the context of the BACCM™ framework, the business analyst's work is guided as follows:

Core Concept

Framework Application for Strategy Analysis

Change

define the future state and develop a change strategy to achieve the future state

Need

identify needs within the current state and prioritize needs to determine the desired future state

Solution

define the scope of a solution as part of developing a change strategy

Stakeholder

collaborate with stakeholders to understand the business need and to develop a change strategy and future state that will meet those needs

Value

examine the potential value of the solution to determine if a change is justified

Context

consider the context of the organization in developing a change strategy

Business analysis provides a useful framework from which human experience leaders in healthcare can approach a diverse array of projects and processes. Patient, community, employee, and volunteer experiences have unique and varying needs.


This article explored the application of a business analysis approach. The use of the approach was demonstrated in an example of strategy analysis. That is just one example of the framework's application. There is much more to business analysis that can be learned and applied to healthcare experience leadership.


By understanding what business analysis is, how to have a business analysis mindset, and how a business analysis framework can be applied, a common approach can be applied. Adopting a business analysis approach to programs and services designed to optimize the experiences of the staff, community, and clients is beneficial in producing the most reliable outcomes.

 
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Roseanna Galindo, ECBA, CAVS

Roseanna Galindo is Principal at Periscope Business Process Analysis and a champion for data literacy, the human experience in healthcare, and volunteer leaders everywhere. Learn more about Roseanna and her blog, The Periscope Insighter, by reading the opening post, Venn The Time Is Right.

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