Business Process Analysis (BPA) is a method that helps organizations review and improve their processes. While BPA often has technical connotations, this article delves into the broader interpretation of business analysis work, particularly in the context of nonprofit organizations. In this article, I will explore the objectives and activities involved in non-technical Business Process Analysis and its relevance to nonprofit organizations.
Understanding Business Process Analysis
At its core, Business Process Analysis (BPA) is a method designed to review and improve the processes that govern an organization's operations. These processes can range from specific tasks like onboarding new hires to broader decision-making processes used in planning sessions.
BPA involves five key steps:
identifying opportunities for improvement
Non-Technical Focus in Business Analysis
It's essential to note that Business Analysts come from diverse backgrounds, including business administration, human resources, data analytics, marketing, and project management. While all have some degree of technical expertise, a non technical Business Analyst will focus on problem solving. Their primary goal is to identify business needs, analyze problems, and recommend solutions to help organizations achieve their objectives.
Skills Required for a Business Analyst
To excel as a Business Analyst, one needs a combination of technical and non-technical skills, with non-technical skills taking the larger focus including analytical thinking, communication, business acumen, time management, attention to detail, and leadership and teamwork skills.
A Business Analyst does indeed need technical expertise as well (e.g., SQL, Excel, data analysis tools), but can be tailored to the needs of the project and stakeholders.
Who is a Business Analyst?
According to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK), anyone who performs the work of business analysis, regardless of their job title, is considered a Business Analyst. Their activities include understanding organizational objectives, analyzing needs, devising strategies, driving change, and facilitating decision making and collaboration among stakeholders.
Distinguishing Business Analysis from Business Process Analysis
While Business Analysis (BA) and Business Process Analysis (BPA) are related, they are not the same. BPA focuses on analyzing specific processes, while BA addresses the broader landscape of an organization's operations. BPA aims to enable change, often resulting in cost savings, increased revenue, and improved stakeholder engagement.
Using BPA for Stakeholder Engagement
An example of BPA's non technical application is in analyzing organizational communication processes, a vital aspect of stakeholder engagement. By identifying and addressing communication challenges, BPA helps organizations improve buy-in from stakeholders and drive change effectively.
A Template for Business Process Analysis in Nonprofit Operations
The BACCM™ Framework
A valuable tool in business analysis is the BACCM™ framework, part of the BABOK. It comprises six core concepts, including Change, Need, Solution, Stakeholder, Value, and Context. This framework ensures a common understanding of business analysis work, regardless of the project's scale or nature, and facilitates better communication among stakeholders.
Let’s take as an example, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve its volunteer recruitment process through the lens of the six core concepts of the BACCM™ template.
The nonprofit organization recognizes the need to revamp its volunteer recruitment process due to a decline in volunteer engagement and a growing demand for its services.
The organization identifies the need for a more efficient volunteer recruitment process that can attract a larger pool of volunteers while matching them to the right roles based on their skills and interests.
After thorough analysis, the nonprofit decides to implement a web-based volunteer management platform that allows volunteers to browse available opportunities, submit applications, and track their contributions.
In this project, stakeholders include the organization's leadership team, current volunteers, potential volunteers, community partners, and the IT department responsible for implementing the new platform.
To assess the value of the new system, the organization measures the increase in the number of volunteers, the efficiency of volunteer matching, and the overall satisfaction of volunteers and staff involved in the recruitment process.
The organization considers external factors such as the competitive landscape for volunteers, current industry trends in volunteer management technology, and the community's perception of its mission and impact.
In this example, the nonprofit organization uses the BACCM™ framework to guide the process of improving its volunteer recruitment system. By using a business process analysis template in their nonprofit operations, the organization, the organization ensured a common understanding of the project's objectives and facilitating communication among stakeholders
Communication as the Key
In the context of non-technical business analysis, effective communication emerges as a crucial factor. It serves as the connector between various stakeholders and ensures that the objectives of the analysis are understood and acted upon.
Non-technical Business Process Analysis BPA) plays a vital role in nonprofit organizations by enabling them to optimize their processes, enhance stakeholder engagement, and drive positive change. Business Analysts, regardless of their technical backgrounds, use a combination of skills and templates like BACCM™ to provide valuable insights and recommendations. Effective communication, however, remains the linchpin, facilitating successful analysis and implementation of improvements. In the dynamic and ever-evolving world of nonprofit organizations, embracing non-technical business analysis can be the key to achieving their missions and better serving their communities better.
Roseanna Galindo is Principal at Periscope Business Process Analysis and a champion for data literacy, the human experience in healthcare, and leaders of volunteers everywhere. Learn more about Roseanna and her blog, The Periscope Insighter, by reading the opening post, Venn The Time Is Right
Roseanna is available for training, keynotes, and executive coaching. Visit PeriscopeBPA.com for more information.
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