Enterprise Analysis is a knowledge area which describes the business analysis activities that take place for an enterprise to identify business opportunities, build a Business Architecture, determine the optimum project investment path for that enterprise and finally, implement new business and technical solutions. The question you may ask: Does this really differs from enterprise architecture, and if so, how?

At first sight, business opportunities are not always considered as being part of an Enterprise Architecture initiative, more as an activity which should be considered as an input. But let’s look at this in more detail.

Let’s look at this in more detail by way of mapping the activities of Visionary People's  Business Analysis & Business Optimization Framework™ (BABOF™) consisting of research, analysis and implementation. The BABOF™ is the collection of knowledge within the profession of business analysis and reflects generally accepted practices. It describes business analysis areas of knowledge, their associated activities and tasks and the skills necessary to be effective in the execution:

  • Requirements Elicitation: This describes the interview and research process-how to best extract needs from stakeholders (and even how to recognize needs they don't know they have). Elements such as metrics (tracking the amount of time spent eliciting requirements) and elicitation techniques (prototyping and brainstorming are just a couple) among the topics covered.
  • Business Requirements Analysis: This describes how to write/state requirements that will meet business needs. Key objectives include methods for prioritizing and organizing requirements, as well as the most beneficial techniques for requirements presentation (including state diagrams, prototyping, data flow diagrams, and process modeling, and more). Business Requirements for future project investments are identified and documented. They are defined at a high level, and include goals, objectives, and needs are identified.
  • Enterprise Analysis: Begins after a Business executive team develops strategic plans and goals. This outlines the crucial (and sometimes political) process of keeping everyone in the loop and on the same page regarding project's direction and progress. This activity delves into such details as the requirements review and approval processes (including record-keeping).
  • Strategic Plan Development
  • Strategic Goal Development
  • Business Architecture Development
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Business Case Development
  • New Project Proposal 
  • Selecting and Prioritizing New Projects
  • Business Opportunities
  • Launching New Projects
  • Managing Projects for Value
  • Tracking Project Benefits
  • Solution Assessment and Validation: Details how to choose the best solutions for specific business needs (as well as assessing how well the chosen solution worked after its implementation). This should also cover risks, dependencies, and limitations that must be identified before proposing any solution.
  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring: Explains how to decide what you need to do to complete an "analyst effort" (in other words, how to plan a project). This helps intelligently decide which stakeholders, tools, tasks and techniques we will need to get the job done.
  • Requirements Management and Communication: Describes how to identify business needs (the why of the project; whereas requirements are the how) and state the scope of their solutions. This is a crucial piece of the analyst's work. SMART™ criteria of measurement, SWOT analysis and other measurement factors that make identifying this root cause data objective and tangible are used.

There are obviously overlaps between enterprise analysis and enterprise architecture, but activities are not always done in the same sequence.

  • Enterprise Analysis is more a business initiative than an Enterprise Architecture which includes both business and IT people
  • Enterprise Analysis provides the context in which an Enterprise Architecture should be conducted
  • Enterprise Analysis is about defining the strategic goals and the strategic planning taking into account the environment and market trends, identify business issues, focus on remaining competitive, profitable, efficient. Enterprise Architecture is reusing all this information.
  • Enterprise Analysis is only covering the initial activities of Enterprise Architecture but does not address other Enterprise Architecture activities such as: - Application Architecture, Data Architecture, Technology Architecture (and Solution Architecture).
  • Enterprise Analysis does not include all aspects related to governance such as the IT Governance and the Enterprise Architecture Governance Framework. Touch points with other frameworks are not addressed.
  • Enterprise Analysis may not completely address the need of working with other parts of the enterprise such as IT, PMO, development teams, IT partners.
  • Enterprise Architecture suggest a Preliminary phase which is about defining ‘‘where, what, why, who, and how” Enterprise Architecture will be done, establishing the business context, customizing the framework, defining the architecture principles, establishing the Architecture Governance structure.

Enterprise analysis, business engineering and industrial engineering complement enterprise architecture but also overlaps in some areas. Organization looking into enterprise architecture and specifically organization effectiveness (OE) may consider adopting a business analysis framework such as BABOF™ and integrate them in the preliminary phase. If both approaches exist in a company, this would be a great opportunity for optimizing the alignment between business and IT, and to run an enterprise architecture program from a complete business perspective.

About Business Analysis & Business Optimization Framework™ (BABOF™)
The Business Analysis & Business Optimization Framework™ (BABOF™) is the collection of knowledge within the profession of business analysis and reflects current generally accepted practices. As with other professions, the body of knowledge is defined and enhanced by the business analysis professionals who apply it in their daily work role. The BABOF™ describes business analysis areas of knowledge, their associated activities and the tasks and skills necessary to be effective in their execution.

BABOF™ Guide 2.0 represents the development of a common framework to understand and define the practice of business analysis. Visionary People utilizes industry standard architecture framework principles to research, analysis and implementation client business analysis and optimization initiatives that may be used freely by any organization wishing to develop an sound organization effectiveness as well as information systems architecture for use within that organization. As a comprehensive, open method for business analysis, optimization and enterprise architecture, BABOF™ complements, and can be used in conjunction with, other frameworks that are more focused on specific aspects of organization development, design and systems architecture or for vertical sectors such as government, defense, and finance.

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