This is the last knowledge areas of BABOK Guide but a critical Knowledge Area that is covered as part of CBAP Exam Prep Course. There are five tasks in this knowledge areas and they primarily range from assessing the solution to analyzing data to understanding the limitation of the solution and the enterprise and finally recommending solution to increase the value.
As a part of CBAP Exam Prep, it is our goal to prepare you well for the CBAP certification. We can achieve this as long as we plan well and put the right effort towards it.
Let’s review the content below to develop understanding of Solution Evaluation Knowledge Area.
The Solution Evaluation knowledge area describes the tasks that business analysts perform to assess the performance of and value delivered by a solution in use by the enterprise, and to recommend removal of barriers or constraints that prevent the full realization of the value.
Solution Evaluation tasks can be performed on solution components in varying stages of development:
• Prototypes or Proofs of Concept: working but limited versions of a solution that demonstrate value.
• Pilot or Beta releases: limited implementations or versions of a solution used in order to work through problems and understand how well it actually delivers value before fully releasing the solution.
• Operational releases: full versions of a partial or completed solution used to achieve business objectives, execute a process, or fulfill a desired outcome.
The Solution Evaluation knowledge area includes the following 5 tasks:
• Measure Solution Performance
• Analyze Performance Measures
• Assess Solution Limitations
• Assess Enterprise Limitations
• Recommend Actions to Increase Solution Value
1. Measure Solution Performance
The purpose of Measure Solution Performance is to define performance measures and use the data collected to evaluate the effectiveness of a solution in relation to the value it brings.
Some core elements that are important from CBAP Exam Standpoint:
Define Solution Performance Measures
When measuring solution performance, business analysts determine if current measures exist, or if methods for capturing them are in place. Business analysts ensure that any existing performance measures are accurate, relevant and elicit any additional performance measures identified by stakeholders.
• Quantitative Measures: are numerical, countable, or finite, usually involving amounts, quantities, or rates.
• Qualitative Measures: are subjective and can include attitudes, perceptions, and any other subjective response. Customers, users, and others involved in the operation of a solution have perceptions of how well the solution is meeting the need.
Validate Performance Measures
Validating performance measures helps to ensure that the assessment of solution performance is useful. Business analysts validate the performance measures and any influencing criteria with stakeholders.
Collect Performance Measures
When defining performance measures, business analysts may employ basic statistical sampling concepts.
The output is Solution Performance Measures which provide information on how well the solution is performing or potentially could perform.
2. Analyze Performance Measures
The purpose of Analyze Performance Measures is to provide insights into the performance of a solution in relation to the value it brings.
Some elements to consider:
Solution Performance versus Desired Value
Business analysts examine the measures previously collected in order to assess their ability to help stakeholders understand the solution’s value. A solution might be high performing, such as an efficient online transaction processing system, but contributes lower value than expected (or compared to what it had contributed in the past). On the other hand, a low performing but potentially valuable solution, such as a core process that is inefficient, can be enhanced to increase its performance level.
Any identified risks should be managed just like any other risks.
When analyzing performance data, business analysts consider the time period when the data was collected to guard against anomalies and skewed trends. An acceptable sample size over a sufficient time period will provide an accurate depiction of solution performance on which to make decisions and guard against false signals brought about by incomplete data.
To be considered accurate and reliable, the results of performance measures should be reproducible and repeatable.
The difference between expected and actual performance represents a variance that is considered when analyzing solution performance.
The output is Solution Performance Analysis showing results of the analysis of measurements collected and recommendations to solve performance gaps and leverage opportunities to improve value.
Assess Solution Limitation
The purpose of Assess Solution Limitations is to determine the factors internal to the solution that restrict the full realization of value.
Some core elements to consider are:
Identify Internal Solution Component Dependencies
Solutions often have internal dependencies that limit the performance of the entire solution to the performance of the least effective component. Business analysts identify solution components which have dependencies on other solution components, and then determine if there is anything about those dependencies or other components that limit solution performance and value realization.
Investigate Solution Problems
Business analysts identify problems in a solution or solution component by examining instances where the outputs from the solution are below an acceptable level of quality or where the potential value is not being realized.
Business analysts identify which problems must be resolved, which can be mitigated through other activities or approaches, and which can be accepted.
The core output is Solution Limitation.
Assess Enterprise Limitation
The purpose of Assess Enterprise Limitations is to determine how factors external to the solution are restricting value realization.
Factors such as Enterprise Culture, Stakeholder Impact Analysis, Organizational Structure Changes and Operational Assessment should be Considered.
Output is Enterprise Limitation.
Recommend Actions to Increase Solution Value
The purpose of Recommend Actions to Increase Solution Value is to understand the factors that create differences between potential value and actual value, and to recommend a course of action to align them.
Two Critical elements to consider here are Adjusting Performance Measures and making Recommendations such as Do Nothing, Changes, sunk costs, reduce complexity, avoid waste etc.
The core output of this process is Recommended Actions of what should be done to improve the value of the solution within the enterprise.