In large organisations with varied analysis needs, and a wide variety of projects to deliver, demand for resources will never be constant. There will be peaks and troughs in activity and different skills required at different times.
Traditionally organisations tackle these imbalances through the use of contractors. But this option doesn’t come without risks and isn’t always the most valuable method. Aside from extra costs, value in the form of knowledge is also lost as contractors depart with all the information and capabilities developed during the project, without passing this to your internal teams.
This was the situation a large healthcare organisation found themselves in when they decided to grow their in-house IT capability. Sourcing and onboarding suitably skilled Business Analysts was a struggle and beginning to impact on overall project performance through time delays and increased costs. However, to avoid the inherent difficulties that can arise through the use of contractors, they asked us to come up with a solution that met all their needs and provided a flexible, cost effective option.
Our starting point was understanding the unique challenges of the business. This looked at how projects are formed, funded, resourced and delivered. The analysis provided a clear diagnosis of the pain points in the current model. We then carried out a maturity assessment of the existing Business Analysis capability which enabled targeting of the low maturity areas for enhancement.
As a result of these analyses it became clear a step change was required. This would ensure that projects were not allowed to operate in a silo and that a level of governance was adopted to align the initiatives with the business goals. The change also had to deliver a level of pipeline management to stem the tide of non-value adding initiatives.
A Business Analyst Managed Service was offered to the organisation that would enable them to draw on the skills and capabilities they needed at the point they were required. Our Managed Service offered a structured methodology to provide the rigour and process needed to support this step change. It was complemented with a pool of flexible, specialist analysts to deliver on the projects within the portfolio.
As a result of the introduction of this service, stakeholders became more engaged with IT, projects were more accurately estimated and scoped, and there was increased confidence in project delivery. The Managed Service was scaled up and down with demand, delivering specific outcomes for specific issues. Our flexibility enabled us to provide the organisation with the right people at the right time, even if that meant supplying skilled consultants at short notice for short durations.
The service was also focused on providing the client with an ongoing legacy that included processes for managing their pipeline and enhanced tools for the Business Analysts. This ensures projects are delivered consistently, reliably and professionally within a culture of continuous improvement.
The most important thing though, was that we helped the organisation realise their strategy by ensuring continued alignment to their objectives in all initiatives – a holistic view they had been aspiring to.
This model is adaptable to all types of organisations. For example, by working with one architecture practice we were able to provide a service that also coached and empowered their teams to apply this innovation in other parts of the business.