About Analyze

Analyze Consulting was founded in 2007 with the purpose to help businesses get to the bottom of and solve business inefficiencies. The cornerstone of this dream is a passion for quality business analysis and project management.

We are motivated and rewarded by helping businesses be more efficient and solve problems.

We believe that the best way for us to do this is to start with a deep and thorough understanding of the problem or opportunity. The discipline and insight that we apply to this enables us to be confident and truly objective about defining the best possible solution.

Our vision is to be the partner of choice in solving business challenges through the appropriate use of technology, process and people.

Business Analysis

/Business Analysis

Using as-is and to-be processes to build better user stories

Within an agile context, a user story is a plain language description of a particular feature of the product or service to be created, written from the end user’s perspective. Well defined, prioritised user stories are the key to being able to explain the required functionality in a way that is easily understood by both technical and non-technical individuals.  In essence, they provide the “What?” in order inform the “How?”. But where do you start?  Who do you speak to?  What inputs do you need?  At Analyze we employ the following 3-step approach: Step 1:  Documenting the as-is An important starting point before getting into solution mode is to take the time to understand your current processes and systems to get a detailed view of your problem areas. As an outcome of our as-is process analysis we create a top-down view of processes, including systems and roles, across the business value chain.  This provides a better understanding of the systems and process linkages, inefficiencies, and opportunities for improvement. Step 2:  Defining the to-be In this step we create the desired future state view of your process and systems landscape off the back of understanding your current problem areas.  Part of this step also involves completing a gap analysis by comparing where you are today to where you’d like to be. This identifies the work needed to get there. To-be process maps not only provide a visual breakdown of the ideal future state, but also serves as a way of validating your business value chain.  These to-be process maps can then be used as the base structure for defining your requirements.  To-be process maps are further enriched with process “narratives” which cover your business rules, information around any regulatory or audit requirements, timing and sequencing considerations, and a view of all the systems involved. Step 3:  Convert your to-be ideals into user stories When creating your user story structure or story map, the high-level processes from your to-be process map become your epics, while the process sub-tasks translate into your user stories. To-be process maps also allow you to identify user personas.  Personas represent a type of user that will interact with your solution in a particular way and perform a defined set of tasks which allow you to group your user stories in a logical way. User stories typically need a couple of rounds of refinement to ensure that they’re not too big and that they have the right level of detail which should always include a view of its acceptance criteria as well.  This iterative process should be a collaborative effort between the product/service owner, end user, analyst, and any applicable technical resources.  If it’s not done in a collaborative way you will end up with a one-sided view that may not achieve all of your to-be ideals.      The outcome We’ve seen how following this approach better equips our clients to move onto the next step, be it an RFP process or an internal build.  It helps to better describe the complexity of the work, the type of skills and systems that will be required, and even how the work could be prioritised into an MVP.  For the client it is easier to relate to the work to be done and for their vendors and suppliers it makes it easier to size and pitch on the solution, thereby creating an improved position for all.  If you’d like to chat to us about helping your organisation build better user stories using a process approach, give us a call on 021 447 5696 or email us on info@analyze.co.za.  Our team of skilled business analysist have experience across a wide variety of technologies, delivery approaches and industries, ensuring that we will help you improve your business.

Business Analysis in 2020 and beyond

Traditionally, business analysts focused on getting a deep understanding of business processes, policies and procedures in order to guide how these would have to be adjusted to support project-related change.  But with digital transformation now taking centre stage, companies today are also leaning on business analysts to assist with technology selection, defining technology best practices, finding new digital business opportunities and more. With this in mind, the world of the business analyst in 2020 (and beyond) will start to look very different.  At Analyze, we predict the following key shifts: Business Analysts will become more digital-focusedAs the digital landscape continues to evolve, business analysts will need to stay up to date with changing and emerging technologies, industry trends, new sources of data and ways in which organisations can leverage digital technologies to achieve their organisational goals.  It’s all about applying a digital lens to typically non-digital operations and reimagining all ways of working.     Data Analytics will become a core competency We’ve all heard of the Internet of Things (IoT) and all of the associated data that comes along with it.  As more and more devices “go online”, data volumes will continue to increase.  For the business analyst, being able to analyse and interpret this data in order to help inform strategic business, marketing and technology investment decisions will be key.  Expect greater agility The role of the business analyst within an agile context has already brought about some fundamental changes over the past few years.  Business analysts have needed to find ways to be more flexible in their analysis practices without sacrificing on quality and completeness, and we expect an even greater push toward working faster and smarter as we enter a new decade of rapid and continuous digital growth.    Blurred lines and broad expertise Business analysts will become the collaborator, bringing different professionals and disciplines together to help get the job done.  It will require a broader understanding beyond the conventional constructs of business analysis and will also require business analysts to be flexible in their roles by getting more hands-on with activities like design and testing.   As an example:  Business analysts do not need to be User Experience (UX) experts per se, but they do need to have a basic understanding of user interface design principles and who/what will be needed to ensure that you get it right. Becoming digital agents of change A business analyst’s involvement will not end once technologies have been selected and requirements have been defined.  They need to be agents of change who will promote and facilitate the restructuring of business processes in order to align with these technological changes.  Just as they’ve always done, business analysts will need to keep the bigger picture at heart, considering the people and the processes, but within a renewed digital focus. To discuss Business Analysis consulting options for your organisation, give us a call on 021 447 5696 or email us on info@analyze.co.za.  Our team of highly skilled business analysts have experience across a wide variety of technologies, delivery approaches and industries, making it easy to find the right type of BA for the job.

Tips for getting a handle on your big data

Tips for getting a handle on your big data

Big Data has become a popular buzzword within the IT industry. It may have you thinking: Is this something I should be paying more attention to? First, let’s start with the definition. Big Data is not just a lot of data, it refers specifically to data sets that are so large it’s impossible to capture, store, process and analyse using traditional software and database solutions.

Project implementation

Tips for defining and measuring project implementation success

In the cut-throat world of project delivery, it can be easy to lose sight of the real reason why you’re doing what you’re doing. With immense pressure for projects to hit their planned go live date, it’s easy to understand how teams may be eager to claim success as soon as they’ve crossed that finishing line without taking a step back to compare the project results to the original project goals.

Case Study: Improving process efficiency

Analyze Consulting was approached by a hospital trust to assist in improving process efficiency at a South African tertiary hospital. The trust works closely with the hospital by providing funding for projects. The hospital hoped to improve the quality of service delivery throughout its clinics by applying practical, cost-effective solutions to problem areas. To achieve this, Analyze Consulting assisted them in identifying major areas of inefficiency…

Niche Consulting firm in Cape Town

The value of working with a niche consulting firm

The word disruption seems to be the new norm when discussing just about anything related to technology, ways of working, business models, organisational culture and structures. Despite this, the consulting industry has remained relatively unaffected by disruption. It has, however seen the rise of many niche consulting firms that are looking to compete with the bigger and more established consulting houses…

Design Thinking article

Design thinking for the modern BA

Successful business analysis hinges on the analyst’s ability to tap into the mind of the customer, finding the best tools and techniques to align with customer needs, and developing products and services that create real market value.  The question, however, is:  How can traditional analysis methods be supplemented to achieve a more customer focused result?  Enter: Design thinking. Design thinking is not a new…

Generating ideas using divergent & convergent thinking

Within the world of problem solving and idea generation, there are two schools of thought:  Divergent thinking and convergent thinking.  Let’s take a closer look at what these two terms mean: With divergent thinking – think free flowing & abstract The goal here is to come up with as many answers, concepts or suggestions as possible.  This of course requires a lot of creativity with no restrictions.  No answer…