Business analysis is a vital process to every organization irrespective of size. As Weese and Wagner (2011) explained, business analysis helps to determine an organization’s issues, needs and problems. In addition, it helps to find solutions to the identified needs, issues and problems, which are vital in facilitating organizations to achieve the intended goals. Therefore implementation of a project should be tied up to a business analysis process that should be conducted in advance (Weese & Wagner, 2011). This explains the fact that it was vital to conduct a business analysis of Heathrow Airport before expanding its Terminal 1 in 2004. This report comprises of eight main sections. The first section explores the definition of business analysis process. The second section contains information flow diagram showing the steps that can be applied in analyzing the problems and needs that prompted the expansion of Heathrow Airport Terminal 1 and defining solutions to the identified problems and needs. The third section provides a description of the information flow graphic selected and explains why it is effective. The fourth section presents a description of the conditions, problems and issues that prompted the expansion of Heathrow airport. Section five explores the types of data and data collection methods that would be applied during the business analysis process. Section six explains the reasons that triggered the selection of the proposed business analysis strategies. Section seven examines the risks involved in the implementation of the Heathrow airport project and justifies the reasons why they should be mitigated. The last section proposes approaches of mitigating the risks involved in the implementation of the project.
Business Analysis Process
There is no cross-cut definition of business analysis process. Hass (2008) defined business analysis as a process of eliciting requirements needed to solve problems in organizations, analysis of the problem and suggesting change management approaches. According to Hass (2008), the change management process encompasses activities such as gathering information about stakeholders, structuring the requirements that are needed to solve problems by categories or classes and evaluating, modeling, decomposing, finalizing and managing requirements. Some organizations, according to Hass (2008) broaden the definition to include the organizational development analysis, quality assurance analysis, financial analysis, documentation of organizational procedures and policies and training and testing analysis. Weese and Wagner (2011) give a more specific definition of business analysis. According to Weese and Wagner (2011), business analysis simply entails the set of techniques, knowledge and tasks needed to determine solutions to problems or issues that occur in organizations and also to determine the organizational needs. Solutions usually involve organizational change, process improvement or/and systems development.
According to Wysocki (2010), business analysis entails the set of techniques utilized to determine issues, needs or problems related to organizational operations, policies and structure and to recommend strategies of satisfying the business needs or solving the issues or problems identified in order to achieve certain goals. Wysocki (2010) expounds further that business analysis encompasses activities meant to understand functions that enable organizations achieve their goals and purposes and to define the capabilities needed by the organizations in order to provide services and/or products to stakeholders effectively. Some definitions of business analysis are focused on the work of a business analyst. As Hass (2008) explained, The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge defines a business analyst as an individual or a group of individuals, who work together with other organizational stakeholders to elicit, validate, communicate and analyze requirements needed in order to improve information systems, policies and business processes. In short, business analysis can be viewed as the activities meant to determine organizational problems, issues and needs and defining the requirements needed to solve the needs or satisfy the issues or problems identified.
Information Flow Graphic
The selected graphic model is unique and effective since it follows steps that would help to comprehensively address the requirements needed to address risks, needs and issues surrounding the construction of Terminal 1 of Heathrow Airport. As indicated in the information flow graphic, the first step in conducting business analysis that would facilitate the construction of Terminal 1 at Heathrow would be to gather background information. Background information is essential since it helps to determine the important conditions surrounding a project. In the case of Heathrow, the background information that would be assessed includes capacity issues affecting the airport, health, financial and other factors surrounding the airport and internal and external factors affecting the airport. The second step is to determine the stakeholders that would be affected, how the implementation of the project will affect them and their views towards the expansion of the airport. At Heathrow, the stakeholders that would be addressed include customers/passengers, workers, managers and individuals that will implement the project. The third step is to determine the objectives of expanding Heathrow airport. The fourth step is to determine the options that are available for expanding the airport. In the case of Heathrow, expanding terminal 1 was selected as the best option.
The fifth step would be to determine the scope of the project. This would help to in determine the resources needed. Step six would be to develop a delivery plan for the business analysis, which would help to determine timelines for delivering requirements. Step seven would involve defining the requirement of the project. This is an important step since it would involve determining requirements that would help to solve each issue or satisfy each need of the project. For instance, the requirements for solving the risk of interrupting operations at Heathrow during the implementation would be determined. Step eight is to identify the best way to implement the requirements of the project. This would involve determining project implementation steps, the processes that will help to minimize interruptions and how to engage with stakeholders during the implementation process. Step nine would be to determine the value that will be derived from the expansion of the airport. The last step would be to determine whether there is a need for changes in the proposed project requirements.
The project entails the analysis of Heathrow Airport Terminal 1 in order to determine how to improve it without causing major interruptions to the operations of the terminal. Prior to 2004, the UK faced the challenge of lack of enough airport capacity needed to accommodate both local and international flights. One of the solutions proposed to the problem was to enhance the capacity of Heathrow airport, which is located in London (Project Management Institute, 2013). Heathrow Airport was perceived as the best option that would deliver more travel options, business opportunities, exports and jobs. One of the factors that were considered before making the decision is that the airport is located close to headquarters of more than 120 large companies (Project Management Institute, 2013). The problem that needed to be solved at the airport was to expand the capacity of Heathrow Airport in order to accommodate more international flights. In order to enhance the capacity of the airport, a decision was made in 2004 to expand Terminal 1 (Project Management Institute, 2013). Prior to expanding Terminal 1, it was only accommodating local flights. A decision was made to expand the terminal so that it could accommodate Star Alliance Airlines, which engaged in international flights (Project Management Institute, 2013). The role of expanding Terminal 1 was given to BAA Airports Ltd. in 2004.
One of the issues that needed to be addressed prior to the implementation of the project was the possibility of interrupting daily operations in terminal 1 and/or the whole airport. Major interruptions could damage the reputation of the airport and also invite fines (Project Management Institute, 2013). Second, there was a need to determine how the process of implementing the project would affect the health and safety of the stakeholders. Further, it was essential to determine how the project would be completed within a very strict deadline. There was also a need to determine whether the available financial, material and human resources were enough to facilitate the completion of the project effectively and within the set deadline. Analyzing such issues would help to determine solutions to the risks involved.
Different types of data would be gathered during the business analysis process. The first data type is the background information about Heathrow Airport and the reasons for expanding the project. This type of data will be gathered from documents and reports containing either primary or secondary data (May & Mumby, 2005). Examples of such sources of data are strategic reports of Heathrow Airport, financial analysis reports and recommendations, minutes of previous meetings made by the management, performance reports of Heathrow, stakeholders’ evaluation of the services of Heathrow, marketing strategy reports of Heathrow and recommendations made by experts. Second, it will be vital to gather data about the perception of the stakeholders of Heathrow towards the construction of Terminal 1. This kind of data will mainly be derived through conducting interviews with different types of stakeholders. For instance, there will be a need to determine whether or not the passengers support the project (May & Mumby, 2005). In the same vein, it will be essential to determine the stance and concerns of employees, managers, government, activists and other stakeholders towards the construction of the project. The data will also be derived from documents with comments made by stakeholders towards the project, such as newspaper reports, interviews and questionnaires gathered previously. The third type of data is one that will help top define the scope of the project. Such data includes the cost of the project, the finances allocated or available, the human resources needed and the deadline of completing the project. This type of data will be derived from financial statements of Heathrow and documents containing minutes and resources projections for the project. The last type of data is one that will help to determine the requirements of the project. This data will be derived from reports describing requirements for similar projects and suggestions made by consultants and other business analysis.
The overall business analysis methodology suggested in the above sections will help to derive good analysis results. In order to understand the background information Heathrow airport, stakeholder’s views and information about scope of the project and the project requirements, it will be vital to utilize both primary and secondary data. Primary data is the information collected for the first time and it has not been analyzed (Creswell, 2013). This type of data is vital since it is reliable as long as the data collection approach used is valid and reliable. Gathering data from the stakeholders of Heathrow about their views towards the project will help to gather primary data (Creswell, 2013). Also, the data that is not analyzed, such as the minutes written in meetings conducted by the managers would be reliable would be part of primary data.
Conversely, secondary data is the data gathered and analyzed for a particular purpose. Such data is vital since it is informative and synthesized. However, there will be a need to be cautious about biases that may be inherent in such data. Due to limitation issues such as lack of time and resources needed to conduct primary data, it will be essential to augment the primary data with secondary data. Both the primary and secondary data will help to compile comprehensive information about Heathrow airport (Plessis, 2004). In some instances, however, there might be a need to rely solely on primary data. For instance, information about the cost of the project and the available funds can only be derived from primary data. Adopting an explorative research design and analyzing both the primary and secondary data will help to improve reliability and validity of the analysis findings.
Risk Analysis Justification
Business analysis will be very helpful in identifying risks involved in the implementation of the Heathrow airport project and determining the best ways to mitigate them. First, there is a risk of failure of the project to meet the set completion date if the number of suitable workers, supervisors and managers of the project are not determined in advance. The project could easily fail to meet the set goals if the number of suppliers of materials needed is not determined in advance. At the same time, if the human resources exceed the needed number, the project can be very costly. Further, if the coordination between different stakeholders is not determined in advance, the project is likely to be delayed beyond the set completion date. The project can fail if the cost of the whole project is not determined well. In case the cost is underestimated, the project will be allocated less than the needed resources, which will lead to failure. If adjustments to the cost are made during the implementation process, the project is likely to delay beyond the completion date.
Further, the stakeholders such as airport workers and passengers may fail to coordinate if they show resistance to the project. Such a problem can lead to the delay of the project. There is a risk of failure or delay if the internal and external factors affecting the project are not determined well prior to the implementation of the project. For instance, failure to determine the technological and environmental challenges that are likely to affect the implementation process can lead to a delay and interruptions of operations during the implementation process. Lack of coordination may also occur if communication processes are not determined and planned in advance. Last, failure to determine safety and health risks posed by materials such as asbestos and electricity can be a source of delay. All the risk mentioned above can be mitigated if they are determined in advance during the business analysis process.
Heathrow Airport Risk Mitigation Process
In order to mitigate the risk of lack of coordination between different stakeholders assigned the task of implementing the Heathrow project, it will be essential to develop a plan with requirements for each of the stakeholders in advance. Also, it would be vital to set timelines for completion of tasks at different levels. Further, it would be vital to determine the suitable number of human resources for the project to ensure that each task or small project is completed in time. For instance, the number of suppliers of materials should be enough to ensure that there is no delay in the delivery of materials. In addition, it will be vital to make budgetary estimates that align with the scope of the project in order to prevent shortages of the allocated financial and material resources or major changes during the implementation that would lead to interruptions and delay.
Communication processes between project stakeholders should be planned in advance. Importantly, all stakeholders should be adequately informed about the project and their roles in supporting its implementation. Technological, environmental and structural challenges that might affect the implementation of the project should be determined and considered when planning the timeline for the completion of the project. Last, the safety and health risks involved during the implementation of the project should be determined in advance and plans for implementing the necessary precautions made in advance.
As indicated in this report, business analysis lacks a clear-cut definition since different scholars and organizations have suggested different definitions. However, the different definitions are related. In general, business analysis can be perceived as a process that involves aligning with organizational stakeholders to determine requirements needed to solve problems or needs in an organization’s operations, processes or/and structure. Heathrow airport needed a comprehensive business analysis before the expansion of Terminal 1. As suggested in this report, the stages of business analysis that would lead to effective outcome are gathering background information, identifying stakeholders, discovering business objectives, evaluating options, defining project scope, developing business analysis delivery plan, defining project requirements, evaluating value added by the project, monitoring the project and making any enhancements needed and determining the best way to implement project requirements. Lack of enough airport capacity to accommodate international flight in the UK is the issue that prompted the expansion of the Heathrow airport. During the business analysis process, four types of data would be collected, namely background information about Heathrow airport, views of stakeholders, information about information about scope of the project and data about the project requirements. Combining primary and secondary research will help to enhance validity and reliability of the business analysis outcomes. In order to effectively implement the project, the risks involved would need to be identified and addressed. One of the issues faced when developing the report is difficulty in determining a suitable information graphic flow for the Heathrow project. Another issue is difficulty in determining the data that would be needed during business analysis.
- Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. London, UK: Sage Publications
- Hass, K. B. (2008). Professionalizing Business Analysis: Breaking the Cycle of Challenged Projects. Vienna, VA: Management Concepts Inc.
- May, S., & Mumby, D. K. (2005). Engaging organizational communication theory & research: Multiple perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Plessis, D. Y. (2004). Research Methodology and Method. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.
- Project Management Institute. (2013). Changing the face at the busiest airport in the world through project management. Attached or Retrieved from http://www.pmi.org/business-solutions/~/media/PDF/Case%20Study/Heathrow_Airport_Case_Study_New.ashx
- Weese, S., & Wagner, T. (2011). CBAP / CCBA Certified Business Analysis Study Guide. London, UK: John Wiley & Sons
- Wysocki, R. K. (2010). The Business Analyst / Project Manager: A New Partnership for Managing Complexity and Uncertainty. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.