To address the demand coming from both the Design and Engineering divisions of the BBC, the BBC Academy wanted to create a programme of development for the business analysis practitioners across the corporation.
The Academy did not wish to reinvent something that already existed in the commercial world, but required a programme that was specific to the demands and diversity faced within the BBC. Nor did it want to generate a paper exercise, wishing to see tangible evidence that a programme would make a difference to BBC projects and the individuals involved.
Agility in Mind was asked to formulate a programme for the development of Business Analysts (BAs) and build a community of practice. This began with a consultation period with key stakeholders across the BBC, listening to the demands they faced and seeking sponsorship.
A range of training modules was identified within the market, amongst which Agility in Mind were commissioned to develop a new foundation course for BAs using agile methods.
A development programme was structured that took BAs from Foundation Level through three practitioner levels. In order to progress through the levels, BAs need to successfully complete a prescribed number of training modules and then demonstrate to an assessment panel how they have applied the learning at the BBC. The assessment panel is made up of BA practitioners, supported by Agility in Mind to help keep the activity objective and to evolve the approach.
In addition, to support the objective to build a community of practice across the BBC, a series of events were also arranged – attracting BA practitioners from across the industry. As an example, BBC Academy hosted a joint event with the IIBA at Media City UK, Salford which was met with huge enthusiasm and acclaim.
The BA programme is now well established – there are many practitioners who have successfully achieved at all status levels. Agility in Mind continues to take an active role in supporting the development of the programme.
Training courses are attended by in excess of 500 people per year, drawing in more people from across the BBC who are interested in the role of the Business Analyst.
Although the BBC divisions have typically used quite different techniques for project delivery in the past, the programme has helped to cross-fertilise ideas and approaches.
The investment is helping BAs to understand their crucial role in successful project delivery and has helped them collaborate with the wider industry and raise their profile.