This is a short post to share an idea we’ve come up with. We’ll publish a longer article once we work things out in detail, but we thought that it would be useful to talk about the idea right now.

When you’re working to fulfil a business need, it most likely involves both process changes and technology changes. In a lot of cases the process is relatively easy to change, and the difficult part is the related technology changes to support the new processes. This is because of the growing complexity of the IT infrastructure, multiple interacting systems, and legacy systems which are becoming ever older. Sometimes it’s like looking for a way through an impassable jungle of intertwined vines, branches and tree trunks.

So how can you make sense of the technology platform and find effective ways of transforming it without resorting to hacking away with a machete? We’ve found that ITIL can be helpful here because it provides a model of IT services.

One thing we’d like to point out is that even if your organisation isn’t following the ITIL methodology, you can still map its IT structure to the ITIL model, at least to an extent. This can help you understand the IT infrastructure and services and extract a lot of useful information for your project. You can learn about the information flows between business and the IT provider and extract data from these flows, find the key points of analysis and use them in developing a solution.

We think this technique is quite powerful, so we’re working on including it in the ITIL section of Business Analysis Kickstart.

Finally, to make a more general point, whether it’s ITIL, SOX compliance, TOGAF or another framework or methodology, you can always find useful perspectives or approaches that will help you understand your organisation better, see things in a different light and make your work more effective. This is one of the reasons we advocate going beyond business analysis in BA work.