Most business analysis is highly interrelated and influenced by two aspects, namely Enterprise Environmental Factors (EEF) and Organization Process Assets (OPA). In this article, we will first find out more about what Organization Process Asset (OPA) is. This article will also provide several examples for more understanding on this subject.
It is fundamental to be able to distinguish the difference between Enterprise Environmental Factors with its counterpart Organizational Process Assets. In simpler words, EEF refers to what to consider in our project. OPA on the other hand is the process utilized to execute the project.
Organizational Process Asset (OPA) refers to all the implicit input or assets on processes used by an organization in operating their business. This may include business plans, processes, policies, protocols, and knowledge. While Enterprise Environmental Factors may be branched into two categories, internal and external to the organization, organization process asset is internal to the organization. It may come from the projects, programs, portfolios, documentation, or any other records in a said organization. There are three categories of organization process asset; 1) Processes, Policies, and Procedures; 2) Corporate Knowledge Base; 3) Team and SME Knowledge.
Since the records are exclusive to the organizations, the organizational process asset may differ in different organizations. The more the company engages with projects, the more insights gain for the organizational process assets. It is safe to say that operational process assets may serve as the archive or repository of the organization.
Importance and Impact
Organization Process Assets include all the information from the organization that is needed to ease the management of the project. The examples of information included are templates, assessment tools, contracts, policies, guidelines, and reports. These records are fundamental during business planning regardless of the nature and length of your project. It could highly improve project management. OPA is flexible. You may constantly update the OPAs should there be any improvisations done while executing your project.
Referring to existing documentation on previous projects may ease the process of the project, increasing the potential of success for the project. Referencing from the documentation smoothen the management especially when starting a new project which is very similar to previous ones done by the organization. Failure in retrieving necessary assets may slow down the pace of a project. Worse, the team members may be surprised by unexpected obstacles along the way of the project.
Organization Process Asset (OPA) could be categorized into three as mentioned earlier. Let us have a look at all three categories along with the examples under every branch.
1. Processes, Policies, and Procedures
This is one of the most basic examples of organizational process assets within an organization. The examples under this category are as follow:
- Guidelines and Criteria
This example refers to any standards set by a company about the procedures and processes operated in that organization. What are the criteria established by the company in producing deliverables that fulfill the specific needs of a project or product?
- Organizational Standards
This example may sound similar to the previous one. However, this standard refers to the policies implemented within the organization. For instance, human resources policies, health policies, safety policies, security policies, quality policies, audit policies, environmental policies, and so forth.
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This refers to all the procedures needed for project approval. What are the procedures needed to meet the requirements of a certain product or project?
- Risk Management Template
Every product may have certain risks. The risks are often identified and recorded. The template of risk management could be reused many times regardless of the type of project or product developed.
- Standardized Guidelines
Guidelines for previous products and projects are kept and standardized within the company. This includes the instructions, proposal evaluation criteria, and the measurement criteria of business analysis.
- Project Closure Requirements
The requirements and guidelines of projects and products in the past in terms of lessons learned and retrospective sessions are recorded. Other examples are the audits documents, evaluations, validations, knowledge transfer, acceptance criteria, and so forth.
- Project Life Cycles
Project life cycles are important in determining the formality of documentation of business analysis. It also records the person in charge of business analysis and the techniques used during the process. The project life cycle may vary depending on the organization. Some may even utilize more approaches to the lifecycle in building a project. This will increase the difficulties of business analysis conducted.
Most organizations will prepare a template for every process and conduct done within the organization. This will be reused throughout time. The examples of templates are for business cases, plans, business analysis, product or project requirements, backlog lists, models, risk registers, traceability, user cases, and many more.
- Change Control Methods
The methods include all information on business analysis standards, policies, plans, procedures, and any other newly modified product’s business analysis. The changes done to a project that is yet to be validated are also included.
- Requirements Management Tool
The procedures for the requirements management tool are stored. The guidelines for repositories, backlog management tools, and any other related configuration procedures are beneficial information that is well kept in an organization.
- Financial Control
The procedures used for financial controls are recorded as it may influence the conduct of business analysis.
- Issues and Defect Management Procedures
What should a team member do if an unexpected problem happens during a business process? The answer should be there in the issue and management procedures of previous projects. This will aid the members in case a defect occurs in the project. All the information includes the issue and defect controls, identification and resolution, and tracking tools procedures.
- Organizational Communication Requirements
The requirements on organizational communication such as communication technology, communication media, security requirements, and any other communication-related procedures are stored well as they are beneficial assets for the company.
2. Corporate Knowledge Base
There are two kinds of knowledge when managing project knowledge; explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge refers to the information that could be decoded into words, pictures, numbers, so forth. Tacit knowledge, on the contrary, is the inexpressible or subjective personal knowledge, such as beliefs, experiences, insights, and many more.
In business analysis, most of the information stored in corporate knowledge bases or repositories is explicit knowledge. They are analyzed then stored properly within that organization.
Team members or managers will then resort to corporate knowledge base or repositories to acquire the needed knowledge related to the product when performing business analysis. The base serves as the research center to retrieve all necessary information about the products such as business practices, problems, methods, and so forth. To say it in a very simple word, the corporate knowledge base is like the internal FAQ exclusive within that organization only.
Below are the examples of the corporate knowledge base that may be built in an organization:
- Business Knowledge
The archive on business knowledge may store all information related to the delivered products and documents. This may either be locally shared, enterprise-wide, product-specific, product requirements, or product models. Some of the information that may be stored in this type of repositories are the requirements, solutions, and results from previous projects. This will provide the acceptance criteria and models that may be reused for newly built products. It may also aid the process of business analysis.
- Configuration Management Knowledge
This repository will store every information about the software or hardware components that have been used in business operations within an organization. It also includes the baselines of every organizational standards, policies, protocols, and method utilized in the organization.
- History Projects Knowledge
This archive keeps all the documents from previous projects or products done in the organization. The examples are the business analysis, performance record, project closure information, results, decisions, risks, and any other significant information recorded about the projects done in the past.
- Issue and Defect Management Data
Every past projects’ issues, defects, status, control information, solutions, and actions are stored in this type of repository. In some organizations, they separate the information on issues and defects. This may vary depending on the preferences of an organization.
- Data for Metrics
This archive includes metrics that are utilized when collecting indicators and measurements of a certain business project or product.
There are various ways in building an organization repository. Depending on your organization’s preferences, you may resort to printed documentation or cloud-based platforms in storing information and documents about your projects and products. Advice is that the repositories should have a proper level of accessibility to ease the process of data retrieval. There are many tips for managing your repositories. Some may manage them in terms of time, departments, status, priority, and many other categories you may consider for your organization. To conclude, corporate base knowledge is an essential asset of your organization hence proper management is highly advised.
3. Team and SME Knowledge
We could not deny that not every information related to a product is fully or formally documented. Some information may be left out, intentionally or not. However, black and white prints are not the sole forms of asset in an organization. When conducting business analysis, you may also consult a subject matter expert (SME).
Subject matter expert refers to the person who has high expertise and knowledge on a particular subject or area. In developing business analysis, you may receive a lot of valuable insights from subject matter expert. They may be able to provide information and expectations regarding the project you are working at. Subject matter experts may consist of senior employees, long-time members of the development team, or anyone with advanced qualifications on the related topic.
SME is not to be confused with business analysts. They both may seem to be responsible for similar tasks but that is not the case. Business analysts are the person in charge of the project deliverables, from the beginning until the end of the process. They may be working for a wider scope of the project; the scope assessment, risk assessment, mapping, business cases, documentation, and so forth. However, they are not in charge of any consultation about changes or the introduction of a new project.
All the tasks related to changes in an organization, the jobs of a department, and how a process functions fall under the responsibility of a subject matter expert. This is because they possess the knowledge of the internal process and operations about a department from the bottom up. Most times, they would begin at a starter level then gradually raise their level so that they could fully understand how the teams work, how processes work, and what may boost or hinder a project in an organization. They are the main brain of the company, an important asset of an organization. Hence, it is recommended to involve them and ask for their consultation frequently about a project. This will maximize the success and smoothen the flow of a project, apart from gaining valuable insights to be implemented in the processes.
In certain cases, some fundamental information could also be gained from conversations. Hence, it is crucial for the person involved to elaborate and record the insights in a proper deliverable form. This will then be passed down to the team responsible for developing the product. From this, the team members who possess the product knowledge could be the living and moving archive on the product information.
In conclusion, assets may come in different forms. Not only in written form, but a person in an organization himself is a valuable asset in providing good knowledge about the project. Team members or project managers should be creative in creating as many platforms to gain insights. This may provide as much necessary information to further improve the product and ensuring success.
To conclude, organizational process asset (OPA) refers to all the information that could be found in an organization’s documentation. This helps to ease the management and processes of a project. Finding related insights from existing records may provide valuable insights to ensure the success of a project. Aside from smoothening the process and project management, it acts as a fundamental record of one organization equivalent to the organization’s repository.
Many people tend to confuse organizational process assets with enterprise environmental factors. Both are equally important hence it is crucial to be able to distinguish them well. Enterprise environmental factors may come from inside or outside of the organization. On the contrary, organizational process assets are always from within the organization. These two are highly connected and commonly discussed in the project management body of knowledge. Hence, organization members especially project managers should be familiar with these two terms. That aside, it is highly crucial to be able to answer the questions revolving around both organizational process assets and enterprise environmental factors. This will aid the process of business while simultaneously increase the chances of project success.
No matter what issues arise in a company, they should be able to handle and resolve the issues well with the presence of organizational process assets.
Meta description: This article elaborates on Organizational Process Asset (OPA), which refers to all input necessary in ensuring project success. Examples are provided for each category that falls under OPA.