The syllabus for Paper P3, Business Analysis, is primarily concerned with two issues. The first is the external forces (the behaviour of customers, the initiatives of competitors, the emergence of new laws and regulations) that shape the environment of an organisation. The second is the internal ambitions and concerns (desire for growth, the design of processes, the quality of products and services, the competences of employees, the financial resources) that exist within an organisation. This syllabus looks at both of these perspectives, from assessing strategic position and choice to identifying and formulating strategic action and its formulation. It identifies opportunities for beneficial change that involve people, finance and information technology. It examines how these opportunities may be implemented through the appropriate management of programmes and projects. The syllabus begins with the assessment of strategic position and is concerned with the impact of the external environment, its internal capabilities and expectations and how the organisation positions itself. It examines how factors such as culture, leadership and stakeholder expectations shape organisational purpose. Strategic choice is concerned with decisions which have to be made about an organisation's future and the way in which it can respond to the influences and pressures identified in the assessment of its strategic position. Strategic action concerns the implementation of strategic choices and the transformation of these choices into organisational action. Such action takes place in day-to-day processes and organisational relationships and these processes and relationships need to be managed in line with the intended strategy, involving the effective coordination of information technology, people, finance and other business resources. Companies that undertake successful business process redesign claim significant organisational improvements. This simply reflects the fact that many existing processes are less efficient than they could be and that new technology makes it possible to design more efficient processes. For some writers, quality issues are at the heart of process improvement and the continual emergence of models and concepts that focus on quality improvement merits its inclusion in this syllabus. Strategic planning and strategy implementation has to be subject to financial benchmarks. Financial analysis explicitly recognises this, reminding candidates of the importance of focusing on the key ratios and measures that may be used to assess the viability of a strategy and to monitor and measure its success. Throughout, the syllabus recognises that successful strategic planning and implementation requires the effective recruitment, training, motivation and organisation of people.
- This course is offered in 66 hours