Using the POPIT Model in Business Analysis: A Guide

Kenneth Gray

Introduction to the POPIT Model

The POPIT model provides a holistic view of an organisation, ensuring that all significant factors are considered during analysis. It highlights the interconnectedness of these elements and how a change in one area can have repercussions in others.


1. People

People are the backbone of any organisation, from frontline staff to top-tier executives.

Usage for Business Analysts (BAs): BAs use this to understand employee skills, motivations, the recruitment process, culture, performance objectives, and communication.

Strategy Analysis: This involves determining whether employees possess the skills and knowledge necessary to execute the strategic vision of the organisation.

Gap Analysis: BAs can identify areas where training or hiring may be required. For example, if a new digital effort is planned, will there be sufficient staff who are familiar with the required technology?


2. Organisation

The organisation component examines the business's structural setup, including its management structure, job roles, policies, culture, values and governance.

Usage for BA: BAs investigate the structural dynamics of the organisation, determining how different departments interact and whether the current organisational structure promotes growth and efficiency.

Strategy Analysis: Does the organisation's structure support the shared values within the organisation? are theses shared values explicit and communicated? Does the management approach align with the values and strategy of the organisation? do job roles need to be changed or merged?

Gap Analysis: BAs can identify weaknesses such as communication bottlenecks, redundant layers, and areas within the organisation where there may be a lack of cross-functional collaboration.

3. Process

Process includes all of the tasks, processes, business events, business rules and procedures used in day-to-day activities.

Usage for BAs:  BAs map out current (as is) and future (to be) processes with models. They then look for inefficiencies or areas of improvement such as merging two job roles into one or new business rules applied to a task.

Strategy Analysis: Processes should align with the strategic direction of the organisation. BAs assess whether organisations are adaptable and efficient enough to meet strategic objectives.

Gap Analysis: This involves identifying overly complicated steps within tasks or processes, seeing and challenging redundant business rules and checking for areas that lack standardisation.


4. Information

The Information component examines how data is collected, stored, accessed, and utilised for decision-making.

Usage for BAs: BAs examine data flow, information systems, and frameworks for decision-making.

Strategy Analysis: Is the organisation effectively utilising its data to make informed strategic decisions? what information is needed to to carry out the business processes? What information requirements are needed to be fulfilled by the IT system?  Are there any insights being overlooked? 

Gap Analysis: BAs need to identify the functional and non-functional requirements. They will also need to identify areas where data is segregated, underutilised, or where access to vital information is lacking.


5. Technology

Technology covers the infrastructures, networks, systems, software, and hardware that support and enable business operations.

Usage for BAs: BAs assess the technological landscape, ensuring it aligns with business needs and is future-proofed against upcoming trends.

Strategy Analysis: Does the technology infrastructure support the strategic vision of the company? are there existing technological advancements that could provide a competitive advantage?

Gap Analysis: BAs need to identify the functional and non-functional requirements. This could reveal out-of-date software,  areas lacking integration, or possible security flaws.


The POPIT Model's Business Analysis Value

The POPIT model stands out due to its comprehensive nature:

A Holistic View: Instead of analysing each component separately, BAs gain a 360-degree perspective, providing for a more integrated understanding of potential repercussions and dependencies.

Strategy Alignment: It helps to ensure that every area of the organisation is aligned with the strategic vision.  

Gap Analysis: By dividing an organisation into these five essential areas, business analysts can identify its strengths and weaknesses more systematically and provide actionable insights.



In essence, the POPIT model is more than a framework; it is a prism through which business analysts can view an organisation to ensure that no stone is left unturned. As businesses expand and evolve, it becomes more important than ever to ensure that all of these components align. The POPIT model provides BAs with a road map for navigating this complexity, fostering alignment, and identifying areas of opportunity.