The Community Blog for Business Analysts

There are many tools and techniques available to the business analyst for a variety of tasks.  One of my favorite one is the short table-style template for documenting a "Problem/Opportunity Statement" as follows: The problem of <specify in one sentence the problem or opportunity bei...
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This entry was published on Jan 08, 2009 / Adrian M.. Posted in Enterprise Analysis (BABOK KA), Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
This is the text of a presentation my boss had attended at a Telelogic conference and which, she later shared with the BA team at work. It lists specific words that when used in requirements, compromise the quality of the very requirements. I'll let the article describe further. Looking forward to some feedback...Les, thanks for your wisdom. SEVEN...
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This entry was published on Oct 16, 2008 / . Posted in . Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
E R Diagram View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: er diagram)
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This entry was published on Aug 29, 2008 / Craig Brown. Posted in Data Analysis & Modeling, Systems Analysis, Business Analysis, Domain Modeling. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I am now lucky enough to be working at a consulting company with a great group of experienced people, and we do share some great "war stories", and it made me think that I do have my share of experiences that, if written down, some small number of people may find interesting.  Seems to me a blog is great for that. I would call this memories r...
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This entry was published on Jun 19, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Career as a Business Systems Analyst. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Thirteen is all you need, at least in this point in time. I may add to them as time goes by, but I would also like to hear from readers if they have any suggestions or thoughts or their very own principles for IT Projects success. Pleae offer them and maybe we can get them into the second edition of the book...which you all remember is available at...
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This entry was published on Jun 17, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis, Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
13. Given many medium to small software Deliverables, use Architecture to manage and integrate the Deliverables into a complete system. This is a more specific statement of Principle #3; in Cascade, an Information System Architecture is used to integrate the two week deliverables, until a complete deliverable (component, sub-system) is assemble...
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This entry was published on Jun 13, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
12. Within the three month phase, parcel work into two-week periods; analyze for 2 weeks, then design and develop for 2 weeks (two developers), and then test for 2 weeks. When the first 2 weeks of analysis is done, start the next two weeks of analysis in parallel to the design/development; carry on in cascading 2 week periods until the entire proje...
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This entry was published on Jun 09, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
#11.   Partition large projects into 3 month phases, that is the longest period you can plan for without the chance of significant change to priorities, resourcing, etc. I was lucky to learn this early in the 90's as Project Management was getting a higher profile, accompanied by the increased use of Microsoft Project. Other PM tools wer...
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This entry was published on Jun 05, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
#10. Models are better than text. I would like to think that by this point in time, this principle no longer requires justification. It has been at least a few years since I last saw a dense “SRD” or “SDD” document (SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS DOCUMENT, SYSTEM DESIGN DOCUMENT).  I must offer my respect to the many talented people who labored to produ...
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This entry was published on Jun 02, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
#9. Leave a record of what you have done, so the project will not miss you if you leave. If change is the only constant, then resources on a project will change. The risk in such change is that a person’s contribution to a project will be lost, and that the new person assigned to the project will have to start over. This is a particular risk in...
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This entry was published on May 29, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
#8 -->   It’s the Deliverable (that matters), not the Task. The final deliverable is the Information System ready to be used effectively by the Business. If you can jump from ‘Start’ to this final deliverable in one “Task”, then power to you. Some people can do this; most cannot. This is again where a team of specialists is most effec...
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This entry was published on May 28, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
#7 One Architect/Analyst can generate enough work for two Developers and one Tester, structure your project teams in this ratio. This is actually one of those “rules of thumb” that have been borne out over time. (The ratio may vary a bit from case to case, like when the experience levels are different across the roles.) This ratio combines with...
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This entry was published on May 27, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
This principle supports #5. With limited resources, there is another strong tendency to have IT staff ‘wear multiple hats’ on a project, especially the Business Analyst who is asked to also be the Project Manager and/or Lead Tester. Rather than getting more than you are paying for, you get less as an IT Staffer skilled in one role spends more time ...
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This entry was published on May 22, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Principle #4 - Pick the right project(s) for the business. At any one time, the IT department of an average company is running multiple projects. How did they get started? How were they even defined as a project that needed to be carried out? No one may actually know. In more chaotic environments, projects can start as a seed of an idea, pic...
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This entry was published on May 21, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Principle #3: Use Architecture to describe the business, before and after projects. “Architecture” is becoming a more widely used term associated with Information Technology. The number of adjectives applied to the term seems endless: “Technical Architecture”, “Systems Architecture”, “Business Systems Arch...
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This entry was published on May 20, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Principle #2: Projects change the business, so know the overall business first A never-ending discussion in IT circles is about how much IT staff need to know about the business that the information systems are supporting. It is high-lighted by every want-ad for an IT job that says previous experience in the employer’s industry is mandatory. Is d...
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This entry was published on May 16, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Let’s look briefly at what each principle means or implies; which will serve as introductions to subsequent posts that will cover the principles in more detail. #1. There is always more work to be done than people to do it. Bordering on glibness, this principle summarizes the reality of virtually all organizations and activities, not just Informa...
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This entry was published on May 15, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Like you, I have read my fair share of IT books and blogs, and each author has to decide how to best present what they are trying to communicate. One way is to describe the problems/opportunities of interest to the reader, then document the new approach or method that solves the problems, etc.; the reverse is to document the new approach/method fir...
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This entry was published on May 14, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
The premise of these blog entries is that the situation described in the previous post can change, but it is usually slow-going; or worse, there can be an immediate channge when your department is outsourced; it happens. In the meantime, what can be done to be “successful” in your average IT department in your average company? What has to be do...
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This entry was published on May 09, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Day 1: I have recently made a major career change, moving from what I would now call a client company to a consulting company. It's an exciting change, but I don't expect to write about my new experiences at this time. However, I had also been spending some time writing an extended piece about my experiences over the years working ...
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This entry was published on May 08, 2008 / David Wright. Posted in Systems Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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