The Community Blog for Business Analysts

You can’t work in IT and not have watched “Office Space.” I mean, it’s a prerequisite, isn’t it? It’s like being a developer and never having heard “Code Monkey.” It’s the type of movie where you sit and nod as you laugh, recognizing it is funny because it is true. My favorite dialogue in the film is between Bob Slydell (one of the Bobs tasked w...
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This entry was published on Oct 11, 2011 / palvarez. Posted in Business Analysis, Career as a Business Systems Analyst, Getting Started as a Business Systems Analyst. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
All plans are not good plans. In fact, even good plans can fail. We cannot predict the future – we can only imagine it imperfectly. In our companies and organizations, effective planning is a social activity. Deciding on a strategic planning process as a group, rather than as an individual, adds even greater complexity to an already complex task. C...
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This entry was published on Sep 21, 2011 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
  People expect a lot from their information systems, but it usually it comes down to one thing: the system has to do stuff. When you talk about systems, the verbs are active: the system is running, it is executing a function, the system is responding, ....   And what do you want it to do? You want it to do as much of your business p...
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This entry was published on Sep 01, 2011 / David Wright. Posted in Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Let me reprise the words of Mr. Brooks ... “… the hardest single part of software development [remains] deciding precisely what to build." Fred Brooks Author of the 1986 paper "No Silver Bullet” The unspoken corollary to this is you have to be sure you don't build the wrong system. Knowing what and what not to build is a matter of definin...
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This entry was published on Aug 24, 2011 / David Wright. Posted in Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Back to the nasty question - what sort of Information System shall will we build? "What sort of system do you want?" "hmmm, one that processes all our customer orders, I think. What do you think, George?" "Well Fred, I suppose so, but I know it has to be fast, and run 24/7." "OK.........(???)" We already know the problem with asking people...
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This entry was published on Aug 16, 2011 / David Wright. Posted in Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Software is a uniquely new invention, different than anything else we humans have come up with in the past. ... "The software-controlled electronic information system is fundamentally different from physical labor-saving devices such as the cotton gin, the locomotive, or the telephone. Rather than extend the ability of hand motion, leg motion, ...
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This entry was published on Aug 10, 2011 / David Wright. Posted in Business Analysis, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
In Part I of this series, I introduced the concept that, from the perspective of complexity, everything exists within a system. In Part II, I outlined a three-tiered framework of effects-based thinking (EBT) and planning that is critical to understanding how change propagates throughout these complex systems - the organizations, markets and communi...
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This entry was published on Aug 09, 2011 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Information Systems Users don't know what they want... So, don't ask them what they want: and definitely don't write some software and then say "how's this look?". On the other hand, don't have someone spend weeks talking to various people about what they want ( and not get to talk to other people ), write it all down and deliver a document, sayin...
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This entry was published on Aug 06, 2011 / David Wright. Posted in Elicitation (BABOK KA), Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
In 'Effects-Based Thinking - Part I', the definition of effects-based thinking, or EBT, was established as an approach to strategic planning which contributes to long-lasting organizational impacts. Expanding on this concept, let's look at what the differences between strategic planning with EBT and simply tracking progress with metrics are. Many ...
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This entry was published on Jul 27, 2011 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Are we looking at it all wrong? Do you ever get the feeling that you are seeing something very different than the other guy? I don’t just mean the glass half full/empty outlook on life, but fundamentally are we looking at things the wrong way? I sometimes get that feeling when dealing with projects that involve processes, and all my projects are...
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This entry was published on Jul 27, 2011 / Mike Cunningham. Posted in Project Management, Business Analysis, Leadership & Management, Getting Started as a Business Systems Analyst, Technical Topics. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
As the name implies, effects-based thinking (EBT) is an approach to strategic planning and decision making where the effects of specific actions are assessed, not in a narrowly defined and time-limited way, but through a perspective that is sensitive to broad-ranging and lasting impacts. Effects-based thinking is the opposite of short-sightedness o...
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This entry was published on Jul 22, 2011 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
BA: “They didn’t pitch for my workshop. Again.” Mentor: “You must be mortified.” BA: “Seriously, they come up with these lame excuses: they don’t understand that computer stuff, they’re too busy, they think it’s a waste of time. One even told me to get it done and let him have a look when I’m finished. How the hell must I fathom the requirements ...
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This entry was published on Jul 12, 2011 / Robin Grace . Posted in Business Analysis, Soft Skills. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
If you work in new product development or have participated in maintenance projects, then most likely you have used either the focus group or the brainstorming technique. The brainstorming technique is used to produce ideas and increase creativity. For example, after you’ve defined your problem and are looking for the different solution options, yo...
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This entry was published on Jun 22, 2011 / Linda Erzah, CBAP. Posted in Business Analysis, CBAP, Tools. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Requirements gathering is an essential part of any project and project management. Understanding fully what a project will deliver is critical to its success. This may sound like common sense, but surprisingly it's an area that is often given far too little attention. Many projects start with the barest headline list of requirements, only to find ...
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This entry was published on Jun 08, 2011 / a.prvz. Posted in Elicitation (BABOK KA), Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA) , Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
This presentation deck describes the fundamentals of Kano Analysis and how it can be used to prioritize requirements. Kano Analysis and Software Requrements View more presentations from Craig Brown
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This entry was published on May 30, 2011 / Craig Brown. Posted in Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA) , Business Analysis, Agile Methods. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I've been working with a company now for a little over a year as a contract business analyst and I think it's fair to say that they are still evolving their understanding over how to effectively utilise BA's like myself. So far, i've been fairly successful in deploying methodologies, BA tools and techniques, but i...
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This entry was published on May 16, 2011 / KMUK. Posted in Roles and Responsibilities. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I have been delivering projects successfully since the early 80s. Back then, we didn't have business rules, we had formal logical data models, entity life histories, data constraints, and data flow diagrams. In general, all the necessary business constraints got captured properly and implemented. Some of these deliveries actually passed acceptance ...
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This entry was published on May 13, 2011 / Dr David Fletcher. Posted in Business Rules. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
What do you need the most when eliciting Requirements? Face-time with Subject Matter Experts and their Managers.  As a Business Analyst employed in a typical organization, what is the thing you get the least of? Face-time with Subject Matter Experts and their Managers. Who will Subject Matter Experts and Managers make time to see? Outside Cons...
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This entry was published on Apr 28, 2011 / David Wright. Posted in Elicitation (BABOK KA), Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
When you think of the word 'complex', do you ever think about what it has to do with project execution? Ask a management consulting firm to define 'complex' and you'll get a response like "well, it's a concept that can affect your life, your family, your team and your organization." That's because consultants understand that complexity lies in ever...
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This entry was published on Apr 18, 2011 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Project Management, Soft Skills, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Dear All BA's, I am conducting a simple informal survery about the utilization of robustness diagrams and robustness analysis by BA's. The questions will take less than one minute of your time to answer and your input will greatly my research work that I am conducting towards improving the current practices in BA. Do you use robusntess diagrams a...
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This entry was published on Mar 29, 2011 / Dr. Mohamed El-Attar. Posted in Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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