The Community Blog for Business Analysts

A lot of our clients bring us in to fix their requirements issues. Based on the literature a lot of what you see about requirements is geared towards making sure that you write a requirement in the correct way – measurable, testable, traceable and atomic.  Our experience with many Fortune 500 companies leads to a different issue being the most...
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This entry was published on Sep 22, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA) , Business Analysis, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
  Telecommunications companies are looking to cloud computing to clean up inefficient processes throughout the sales channel. The products and services in this industry change so often that these companies have become more competitive than ever, with continuously shrinking margins. Flexible front end solutions bring agility to the sales proce...
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This entry was published on Sep 20, 2010 / Mendix.com. Posted in Business Analysis, SDLC, Process, and Methodologies, Agile Methods. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Its being held in Sydney Australia September 27th- October 1st 2010.If you are attending this conference don’t miss out on the  Requirements Engineering Education and Training Workshop that is taking place September 28th. Do you want to broaden your skills? Learn new techniques?  This is the workshop for you. This workshop will add...
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This entry was published on Sep 06, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA) , Requirements Management and Communication (BABOK KA), Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
This Summer, Gartner produced a research paper entitled "BPA for the Masses: Is it Real?". The paper discusses the increasing popularity of business process modeling tools that can be used by business people. Gartner's position is that the business people have the greatest understanding of their process and can now be equipped with tools that enabl...
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This entry was published on Sep 03, 2010 / Derek Weeks. Posted in Business Analysis Planning (BABOK KA), Business Process Management (BPM) , Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) . Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
A Mendiom is an idiom with a Mendix twist. This is the first of a series of posts with Mendioms for different types of people. This week, we have chosen a few of our favorite Mendioms for business analysts.   Business analysts are an important part of an organization’s business agility. By having the responsibility of communicating between b...
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This entry was published on Sep 01, 2010 / Mendix.com. Posted in Enterprise Analysis (BABOK KA), Agile Methods, Career as a Business Systems Analyst. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Being a relatively new Requirements Analyst/ Business Analyst ( BA) and being new to the industry, I have been blessed with the opportunity to have mentors. Receiving direction from more experienced BA’s has definitely helped me find areas that I can improve on, while at the same time, finding my strengths and improving those too. Yet there stil...
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This entry was published on Aug 26, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Analytical and Problem Solving Skills, Soft Skills, Career as a Business Systems Analyst, Getting Started as a Business Systems Analyst. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I’ve worked on at least one project now and heard of several others where a super-secret development team works in parallel to solve the same business problem as the “official” IT project team. A coworker of mine coined the term “IT Black Ops” to refer to these sorts of projects where the business, either out of frustration, arrogance, or ignorance...
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This entry was published on Aug 22, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Project Management, Soft Skills, Leadership & Management, Technical Topics, Roles and Responsibilities. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Last year, I wrote about my Lessons from a Bad Haircut. I’m please to say I finally have a lesson from a good haircut. How did I finally get a good haircut? It was what the stylist did after I explained what I wanted. She drew a quick sketch. It took about 15 seconds. And, with that sketch, I was able to say “No, that’s not what I want.” 60 ...
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This entry was published on Aug 22, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Business Analysis, Analytical and Problem Solving Skills. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
One of the values that we bring is that we can help our clients to decide what scope to cut by providing them with a framework that links quantifiable business objectives to specific features. We create an objective chain to do this and it helps to spotlight features that don’t feed into the core business purpose. Typically our stakeholders are abl...
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This entry was published on Aug 17, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Project Management, Business Analysis, Analytical and Problem Solving Skills, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I came across this slideshow from CIO Insight a few weeks ago. The aggressive-looking deck attempts to explain why IT projects fail. I’m always a bit weary of headlines that seem this simplistic, but who knows – maybe they thought up some new ways to blow a project that millions of us hadn’t already avoided, accomplished, or observed. Better yet, w...
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This entry was published on Aug 17, 2010 / Mendix.com. Posted in Agile Methods. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
The idea of open source information gathering has been utilized in the scientific community for centuries. It is no secret that sharing information created by communities of experts provides the most productive basis for advancement, regardless of subject matter or field of study. Business engineers developing on the Mendix platform utilize our own...
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This entry was published on Aug 13, 2010 / Mendix.com. Posted in Technical Topics. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Sometimes projects are like villains in horror movies: they just won’t die. Even when you’ve doused them in gasoline, set them on fire, then dumped them in a river, they just keep coming back. A project’s extension beyond its natural or expected life is not good for the project as a whole (even though it might help keep you busy). Projects are expe...
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This entry was published on Aug 12, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Project Management, Business Analysis, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
If you are a Product Manager or Business Analyst in charge of managing users through User Acceptance Testing (UAT), here are the top 10 things to do to prepare: Formal scripts – prepare formal scripts for the business users to run. If you can re-use any of QA’s scripts, all the better. At a minimum, use your use cases to build test scripts. ...
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This entry was published on Aug 05, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Project Management, Testing & Quality Assurance (QA), Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
When creating a data dictionary, it is critical not to design with it.  You should not be attempting to create a database nor should you be showing the relationships of data.  This will be a detailed description of the data involved in your project.  It will also be one of the largest morale draining approval processes you can have f...
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This entry was published on Aug 05, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Elicitation (BABOK KA), Data Analysis & Modeling, Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
The community of business analysts in the United States and abroad is taking notice of their impact on the world economy. Not long ago, the idea of a business analyst was new – sitting on the border of technology and business, sharing lunch with both ‘geeks’ and ‘suits,’ and creating value with only the uncanny ability to collaborate between these ...
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This entry was published on Aug 03, 2010 / Mendix.com. Posted in Career as a Business Systems Analyst. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
As consultants and product managers, it is important that we quickly build and maintain credibility with our team so that we can work productively and effectively.   If you are unable to join the team dynamics, the work that we provide will be met with apathy or even outright hostility.  I’ve learned a few tips to help...
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This entry was published on Jul 28, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Business Analysis, Soft Skills, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
At the beginning of almost every project (and even sometimes midway through them) we are asked to create a requirements plan and estimate the time required on tasks and the number of BAs necessary to execute it. In a later post I’ll talk about the actual plan items, but we do have a rule of thumb for how many BAs you need on a project. We have a s...
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This entry was published on Jul 27, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Project Management, Business Analysis, Leadership & Management, Career as a Business Systems Analyst, Roles and Responsibilities. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I went to the Business Analyst World Conference in Melbourne on the 19th and 20th of July. Like last year it was a great event.  On day 1 I spent the whole day in one room (introducing speakers.) and got to listen to three very different stories. Matthew Coppola from Perth training outfit Paramount Training gave a talk on Und...
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On a recent client’s project, we were asked to help in the effort of creating a system to automate much of the current manual processes.  In order to capture the requirements this also meant that we were documenting the business rules that were currently being used.  When I started the project, I did not have a complete understanding...
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This entry was published on Jul 23, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Business Rules, Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I am all for great tools and processes that increase efficiency of work, facilitate better accuracy, allow for repeatable results, so on and so forth. But sometimes they simply do not fit.  Yes, I just said better is not always good.  Why?  Spending time trying to improve tools or processes on short turnaround projects or tasks is us...
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This entry was published on Jul 22, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Business Analysis, Analytical and Problem Solving Skills, Tools. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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