Tools

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This article explores strategy mapping as discussed within Business Architecture Guild BIZBOK, and attempts to extend the discussion by defining a set of information and graphical principles that allows strategy to be represented graphically.
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The “good old workshop”. As a business analyst practitioner and trainer I often get asked the question “should we use a workshop?” quickly followed by “how do we run it?”. This article addresses the first question (subsequent articles will look at the second).
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The path to choosing a third party business process management (BPM) system is riddled with potential pitfalls. The decision can make or break a business, so it’s worth the time and effort to get it right.

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CBM Analyst is a simple and inexpensive way to implement business modeling. Business analysts may also choose to upgrade their business modeling solution to No Magic’s Cameo Business Modeler Plugin. The No Magic professional services team is ready to assist you in building and deploying a consistent business modeling solution.

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Working on a new application? You never really know how it will go over until it rolls out. No matter how detailed a wireframe may be, no one can completely picture it in action until they experience the real thing—hours of detailed coding and all. With Prototyper 4.6, your wireframe prototypes look, feel, and behave just like your final application, giving stakeholders and potential users the full experience of the application before any coding even begins.

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I was asked my opinion about whether I’d want project managers to focus on processes first or tools first. Without hesitation, my response was “I don’t really care whether project managers focus on process or tools first,as long as they don’t get in the way of our doing good business analysis!”

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RuleGuide is a tool that accelerates and improves the quality of business decision and rule capture, analysis and management. By providing an enterprise repository for business decisions, rules, and associated metadata, RuleGuide fosters ongoing collaboration and alignment ofthe business and IT teams.

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There are considerable benefits from extending business process management capabilities outside the boundaries of the company, and clearly measurable value is much easier to quantify when stakeholders are outside the traditional walls of the business.

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As a result of budget constraints and limited resources, many companies, (mine included) look to automating tasks and processes to improve efficiency. And one of the easiest areas to demonstrate immediate improvement is by automating a manual process. While almost any manual process could show results by ‘simply’ being able to move documents and files electronically around the company, there is really a more important underlying requirement.

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Abraham Maslow once said “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” This article provides the project manager (PM) / business analyst (BA) a framework for categorizing business problems as a baseline for selecting a solution development life cycle (SDLC).

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A software tool for The Decision Model supports the entire life cycle of Decision Management. This includes the authoring, analysis, testing and deployment of entire decision models. Whether managed by the business – as some people consider ideal – or managed by IT or business analysts on behalf of the business – as others consider necessary – business decisions need not only a repository for storing decision models, but a range of functions to manage them effectively.

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Thousands of business analysts have turned to software visualization from as a strategy to simplify their jobs and cut through the confusion. With iRise, business analysts are empowered to quickly assemble a high-fidelity working preview of an application before development ever begins. These visualizations look and act just like the final product, creating an accurate visual model for what to build.

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In many organizations, Centers of Excellence, PMOs (Program/Project Management Office) and PQA (Process & Quality Assurance) teams use a variety of manual techniques to vet documentation that are time consuming and manual; leaving room for unintentional mistakes, missed steps and delays in catching errors with regards to governance and best practices. In the spirit of delivering the project on time and under budget, many times these quality review processes are rushed and reduced to cursory checks. Like ensuring documents exist with the right naming convention, rather than reviewing the internal contents of documents and ensuring the contents are of high quality.

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Almost every business analyst uses diagramming software in their arsenal of analysis tools. According to BABOK 2.0, an analyst’s traditional purpose in using diagramming tools is to “support the rapid drawing and documentation of a model, typically by providing a set of templates for a particular notation which are used to develop diagrams based on it.” Diagrams not only make requirements clearer to stakeholders through modeling, they help clarify an analyst’s thinking on a project through the process of their very creation.

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I'm hearing the word "value" a lot lately. This is partly because the economic downturn has us looking to get the most for our money. But that's not all. More and more managers, business analysts, programmers and testers are talking to me about value. They are concerned that their products provide value for their end users. Many of them express a kind of process or tool fatigue. They are tired of being told that using a particular process or toolset is the key to their success. To them, value is a more important concept.

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