Business Analysis Articles

Oct 15, 2017
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A requirement is “a condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or to achieve an objective” (AKA a goal). Thinking in terms of problems and goals thus is a core competence for the requirements engineer. But what in fact is a problem or a goal? This may seem to be a rathe...
A requirement is “a condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or to achieve an objective” (AKA a goal). Thinking in terms of problems and goals thus i...
The experience age will force the business analyst, more so than ever, to be closer to business. The focus will have to move from how the IT landscape looks at the architectural le...
Prior to proceeding with a strategic project, project leadership needs to ensure that the project still: aligns with the direction of the business entity, and fi...

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Sep 26, 2016
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Process Flows are usually used for user facing projects/systems, although their cousin, the System Flow, can be used in virtually the same manner to document system processes and logic.  When on an agile project, the Product Owner (PO) or Business Analyst (BA) will usually elicit the high level process flow (L1) in a sprint 0 or planning type phase. From there, during that same planning type phase, the L2 processes to be created will be prioritized and the PO or BA will usually work on the 1-2 highest priority process flows at the L2 level. This is to build the initial backlog.

Sep 18, 2016
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Chaos, by its very nature, is impossible to control completely, and so a business analyst who enters into their own chaotic Wonderland will be presented with difficulties immediately. Throughout Alice’s adventures down the rabbit hole, she is confronted with a complete absence of structure, a lack of clear information, and a cast of frantic characters. In their role, a business analyst must strive to find order in the chaos, just like Alice. As Alice is faced with riddles, the business analyst is faced with information that is either unclear or unavailable. They must solve the riddles and establish structure, all while appeasing the residents of Wonderland.
Sep 11, 2016
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Visit any active discussion forum for business analysts and aspiring BAs, and invariably you will find at least one thread asking how to develop domain knowledge, either in a new industry, such as health or insurance, or a new business function, such as marketing or supply chain management. Alice just got a job working for the first time in financial services, and is worried that her lack of experience in this domain will get in the way of her doing a great job. Bob keeps getting his resume ignored for analyst jobs in government agencies because most of his experience is in ecommerce applications. What to do?
Sep 06, 2016
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To ensure the continuity of operational business knowledge, no organization should ever depend on absent brains – or even on brains that could (and eventually always will) become absent in the future. To say it differently, your operational business knowledge should be encoded explicitly in a form that workers you have never even met yet can understand.

Aug 29, 2016
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Business analysis is an indispensable function in all business organizations, performed at myriad forms and scales.  Maintaining high quality of business analysis consistently is a challenge to many organizations. Inconsistent business analysis output quality results in undesirable project outcomes, poor decisions, operational disjoints and missed opportunities.  This article uses an actual case to discuss how low quality business analysis impacts an organization and what improvement initiatives the organization implemented to address the problems.

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Most discussions about software requirements deal with business information systems and similar projects. The world is also full of products that use software to control hardware devices, broadly called embedded systems. Among countless examples are cell phones, television remote controls, kiosks of all sorts, Internet routers, and robot cars.  This is the first article of two that will discuss some of the requirements issues that are especially important to embedded and other real-time systems.

Aug 14, 2016
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Given the right circumstances, even good people can go astray as our psychology push us down the slippery slope of questionable behavior.   A little bit of knowledge about the forces that drive us to cheat can go a long way helping avoid bad behavior. Here are some common landmines to become aware of so you can make sure to defuse them as you embark in a new BA project

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The problem with many Unified Modeling Language (UML) educational texts is that they present the various concepts each in isolation; so you see a use case diagram for one problem domain, a class diagram for an entirely different problem domain, and you never get to see the important traceability between the diagrams.

In this case study we aim to put it right by working through a single problem from use cases and activity diagrams, through sequence diagrams and state diagrams, to class diagrams and component diagrams. We have arranged the case study as three distinct perspectives or aspects as follows.

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The context diagram and the use case diagram are two useful techniques for representing scope. This article describes two other methods for documenting scope: feature levels and system events.

Jul 27, 2016
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Opportunities abound for new and experienced analysts to advance their careers if they are willing to increase their knowledge of analytics, metrics, and Business Intelligence. In the meantime, following these five steps will help get you and your organization on your way to being a well-measured one.
Jul 24, 2016
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Business analysts’ performance and how we could measure it appeared to be a hot topic of interest for the Business Analysis community.   “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” (Peter Drucker) – this statement hides lots of questions for the Business Analysis managers, like what to measure, how to assess, quantifiable or qualifiable metrics to use? 
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Often I come across situations where a BA is unprepared or under-prepared in approaching the requirements elicitation process. This leads to irritated business users, incomplete requirements, significant delays, reworks, and poor opinion about BA's in general. I decided to put together a list of prerequisites that a BA must complete before commencing requirements elicitation process.
Jul 13, 2016
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Once requirements analysis is completed, Business Analyst has all the information needed for a well-running function. Further actions for design, development, test and eventually roll-out are conduct accordingly. Usually and unfortunately, because of the rush of ongoing project execution no one thinks about the roll out activities until the end of the project plan and when the PM starts to drill down the roll out plan in details, project team face with the big nasty surprise of new requirements necessary for the selected software changeover (a.k.a. software adoption) strategy. Cost increase, delays, unmet deadlines create the nightmare one by one.  
Jul 10, 2016
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Many organizations in the last year moved to Agile and eliminated the business analyst role. With the migration to the cloud the role of the business analyst is still being questioned. If you want to know what a business analyst can offer in this fast changing IT world as you migrate to the cloud; here are the answers
Jul 04, 2016
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With the rise in popularity of agile methods, business analysts and product owners often use the term “agile requirements” to label their work.  We do not care for the term “agile requirements” because it implies that the requirements for an agile project are somehow qualitatively different from those for projects following other life cycles. A developer needs to know the same information to be able to correctly implement the right functionality regardless of the life cycle being used.

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