The Community Blog for Business Analysts

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.
There was recently an interesting post by John Mansour on the Austin PMM Forum (registration required) discussing whether Product Knowledge was an Asset or Liability to product managers. The author makes several claims about how product knowledge is a liability: “In a nutshell, the more product knowledge you have, the less product management yo...
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The probability that a project will succeed is different for different cost and time targets. There isn't a single right answer to "How long will it take?" or "How much will it cost?" There are a whole bunch of answers, each with its own probability of being right. The conventional techniques for planning projects only give us one answer—and it's ...
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This entry was published on Jul 12, 2010 / Marc Thibault. Posted in Business Analysis Planning (BABOK KA), Project Management, Estimation. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
By Landerson I recently joined a new project where I will be working as the person responsible for the developing and creating the requirements and documentation on a major development effort. As the person on the hook for a significant portion of work, I need to provide accurate time estimates for my portions of the project. I was concerned about...
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This entry was published on Jun 25, 2010 / Seilevel. Posted in Business Analysis, Analytical and Problem Solving Skills, Technical Topics, Tools. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
By Jhulgan I used to dread hearing the question, “So what do you do for a living?”  This was often usually asked by a family member or other acquaintances not familiar with the software development lifecycle, IT, or business processes in general.  For business analysts, product managers, and other software requirements types, it’s diffic...
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I am a firm believer in the value of a business analysts and requirements engineering. I am an new Assistant Professor and I have been conducting research in the field for over 6 years now and I can safely say that there is a HUGE gap between the academic and practitioner worlds with respect to business analysis and requirements engi...
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This entry was published on Jun 08, 2010 / Dr. Mohamed El-Attar. Posted in Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I've been thinking a lot recently about the value of the BA, and BA recruitment - at all levels.   A common question that comes up is "Do I need to have experience in Industry X/Domain Y to work as a BA in that industry/domain?"   In a nutshell: Is it like that now? Yes. Should it be like that? Probably no...
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This entry was published on May 27, 2010 / Miles Barker. Posted in Business Analysis, Interviewing & Hiring Business Systems Analysts, Leadership & Management, Career as a Business Systems Analyst. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
It is common for project managers to question the number of BAs they need on a project or how much time needs to be spent on analysis. The underlying concern seems to be a fear of “analysis paralysis”. Whilst not overtly stated, for many project managers, analysis is a necessary evil that if not carefully controlled, will delay the “real” work of w...
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This entry was published on May 13, 2010 / Martin. Posted in Project Management, Business Analysis, Roles and Responsibilities. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
As an analyst I almost daily have to solve some kind of problems and I bet you do also. Problems can be in different forms, but I’ve been noticing that the same pattern for finding the solution keeps coming up. I think this pattern is something essential and we use it often but i think it is a good idea to put it on paper. First, every problem has...
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This entry was published on Apr 26, 2010 / Karl. Posted in Analytical and Problem Solving Skills. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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Jarett Hailes
Jarett Hailes
As we start a new year many of us will take the time to reflect on our accomplishments from 2012 and plan our goals for 2013. We can set small or large goals. goals that will be accomplished quickly or could take several years. For 2013, I think Business Analysts should look to go beyond our traditional boundaries and set audacious goals. Merriam-...
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Howard Podeswa
Howard Podeswa
Recently, I was asked by the IIBA to present a talk at one of their chapter meetings. I am reprinting here my response to that invitation in the hope that it will begin a conversation with fellow EEPs and BAs about an area of great concern to the profession. Hi xx …. Regarding the IIBA talk, there is another issue that I am considering. It's p...
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Adrian M.
Adrian M.
Continuing the ABC series for Business Analysts, Howard Podeswa created the next installment titled "BA ABCs: “C” is for Class Diagram" as an article rather than a blog post. You can find the article here: BA ABCs: “C” is for Class Diagram Here are the previous two posts: BA ABCs: “A” is for Activity Diagram BA ABCs: “B” is for BPMN
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