The Community Blog for Business Analysts

Given the importance of the relationship between the Project Manager and the Business Analyst on a project team, how can an organization nurture this key relationship and, in the process, ensure better team performance? Here are six basic strategies you can employ: 1.    Train and cross training PMs and BAs on methodology and r...
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This entry was published on Sep 24, 2012 / ccecere. Posted in Project Management, Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Everyone knows what use cases are and their use in the software requirements process. We all know there are many ways to write them: logical, physical, to describe a manual procedure or an automated procedure. The purpose of State Diagrams is well-known to everyone in the field. They help us define the transitional lifecycle of an object moving and...
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This entry was published on Sep 13, 2012 / Dahlia Biazid. Posted in Use Cases, Systems Analysis, Business Analysis, Getting Started as a Business Systems Analyst, Technical Topics. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Business analysts who are self-avowed social media enthusiasts will tell you that being part of a large, online community where help is only a click away is worth the time and effort. In fact, these professionals suggest that the only problem with a bit of scanning, reading, clicking, or posting on LinkedIn and Twitter every day is finding the time...
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This entry was published on Aug 26, 2012 / ccecere. Posted in Soft Skills, CBAP. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
I started my career as the administrator in a project management department.  The first fact drilled into my head was that “the job ain’t finished until the paperwork is done’.  To emphasize this fact, this rule was printed and put up on the wall with a picture of a toilet paper roll.  It worked.  I know you can see the picture ...
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This entry was published on Jun 10, 2012 / hildasteyn. Posted in Elicitation (BABOK KA). Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Teams and organizations are constantly plagued by project execution errors and failures. These failures create an execution gap -- a gap between what an individual and/or team plans to do and what they actually do instead. Just as retention rapidly degrades after learning, so does project execution after strategic planning. So what can be done? In...
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This entry was published on Apr 24, 2012 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Project Management, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Business Process Modeling (BPM) is one of the cornerstone techniques in electing requirements from our stakeholders. Business Analyst will use the model to gain an understanding of the current system and paint a picture of the solution. In the IT field, we often describe this as modeling the “As-IS” process and modeling the “To-Be” process. We deve...
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This entry was published on Mar 23, 2012 / International Institute for Learning, Inc.. Posted in Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Do you know how to provide collaborative leadership in a disciplined fashion? And how does one define disciplined collaboration? The current business and leadership literature touts the importance of collaborating in our turbulent world. Large and small businesses and teams struggle to wrap their heads around just what collaboration is. Many see co...
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This entry was published on Mar 12, 2012 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Project Management, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Do you know what your business's core competencies are? Is there just one or are there many organizational attributes? If you answered that there are many, how would you describe them succinctly? Core competencies are one or a combination of a few unique or rare abilities; however, a description of core competencies is not simply a laundry list of ...
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This entry was published on Mar 07, 2012 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Soft Skills, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
  ISO 25010, "Systems and software engineering - System and software quality models" was published in March 2011. The ISO 25010 standard defines 2 broad non-functional categories of requirements, "Quality in use" and "Product quality", articulated in 13 characteristics, many of which are further subdivided into sub-characteristics. This new ...
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This entry was published on Jan 20, 2012 / Adriano Comai. Posted in Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA) , Requirements Management and Communication (BABOK KA), Testing & Quality Assurance (QA). Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Gravity can be a wonderful thing. It is an irresistible force that keeps us grounded on this big, beautiful, floating blue marble. It is even applicable to organizations in the form of organizational gravity. For example, I worked with an organization that coined a catch phrase for a challenge beyond its scope of control, deeming the situation a "g...
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This entry was published on Jan 12, 2012 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
In today's management environment, new forms of and tools for corporate leadership development programs have emerged. One of the most popular development tools is executive coaching. The number of executive coaches has more than doubled in the past decade and corporate leadership development programs are utilizing their services more frequently. Ho...
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This entry was published on Dec 19, 2011 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Soft Skills, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
The May 1, 2011 mission to find Osama Bin Laden has become one of the most celebrated military mission planning successes in recent memory due to the utilization of a little-known and seldom-used practice called the Red Team. The mission was a daring raid executed by the courageous members of the U.S. Navy SEAL DEVGRU, also known as SEAL Team Six,...
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This entry was published on Oct 27, 2011 / James D. Murphy. Posted in Project Management, Leadership & Management. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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.
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