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New Post 5/10/2008 2:11 PM
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User is offline Raul Franco
1 posts
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Collaborative BA Tool 

Hi there,

I am new to modernanalyst.com. I think it is a great source of information for our profession.

I am looking for a tool or software for business analysis that works as a repository of information that everyone in the project can share. This software helps the BA in all the different tasks undertaken during the gathering of requiements, design, etc. I mean, this tool has all processes related to BA embedded and works as a process-driven knowledge management tool.

The main reason why I am looking for this software is due to the ineficiency that exist in my project when it comes to share information. We use different softwares to undertake the different tasks, i.e. excel, visio, Microsoft Project, and a shared drive for files. I want to find a system where everything can be recorded and can be used by all the different teams in project cycle, i.e. Requiements, UAT testing, Migration, Implementation.

I hope anyone can help me. Maybe anyone has resolved a similar situation with a different solution.

Thanks in advance

Raul

 

 
New Post 5/11/2008 1:48 AM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
www.smart-ba.com
5th Level Poster




Re: Collaborative BA Tool 

Raul,

What you are looking for is CASE tool (Computer Adided Software Engineering tool). There are (at my last count) around 666 such tools (I hope the number is a co-incidence!). There are 2 basic types of tool - those that are platform dependent and will end up generating code and database schemas on that platform, and those that are not. From the outline of your requirements you gave I would suggest that you should look at non-platform dependent ones. CASEWise (http://www.casewise.com/Products) and ProVison (http://www.metastorm.com/products/mpea.asp) are good examples - I have used both extensively and they are intuitive (I never had a training course on them!) and can be customised: you can set up your own objects to use, track and control in a networked shared repository - you can even set up your own method to an extent.

Two words of warning though:

1. 75% of CASE tools purchased fall in to disuse - this is a shame as - if nothing else! - they are expensive. Check out a talk I gave to the ProVison user conference at http://www.businessanalystsolutions.com/The%20Business%20Analyst%20The%20Business%20Model%20and%20the%20Strategy.pdf for possible reasons why. The bottom line is put someone who can't drive in a Ferrari and what you get is a broken car (at best) or a big car crash fast! In other words, you need to know how to do analysis before you start using a CASE tool or it will allow you to make a big mess fast!

2. They won't do stuff outside of their remit unless you bend them and I have never seen that work. The reason I mention this is that you list MS Project as one of the applications you want to replace. MS Project models project plans, not the products of project analysis. Some CASE tools will be able to embed MS Project Plans but they do not do project planning and I would recommend that you don't try to make them do it either.

...and finally - so you might be sourcing a piece of software (CASE tool), so why not analyse your SMART objectives, dependant requirements, and resulting process and data rules first for that software and then go through a procurement process of request for information and invitation to tender. In other words, we analysts can apply analysis of requirements to ourselves (and not just for sourcing CASE tools by the way - how about doing that for the BA function we are a part of?!).

I hope some of the above is useful.

Guy

 
New Post 5/12/2008 1:26 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
762 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: Collaborative BA Tool 

Hi Raul,

I'm not aware of just one tool which is created just for business analysts and which can support all the activities that a business analyst might be involved in from beginning to the end. 

There are many suites of products (combination of multiple tools) out there, however deciding which tools you need from that suite and customizing the product and process to fit your organization is not easy task.  In addition, many of these suites of tools can be expensive.

Here are some examples:

You might also want to take a look at this recent article about: Enterprise Architect for Business Analysts.

Hope this helps!

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 7/28/2008 8:45 PM
User is offline Harris Lloyd-Levy
1 posts
No Ranking


Re: Collaborative BA Tool 

Raul,

Have you considered using a Wiki to hold your requirements and solution designs? They don't offer much in the way of pre-defined structure but they're hard to beat for encouraging collaboration, encouraging re-use of historical analysis, traceability, and for quickly jotting down just what is needed. The lack of enforced structure can be a pro or a con depending on the situation.

Regards,

    Harris.

 
New Post 7/29/2008 9:17 AM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
www.smart-ba.com
5th Level Poster




Re: Collaborative BA Tool 

Harris,

I would be very interested in finding out more about this as it sounds great! Is there an example I can look at?

Guy

 
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