Mar 03, 2024
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“Write a set of use cases to implement two-factor security in a mobile app.”

Use a prompt like this with a large language model (LLM) like ChatGPT from OpenAI, and you’re likely to be impressed with the output. Not only is the content generated almost instantly, the completeness and quality of the documentation won’t differ much from what an experienced business analyst would produce after hours of hard work.

Recently I started to notice an increase in messages from business analysts asking for my feedback for project artifacts created using ChatGPT. LLM-based tools are being used to generate not only system requirements, but also meeting agendas, lists of questions to ask in stakeholder interviews, change management plans, and more. And the conclusion is clear: even though LLMs remain prone to “hallucinations” (generating false statements), they now can perform many of the tasks typically assigned to business analysts, as long as human oversight exists to instruct the model, validate outputs, and tailor the content to specific business contexts.

Feb 25, 2024
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Much like a coach orchestrating a championship-winning sports team, the BA plays a multifaceted role in ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of agile initiatives. They are tasked with guiding the team through the intricacies of information gathering, requirements elicitation, analysis, and prioritization, aligning disparate perspectives towards a common goal. Moreover, the BA acts as a catalyst for collaboration, fostering an environment where diverse skill sets converge to deliver tangible outcomes.

Feb 19, 2024
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This article explores the importance of a business analysis approach and highlights the key benefits it offers in steering projects toward their desired outcomes. How important is planning in business analysis? Let’s use the construction industry as an example.

Feb 11, 2024
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Manufacturing outburst in combination with automation makes us think sometimes that economy is changed too fast and we left behind. The recent COVID-19 pandemic crisis can be perceived as creative destruction emerged new models that can work. Cases of thriving during the time of chaos, where familiar ways of working stopped working, indicated that many regular people can thrive when a sense of purpose combined with financial perspective are present. Looking back into the experiences from lockdowns existential questions were risen and depicted through more quality measures than quantitative ones.

Feb 04, 2024
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Requirement elicitation, a critical part of project development, is often perceived as a purely technical process. However, this is not always the case. Effective requirement elicitation relies not only on technical acumen but also on an understanding of how human cognition, biases, and behaviors shape the process and what we can do to mitigate the negative influence of these inherent human factors. In this article, we selected three critical human factors: confirmation bias, the availability heuristic, and groupthink. These factors are commonly experienced in requirement elicitation activities. The article delves into the intricacies of these human aspects of requirement gathering and illustrates their impact using examples. We dissect the impact of these biases on requirement gathering, shedding light on the potential consequences that can arise when they go unchecked. Furthermore, we discuss strategies and techniques for mitigating these biases, emphasizing the role of requirements analysts as impartial facilitators.

Jan 28, 2024
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This simple activity was priceless in showing what you get when asking a group of BAs what may seem like a few simple, straight forward questions. And this all ties into the BA Mindset.

So what is the BA Mindset? It’s one thing to do business analysis activities, it’s another to THINK like a business analyst.

Let’s dive into what it is to be a business analyst and how the BA mindset fits into that.

Jan 21, 2024
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In the intricate world of business analysis, understanding the complex interactions between various economic agents is crucial for making informed decisions. One tool that plays a pivotal role in comprehending these interactions is the Circular Flow Diagram or CFD. Originating from the field of economics, this visual representation has found its way into the toolkit of business analysts, offering a holistic view of how money, goods, and services circulate within a vertical industry or within an organization. In this article, we delve into the essence of the Circular Flow Diagram and explore its applications in the realm of business and systems analysis.

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 Quality must be built into the product during design, not inspected in afterwards. Beyond the mechanics of quality though, people must learn to care about the work products they are charged to produce.  Quality requires both discipline and a conscientious work force. You cannot have one without the other.

Jan 07, 2024
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As a business analyst, my journey unfolds with the same dynamic tension that propels the cat-and-mouse chase in this biographical film. Like Abagnale, I navigate through the intricate web of corporate challenges, constantly adapting and problem-solving in a landscape where the unexpected becomes the norm. The whispers of a business analyst form a subtle symphony, weaving through the complexities of uncharted territories, inviting stakeholders to join the pursuit of solutions, all while mastering the art of capturing elusive answers in the corporate labyrinth. So, in this enigmatic dance of analysis and innovation, the question remains — can you catch me if you can?

Jan 01, 2024
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Achieving an equilibrium between the desire to produce more functionality and quality requirements is a challenge in most software development projects. Functional requirements are often in the spotlight because of their tangible impact on user experience and business value. But quality requirements silently underpin a system’s reliability, security, and robustness. In this article, we delve into the critical role played by quality requirements and the tension most software projects experience in managing these two types of requirements. Navigating the tension between functionality and quality is a challenge. The allure of visible functionality often overshadows quality attributes, leading to the unintentional neglect of quality requirements. This imbalance can result in costly consequences, including operational disruptions, post-release fixes, and damage to an organization’s reputation that may be caused by a security breach or a custom data privacy leak. To address this challenge, organizations must empower their technical teams to influence project priorities and actively participate in shaping product quality.

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Okay, you believe you had a great day at work today; that you accomplished a lot. Maybe you did. Then again, maybe you didn't do as much as you might think. A lot of people believe just because they are a model of efficiency, they are being highly productive. This is simply not true. We have discussed the concept of productivity on more than one occasion in this column, but some trends in the business world have caused me to revisit it again.

Dec 17, 2023
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The function of business analysts has changed dramatically in today's technologically-advancing, digitally transformed business environment. Using analytics for data-driven decision-making is one of the major areas where their experience is becoming more and more important, particularly in the field of process management. It clarifies how business analysts can use data to optimize workflows and lead organizations toward long-term success.

Dec 10, 2023
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The objective of this article is to help business analysts deal with the task of eliciting and documenting non-functional requirements (NFRs) - also known as Quality Requirements. It describes NFR fundamentals in terms of who, what, when, where, and why. It’s considered one easy lesson because my series on functional requirements needed nine articles, and my series on data fundamentals needed 10.  This article assumes that the NFRs are wanted in relation to a software-based solution to a business problem or opportunity. Also assumed is that there are or will be functional requirements for the solution.

Dec 03, 2023
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As a Business Analyst, there are so many directions or paths, you can take as BA and it's not because you have the title of BA, but it's because of the value you bring to any organization will all the skills and competencies you have. In this article, I will explore some common paths you can consider. For the context of this blog, we are going to consider rising from a Junior BA perspective.

Nov 26, 2023
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Business Analysis demands in-depth knowledge, expertise, and flexibility. It covers various disciplines and scenarios and offers tools that considerably improve business processes. BAs successfully combine them in their professional activities. Let’s explore five perspectives that help specialists working in this field carry out their tasks effectively.  Perspectives are like lenses through which BAs view initiatives to understand their objectives and apply the right methods to specific contexts. The BABOK® Guide describes five prominent ones that represent common approaches to Business Analysis: Agile, Business Intelligence, Information Technology, Business Architecture, and Business Process Management. Unified by a common structure, these perspectives outline change scope, content, methodologies and techniques, competencies, and knowledge area impact.

 

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