Tasks Mapped To Artifacts

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Feb 07, 2021
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This article is one in a series of reports containing information from my model of the Business Analysis Body Of Knowledge version 3 (BABOK).

1 Overview

In my opinion, the most useful addition to the BABOK would be a detailed description of the outputs (artifacts) that are produced during business analysis. In this article I attempt to fill this gap, by focusing on the artifacts used and produced by BABOK tasks.

2 Artifacts

An artifact is identified as an input or output of a BABOK task. Artifact types are uniquely defined by their name (for example, no 2 documents have the same name). Artifacts contain attributes and operations. Attributes may be thought of as templates for information that is captured by the artifact. Every artifact includes an identifying attribute whose name is preceded with a ‘#’. Operations are references to the tasks that generate the content of the artifact.

An artifact is represented with the UML class icon.

2.1 Attribute Types

Attribute values are generated from the associated task elements and they include a reference to the BABOK paragraph where the element is defined. An attribute is assigned a predefined type that identifies how that attribute information is formatted. These types are:

  • Description – a related series of statements and supporting images
  • Document – a record of information that is produced from a template
  • Guidelines – instructions for producing analysis information
  • Identifier – a piece of information used to reference the artifact
  • List – a series of statements
  • Package – A collection of any type of information
  • Plan – a list of activities, timelines and resources
  • Report – descriptions of information that already exists
  • Statement – a string of text that describes the attribute value
  • Structure – an organization of objects and relationships between them, explained with images and descriptions of the structure

The assigned attribute types are purely my interpretation from the element description of the attribute and they do not necessarily reflect the intent of the authors of the BABOK.

Each artifact instance may create its own instance of an attribute. Alternatively, a single attribute instance may be used to capture information about all artifact instances. For example, a single list may record all changes to all requirements. (A separate list is not always necessary for every instance of a requirement.)

3 Tasks

A task is a discrete piece of work that creates one or more artifacts. Business analysts perform tasks sequentially, iteratively, simultaneously or even not at all. A task is necessary if an artifact produced by that task, is required by the business analysis effort. Otherwise, the task may be omitted. Tasks may be performed in any order, as soon as the necessary input artifacts are present.

Where feasible, the task name may be modified to include the name of the artifact it produces. In this manner, it is easy to identify the primary output of the task from its name.

A task is represented with the UML use case icon.

4 Artifact Definitions

The following sections include all BABOK tasks, their input artifacts and the artifacts they create or update. Artifacts are grouped by the tasks that output those artifacts. They include a diagram showing the inputs and outputs to 1 or more tasks that are related by their outputs, a brief description of the diagram and a list of the elements of the output artifacts. The elements numbers may be cross-referenced to the last digit of the paragraph referenced by the attribute.

(For example, in section 1.4.1:

  • element 1. A description of the planning approach
  • refers to the diagram attribute named Planning Approach : description = 3.1.4.1. )

Where several outputs are shown in the diagram, the element list numbering is split to show which elements are assigned to which artifact.

The following sections are ordered by the name of the artifacts that they produce; as such no order of development is implied.

In the following diagrams, artifacts shaded green are outputs of the task. All other artifacts are inputs to the task.

The following changes have been made to the BABOK artifacts: 
* Designs have been integrated into Requirements.
* Traced Requirement is a new artifact, not found in the BABOK.

4.1 Business Analysis Approach

Plan Business Analysis Approach produces the Business Analysis Approach document. It uses Business Needs to produce this document.

Plan Business Analysis Approach Task

Figure 1: Plan Business Analysis Approach Task

4.1.1 Attributes

The Plan Business Approach provides:

  1. A description of the planning approach
  2. Guidelines in the form of a document template, which provides formality and details for delivering business analysis artifacts
  3. A list of business analysis artifacts and activities
  4. A plan for delivering business analysis artifacts
  5. A description of the risks and complexity of the project
  6. A list of stakeholder acceptance criteria

The business analysis approach is identified by the project name.

4.2 Business Analysis Information

Communicate Business Analysis Information (BAI) creates packages of information that is used during business analysis activities. BAI is any information produced by the business analyst that is packaged and delivered to other stakeholders. The Stakeholder Engagement Approach is input to the Communicate Business Analysis Information task.

The BABOK shows the Stakeholder Engagement Approach as the only input to this task, but I assume that any information from any artifact could be included in the package produced by this task.

Communicate Business Analysis Information Task

Figure 2: Communicate Business Analysis Information Task

4.2.1 Attributes

BAI contains:

  1. A communication package containing business analysis information
  2. A description of the reason and objectives for the communication package

Deliverable identifier identifies the package.

4.3 Business Analysis Performance Assessment

Identify Business Analysis Performance Improvements produces Business Analysis Performance Assessment reports document. The inputs to the performance assessment are the Performance Objectives and the Business Analysis approach document.

Identify Business Analysis Performance Improvements Task

Figure 3: Identify Business Analysis Performance Improvements Task

4.3.1 Attributes

The assessment contains:

  1. A description of what constitutes business analysis work
  2. A list of performance measures used in the assessment of business analysis work
  3. Reports on business analysis performance results
  4. A list of recommended actions for improving business analysis

The performance assessment document is identified by the project name.

4.4 Change Assessment

The Assess Requirements Changes task produces a Change Assessment item. The input artifacts to this task are the Proposed Change and the impacted Requirements.

Assess Requirements Change Task

Figure 4: Assess Requirements Change Task

4.4.1 Attributes

A Change Assessment includes:

  1. The guidelines template that defines the formality of the assessment
  2. A description of the impact of the change to the current solution
  3. A description of the resolution of the proposed change

Each change assessment item is identified by the change identifier.

4.5 Change Strategy and Solution Scope

The Define Change Strategy task produces a Change Strategy document and a Solution Scope description. The inputs to this task are the Current State description, Risk Analysis Results, the Stakeholder Engagement Approach document and the Future state description.

Define Change Strategy Task

Figure 5: Define Change Strategy Task

4.5.1 Attributes

Solution Scope contains:

1. A description of the solution scope
Solution Scope is identified by the project name.
Change Strategy document contains:

2. A gap analysis report between the current and future state
3. An enterprise change readiness report
4. A plan for the transforming from the current state to the future state.
5. A plan for release and transition to the solution states

The Change Strategy is identified by the project name.

4.6 Current State and Business Requirement

The Analyze Current State task produces a Current State description document and Business Requirements. The inputs to this task are Business Needs and Elicitation Results.

Analyze Current State Task

Figure 6: Analyze Current State Task

4.6.1 Attributes

A Business Requirement contains:

1. A description of the business need

A Business Requirement is identified by a requirement identifier.

The Current State description document contains:

2. A structure describing the organization , its members, communication methods and their culture
3. A list of capabilities and processes performed by the business
4. A structure defining the technology components and capabilities use by the business
5. A list of the current business policies
6. A structure of the existing business architecture
7. A list of internal assets
8. A list of external influences on the current state of the business

The Current State is identified by the project name.

4.7 Design Option

The Define Design Option task produces a Design Option document. The inputs to this task are the Change Strategy, the Requirements Architecture and the solution Requirements.

Define Design Option Task

Figure 7: Define Design Option Task

4.7.1 Attributes

A Design Option document contains:

  1. A description of the buy-versus-build approach to the solution
  2. A description of the design and its performance measures
  3. A list of opportunities for improvements to the business
  4. A list of traced requirements that are satisfied by the solution

A Design Option is identified by a design option identifier.

4.8 Elicitation Activity Plan

The Prepare For Elicitation (Activity Plan) task produces an Elicitation Activity Plan. The inputs to this task are the Business Needs and the Stakeholder Engagement Approach.

Prepare For Elicitations Task

Figure 8: Prepare For Elicitation Task

4.8.1 Attributes

The Elicitation Activity Plan contains:

  1. A description of the scope of elicitation, including stakeholders, business environment and sources of information
  2. A list of technique activities that will be performed during elicitation
  3. A plan for securing people and resources during elicitation
  4. A list of supporting material used during elicitation
  5. A set of guidelines to prepare stakeholders for elicitation

The Elicitation Activity Plan is identified by the project name.

4.9 Elicitation Result

Elicitation Results are items that are created by the Conduct Elicitation (Results Unconfirmed) task and updated by the Confirm Elicitation (Results Confirmed) task. The input to Conduct Elicitation is the Elicitation Activity Plan. The inputs to Confirm Elicitation Results are the Elicitation Results.