Entries for June 2010

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Data models and class diagrams are generally created to serve design purposes. If they include verbs at all, they are not vetted against business rules or other forms of operational business communication. Verbalization depends on well-constructed sentences, which in turn puts a premium on verbs. Fact models provide the basis for consistent and unambiguous verbalization, as well as for the design of IT artifacts. It is time to recognize full-fledged human communication as the starting point for anything written about business operations, including but not limited to, business rules and IT requirements.

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In virtually every industry in which business analysts find themselves, employers are trying to do more with less. Normally, this means budget and personnel cuts, which are forcing many analysts to also do the work of project managers, prototype designers, and other roles—and often with a smaller budget for software and other analysis tools. In this environment, it may seem challenging for analysts to find ways to cut back even more, but proactively doing so will benefit not only your employer but your projects and your career. Here are a few ideas to research and pitch to your manager for cutting costs as you go about your daily work.

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Context diagrams are instrumental in unearthing unknown requirements during the discovery phase, both by forcing an analyst to think through the context (thus the moniker context diagram) of a project methodically and by enabling stakeholders to do so as well.

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There is a great deal of confusion about the role of the Business Rule Management System (BRMS). Given the prominent role of the words “business” and “management”, one would be forgiven for believing that a tool thus named would manage the business aspects of the rules of the business. But to the contrary, across the entire class of these tools there is little business management of business rules possible. For the most part, and almost without exception, these tools are provided by the vendor to ensure the most efficient execution of “business rules”, rather than the efficient management by the business of them.

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If you can dream up ways to save your company money by developing new systems and better ways of working then the job of business analyst might be for you.  It's a job that currently has a skills shortage in the IT world, and that - says recruitment consultant Tom Derbyshire - means strong job candidates can call the shots.
 

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The product backlog is a beautifully simple artifact – a prioritized list of the outstanding work necessary to bring the product to life. To work with the product backlog effectively, it needs regular attention and care; it needs to be carefully managed, or groomed. Business analysts can play an important role to ensure that this is done well.







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