General Business Analysis

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Some programmers consider documentation a waste of time (see “Agile programming”), even going so far as to claim it is detrimental to productivity. Instead of getting all the software specifications recorded on paper at the start, they prefer to begin hacking on the program code and keep modifying it until the end-user is satisfied.

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Probably the most used facilitation technique in business analysis is brainstorming.  In summary, a group meets with a facilitator and attempts to gather as many ideas as possible to address a problem. The facilitator sets rules at the beginning of the session of which the most important is “no adverse judgment of ideas” during the session.

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I’ve come to the conclusion that most projects produce better results when they have specialized people playing the various roles, rather than trying to be resourceful and wear multiple hats.

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Driving Lessons. We all did it. We all know how that very first one went. It was described to us that the clutch should be engaged, place the car in first gear, release the handbrake, release the clutch and press down on the accelerator… Only for the car lurch forward then stutter and lurch forward again. This process continues several times before the car stalls and comes to a stop.

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As a Business Analysts we work with goals and objectives of our clients or companies in order to deliver business value, but how often do we sit and work on professional goals and objectives? How often do we use the skills that we possess on ourselves and our own professional activities? This year I plan to do exactly that, I have put together four BA resolutions that I believe will make me a better BA.

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"What we have here, is failure to communicate". This is the catch phrase of a once very popular movie. And while the theme of this movie has nothing to do with the corporate business world, its meaning most certainly does.

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This year’s top 10 business analysis trends show that in many ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In 2014, the focus will continue to be on delivering business value to the organization by leveraging the power of requirements at all levels through Agile and business architecture. Business analysts (BAs) will also continue their quest to take on new skills to meet a broader job scope and the needs of more multidisciplinary roles.

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What does innovation mean to the Business Analyst?  This article is my practical way of handling innovation and understanding the role that the Business Analyst plays in innovative projects.  Giving five tips for success the article explains how innovative projects can be approached and how the unique skill set of the Business Analyst can add measurable business value. 

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The traditional axiom in business analysis that there should be a “Berlin Wall” between analysis and design is being torn down these days. Several authors and thought leaders are arguing that you cannot do analysis without designing and that you cannot design without analysis. This article is striving to visualize why this is really so.

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It’s pretty rare to be a business analyst and not facilitate meetings...  In this article, we’ll look at 3 possible roles new BAs fill in meetings, how to expand your meeting facilitation experience, and review 5 critical meeting facilitation techniques that will help you run working, productive meetings.
 

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There’s little argument that investigating and identifying business needs (i.e. requirements) is a critical task of business analysis. However it’s of little use correctly identifying business needs if we can’t then effectively document them - to the clients who will be paying for the solution and to the developers who will be building it. In today’s time poor world we need to address both audiences in a single document.

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This article describes an integrated system of actions, tasks, and methods for managing project stakeholders. It highlights the strategic business actions, the tactical project tasks, and operational methods conducted by project sponsors, project managers and business analysts respectively.

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As Business Analysts, we are involved in requirements development and management day in and day out with most of the time spent on eliciting, analyzing and specifying business and software requirements for multiple projects. We follow or adopt multiple frameworks, approaches and tools that help us to successfully gather and analyze requirements. Having done all these things to ensure the success of the projects, we still end up in a few projects wherein we have “missed” few requirements.

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But what about user experience or interaction designers? Does every software project truly need a UX/UI specialist (or team of specialists)? Or could this aspect of the solution be taken care by the collaboration between the BA and the development team?

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Recently I saw the movie “42,” based on the true story of Jackie Robinson,who in 1947 bravely fought custom, bigotry, and violent hostility to become the first African American to play major league baseball. His courage came from his inner strength which allowed him to withstand with dignity the cruel behavior from fans, other team managers and players, and at first some of his own teammates.

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