Soft Skills

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Is your team struggling with the transition to modern requirements practices? As many teams explore and experiment with modern practices and agile, they often jump to apply tactical methods and techniques. But does anything really change?

 

Most teams work really hard and don’t see results. Or they find a few early benefits, but get stuck on a low plateau. They often give up and slide back into their old habits. Why? Because they’ve modified surface-level tactics, but haven’t modified mindsets.

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A story is defined as a narrative or tale, true or imaginary. Each story has a moral hidden in it. A story writer won't directly say that hard work and patience is the key to success. Instead the writer came up with a story of Hare and Tortoise. And if we observe carefully, stories are everywhere; we ask a friend about her love story, we watch a prime time news story, we ask a new friend about his life's story, the movie I watched the other day had a good story. 
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Moving on, we will investigate the importance of the business analyst’s often delicate relationship with individual stakeholders.   A business analyst is a facilitator of change, and in affecting these changes within a company, the analyst must interact with multiple stakeholders of varying personalities. When identifying and delivering the necessary changes within a business, the analyst must develop and maintain a relationship with each individual stakeholder.  Each stakeholder will wield a different level of authority within the company and hold a certain amount of power over those changes that are coming into effect. Noting this, the analyst must take part in a careful balancing act, juggling these relationships in order to facilitate change with minimal difficulty.

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By signing up to go through this process, you will be doing yourself a huge favor – a favor that you will never regret especially when people will look at you as the ‘wow’ person who completely transformed his or her life, achieving something that was not even vaguely possible otherwise.
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We implemented A/B testing into our product 6 months ago. During that time we conducted a variety of A/B tests to generate insights about our user's behaviour. We learnt a lot about our specific product. More generally, we learnt about how to run valuable A/B tests.
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The Business Analyst is in a great position to constantly focus on the desirability of the product.  A well-defined requirement elicitation process must be focused on defining the problem the business is trying to solve for our customers. If defining the problem is the first step in your requirement process you are on the way to guaranteeing that the delivered product will provide value to your customers. Throughout the development process you will be able to monitor if the product is actually solving the problem. Additionally, your requirements should be directly related to solving the problem. It is a BA’s job to question the value of every proposed requirement that product owners want to add. If the requested feature or function is not directly related to solving the problem then it should be taken out of scope. 

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You finally did it. You figured out the real business problem your project is meant to solve, and identified a solution that is far superior than the originally proposed. Now you just need to get buy-in from the project sponsor so the delivery team can alter their plans and set out to build the higher-value solution you devised. But there is one problem: the project sponsor was deeply involved in identifying the original solution and nurturing it. It’s his baby… and if you say it needs to be overhauled, you are basically saying his baby is ugly. Now what? How do you make sure your news aren’t received as an insult, and dismissed with defensiveness by the decision-maker?
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This article extends design thinking into a process and method that uses a range of common Business Analysis techniques to drive engagement through collaboration. It provides more structure to either side of the creative process to one better frame the domain of concern, and secondly after creativity has produced ideas, to prototype, refine, test and learn. The article also positions this process as a better way to arrive at a business case or pre-project phase, since it provides enormous insights through an engaging discovery process; something that would never occur within a traditional environment into investigation investment feasibility.
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In the world of underlying competencies that contribute to strong business analysis, the soft skill of analytical thinking and problem solving may seem pretty self-explanatory. Clearly, it involves sorting through business problems and information in an informed, methodical way. In order to do this, an analyst must research the problem and then propose intelligent solutions.

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The “good old workshop”. As a business analyst practitioner and trainer I often get asked the question “should we use a workshop?” quickly followed by “how do we run it?”. This article addresses the first question (subsequent articles will look at the second).
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Next time you start to think that your stakeholder is crazy, ask yourself why. Chances are that there is a rational rationale, and it will be up to you to come up with a solution that meets the needs of your organization and your stakeholders.
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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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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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Business analysts are jacks-of-all-trades -- and masters of some... unfortunately, many BAs fall short. They often spread themselves too thin, lack the requisite confidence to speak with authority, or don’t understand fully the important role they play.

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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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