Analytical and Problem Solving Skills

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During a recent presentation to business analysts, I used one of my consulting projects as an example of how to apply an analysis technique we were discussing. A member of the audience asked, “What made this company hire you as a BA consultant to tackle this project, when they already have so many in-house product managers and business analysts on their teams?”

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A requirement is “a condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or to achieve an objective” (AKA a goal). Thinking in terms of problems and goals thus is a core competence for the requirements engineer. But what in fact is a problem or a goal? This may seem to be a rather philosophical question. As requirements engineers we should be quite specific on this point as the problems and goals of our clients are the raison d’être for our work.
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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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This short paper series, “Deep Dive Models in Agile”, provides valuable information for the Product Owner community to use additional good practices in their projects. In each paper in this series, we take one of the most commonly used visual models in agile and explain how to create one and how to use one to help build, groom, or elaborate your agile backlog.
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Business analysts’ performance and how we could measure it appeared to be a hot topic of interest for the Business Analysis community.   “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” (Peter Drucker) – this statement hides lots of questions for the Business Analysis managers, like what to measure, how to assess, quantifiable or qualifiable metrics to use? 
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A bid is like a product that, once designed, the team must be able to deliver it. This delivery includes manufacturing the product, testing it, preparing the marketing for the product launch and finally launch it.  We propose a staged approach that replace guessing a number with qualitative investigation. The model suggested, distilled from experience, shows how estimates are transformed into effort and, ultimately, into a coherent story with a price tag attached.
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I am constantly coming across alleged ‘business analysts’, many new to the industry, sauntering confidently into a project or an organization. Typically, the first thing they do when assigned requirements elicitation is organize a workshop. These people are engaging, charming, energetic, and, in many cases, evangelistic. They are very adept at gaining the undivided attention of their audience.  However, their primary and, in most cases, their only concern is determining what the client wants and what the problem is without a thought to a workable action plan to improve anything. 

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Customer journey mapping is a great way to understand your customer intimately to provide insights into providing targeted customer experience that empower the customer positively to drive better business outcomes.  This technique places the customer first with a deep emotional understanding, then looks backwards toward the experiences provided by the operating model, thus enabling good aspects to be reinforced and negative ones to be managed. It provides a complete 360 end to end experience of the customer to be realized driving customer insights, allowing more blue sky approaches to offsetting emotional deficits...

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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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This article explores the discipline of problem solving. Some might consider problem solving an art, while others might define it as science. The reality is a little in between since part of problem solving involves creativity, which by definition cannot be rationalized as science since we are basically unaware or not conscious of it occurring. Creative formulation of new concepts and ideas is a process lies deep within the sub consciousness and we are only aware of the output of the creative process; a new idea is a good example. We don’t understand how the idea was created, but we know we thought of it.
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Data migration is typically the most forgotten or underestimated component of an IT project which is the process of making a copy of data and moving it from one system to another, preferably without disrupting or disabling active business processes. On some occasions, it is not easy to understand that a data migration is needed in the project and ...
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People sometimes say that requirements are about “what” and design is about “how.” There are two problems with this simplistic demarcation.  This makes it sound as though there’s a sharp boundary between requirements and design. There’s not. In reality, the distinction between requirements and design is a fuzzy gray area, not a crisp black line. I prefer to say that requirements should emphasize “what” and design should emphasize “how.” 

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This is a complete example of a Business/Systems Analysis Model using UML and including: Use Cases, Activity Diagrams, Context Diagram, and more.
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A few words to set up the story - my daughter is going to have a cyst removed from her left wrist. It's not a complicated procedure but she will be going in outpatient surgery on Dec 20 of this year. Now here's the business analysis part of the story.

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