Business Analysis Planning (BABOK KA)

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Whether it’s a requirements document for a solution enhancement or a stakeholder analysis for a business case, the information cultivated by the Business Analyst can often have use beyond its initial purpose. How can we make BA work come alive for the entire organization?
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In order to plan the analysis phase of a project, the business analyst (BA) identifies all the analysis tasks and the associated risk, cost, time and resources. The BA then uses this information to develop a schedule for accomplishing the analysis. To assist in this planning, the BA can use a renowned project management tool: the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

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As a business analyst (BA), what would you say during the initial conversation with your project manager (PM)? First, do not assume that the PM knows what to expect from a BA. In fact, this is your opportunity to set expectations and explain your value added to the project.

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The close of one year tends to encourage us to reflect on what has occurred in business analysis and project management during the past year and think about future trends. As we reflect on the past, we thought it might be interesting to review some of the trends we’ve seen over the last five years and when we spotted them as trends

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What if you want to use your business analysis skills, but don’t want to be in BA management or a team leader role? What if you want a different kind of role, but one that still uses your business analysis skills? Are there other roles out there for a skilled Business Analyst?

The answer is yes!

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While a Business Analyst Manager has primary responsibilities of developing a team of Business Analysts and potentially best practices within the organization, the Lead Business Analyst’s key responsibilities also include ensuring the success of the execution of the Information Technology project, specifically the Business Analysis portion.

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Requirements Planning is an important part of the requirements development process that is often overlooked. Requirements Planning is the brains of requirement development and enables successful execution of the requirements phase.  Developing a Requirements Approach is a way to capitalize on the following benefits of effective requirements planning...

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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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Do you know? If not, should you? I’m using BA as an abbreviation for Business Analyst (really, though, it’s one who performs business analysis regardless of the title) and BOT for “Business Order Taker” (also an abbreviated term for ROBOT). They are different in the way they approach business analysis.

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I became a father two years ago. Shortly thereafter, I realized that many of my professional skills were readily transferable to my new role at home: Goals and expectations setting, listening, perseverance, flexibility and facilitation. But it would take a tense encounter with 18-month-old some time later to understand that my problem-solving skills as a dad were far more applicable to the workplace than I had ever imagined.

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Many BAs are using the  BABOK which contains information about a Requirements Management process, from identifying organizational situations that give cause to a project, through to starting the requirements gathering process, to delivering a solution to the business or a client. TOGAF 9, from an Enterprise Architecture viewpoint, also provides some techniques to gather requirements to equally deliver business solutions. This paper illustrates the two processes, defines the mapping between the two approaches and identifies gaps in each.

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If business analysts are to enable innovation, we must learn to decode the wishes of our customers into requirements that drive toward what the solution must achieve, without specifying how to achieve it. We can do this by formulating our requirements in abstract, technology-neutral descriptions, learning from patent claims how to achieve this difficult balancing act.

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The web has opened a flood of learning resources for enterprises. It has reduced costs, extended learning channels and increased learning efficiencies. However, these benefits are only available to businesses that understand the new ways that we are absorbing and spreading information. By incorporating important elements of social curation and automation, Bloomfire remains a step ahead of the curve. It offers the advantages of reduced costs with increased employee engagement and productivity. The solution has created a tool for knowledge sharing and adoption and carved a new vertical of its own.

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Business Analysis is the first link in the chain. Unfortunately many times it is also the weakest link. Probably because we have never considered the most important issue: Business Analysis is a people-oriented process. Why then do we behave like engineers with our UML diagrams and so forth? Furthermore, many people believe that Business Analysis is just a matter of describing the business as it is – which is completely wrong: Good Business Analysis is full of insight and is forward looking. The process itself can be meaningful, eye opening and creative.

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Successful business analysts have a mixture of many talents -- some more tangible than others – making Business Analysis both an art and a science. This article explores each area (art and science) and the types of skills necessary to be successful.

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