Business Analysis Planning (BABOK KA)

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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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Whether linear or agile development approaches are being used, the Business Analyst needs to have a specific required point in time where the solution being implemented is checked against the original problem before it gets too far downstream.

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I was recently working with a client who said that the life of a BA in his organization is complicated, primarily because very few people really understand what Business Analysts (BAs) do. I have felt for a very long time that perhaps our most compelling challenge is to change the organizational view of our role as primarily “requirements collectors” and to help stakeholders see the true value that business analysis brings to the enterprise.

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Ron Ross and Gladys Lam have written an important book for the business analyst community. It aims to get business analysts out of the technology ghetto that many of us get stuck in. Regardless of the type of analyst you are, I think it would be worth your time to get your hands on and read this book. I’ll explain why below.

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To remain competitive, it is more important than ever for an organization’s leadership team to use business analysis (BA) practices to execute strategies through innovative solutions. Over the years, business analysis has been rapidly developing as a profession and as a core business practice in many organizations; however, all too often business analysis is still in its foundational stages.

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We can probably all agree that Knowledge Management is generally A Good Thing and that we should do more of it. But what does “doing Knowledge Management” actually involve, and how as BAs can we ensure we effectively reuse our knowledge?

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