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The phrase "project audit" sounds threatening to some, while for others these words have a sense of formalism and bureaucracy. No one particularly likes to have their work checked, especially if the person checking it is an outsider. Most often we've heard the word audit in the context of checking financial or accounting statements. Furthermore, in the past few years, many have encountered an IT security audit. But I'd like to tell about the audit of business analysis processes for one of our company's projects. This service may also be useful to your project.

About ten years ago, I first served as a project auditor in terms of business analysis. First, we created a document that regulates the work of a business analyst — the procedure for developing and managing requirements. Such an audit, for the most part, consisted of checking compliance to these requirements within a specific project. But as part of the audit, I could make recommendations that were not directly provided for by formal documents, but rather based on common sense and my practical experience. Thus, I combined audit and consulting. Based on these results, a plan was drawn up, and then the implementation of this plan was checked as part of the next audit.

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Business Analysis journey is typically triggered by a desirable change. A change that although may appear local in impact, restricted inside a defined project scope, it can have an effect of many hidden aspects of an organization’s ecosystem. Strategic outlook and mindset is a common trait of successful business analysts. Having in your mind the desirable future and seeking for opportunities in order to contribute with your tasks at the overall efficiency, success and sustainability of the organization you work for, can make the difference.

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It is strange how something that is supposed to be simple is actually so complex.  Something that is supposed to be a matter of linear career progression can actually end up in a state of a continuous loop, with no way of terminating such a loop.  A point of stagnation and frustration. This is a quandary facing many intermediate business analysts. They do not know how to shift gears and move one notch up and be senior business analysts - who play a strategic role in helping their business stakeholders bring their strategies to life through the right initiatives.

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Good news is that the adoption of an agile approach is increasing with more and more projects being successful. As a business analyst / project management professional, it is important to understand how success is measured for Agile projects? What are the key performance indicators and metrics?

In this article, I am going to list down the top metrics for measuring the success of Agile projects/approaches.

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The majority of IT business analysts spend their careers in “reactive mode”. They are assigned to tasks like define the requirements for a new partner loyalty program, create user stories for an enhancement to a billing system, and go about delivering their artifacts.

Data-inspired analysts are those analysts who make a conscious decision to “go upstream” and find data to help their organizations identify the areas of value creation with the highest return on investment before jumping into “solution mode”.

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An agile organization is characterized by having a comprehensive portfolio of optimized business process and business capability maps grouped by their role in value creation for the customers and support of the business strategy.  These maps are linked to all the other disciplines such as finance, governance, resource management, talent management, and customer experience.   Thus, Corporate IP can be securely delivered to the point of need. 

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I spent a lot of time in the past half-century doing software work: requirements, design, user experience, programming, testing, project management, writing documentation, process improvement leadership, writing 7 books and many articles, consulting, and training. Sure, there were some side trips along the way,.... But basically I’m a software guy. Over all that time, I’ve accumulated numerous insights about the software business. Here I offer 66 of those lessons. Perhaps you’ll find them as helpful as I have.

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Requirements management is a critical function for business analysis. Requirements management is focused on ensuring that the business users and stakeholders have the following information available...  But the more important question to have answer to and where the real business value is delivered in requirements life cycle management is answering the following questions:

  1. Are the requirements impacting critical business processes?
  2. Which processes have recurring change?
  3. Are the requirements priorities aligned to key business processes?
  4. Which process will be impacted by which requirements?
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When I began training to be a BA, I never dreamt that I would need to be a salesperson too, in fact, I'm glad I hadn't realized that as it may have deterred me from, what is for me, the most suitable and fulfilling career that I could have wished for.

The answer is simply this: the ability to sell. The better you are at selling, the more senior you are likely to become, and this is true across the whole business, it doesn’t just apply to Business Analysts.

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As much as we like to think we are now in a dynamic and agile world, most delivery initiatives are still some shades of agile and all shades of waterfall. These initiatives could have adopted an agile outlook and naming convention, but the businesses they support are often still predominantly waterfall – going from one clearly defined task to another until realizing value. Think for example, order to cash, just in time logistics etc.

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Business process mapping is the most indispensable technique for performance improvement and technology innovation initiatives. More than just boxes and arrows, the process map reveals the “magic” and wisdom of how and why work gets done.

Sadly, too many professionals give process mapping short shrift. Here are 10 tips that will ensure process mapping helps you achieve full potential from your improvement/innovation project.

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With the surge of coronavirus, the word “Supply Chain “ continuously pops up into the news headlines.  So what is supply chain and how/why is it an area of knowledge each business analyst must master.   One of the biggest misconceptions about supply chain is people think supply chain = logistics or transportation.

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Many of us have been impacted in some form or another whether you or a loved one have been impacted by the illness, are experiencing changes in the work environment, impacted by cancelled or postponed events, impacted by the empty shelves at the grocery stores, or getting countless e-mails from companies regarding this pandemic. While it's important to be mindful and take extra precautions, try not to panic. Remaining centered is key to moving forward during times such as this. While some organizations have shutdown, sending employees home for an extended vacation, other organizations are remaining functional but are mandating employees to work from home. If your organization falls in the latter category, here are some tips to help you remain effective in your business analysis activities amid the coronavirus. 
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The transition from Waterfall to Agile is never easy – especially for a business analyst who must go through this journey. This document has come about because of this challenge and as an attempt to present a practical guide of how to effectively transition over as a business analyst, and where are these worlds connected. I do not believe that all that we learned as business analyst in the waterfall era are completely useless. What has changed in the Agile world is how we think about analysis, how we present the requirements to our business and our development and testing teams. It is by no means a comprehensive and one size fits all document. But it does provide a start and a guide for those who sometimes cannot make the connection.

Using one fictitious  ‘User Story’ in the Agile section of this document, I provide concrete examples of how and when to present just enough information, while giving your audience sufficient understanding of what they need to bring the requirements to life.

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No-one (in their right mind anyway!) ever sets out to design processes that qualify in the above categories, so why then do we end up with them?  This might be because of tight deadlines, not starting with the customer in mind, not testing the processes with the target audience or even not updating implemented processes once they are found to be sub-optimal or S.U.C.K.’y… Whatever the reasons, we should seek to prevent the creation of processes like these by all means.

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