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Nonetheless, it's a new year, and time to go back to work. January is when we reset the statistics, brace for a new year, and try to prove ourselves once again. Some people have trouble getting back into the swing of work after the holidays; they've probably slept too much, partied too much, and ate way too much, which explains the five-to-eight pounds they've put on. This is why dieting and temperance are among the top New Year's resolutions. Regardless, they are having trouble focusing on their work.

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For almost 10 years we have enjoyed reflecting on what’s happened the previous year and making predictions for the upcoming year in the realms of Business Analysis, Project Management, and Agile. Some of the recent trends we have discussed: The digital BA, Lean business cases, BAs and PMs in a Dev Ops environment, BAs and PMs in the gig economy, etc.  Here are five industry trends that we have chosen for 2019:...

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This article provides high-level steps for eliciting requirements when interviewing or holding a facilitated meeting with stakeholders; it was motivated by an attendee question at a recent Modern Analyst webinar: “Functional vs. Nonfunctional requirements.”  The question was, “Can a Business Analyst elicit functional and nonfunctional requirements in the same iteration?” 

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When it comes to Predictive Analytics, several algorithms can allow you to use the available data by constructing a prediction model. Previously, we looked at a few algorithms designed to calculate probability. Another popular predictive analytics and AI algorithm is a Decision Tree known as C4.5.
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Sometimes I find it difficult to explore new pieces of work in a structured way. When given a new challenge / piece of work it’s easy to jump straight into a solution. However as BAs we first need to understand the problem area better.

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As more organizations move toward agility, development and project management teams still struggling to define a common language and standard regarding the agile framework. In addition, many organizations that are implementing agile approaches have not fully planned the transition and are still unclear on how to fully optimize the approach. One area that continues to remain vague is the role of the business analyst (BA). Below are some steps to help business analysts navigate their way through the transition to agile and add the most value to their agile teams.

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Surely facilitation is an important part of a business analyst’s job, but it is far from the only part. Analysis in itself should always form the core of a business analyst’s responsibilities.  We are called ‘analysts’ for a reason! Facilitating information gathering and translating it to ‘requirements’ doesn’t make you an ‘analyst’. Go above and beyond, and add value by ‘reasoning backwards’ and ‘reasoning analytically’.

 

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One of the Sidebars to the Business Agility Manifesto introduces the notion of Reconfiguration Agility. It’s a fundamental capability your organization needs in the Knowledge Age. What’s it about?  In the big scheme of things, you have two basic choices for conceiving, and ultimately implementing, business capabilities: procedural or declarative. They are fundamentally different.  Traditionally, the vast majority of business systems have been modeled and constructed on a largely procedural basis – virtually all things tied together step-by-step in processes. Unfortunately, that procedural approach simply doesn’t scale.

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With the help of visualization tools, data can be converted easily to more accessible form hence making it much simpler to understand. Data Visualization is available for both developers and for presentation ensuring ease of work for both.

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First of all, let’s get this out of the way. Gamestorming is not new. Gamestorming is a collection of ‘games’ put together under the banner of ‘gamestorming’. As a business analyst (BA) I can assure you there will be many games in the book and on the website, that you have used in your role under different guises. 

Dave Gray (co-author of ‘gamestorming’) put it best when he described himself and his fellow authors as the Grimms brothers. The Grimms brothers, if you are not familiar with them- they brought together different fairy tales and published them in a book.

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One of my former business analysts on the team asked me this question recently; ‘I am really over being a BA. How do I move into strategy?’ I got to the realization that she was associating ‘strategy’ with a job title which consists of certain tasks.  In my view, it appears as if for some business analysts, before becoming strategic, they have to be given a title ‘Strategic Business Analyst’. This I believe is the mystery that surrounds ‘strategy’ and ‘strategic thinking’, making it appear as a destination to reach, at some point.

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Every profession in a sophisticated business structure has a certain mission attached to it. This mission includes the job duties and deliverables, but that’s not all.

The only way to really encapsulate the essence of what the profession of a business analyst is all about is to understand the Business Analyst Mission. In other words, the Business Analyst Mission is definitive of the value created by business analysts.

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One of the Sidebars to the Business Agility Manifesto unabashedly indicts the software industry for its long-standing failure to provide direct support for obligations, an obvious and fundamental aspect of real-life business activity.

Where can you find obligations in business? Virtually everywhere you look: acts, laws, statutes, regulations, contracts, MOUs, agreements, terms & conditions, deals, bids, deeds of sale, warranties, guarantees, prospectuses, licenses, citations, certifications, notices – and of course, business policies.

Direct support for obligations is a fundamental capability your organization needs in the Knowledge Age. What’s it about?

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Most of us are well aware of the problem of organizational silos and non-integrated applications and channels. The question is how can we plan to eliminate them?   The notion of a value chain is to take a 10,000-foot view of the business based on how value is created incrementally toward final delivery of products to end-customers. In other words, a value chain model looks holistically at the value-adding capabilities of an organization end-to-end, irrespective of organization lines of responsibility or existing functional activities.

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In a classic business analyst universe, requirements are the soul of all the work a business analyst does. If a business analyst fails to identify and translate the right requirements, they’re out of a job. This is the reason why a successful business analyst is always good at requirements handling/management process. What makes requirements...
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