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Getting your CBAP certification is a worthwhile and rewarding experience. True, it can be frustrating at times, but the IIBA has improved the process with their online application. Entering your information through the web site takes much of the drudgery out of the steps, but the requirements are still rigorous. If you plan to apply for the version 1.6 exam, plan to apply by June 1 to be certain of meeting their deadline. If there are any delays or questions in processing your application, you will have enough time to resolve them and schedule your exam before the deadline. Good luck in getting your CBAP!

IIBA, CBAP, and BABOK are registered trademarks of the International Institute of Business Analysis.

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Wyeth CIO Jeffrey Keisling explains how working with the business on IT staffing helps promote IT-business alignment.  He also outlines the two areas of hiring focus: business analysis and business process.

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The path to building great software goes through requirements management. It’s easy to forget some times, but the world relies on great software.  Software is everywhere. Whether you’re building a revenue-generating product or an internal system, your company’s overall success largely relies on your software team’s success.

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It’s commonly agreed that it’s good to floss, eat plenty of fruit and have a Business Analysis Community of Practice. So why is there no common industry definition of what a BA CoP is, what it does, and how to protect it from “cost-saving” initiatives?

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In this SOA article I would like to begin by defining what SOA is and what you need to know about it. In future articles, I will explore some of the challenges and benefits of SOA to the analyst community. Let’s start off with a definition of SOA. You can, of course, look at a number of definitions of SOA on the Web, but you will find them confusing and contradictory as there are a number of views on this ranging from SOA is everything, to SOA is just Web Services, neither of which is true.

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Processes are the user interface to a solution – as such they are highly visible and a lot of project effort is focussed on process modelling. In fact, there is a perception in some quarters that Business Analysts just draw process models and this is all they do. However, process models (the drawings of processes) are only one facet of the specification of a process.

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Have you ever thought the following thought while describing business processes? A decent percentage of the work business analysts (BAs) do is repetitive in nature. Business rules define the various subject matters, different businesses, or just differences in doing business. Just recently, I have again used a use case approach to a business process reengineering (BPR) problem. The aim was restructuring along natural business module borders, so that different applications (new and existing ones) can handle the business process more efficiently, more secure and within the right stakeholder's responsibilities. As almost always, documentation of the business processes had undergone aging as well.

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Before starting, it is important to understand process mapping’s place in the larger context of business process improvement.  Improving your process typically starts with documenting how it works today, what we call the “as-is” process.

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In this article, I'll be discussing some other requirements gathering methods that complement use case modeling and should be used to ensure your requirements gathering goes swimmingly.

In particular, I'll be mentioning storyboards, wireframes and prototypes.
I'll also cover what level of quality and detail you should adopt when applying these techniques.

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Not unlike gardening, Enterprise Analysis takes very careful stock and consideration of the current state of your environment. By IIBA® definition, Enterprise Analysis is:

  • The identification of business opportunities
  • Development and maintenance of a business architecture
  • The determination of optimum project investment
     
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The reason is simple, anyone involved in Information Security needs a detailed understanding around how things work; where the dependencies are, the inner workings of programs and applications, who has administrative control over sensitive information, where the information is being stored, and how clients and programs interact with the data.

Performing threat risk assessments (TRA) involves an intimate understanding of a solution or service. This means everything from the pretty UI right down to the bits of code your development team scribed to make it look that way. 

The only way to understand these systems is via detailed communication with stakeholders, architects, business analysts, systems and network administrators, executives, clients and their technical resources, board members, vendors, ISPs, and the list goes on.

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There are great shifts that happen in technology and culture. Sometimes they occur sequentially, as WWII created a need for advanced computing, and the PC forever changed the nature of work. Sometimes they happen concurrently, where pressures, both positive and negative, take place in tandem. We are in such a time of change now, with great crises and great opportunities for organizations and the people who love them. One of these challenges is the failure of Enterprise, Business and Technical architecture. Why do the Three Stooges so often stumble and fail?

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When ModernAnalyst asked me to propose an article for their issue on Enterprise Architecture, I thought about the question framework developed by John Zachman, that provides the basic building blocks of that practice.  The primary function of a Business Analyst is to ask questions that uncover requirements then to document those requirements so they may be developed into a useful, useable system.

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As budgets tighten and organizations continue trying to achieve return on investment faster, cheaper and with better results, they are trying to create and evolve their overall enterprise architecture.

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If the object you are trying to create is so simple that you can see it in its entirety at a glance and remember how all of its components fit together at excruciating level of detail all at one time, you don’t need Architecture. You can "wing it" and see if it works. It is only when the object you are trying to create is complex to the extent that you can’t see and remember all the details of the implementation at once, and only when you want to accommodate on-going change to the instantiated object, that Architecture is IMPERATIVE. Once again, without Architecture, you are not going to be able to create an object of any complexity and you won’t be able to change it (that is, change it in minimum time, with minimum disruption and minimum cost).

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