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Business Analysts save their companies money, in big and small ways, every day. Is your organization aware of the savings your Business Analysts (BAs) have provided? Few BAs brag about their successes, most are toiling away inside departments and projects, without a direct line of communications to their executives. But executives would be wise to search out these individuals and their managers to quantify these successes and use them to upskill others within their organizations.  Drawing on our experience with our consulting clients, large and small, we will share some specific examples of the business analysis value proposition.

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Am I the only person who has a problem with the BABOK requirements classification schema terms? In spite of having retired from a 48-year career in IT, I still write articles about requirements. I’m tired of apologizing in those articles for using the ‘old’ terms rather than the BABOK terms.

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These books introduce business analysis for those looking at a career change, as well as offering in-depth exploration of current methodologies. By providing a contemporary and professional overview of business analysis the books herein offer great value both to veteran analysts and those new to the discipline.

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I could not help but observe in awe the agility of this monstrous wing. My mind could not stop analyzing how an airplanes uses the agility of its wings to control the pressure of the air that flows through them and manipulates the latter to enable it to navigate its journey into the skies.  The aeroplane does not change the physical or scientific formation of the air, but it changes its wings to adapt to this natural phenomenon. How intriguing. Adaption. Agility. 

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Study after study in behavioral science show that certain approaches are more effective than others when we’re trying to convince others to see things our way.  Leaders in many industries, including the public sector, have learned the wisdom of using the latest evidence of what influences behavior and applying those insights to solve practical issues.  As a result, behavioral insights have now been successfully used to convince people to reduce their energy consumption, contribute a larger amount to their retirement fund, eat healthier food, and more.

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These are my findings from analyzing the Business Analysis Body Of Knowledge, version 3 (BABOK). These findings are presented in the form of, suggestions for improvement, potential errors and omissions. They are the result of creating an object-oriented model of the structure and information of the BABOK. This model captures 461 pages of the BABOK - from the Business Analysis Key Concepts chapter through to the end of the Techniques To Tasks Mapping chapter.

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So how do you handle CRUD in your use cases? Please don’t confuse CRUD with CRAP in your use cases. That’s a lot harder to deal with and requires a conversation with your subject matter experts (SMEs). CRUD is an acronym for Create, Read, Update and Delete. It describes the lifecycle in the maintenance of system data, whether that data is stored in a database or is file based data stored in a document management system like SharePoint.

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Master Data is a concept that most IT shops are familiar with; Master Rules is not.  Master Data cannot address the issue of data quality without pairing it with the rules that define and/or derive that data; that is, the Master Rules.  Sooner or later, all significant financial sector organisations (in particular) will confront an impending migration, regulatory pressure, M&A, commercial imperative, or other compelling need to improve the management of their business rules; then, it must be done – Master Rules must be implemented to provide the authoritive view of rules that their importance requires and deserves.

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This article first provides a reference for defining small businesses. It then, focuses on two aspects of business analysis for a small business: Strategic Planning and Requirements Management. I use a graphic note-taking technique called Mind-Mapping to set the BA context for this article and then pursue the above questions for small businesses.

I am sure we have all heard the cliché, “size matters.” So let’s start with why does size matter for business. 

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Data science and analytics is a dynamic world and anyone pursuing a career in analytics needs to stay on the cutting edge of the latest tools and conceptual approaches to advance their career. These certifications prove to any employer that you are a valuable candidate whose passion is matched by their knowledge, as well as a desire to keep learning. Don’t get left behind by your competitors, prove your worth with these certifications.

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Most of us have seen praise and recognition at work go to the people who react quickly when a problem occurs:

  • The IT person who takes care of technical issues at critical moments, like restoring access to a demo site right before a sales rep is scheduled to present to a hot prospect.
  • The salesperson who closes a deal on the last day of the quarter, preventing the sales department from facing the negative consequences of missing quota.
  • The business analyst who works extra hours to make sure late-breaking requirements are properly documented in time to prevent delays in the next development cycle.
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Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a profound difference. Sometimes they can be so blindingly obvious that we cannot see them. And the biggest impediment to progress can be between our own ears.

In this article I will describe ‘attentive listening’. We will cover how to do it, why it works and when to do it. At all times we will bear in mind the Agile manifesto commitment to maximizing the amount of work not done – not done by us, by the teams we work with and by the stakeholder!

Listening is a cornerstone skill of business analysis. If an analyst is to be of any value then they must be alert to clues in the environment. What thoughts, frustrations and opportunities are there? Understanding what is said, is an absolutely fundamental part of any analysis in order to produce useful insight or alignment.

So, you listen already? Sure you do, yet what are you listening to? The whole of what the speaker has to say? Are you giving them a chance to finish their thoughts?

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Business analysts who aspire to the topmost leadership positions and who are looking to expand their career horizons need to be multidimensional professionals with broad business, IT, and leadership skills. They must seek out and create their own opportunities beyond their comfort zones, hone their existing skillsets, and acquire new knowledge and skillsets required for the coveted role.
In this article, we discuss some broad guidelines which a BA can follow to take their career to the top level.

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You might think that Spider-Man is a fictitional superhero living only in coming books or on the big screen.  You might be right!  But what if? What if Spider-Man is out there trying to decided where to move next, where to take his crime-fighting super-skills? Well, Sean Smith, a business analyst, wondered just that.

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In the simplest explanation of the term, a UX writer is an author who writes for user experience. When using a digital product, you follow text in order to obtain the user experience you’re after. This text should be precise, brief, and straight to the point. The writer’s goal is to guide the user through the different stages of product use.

The term gets mixed up with technical writing and copywriting. The difference is that UX writing is much more concise.  An effective copy results from the collaboration between the writer and the entire design team.

Let’s start with the specifics: how can you improve your UX writing skills and contribute towards an improved final product?

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