Business Analysis Articles

Nov 23, 2020
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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...
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 ...
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...
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 yo...

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Nov 23, 2020
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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.

Nov 15, 2020
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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.

Nov 08, 2020
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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.

Nov 01, 2020
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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.

Oct 25, 2020
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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. 

Oct 18, 2020
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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.

Oct 11, 2020
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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.
Oct 04, 2020
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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?

Sep 27, 2020
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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.

Sep 26, 2020
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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.

Sep 20, 2020
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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?

Sep 13, 2020
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Business analysts are expected to be the ones who will create plenty of documentations that will guide the design, implementation and maintenance phases of a system. Documents varies from Business Requirement Documents (BRDs), Functional Requirement Documents (FRDs), System Requirement Document (SRDs), Project vision Document, Requirement Management Plan and other. Also a business analyst may contribute to the formation of a Request for Proposal (RFPs), validate and comment on contracts and write user manuals and other type of explanatory documents regarding a solution. It is crucial the documentation created to add value. Every party that has access to documentation must find easily what is looking for and after reading it to gain specific knowledge and understanding of a specific issue.

As a business analyst you will have to decide how will present the information in a document in order to maximize value for he readers. Include diagrams, screenshots, pictures, as well as text descriptions at your documents. Apply what is suitable taking into account the context and the specific characteristics of the project. Tailor any template or approach to the specific context. The solution team will use the diagrams more than the words, especially since they are most likely going to render the words into diagrams for development anyway. The business community may relate to a drawing of a screen layout better than to a three-page textual description of the same screen layout.

Sep 07, 2020
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Business people call remote meetings virtual or on-line sessions, or simply conference calls. For many years we have been utilizing this form of communications to save time and money. Due to the global virus pandemic, remote meetings are now not just convenient, but a necessity for maintaining social distancing. Fortunately we have technology that assists us in managing these remote sessions to not only hear the stakeholders, but see them as well. However, remote stakeholder interviewing and meetings have their additional challenges beyond face-to-face encounters. Regardless of the technology used, we need to be keenly aware of these additional negative risks and pursue mitigations.

Aug 30, 2020
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In the computer age, we’ve limped along literally for a human lifetime without blueprints for business knowledge and the vocabulary used to communicate it. How well is that working out?

If you have any doubt, do a quick internet search on all the problems associated with ‘data quality’ and their costs. Or look at the still dismal success rates of IT projects. Or consider how much sharper your decisions could be if the data were better.

A business knowledge blueprint, whose core component is a concept model, permits you to deeply analyze your concepts, your vocabulary, and your business knowledge. In this post, Ron explains all the critical reasons you need that blueprint.

Aug 23, 2020
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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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