Business Analysis Articles

Jan 29, 2023
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This thought recently popped into my mind when someone asked me what template to follow when writing a user story. Perhaps you have encountered or asked this question before. As a Business Analyst, I want to use a template to write a user story, so that, my team will understand the require...
This thought recently popped into my mind when someone asked me what template to follow when writing a user story. Perhaps you have encountered or asked this question before. ...
It’s no longer rare to see machine learning (ML) models used to support a variety of business decisions, from whether a financial transaction should be sent to the fraud inve...
Data is crucial in making sound business decisions, and business owners can acquire this much-needed data through business analysis. For example, Microsoft’s data analytic...

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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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The COVID-19 crisis is reshaping businesses and livelihoods, and seasoned and new BAs alike have an unparalleled opportunity to put their analytical skills to great use. Whether you are still employed, or has been laid off or furloughed, now--while we navigate the pandemic crisis—is a good time to demonstrate the value of business analysis and the contributions you can bring to your current or future employer. Here are three examples of how you can accomplish that.


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While the IIBA-AAC exam is not the most challenging exam that I've ever taken, it does require you to have a very specific type of understanding of the Agile Extension to the BABOK Guide. Though it's not a requirement, I recommend taking an exam prep course to increase your chances of passing the exam. Those who did not initially pass the exam reported that they underestimated the exam and figured that they would be able to rely on their agile experience to pass the exam. WRONG!! In fact, the exam doesn't focus much on the details of agile ceremonies or daily activities, but more so on the general principles of agile business analysis.
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 “Clean Language” is a conversation technique developed by a psychotherapist, David Grove. It is a method of asking neutral questions to avoid influencing patient responses. Besides psychotherapy, clean language can be used in various fields for interviewing and facilitating meetings with stakeholders. This is particularly true for business analysis. The context of this article is interviewing and facilitating meeting with a focus on using clean language to ensure that stakeholder requirements are captured without the influence of the business analyst. In this article, you will note that I have cited several sidebar comments to help the reader connect the dots with various business analysis aspects.
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In the world of software development Use Cases are one of many very powerful techniques often used these days.  Use cases describe how a person or a system interacts with the solution being modeled/built to achieve a goal. Basically, it’s a step by step explanation of what a user can do and how the solution must respond.

As any other business analysis technique, use cases have their advantages and disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of use cases is that this technique is not graphical – a use case diagram is but use case descriptions are not, and use case descriptions really lack of visualization especially if there are multiple alternative flows and exception flows that branch out and then loop back into the main one.

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This final article in the Requirements in Context series discusses detailed requirements for a fully automated business activity. ‘Fully automated’ means that the business information system (BIS) is expected to perform the activity from start to finish without user involvement. A simple example is the system automatically posting a monthly fee against customer accounts. A more complex example is the system utilizing customer-specific pricing details to determine the amount charged for a purchase made by a customer.

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Everyone’s crazy busy when you’re launching a new project, and taking the time to study existing bodies of knowledge doesn’t seem like real work. However, “doing nothing” while you examine the lessons of the past is a high-yield investment in your own future. An overconfident project manager, in contrast, will rely solely on personal experience, memories, and the team members’ intelligence and experience to weather any crisis and master any challenge. Hubris, arrogance, and cockiness aren’t solid foundations for project success.
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As the pandemic continues to upend life around the world, data, big and small, takes a central role in mobilizing the right efforts to prevent a much greater calamity. And as people and organizations face unprecedented hardships, business analysts, data scientists, and data analysts are going to be integral to the solution. We have the skills that the world is counting on to arm our leaders with the best possible information as they are tasked with making immediate choices, allocating resources, and anticipating the next obstacles to overcome.

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Visual analysis models provide a powerful set of tools that let business analysts depict system information at various levels of abstraction. These models serve as an aid to understanding, as well as an aid to communicating. Alas, I fear that modeling is somewhat of a neglected practice. I believe modeling is an essential skill every BA should master. Here’s why.

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Knowing how your users behave and how they rate user experience is important, but it is very hard to learn that without various UX metrics and tools. The quality of user experience is a complex matter; you cannot use one tool to measure the whole experience, as it is built from several smaller components.

Understanding your users’ attitudes and behaviors on your site is key for providing a better user experience. There are many tools and metrics out there and most of them are data-driven. That means that collecting and analyzing data from your site has never been more important than it is today.

In this article, we will take a look at how you can measure user experience on your site, and why is it so important. Also, we will share some of the tools that you can use to measure it, and what you can measure.

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First of all, any operating system or solution contains two types of requirements: functional and non-functional. The solution works as a clock, which requires each gear within the solution to be properly functioning. Based on the theory of constraints, any process throughput can only be improved when the constraint or bottleneck is resolved.

Therefore, no matter how fast the train can run and how many passengers it can carry in one trip (the functional requirements), as long as the NFRs are not met, the performance of the solution (subway system) can only be as good as the non-functional requirements.

Second, if NFRs are not considered during the business analysis process, it is very likely they were not part of the criteria for solution evaluation. Without consideration of NFRs, the proposed solution may not be evaluated accurately. What was thought to be the best solution may not be a suitable solution at all.

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Has society become so unimaginative in the products, services, organisations and societies that we choose to create? Have we started giving up on ‘inspiration’ and ‘excitement’ as values with the way in which we create schools, workplaces and organizational cultures? My personal belief is that Business Analysts are ideally and uniquely positioned by make an incredible and positive difference in the world.

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