Business Analysis Articles

Dec 08, 2019
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The intention of these viewpoints is to make it easier to see and understand the real business problem. This article focuses on the fourth viewpoint, the Future-How, which looks at the solution to the business problem. It does this by assessing alternatives, and then choosing the best solution ...
The intention of these viewpoints is to make it easier to see and understand the real business problem. This article focuses on the fourth viewpoint, the Future-How, which loo...
For business analysts working in an environment where there is a gap between SMEs and the delivery of an IT-based solution for business needs, requirements are documented to bridge...
Business rules cover a very broad space. Across the entire space, however, you can be sure about one central idea – business logic should not be buried in procedural programm...

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A list of business analysis techniques is pretty extensive and from year to year new techniques appear, or become more formalised, and are adopted by business analysts all over the world. Some techniques become more popular and are widely used and some are used rare or only when a specific need arises. But definitely there are techniques that became very popular and are used on a daily basis and even become buzz words for some people. These techniques are mainly used to create solution design and they are business process maps, use cases, user stories, wireframes and business rules. Sometimes even business analysts are confused how they should create solution design and what techniques they should use.
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By signing up to go through this process, you will be doing yourself a huge favor – a favor that you will never regret especially when people will look at you as the ‘wow’ person who completely transformed his or her life, achieving something that was not even vaguely possible otherwise.
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A Feature Tree is an RML Objectives model that shows the full scope of features for a project or product on a single page in a tree format. A feature is just a short form description of functionality provided by the project or product that brings value to the end user. The Feature Tree is great for bringing new people on a project up to speed and showing executives, business stakeholders, or customers all the features that are in scope for a project or release.
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Operational business decisions happen every minute of every day in your organization. You’d like to think that business managers can truly manage them. You’d also like to think that the results of those decisions are comprehensively correct, consistent, traceable, and repeatable (high quality). But are they? Based on real-life evidence I strongly suspect they often are not.... When IT professionals talk about “decisions” they often mean branch points within the deep systemic logic executed by machines – classic decision points in data processing. I don’t mean that either.

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The difficulty of gathering information and establishing requirements, owing to the chaotic nature of the business world, is clear to see. Every business analyst must overcome their own Mad Tea Party if they are to be successful in carrying out their mission. As Alice is confronted with the unreliability of the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse, so too is the analyst faced with unreliable stakeholders. In her attempts to gain an understanding of the never-ending tea party, Alice’s use of elicitation is effectively useless in the face of endless riddles, an unconventional sense of time, and undependable characters.  Analysts find themselves in comparable environments with various degrees of chaos and unpredictability. 

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We implemented A/B testing into our product 6 months ago. During that time we conducted a variety of A/B tests to generate insights about our user's behaviour. We learnt a lot about our specific product. More generally, we learnt about how to run valuable A/B tests.
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Process Flows are usually used for user facing projects/systems, although their cousin, the System Flow, can be used in virtually the same manner to document system processes and logic.  When on an agile project, the Product Owner (PO) or Business Analyst (BA) will usually elicit the high level process flow (L1) in a sprint 0 or planning type phase. From there, during that same planning type phase, the L2 processes to be created will be prioritized and the PO or BA will usually work on the 1-2 highest priority process flows at the L2 level. This is to build the initial backlog.

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Chaos, by its very nature, is impossible to control completely, and so a business analyst who enters into their own chaotic Wonderland will be presented with difficulties immediately. Throughout Alice’s adventures down the rabbit hole, she is confronted with a complete absence of structure, a lack of clear information, and a cast of frantic characters. In their role, a business analyst must strive to find order in the chaos, just like Alice. As Alice is faced with riddles, the business analyst is faced with information that is either unclear or unavailable. They must solve the riddles and establish structure, all while appeasing the residents of Wonderland.
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Visit any active discussion forum for business analysts and aspiring BAs, and invariably you will find at least one thread asking how to develop domain knowledge, either in a new industry, such as health or insurance, or a new business function, such as marketing or supply chain management. Alice just got a job working for the first time in financial services, and is worried that her lack of experience in this domain will get in the way of her doing a great job. Bob keeps getting his resume ignored for analyst jobs in government agencies because most of his experience is in ecommerce applications. What to do?
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To ensure the continuity of operational business knowledge, no organization should ever depend on absent brains – or even on brains that could (and eventually always will) become absent in the future. To say it differently, your operational business knowledge should be encoded explicitly in a form that workers you have never even met yet can understand.

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Business analysis is an indispensable function in all business organizations, performed at myriad forms and scales.  Maintaining high quality of business analysis consistently is a challenge to many organizations. Inconsistent business analysis output quality results in undesirable project outcomes, poor decisions, operational disjoints and missed opportunities.  This article uses an actual case to discuss how low quality business analysis impacts an organization and what improvement initiatives the organization implemented to address the problems.

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Most discussions about software requirements deal with business information systems and similar projects. The world is also full of products that use software to control hardware devices, broadly called embedded systems. Among countless examples are cell phones, television remote controls, kiosks of all sorts, Internet routers, and robot cars.  This is the first article of two that will discuss some of the requirements issues that are especially important to embedded and other real-time systems.

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Given the right circumstances, even good people can go astray as our psychology push us down the slippery slope of questionable behavior.   A little bit of knowledge about the forces that drive us to cheat can go a long way helping avoid bad behavior. Here are some common landmines to become aware of so you can make sure to defuse them as you embark in a new BA project

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The problem with many Unified Modeling Language (UML) educational texts is that they present the various concepts each in isolation; so you see a use case diagram for one problem domain, a class diagram for an entirely different problem domain, and you never get to see the important traceability between the diagrams.

In this case study we aim to put it right by working through a single problem from use cases and activity diagrams, through sequence diagrams and state diagrams, to class diagrams and component diagrams. We have arranged the case study as three distinct perspectives or aspects as follows.

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The context diagram and the use case diagram are two useful techniques for representing scope. This article describes two other methods for documenting scope: feature levels and system events.

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