Business Analysis Articles

Jan 23, 2023
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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 investigation team, to what discount a distributor should get. Still, even in organizations that have embraced ML-based s...
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...
As a Business Analyst we might need to work on Projects related to multiple industries and domains during our career. It is critical that we try to leverage our past knowledge and ...

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As the business analyst (BA) role continues to evolve, the responsibilities continue to expand. One of the best ways for a business analyst to add value to a project is to understand the processes involved in both the project life cycle (PLC) and the software development life cycle (SDLC). Contrary to popular belief, the two life cycles are independent of one another, however, it's best that they are aligned.
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The fact that software projects and tasks are reported to be “90 percent done” for a long time has become something of an industry joke. (A related joke states that the first half of a software project consumes the first 90 percent of the resources, and the second half consumes the other 90 percent of the resources.) This well-intentioned but misleading status tracking makes it difficult to judge when a body of work will truly be completed so you can ship the next product release to your customers. Here are several typical causes of “90 percent done” syndrome and a few possible cures.

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Many professionals approach us after being unsuccessful in CBAP so we thought of doing some analysis to come up with the most common reasons of failure in CBAP.

There are many articles and blogs giving tips on how to pass the CBAP exam but on a first search, I didn't find any article explaining why people fail in CBAP. This will definitely help the CBAP aspirants to make sure that they don't repeat the mistakes.

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Reuse is an eternal grail for those who seek increased software productivity. Reusing requirements can increase productivity, improve quality, and lead to greater consistency between related systems.

Reuse is not free, though. It presents its own risks, both with regard to reusing existing items and to creating items with good reuse potential. It might take more effort to create high-quality reusable requirements than to write requirements you intend to use only on the current project. In this article we describe some approaches an organization could take to maximize the reuse potential of its requirements.

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The objective of this article is to provide business analysts with guidelines for distinguishing between high-level requirements (HLRs) and detail requirements (in IIBA® BABOK® V3 terms – Stakeholder requirements and Solution requirements respectively).

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Unfortunately, business rules often are a mystery in business. Most of time they are undocumented and worst they are a figment of someone’s imagination - no basis. However, mystery or not, we need them in eliciting stakeholder requirements in order to understand how the business obligations are kept, constraints are enforced and how decisions are made. And just like news reporters, we need to confirm the business rules with a second (hopefully authoritative and documented) source. Furthermore we need business rules to ensure a quality product and/or process through testing.
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A business analysis consultant might perform three types of roles when working with clients: expert, pair-of-hands, and collaborator. Each of these represents a different kind of interaction and a different source of satisfaction for the consultant. This article, adapted from my book Successful Business Analysis Consulting: Strategies and Tips for Going It Alone, describes these three modes of consulting engagements, which apply both to independent consultants and to internal consultants who work in large organizations.
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The ability to build and exude self-confidence can contribute to success in many areas of our lives from personal to professional. Unfortunately, many business analysts who are beginners or experienced but new to an organization are not provided with the tools and recourses to be confident in their ability to add value to their organization. As a BA, self-confidence facilitates the ability to build relationships, gain respect, and influence others. Below are some of the most effective tactics that I have taken throughout my career to bolster my confidence as a business analyst. Once I became confident in myself, I started noticing that other people’s confidence in my abilities increased as well. Hopefully, these tips will help you recognize your true potential and the value you bring as a business analyst.
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To be effective, we BAs need to learn as much as we can about the digital world—about the world of digital transformation and what it means for the organization. We need to immerse ourselves in research and journal articles and think of how to make sense of it for our organizations. We need to think of digital projects from both the data scientist and business perspectives. And we can do that. After all, we’re BAs and that’s what we do best.

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Culture clashes frequently arise when teams are working on requirements. There are those who recognize the many risks associated with trying to develop software based on minimal or telepathically communicated requirements. Then there are those who think requirements are unnecessary. It can be tough to gain business-side cooperation on projects like legacy-system replacement if users see this as unrelated to their own business problems and not worth their time. Understanding why people resist participating in requirements development is the first step to being able to address it.

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I like to compare a business analyst to an architect. While the architect asks questions about design, budget, and personal preferences of a person who wants to build a house; similarly, the business analyst interacts with business owners to know and understand their needs.   A business analyst also produces requirements which clearly state the needs of a business and ensures that those align with its business processes, just as an architect would draw up plans and have an agreement with the owner before reaching out to builders.

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Process modeling/mapping/flowing, can be an art, and science, based on the maturity of the organization, knowledge of those doing this work in the organization, and many other factors. What I have found can be challenging is identifying the actual processes to model/map/flow. The fight identification may not occur on the first attempt as this work can be quite iterative, however, there are some concepts that can help make the identification a little easier
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Project Scope. We will see how scope statements, when making reference to business functionality, lead directly to High-Level requirements.  Gathering requirements for a business information system is most often done within the context of a project. Approval of a project includes its sponsors signing off on its scope. The scope for a business information system project is typically defined in functional terms. Items in scope make reference to (or should make reference to) business functions, processes and/or activities that are to be delivered.

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Capability-based planning is a growing practice in the field of enterprise architecture. Its success is due to the fact that it provides actual value to practitioners and the organizations that employs them. Indeed, capability-based planning helps in a number of ways, from providing a clear understanding of existing capabilities to promoting effective Business-IT alignment. Considering these benefits, we thought it useful to address this practice and bring some clarity to the subject for the benefit of all who might not yet have a good handle on the topic.

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Becoming a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) has been one of the most rewarding and challenging endeavors for me as a business analyst. The purpose of this article is to help other business analysts pass the CBAP exam on the first try by sharing the strategy that I used. Hopefully, it will be of great service to many business analysts and aspiring CBAPs. Below is an outline to navigate you through studying for the CBAP and absorbing the BABOK material.
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