Business Analysis Articles

Jun 23, 2019
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Many years ago, I was a little league baseball coach. If you have ever had this experience, you quickly discover that the learning opportunity goes both ways between player and coach. For example, it was the first game of the season and we were the visiting team. At the top of the second inning, the...
Many years ago, I was a little league baseball coach. If you have ever had this experience, you quickly discover that the learning opportunity goes both ways between player and coa...
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 i...
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 beg...

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IAG Consulting’s new Business Analysis Benchmark makes one thing clear: almost 70 percent of companies surveyed set themselves up for both failure and significantly higher cost in their use of poor requirements practices. That failure came at a significant cost: the average $3 million project cost companies using poor requirements practices an aver...
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UML class diagrams show the classes of the system, their inter-relationships, and the operations and attributes of the classes. Class diagrams are typically used, although not all at once, to: Explore domain concepts in the form of a domain model Analyze requirements in the form of a conceptual/analysis model Depict the detailed de...
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UML 2 class diagrams are the mainstay of object-oriented analysis and design. UML 2 class diagrams show the classes of the system, their interrelationships (including inheritance, aggregation, and association), and the operations and attributes of the classes. Class diagrams are used for a wide variety of purposes, including both conceptual/domain ...
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Defining specifications for the design and development of systems and software is a lot like this classic Gershwin song and what I personally regard as the biggest cause of confusion in the Information Technology field for as long as I can remember, which is over 30 years in the industry.  Some people say specifications should be based on the inherent properties of information, others believe it is based on a screen/report or file layout, yet others adamantly believe it should be based on process and data specifications.  Interestingly, all are absolutely correct.  The difference lies in the perspective of the person and the work to be performed.  For example, how we define specifications for the design of an automobile is certainly different than how we specify a skyscraper.  The same is true in the I.T. field where we have different things to be produced by different people.

Author: Tim Bryce

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To communicate or not to communicate? There is no question. As individuals and as organizations, we are constantly communicating — whether intentionally or unintentionally. The real question becomes whether we choose to effectively communicate or risk the high cost of miscommunication. The cost of miscommunication can take many forms, including but...
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In this issue of the IIBA Newsletter: The Annoyance of Bad Terminology by Kevin Brennan, CBAP Among the many challenges of developing the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge™ (BABOK™) is figuring out what to do when we realize that the business analysis community, or worse yet, parts of the community, have widely adopted unclear terminology. The ...
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I always find it amusing when I tell a young person in this industry that I worked with punch cards and plastic templates years ago. Its kind of the same dumbfounded look I get from my kids when I tell them we used to watch black and white television with three channels, no remote control, and station signoffs at midnight. It has been my observation that our younger workers do not have a sense of history; this is particularly apparent in the systems world. If they do not have an appreciation of whence we came, I doubt they will have an appreciation of where we should be going. Consequently, I have assembled the following chronology of events in the hopes this will provide some insight as to how the systems industry has evolved to its current state.

I'm sure I could turn this into a lengthy dissertation but, instead, I will try to be brief and to the point. Further, the following will have little concern for academic developments but rather how systems have been implemented in practice in the corporate world.

Author: Tim Bryce

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Recently I wrote a paper on the general state of craftsmanship which was geared more for public consumption as opposed to any specific industry. To my way of thinking, craftsmanship is a universal concept that touches all industries, regardless if they are product or service related.  This resulted in a flurry of e-mails to me questioning how it pertains to specific types of work, including Business Systems Analysis (BSA) which, of course, is applicable but I question whether we have truly realized craftsmanship in this field.

From the outset, let me say unequivocally that business systems analysis is not a new concept and has been with us for a long time, actually predating the modern computer era of the 20th century.  Prior to this, companies had formal "Systems & Procedures" departments with analysts focusing on streamlining business processes and primarily using paper and manual procedures.  As tabulating and other office equipment emerged, they were responsible for their integration into the business.  But as computers were introduced, a new function was devised that greatly impacted the future of analysts, namely programmers. 

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Author: Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant with M. Bryce & Associates of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the field. He is available for lecturing, training and consulting on an international basis. He can be reached either at timb001@phmainstreet.com

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Analysts report poor requirements management accounts for as much as 71 percent of software project failures. The main cause is the gap between (a) what the business team wants and how it communicates this, and (b) what IT understands and delivers. No matter how good a project development environment is, if the requirements captured in the first p...
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"Craftsmanship = (Knowledge + Experience + Attitude) X Success"
- Bryce's Law

The purpose of this essay is to review the state of craftsmanship in the 21st century, determine if it still has merit in today's corporate culture, and if so, devise recommendations for perpetuating it.

. . .

Before we go further, let's examine what exactly we mean by the term "craftsmanship":

"The practice and pursuit of excellence in building/delivering superior work products by workers."

This implies craftsmanship is a universally applicable concept for any field of endeavor, be it producing a product or delivering a service. Basically, it is a commitment to excellence which is most definitely not the same as quality. Quality simply relates to the absence of errors or defects in the finished product or service. In other words, finished goods operate according to their specifications (customers get precisely what they ordered). Although quality is certainly an element of craftsmanship, the emphasis on "superior work products" means the worker wants to go beyond the status quo and is constantly looking for new and imaginative ways to produce superior results. This suggests the craftsman is personally involved with the work products and treats them as an extension of his/her life.

. . .

What about us in the business analysis community!  Do we take pride in our craftmanship?

Author: Tim Bryce is a writer and management consultant with M. Bryce & Associates of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the field. He is available for lecturing, training and consulting on an international basis. He can be reached either at timb001@phmainstreet.com
Comments and questions are welcome.

 

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In Toronto, Canada - January 3, 2005: The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) made available components of the world's first Body of Knowledge for Business Analysis. Since then a simple Google search for "business analyst" reveals that these professionals are in high demand. There are openings at banks, telecoms, retailers, insurance and many more industries for business analysts. Education providers namely; B2T Training has emerged worldwide in order to cater for this high demand of professionals who wish to pursue a career in Business Analysis.

Author: Thirusha Chetty, consultant, IndigoCube South Africa

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Mentoring ensures newly trained business analysts are immediately productive. What can project leaders and managers offer employees hoping to carve out careers as business analysts? What path do business analysts follow? Do they simply attend training courses, shuffling through the process from one end to the other, emerging on the far side as qua...
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Not all business analysts are born equal, but they can reach a common baseline of excellence through diligence. The recent emergence of a career path due to formalisation of the industry has highlighted the fact that some people are predisposed to be good business analysts, while others need to work a little harder at it. Not only should prospect...
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job opportunities for systems analysts will increase at an above-average pace through 2014, as organizations continue to build and implement increasingly complex technologies. If you've been wondering whether you'd be happy in the role of systems analyst, take a look at the following list. If you see...
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The main benefit of today’s Agile development methodologies such as Scrum or XP is the promise of delivering more in a shorter period of time and the value derived from having the flexibility to adjust your course mid-way through a development effort. But does this type of approach allow for requirements management? Is RM necessary given the shorte...
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