Business Analysis Articles

Nov 17, 2019
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If we look at the previously proposed process end to end, it starts with the customer journey. The journey is mapped to the internal business processes, systems, and data sources. For both the customer facing and internal parts of the journey user stories are created to document the gaps between the...
If we look at the previously proposed process end to end, it starts with the customer journey. The journey is mapped to the internal business processes, systems, and data sources. ...
This question has been asked several times before, and various answers have been advanced to settle this matter. A short answer is ‘Yes’. But, unfortunately, this answe...
Learning about mental models and how to apply them to their work is one of the best investments for business analysts interested in achieving the level of deep thinking that leads ...

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Estimating is one of the most controversial subjects in project management. There are some people who have turned the subject into a cryptic science involving esoteric techniques. Estimating is simply the process used to determine the amount of effort and cost required to implement a project, in part or in full. It is important to acknowledge that...
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 In this article we look at some quality attributes that are particularly vital to explore when specifying requirements for embedded systems projects. Quality attributes for embedded systems can be much more complex and intertwined than those for other applications. Business software is generally used in an office where there’s not much variance in the environment. In contrast, the operating environment for embedded systems could involve temperature extremes, vibration, shock, and other factors that dictate specific quality considerations.
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A requirement is “a condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or to achieve an objective” (AKA a goal). Thinking in terms of problems and goals thus is a core competence for the requirements engineer. But what in fact is a problem or a goal? This may seem to be a rather philosophical question. As requirements engineers we should be quite specific on this point as the problems and goals of our clients are the raison d’être for our work.
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The experience age will force the business analyst, more so than ever, to be closer to business. The focus will have to move from how the IT landscape looks at the architectural level, to how it can be best utilised to provide the most compelling and efficient customer experience.  The success of business will now be determined by how well the customer journey and user experience has been translated to offer real and/or even perceived value for money through ‘virtual experience’.  It will be difficult for the business analyst to be a credible advisor to business without understanding the customer’s needs.

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Prior to proceeding with a strategic project, project leadership needs to ensure that the project still:

  • aligns with the direction of the business entity, and
  • fits the needs of the targeted customer segment,
    as it did when the project was an initiative. This brief article starts at the inception of an initiative during Enterprise Analysis to the validation of a strategic project prior to kickoff. Note in this article, I include both the private and public sectors when I use the terms such as “business entity” and “customer segments.”
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The role of design still puzzles many agile teams I work with. When should the design activities take place? Who should carry them out? How are design decisions best captured? This blog tries to answer the questions by discussing a user-centric, iterative, and collaborative design process for Scrum and Kanban teams.
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An effective product roadmap is a must-have for any successful software development project. A roadmap helps the product manager define the trajectory of a product, communicate progress to stakeholders, visualize goals and justify changes to budget. Product roadmaps are where both strategy and tactics combine to help teams build better products.
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So I came to a conclusion that I found interesting and want to share with the public: when doing this transition, the companies do not want to implement agile, they just want to run away from waterfall. And running away from waterfall can come in many shapes and forms, so the overall popular idea of comparing “waterfall” vs “agile” as two competing extremes is not conceptually correct.
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There are some practices that can practically make our life much easier if we adopt them early in the project.  This fourth article of the series “ Business Analysts and Change Management - What we need to know” addresses the minimum that we - as Business Analysts - might need to know about change management, but this time at organizational level
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The purpose of this article is to help YOU (fellow business analyst-perfectionist) to pass the CBAP V3 certification exam efficiently without overspending on prep materials. I wish there had been a CURRENT guide available for me when I stormed the CBAP fortress back in April 2017. After completing thorough online research, I found a few useful but outdated articles and other useful but disparate tips for how to pass the exam. But there was no comprehensive guide for passing the CBAP v3 exam on the first try.
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Gherkin is a language used to write acceptance tests. BA's use Gherkin to specify how they want the system to behave in certain scenarios...  It’s a simple language. There are 10 key words (e.g. Given, When, Then). Because it’s a simple language, it’s understandable by the business. As well as being understandable by the business, Gherkin can be understood by an automation tool called Cucumber. That means Cucumber can interpret Gherkin and use it to drive automated tests. This links BA requirements to automated tests.


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Business analysis is a broad discipline and we have a whole range of tools and techniques at our disposal. We may get involved within projects, but also outside of them. Many BA teams are actively seeking earlier engagement—when we are engaged prior to a project being initiated we can work with our stakeholders to ensure that the problem space is thoroughly understood. We can encourage stakeholders to think about many possible solution options, and can work with them to ensure that the option that is chosen is the best fit and has the best chance of delivering maximum benefit. Early engagement also helps us avoid the 'first solution trap'.
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Ground rules are essential for any meeting. It may be what makes the meeting a success or failure. As a Business Analyst we are constantly organizing and facilitating meetings of various sizes to progress through the SDM (System Design Methodology) for a project. It is important that all sponsors and participants of the project understand what to expect from the upcoming meetings to be organized. Ground rules are generally discussed during the kickoff meeting, documented, and then displayed moving forward.
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Scope creep (also known as feature creep, requirements creep, featuritis, and creeping featurism), however, refers to the uncontrolled growth of functionality that the team attempts to stuff into an already-full project box. It doesn’t all fit. The continuing churn and expansion of the requirements, coupled with inadequate prioritization, makes it difficult to deliver the most important functionality on schedule. This demand for ever-increasing functionality leads to delays, quality problems, and misdirected energy.  Scope creep is one of the most pervasive challenges of software development. 

 

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Disbenefits are changes to on-going operating costs as a result of a project; they could be perceived as positive or negative. These disbenefits are included in defining the Total Cost of Ownership rather than a component of project cost, and is more of a focus for controllers due to its on-going nature rather than one time project savings and revenue.

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