Steven Gara

As a practicing Business Analyst for over 13 years with a CBAP certification from the IIBA and a Master's Degree from Cornell, Steve has been working most recently for a large company in the healthcare field. In whatever small spare time he has, he usually plays musical instruments or hangs out at the local gym, keeping himself in shape for whatever challenges come his way.

How to Head Off Communication Breakdowns

Posted In Working in Tech
How people and groups work together (or don’t) is just as important to organizational effectiveness as using the right strategy or being efficient at execution. But most managers and executives handle corporate interaction and communication in a very erratic way, which in turn can harm the results of the overall strategy. Check out the latest business-analysis jobs. In order to avoid this outcome, managers and executives should incorporate interaction planning into their management approach. The planning needs to happen at… continue…

How to Be a Better Business Analyst in 2015

Posted In Data
Now that we’re a month into 2015, it’s worth looking at our resolutions and seeing which ones will actually last us throughout the year. For business analysts, who work with the goals and objectives of clients in order to deliver more business value, it’s especially important to sit down and work through professional goals and objectives. With that in mind, here are four resolutions for becoming a better business analyst: Plan More There is always a need to find a… continue…

The Ideal Job Outline for Business Analysts

Posted In Working in Tech
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In broadest strokes, a business analyst (or BA) acts as a liaison between businesspeople and a company’s Information Technology staff. It is generally the analyst’s responsibility to interpret and define the information requirements of the business, and devise a suitable system to solve those needs, be it packaged solutions or in-house development (or a hybrid of both). Years ago, the BA’s role was spread across multiple jobs and titles, from System Analyst and Architect to even Programmer. For that reason,… continue…

The Business Analyst Food Chain

Posted In Working in Tech
Food Chain
When you think “food chain,” you generally think Nature. But within the business analyst community, “food chain” also applies to requirements. Take a look at the diagram above: that’s your food chain. If you figure out the impact of the requirements for each of the segments or “links,” you get a pretty good idea of how the system works overall. Click here to find business analysis jobs. In the first part, Feasibility and Business Planning, the exploration of business scenarios… continue…

Want a Successful Project? Try a ‘Pre-Mortem’

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Many companies host post-project meetings to discuss what worked and what didn’t, a process known as “post-mortems.” But instead of waiting until the end of a project to figure out what might have gone wrong, how about holding “pre-mortems,” in which all aspects of planning are discussed before everybody gets to work? The latter could help avert real failures. Click here to find project management jobs. With software projects, a pre-mortem might work something like this: At the very beginning… continue…

3 Things Business Analysts Should Know About Agile Methodology

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Over the past few years, software development has moved more rapidly toward Agile practices. This change impacts how business analysts perform their role. Click here to find business analysis jobs. Here are three key aspects of how business analytics works differently in an Agile environment: 1. The Analyst Evolves to Become a Key Player in Helping Companies Avoid Costly Software Development Problems There are many definitions of “software architecture,” but its ultimate point is to make sure that the development… continue…

The Key to Good Business Process Modeling

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Business-use cases are essential for modeling because they define processes as series of sequential steps with alternate flows. These use cases help stakeholders better understand the business and what’s working, versus what’s not. Click here to find business analyst jobs. Modeling business processes can help with many things, including but not limited to: Eliminating irrelevant details Presenting processes in a common format for all stakeholders Understanding complexity Assessing efficiency Capturing how value is delivered Determining time and cost Different types of… continue…

The Importance of Mapping Business Concepts

Analyzing business information is the first and often weakest link in the business-analysis process. The “as-is” of the business situation is typically ill-defined and in need of reworking. As a result, business analysis should be viewed as a meaningful and creative learning process. Businesses Are Run by People Getting actual involvement from businesspeople on business analysis and business development projects is usually a large challenge. Capturing and retaining the attention of those key people, who know what the business is… continue…

Setting Quality Requirements With ‘Planguage’

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Everyone wants software that is user-friendly, robust, fast, and secure. Everyone also agrees that a failure to establish the right requirements often prevents software from fulfilling that wish. Business analysts often end up writing fuzzy requirements for developers and testers because they haven’t explored the users’ needs to sufficient depth. Details go missing in conversations; feature requests are left vague. And the problem with vague quality requirements, of course, is that you can’t verify or test them; they’re no better… continue…

Revealing a Project’s Missing Requirements

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No matter how good a job you think you’ve done on eliciting project requirements from a client, there will always be gaps; nobody really knows when one is done gathering all requirements, because new wishes and demands continue to trickle in throughout a project’s lifecycle. A project with an excessive rate of change suggests that important requirements may have been overlooked during the elicitation phase. But how do you keep missing requirements to a minimum? Click here to find business… continue…