Business Analysis

Everything related to Business Analysis from beginner “101″ advice based on real experiences, to training, coverage of events and seasoned advice how you can be a more effective BA.

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

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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…

How BAs Can Manage Stakeholder Expectations

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As business analysts, we often get involved with stakeholder meetings only to find out they have unrealistic expectations or needs. Let’s look at some of the reasons why this happens and what can be done to resolve or mitigate this common challenge. Problem #1: We Don’t Understand Their Priorities Probably the most common issue is a lack of understanding when it comes to the stakeholder’s needs and interests. While business analysts are often well-versed in a company’s needs, often they… continue…

Despite Apps, Much of Data Analytics Still Drudgery

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So-called “Big Data” has never been more popular among organizations, and those with the ability to analyze vast amounts of data find themselves much in demand. That demand, in turn, could drive more graduates to embrace analytics as a career. But for anyone contemplating such a move, be warned: Data scientists within even the most dynamic company face a whole lot of drudgery as part of their daily routine. A new study by The New York Times estimates that data… continue…

Why a Business Analyst’s Role Is So Hard to Define

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It’s common to see many organizations using business analysts in different ways, which is one reason a BA’s skill set has to be so versatile. But why is it BAs don’t always drop neatly into a single, pre-defined role? The nature of business analysis itself has a lot to do with it. Generally, business analysis comprises some parts of these three areas: Click here to find business analysis jobs. Strategic Analysis Because strategy is by its nature high-level, analysis is… continue…

4 Interview Qs for Business Analysts in Product or Marketing

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The duties and requirements for business analysts vary from position to position. While some BAs support an entire organization or a particular function, others are tethered to a product or marketing manager and assist in the creation of deliverables for external customers. That can be a tricky role, says Laura Brandenburg, a former BA who trains and coaches prospective professionals for Colorado-based Bridging the Gap. “You may not have access to the external customers who are using your product or… continue…