The Community Blog for Business Analysts

» How To Effectively Use Observation in Projects
Article Rating (1804 Views) (5 Comments)
Internships can provide some great learning opportunities. I was lucky enough to learn one of the best lessons on the first day of the very first internship of mine. My mentor at the time asked that, for the first 4 weeks, I invest time in every aspect of his business to learn how everything functions. I thought he was insane yet it was one of the ...
Posted by: Fareed R

» Every Business Analyst Must Negotiate Like a Pro
Article Rating (2686 Views) (1 Comments)
In the larger context of life, it is very clear that negotiation skills are very important and that those that have them are better off than those who don’t.  What about in business analysis? Are negotiation skills important?  The answer is an emphatic: YES! You bet they are!  Business analysts negotiate or facilitate ...
Posted by: Adrian M.

» From Developer in India to Business Analyst Abroad
Article Rating (2591 Views) (2 Comments)
Business Systems Analyst as a Career Option If you are an IT professional in India, thinking of working abroad, you might want to consider a business/systems analyst position. Why? It’s a position in high demand with high earning potential and which can serve as a great foundation for moving up the corporate ladder into management or busin...
Posted by: Adrian M.

» You are not the user : 4 tips to elicit better requirements
Article Rating (2084 Views) (2 Comments)
I recently had the chance to spend half a day with some customer service representatives (CSR) in one of my organization's call centers, in order to get a better grip on their work and to see how they interact with the multiple systems available to them to better serve our customers. I didn't answer any customer call (God bless them!), but I sat n...
Posted by: Eric Provost

» The Case for System Documentation aka "Developer Is No Longer King"
Article Rating (1105 Views) (0 Comments)
If you are managing a team of business analysts or systems analyst you probably have two main goals in mind:  - to make sure your team understand the requirements (the real ones)  - to make sure that you develop a solution which makes sense in the context of your constraints.  The chances are that one of your biggest constraints...
Posted by: Adrian M.

» You Must Question Requests from the Business
Article Rating (1961 Views) (1 Comments)
A while back, I was reading a Computerworld - Singapore article on Business Intelligence and embedded in it was a small, but significant, truth about the business analyst role.  The article points out that a common mistake made by many organizations is to treat the business analyst as a request taker. That is - if the bu...
Posted by: Adrian M.

» Is it just me, or do I really dislike BA work?
Article Rating (944 Views) (2 Comments)
I was lucky enough for awhile to do very technical systems analyst work.  Now I am only given what I suppose are traditional BA assignments.  I find the work boring, tedious, uninspiring, and most of all I feel unappreciated and undervalued.  I feel like a glorified secretary - I take notes and write up requirements or meeting minute...
Posted by: DMLeVoir

» Employers Should Do More to Train Business Analysts
Article Rating (1074 Views) (1 Comments)
While the Business Systems Analysis line of work is just beginning to be recognized as a profession of its own, the shortage of business analysts and systems analysts continues to get worse.  And the shortage is global!  Would you believe that India is having a shortage of qualified IT professionals? Well, you better believe it!&nbs...
Posted by: Adrian M.

» The Popcorn Way and the Business Analyst
Article Rating (1423 Views) (2 Comments)
The problem: Do you know when you’re done? Given a specific project with a reasonably defined charter and clear business goals you, the business analyst, set out to elicit and document the detailed business requirements. So when do you stop? Whether you lead a team of business analysts or you do the work yourself, you probably struggled tr...
Posted by: Adrian M.

» Training to be a Business Analyst
Article Rating (1174 Views) (2 Comments)
I have over 15 yrs of professional experience as a project manager in architecture and construction industry. I have good transferable skills; analysis, communication, organizing, documenting, etc., that can be applied to BA. I was thinking of doing some training, what training courses might help me get better skills and understanding, such as...
Posted by: Forma Urbis

» BA: If You Want to Succeed, You've Got to Read!
Article Rating (1990 Views) (1 Comments)
To be an average analyst is fairly simple... ....  all you have to do is go to all the meetings, complete all the mandatory training courses, and listen to feedback from your manager. But... IF you want to be a GREAT analyst - if you want to truly be successful  THEN that's not enough.  To truly succ...
Posted by: Adrian M.

» Three Great Tools for Managing Bulleted Lists
Article Rating (966 Views) (1 Comments)
This post describes three great tools for managing bulleted lists in Microsoft Word. They allow you to automatically punctuate them , reorder them , and select them for further processing. This post complements my earlier article Three Great Tools for Editing Tables that described tools for efficiently entering and numbering the content in Micr...
Posted by: Martin@DocProd

» Three Great Tools for Editing Tables
Article Rating (1794 Views) (1 Comments)
I use Microsoft Word a great deal in my work as a BA, it is my primary tool for formally communicating text based project deliverables.  Where I can, I like to use tables, so that I can quickly capture information and present it without having to write full, grammatically correct paragraphs. Over the last few years, I have prepared a numbe...
Posted by: Martin@DocProd

» Relative Item Point (RIP) Estimate Methodology
Article Rating (1408 Views) (1 Comments)
ABSTRACT Software development is burdened with high levels of complexity (and many unknowns), yet it requires perfection for the software to compile and work. Because of these factors, no estimation approach is going to be foolproof. It is believed that relative item point estimation is just as accurate as any alternative (WBS, UCP) while offering...
Posted by: Thai Son

» Winner of complimentary ticket to BA conference
Article Rating (1063 Views) (1 Comments)
The complimentary ticket to the BA conference, donated by The Atlantic Systems Guild, for the best answer to the question: What will be the role of the business analyst five years from now? has been won by Maxine Reynolds of BAE Systems: “In five years the business analyst will be putting a much stronger focus on user experience, with a gr...
Posted by: suzanner

» Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders
Article Rating (5317 Views) (4 Comments)
The question will undoubtedly arise during your tenure as a business analyst, ‘How do I manage a difficult stakeholder?’ I once encountered a stakeholder, a very highly respected mathematician, who had developed an application based on a mathematical model of his weather systems. The algorithm was amazing. The application sucked. It wa...
Posted by: sbowling999

» BABOK v2 - End-to-end data flow diagram analysis can highlight issues
Article Rating (3058 Views) (0 Comments)
As part of preparation to sit the IIBA CBAP exam, I wanted a one page summary of the overall BABOK flow. The first step of creating a summary matrix showing a derived master list of documents (e.g. Inputs + Outputs) versus the process that creates or uses it was interesting, but not entirely helpful. By using the matrix to create an indicative ...
Posted by: Alan

» Modeling complex logic with Warnier diagrams
Article Rating (2827 Views) (0 Comments)
Warnier diagrams are not well known. They were introduced in the age of Structured Systems Analysis and are now forgotten. However they are the best tool for solving complex problems. Sometimes you need to model complex logic with multiple different exception scenarios. Sometimes you need to come up with requirements for complex functionality like ...
Posted by: Łukasz Pasek

» Brainstorming: A Powerful Tool in Business Analysis
Article Rating (4178 Views) (2 Comments)
(Image credit:   Tired of holding those long and boring meetings with your analysts and stakeholders to encourage them to come up with new ideas and strategies for your business? It seems more of drudgery than a productive exercise when you find yourself lecturing your team for hours on end to...
Posted by: Frank Pipolo

» Come to me with problems, not solutions
Article Rating (3626 Views) (0 Comments)
 “Bring me solutions, not problems”. How often have we heard those words uttered by management? In the main it’s a sensible ask however, for a Business Analyst, quite the opposite is true. Our job is to define business problems when often we are presented with solutions. “We need a new reporting tool because the MI we receive isn’t always cor...
Posted by: Pjbussol

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Three Audacious Goals for Business Analysts in 2013
As we start a new year many of us will take the time to reflect on our accomplishments from 2012 and plan our goals for 2013. We can set small or large goals. goals that will be accomplished quickly or could take several years. For 2013, I think Business Analysts should look to go beyond our traditi... Read More...

Hey IIBA, What’s Up With That?
Recently, I was asked by the IIBA to present a talk at one of their chapter meetings. I am reprinting here my response to that invitation in the hope that it will begin a conversation with fellow EEPs and BAs about an area of great concern to the profession. Hi xx …. Regarding the IIBA talk, th... Read More...

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Continuing the ABC series for Business Analysts, Howard Podeswa created the next installment titled "BA ABCs: “C” is for Class Diagram" as an article rather than a blog post. You can find the article here: BA ABCs: “C” is for Class Diagram Here are the previous two posts: BA ABCs: “A” is for Ac... Read More...

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