The Community Blog for Business Analysts


» Three Great Tools for Editing Tables
Article Rating (313 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 (279 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 (224 Views) (0 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 (856 Views) (3 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 (996 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 (1771 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 (2587 Views) (2 Comments)
(Image credit: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/14918242487402982/)   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 (2172 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

» How Do I Become A Business Analyst?
Article Rating (84 Views) (3 Comments)
This is one of the most frequently asked questions I have encountered ever since I have started training business analysts. Before exploring ‘how’, one should ask ‘why do I want to become a business analyst?’ Is it just because every talented individual want to do it, or you want better opportunity, or for better salary. In my opinion, if you have...
Posted by: Trividh Patel, CBAP

» 3 Tips for Obtaining Requirements Sign-off
Article Rating (1641 Views) (0 Comments)
Sign-offs are a sign that stakeholders agree with and approve the requirements that have been elicited and documented. There are multiple reasons why BAs seek stakeholder sign-offs and in some cases, it is not always clear whom it benefits. While some methodologies like Agile do not involve a formal sign-off, requirements sign-off does add va...
Posted by: Stephanie Famuyide

» Agile investigated - Back to basics and beyond.
Article Rating (1875 Views) (0 Comments)
The word “Agile”, there was a time when this word referred to the ability to move quickly, easily in a more tangible sense, and associated perfectly with synonyms like ‘nimble’, ‘acrobatic’, ‘light footed’, and it goes on and on. Now in the context of software development the word Agile seemed to have gained new depths. Very much like the word “T...
Posted by: Victoria

» Oh...I wish I knew this before!
Article Rating (3108 Views) (6 Comments)
A few years ago, I had shifted with bag and baggage to the US. I thought that the upcoming project would consume me for at least a couple of years. Alas, that was not the case. I returned home in five months. Well, I don't even want to begin to think about the financial and emotional set back that my family and I had to endure! Why did this happen...
Posted by: ValueBASE Inc.

» Business Analysis – A MANDATORY Discipline for ALL
Article Rating (1434 Views) (0 Comments)
I arrived at the coffee shop for a discussion with my financial planner. Well, I intended to still evaluate him, so he was technically not yet “my” financial planner.  He was “a” financial planner. After the initial pleasantries, he began with a monologue on financial prudence and various product categories that I ...
Posted by: ValueBASE Inc.

» What do you do?
Article Rating (2053 Views) (5 Comments)
“So, what do you do?”  It’s quite probably the question I most dread being asked. It’s a fairly benign question but as a Business Analyst I feel compelled to assess and understand what I am really being asked before attempting to provide an appropriately pitched response to my inquisitor. I find myself scrambling for the right words whilst my ...
Posted by: Pjbussol

» Negotiation skills – are they really for Business Analysts?
Article Rating (2154 Views) (1 Comments)
 I keep seeing in BA skill descriptions or in specific articles that ‘negotiation skills’ are a necessity for Business Analysts. I just don’t see it myself. Negotiation is a difficult activity for many people, and I see this trend as an attempt to offload negotiation to other people… like Business Analysts. Why do I feel this way? As an activ...
Posted by: David Wright

» Are You a What or a Who?
Article Rating (2172 Views) (0 Comments)
“Who is the project manger?” “Who is the developer?” “What is a business analyst?” I received a business card at an Agile event one time, and I wish I could find the card or remember the gentleman’s name to give proper credit, but he listed his title as Agile Evangelist. If the role of business analyst is new to your company, and sometimes even if ...
Posted by: Russell Brewer

» 10 Lessons to Remember When Implementing a Stage-Gate® for NPD
Article Rating (3113 Views) (0 Comments)
Many large organizations have adopted a gated approach to reduce new product development (NPD) risk. One of the key features of such an approach is a set of “go/no-go” decision gates which, in principle, ensures that each project remains aligned with its original strategic intent and its value remains high enough to justify its continuation to the ...
Posted by: ccecere

» 5 Pitfalls to Avoid in the Requirements Development Phase
Article Rating (3386 Views) (0 Comments)
Developing requirements is a process with many moving parts. It involves aligning multiple stakeholders from different areas within an organization to determine what must be developed to fulfill a business need.  Because it is a process, there are a number of factors that can cause the process to break down and lead to the development of fault...
Posted by: Ken Young

» Communication Is a Two-Way Street
Article Rating (1668 Views) (0 Comments)
Don’t you love clichés? I am sure your immediate thought when you read the title of this post was “Yet another blog telling me I need to listen more”. You’re probably right about half of it, you probably do need to listen more. We all need to listen more. But this thought doesn’t deal with the art of listening; it deals with a completely different ...
Posted by: Russell Brewer

» Want to be an effective professional? Follow up!
Article Rating (1948 Views) (0 Comments)
Would you like to be perceived as effective? Want to succeed? Make sure you follow up.   As a BA you are involved in several initiatives at different stages of development.  What separates an average professional from an exceptional one is following up on tasks assigned to others on your projects. I'm too busy,...
Posted by: Lee Grinberg, CBAP, PMP

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