Soft Skills

Aug 13, 2017
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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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While BABOK and other sources include Behavioral Characteristics as an essential underlying competency for business analysts, many analysts may have only a vague idea of how it applies to their personal work environment, or even exactly what behavioral characteristics are, so let’s define those first.... The term behavioral characteristics simply refers to an analyst’s workplace ethics and character. 

 
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Feb 05, 2017
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The causes of chaos are unpredictable behaviors that arise from individuals, teams, or systems. Behaviors portrayed by the mentioned three components affect how an organization is able to handle challenges and problems. By allowing individuals and teams to portray their own behaviors in the working environment, different components of an organization may either work properly or experience failure. In the subsequent sections, we will elaborate on some mechanisms that trigger chaos in an organizational context.
Jan 22, 2017
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Let’s face it, there are just some conversations that you don’t want to have. There are some people you simply don’t want to talk to, but what happens when we don’t have these conversations? Everyone loses! It is perfectly natural for us to avoid difficult conversations. We fear rejection, retaliation, emotional outbreaks, the dismissal of our ideas, and of course those incredibly awkward moments where everyone around you stares at their feet thinking “God I am glad that’s not me.” However, these conversations need to be had and the Badass Business Analyst will have them. If we want healthy, productive teams and projects, crucial conversations must be had frequently. You can’t just keep ranting, raving, complaining and avoiding, you need to start having meaningful, persuasive conversations that make an impact. You need your ideas to be heard, and more importantly you need behaviors to change. Don’t you think its time you and I have a crucial conversation? Suddenly I feel like I have turned into my father. Sigh. For the record, all of his crucial conversations were always too late, which is maybe why I am so passionate about this particular chapter in my book (the longest chapter by far - okay, moving away from from therapy now).
Jan 15, 2017
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Is your team struggling with the transition to modern requirements practices? As many teams explore and experiment with modern practices and agile, they often jump to apply tactical methods and techniques. But does anything really change?

 

Most teams work really hard and don’t see results. Or they find a few early benefits, but get stuck on a low plateau. They often give up and slide back into their old habits. Why? Because they’ve modified surface-level tactics, but haven’t modified mindsets.

Dec 28, 2016
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A story is defined as a narrative or tale, true or imaginary. Each story has a moral hidden in it. A story writer won't directly say that hard work and patience is the key to success. Instead the writer came up with a story of Hare and Tortoise. And if we observe carefully, stories are everywhere; we ask a friend about her love story, we watch a prime time news story, we ask a new friend about his life's story, the movie I watched the other day had a good story. 
Dec 11, 2016
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Moving on, we will investigate the importance of the business analyst’s often delicate relationship with individual stakeholders.   A business analyst is a facilitator of change, and in affecting these changes within a company, the analyst must interact with multiple stakeholders of varying personalities. When identifying and delivering the necessary changes within a business, the analyst must develop and maintain a relationship with each individual stakeholder.  Each stakeholder will wield a different level of authority within the company and hold a certain amount of power over those changes that are coming into effect. Noting this, the analyst must take part in a careful balancing act, juggling these relationships in order to facilitate change with minimal difficulty.

Oct 30, 2016
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By signing up to go through this process, you will be doing yourself a huge favor – a favor that you will never regret especially when people will look at you as the ‘wow’ person who completely transformed his or her life, achieving something that was not even vaguely possible otherwise.
Oct 02, 2016
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We implemented A/B testing into our product 6 months ago. During that time we conducted a variety of A/B tests to generate insights about our user's behaviour. We learnt a lot about our specific product. More generally, we learnt about how to run valuable A/B tests.
Jun 26, 2016
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The Business Analyst is in a great position to constantly focus on the desirability of the product.  A well-defined requirement elicitation process must be focused on defining the problem the business is trying to solve for our customers. If defining the problem is the first step in your requirement process you are on the way to guaranteeing that the delivered product will provide value to your customers. Throughout the development process you will be able to monitor if the product is actually solving the problem. Additionally, your requirements should be directly related to solving the problem. It is a BA’s job to question the value of every proposed requirement that product owners want to add. If the requested feature or function is not directly related to solving the problem then it should be taken out of scope. 

Mar 13, 2016
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You finally did it. You figured out the real business problem your project is meant to solve, and identified a solution that is far superior than the originally proposed. Now you just need to get buy-in from the project sponsor so the delivery team can alter their plans and set out to build the higher-value solution you devised. But there is one problem: the project sponsor was deeply involved in identifying the original solution and nurturing it. It’s his baby… and if you say it needs to be overhauled, you are basically saying his baby is ugly. Now what? How do you make sure your news aren’t received as an insult, and dismissed with defensiveness by the decision-maker?
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This article extends design thinking into a process and method that uses a range of common Business Analysis techniques to drive engagement through collaboration. It provides more structure to either side of the creative process to one better frame the domain of concern, and secondly after creativity has produced ideas, to prototype, refine, test and learn. The article also positions this process as a better way to arrive at a business case or pre-project phase, since it provides enormous insights through an engaging discovery process; something that would never occur within a traditional environment into investigation investment feasibility.
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In the world of underlying competencies that contribute to strong business analysis, the soft skill of analytical thinking and problem solving may seem pretty self-explanatory. Clearly, it involves sorting through business problems and information in an informed, methodical way. In order to do this, an analyst must research the problem and then propose intelligent solutions.

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The “good old workshop”. As a business analyst practitioner and trainer I often get asked the question “should we use a workshop?” quickly followed by “how do we run it?”. This article addresses the first question (subsequent articles will look at the second).
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Next time you start to think that your stakeholder is crazy, ask yourself why. Chances are that there is a rational rationale, and it will be up to you to come up with a solution that meets the needs of your organization and your stakeholders.
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