Business Analysis Articles

Feb 19, 2018
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A long, long time ago in a land far, far away…. a project delivery team was busily spending their days delivering projects. They were tasked with delivering change projects and often these included software delivery. This team consisted of people with a variety of skillsets, personalities and...
A long, long time ago in a land far, far away…. a project delivery team was busily spending their days delivering projects. They were tasked with delivering change projects ...
Since 2009 we have enjoyed reflecting on what’s happened the previous year on projects and making predictions for the upcoming year. Here are some of the recent trends we hav...
During a recent presentation to business analysts, I used one of my consulting projects as an example of how to apply an analysis technique we were discussing. A member of the audi...

Latest Articles

Nov 05, 2017
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Agile Manifesto is a means to achieve the end objective through ‘best practices’ that crystallize into an approach that efficiently resolves the competitive stand-off. Thus the Manifesto is a subset of principles that provide a working framework to attain Agility. The following are high-impact Manifesto principles...
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Estimating is one of the most controversial subjects in project management. There are some people who have turned the subject into a cryptic science involving esoteric techniques. Estimating is simply the process used to determine the amount of effort and cost required to implement a project, in part or in full. It is important to acknowledge that...
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 In this article we look at some quality attributes that are particularly vital to explore when specifying requirements for embedded systems projects. Quality attributes for embedded systems can be much more complex and intertwined than those for other applications. Business software is generally used in an office where there’s not much variance in the environment. In contrast, the operating environment for embedded systems could involve temperature extremes, vibration, shock, and other factors that dictate specific quality considerations.
Oct 15, 2017
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A requirement is “a condition or capability needed by a user to solve a problem or to achieve an objective” (AKA a goal). Thinking in terms of problems and goals thus is a core competence for the requirements engineer. But what in fact is a problem or a goal? This may seem to be a rather philosophical question. As requirements engineers we should be quite specific on this point as the problems and goals of our clients are the raison d’être for our work.
Oct 09, 2017
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The experience age will force the business analyst, more so than ever, to be closer to business. The focus will have to move from how the IT landscape looks at the architectural level, to how it can be best utilised to provide the most compelling and efficient customer experience.  The success of business will now be determined by how well the customer journey and user experience has been translated to offer real and/or even perceived value for money through ‘virtual experience’.  It will be difficult for the business analyst to be a credible advisor to business without understanding the customer’s needs.

Oct 01, 2017
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Prior to proceeding with a strategic project, project leadership needs to ensure that the project still:

  • aligns with the direction of the business entity, and
  • fits the needs of the targeted customer segment,
    as it did when the project was an initiative. This brief article starts at the inception of an initiative during Enterprise Analysis to the validation of a strategic project prior to kickoff. Note in this article, I include both the private and public sectors when I use the terms such as “business entity” and “customer segments.”
Sep 24, 2017
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The role of design still puzzles many agile teams I work with. When should the design activities take place? Who should carry them out? How are design decisions best captured? This blog tries to answer the questions by discussing a user-centric, iterative, and collaborative design process for Scrum and Kanban teams.
Sep 17, 2017
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An effective product roadmap is a must-have for any successful software development project. A roadmap helps the product manager define the trajectory of a product, communicate progress to stakeholders, visualize goals and justify changes to budget. Product roadmaps are where both strategy and tactics combine to help teams build better products.
Sep 10, 2017
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So I came to a conclusion that I found interesting and want to share with the public: when doing this transition, the companies do not want to implement agile, they just want to run away from waterfall. And running away from waterfall can come in many shapes and forms, so the overall popular idea of comparing “waterfall” vs “agile” as two competing extremes is not conceptually correct.
Sep 04, 2017
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There are some practices that can practically make our life much easier if we adopt them early in the project.  This fourth article of the series “ Business Analysts and Change Management - What we need to know” addresses the minimum that we - as Business Analysts - might need to know about change management, but this time at organizational level
Aug 27, 2017
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The purpose of this article is to help YOU (fellow business analyst-perfectionist) to pass the CBAP V3 certification exam efficiently without overspending on prep materials. I wish there had been a CURRENT guide available for me when I stormed the CBAP fortress back in April 2017. After completing thorough online research, I found a few useful but outdated articles and other useful but disparate tips for how to pass the exam. But there was no comprehensive guide for passing the CBAP v3 exam on the first try.
Aug 20, 2017
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Gherkin is a language used to write acceptance tests. BA's use Gherkin to specify how they want the system to behave in certain scenarios...  It’s a simple language. There are 10 key words (e.g. Given, When, Then). Because it’s a simple language, it’s understandable by the business. As well as being understandable by the business, Gherkin can be understood by an automation tool called Cucumber. That means Cucumber can interpret Gherkin and use it to drive automated tests. This links BA requirements to automated tests.


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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Scope creep (also known as feature creep, requirements creep, featuritis, and creeping featurism), however, refers to the uncontrolled growth of functionality that the team attempts to stuff into an already-full project box. It doesn’t all fit. The continuing churn and expansion of the requirements, coupled with inadequate prioritization, makes it difficult to deliver the most important functionality on schedule. This demand for ever-increasing functionality leads to delays, quality problems, and misdirected energy.  Scope creep is one of the most pervasive challenges of software development. 

 

Jul 30, 2017
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Disbenefits are changes to on-going operating costs as a result of a project; they could be perceived as positive or negative. These disbenefits are included in defining the Total Cost of Ownership rather than a component of project cost, and is more of a focus for controllers due to its on-going nature rather than one time project savings and revenue.

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