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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

What is the H-Method and how can it benefit the Business Analyst?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 24723 Views // 6 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Elicitation (BABOK KA), Tools

ANSWER

The H-method is an analysis tool that aids the BA in organizing a fact finding interview with a business representative or system user.  

Before discussing the benefits of the H-Method and how it works, let’s consider a typical interviewing process.  Without the use of a framework for organizing an interview, an analyst and business representative will often participate in a relatively unstructured dialogue in which the analyst asks questions such as:

  • Tell me what you do?
  • What does your system do?
  • Who do you interact with?
  • Why is “x” important?

Then based on the answers given the analyst will continue to ask follow up questions.  The success of the fact finding is typically dependent upon the experience level of the analyst.  While this method can work, the analyst will often walk away with several pages of unstructured notes.  The important information must then be extracted and organized into something meaningful and useful.  Only then will the analyst be able to determine if they have discovered all of the necessary pieces of information or if there are still gaps in their understanding.

The H-method uses the following “H” shaped diagram to provide a structured framework to guide the interview and to allow the analyst to captured information in an organized way from the start.

nonBA H-Method

 

This diagram also asks the business representative questions is a business friendly manner. As information is gathered, the analyst can document it in the appropriate area of the “H” shaped diagram. 

Finally, the information gathered using the first diagram can be mapped to more business analysis centric concepts on the following revised diagram.

BA H-Method

The H-method is successful because it provides both a structured framework to guide the interview process and because it reminds the business analyst to avoid business analysis jargon that may confuse the business representative.  Instead it asks questions that align more closely with how the business representative views their world.

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Chris Adams
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ADDITIONAL ANSWERS / COMMENTS

K.Sai posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:21 AM
I hope H method works better in collecting requirements form Business users.
Amy posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 9:29 AM
It seems to be organized way to keep interview on track.
taiwo posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 4:12 PM
Well organised. thanks.

vik posted on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 10:55 AM
Like it, its similar to SIPOC in Six Sigma though that is at a broader level.
Dahlia Biazid posted on Sunday, November 11, 2012 6:26 AM
Does anyone know who invented this method or where was it originally published?
Amakan posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 6:58 PM
Very useful. Thanks
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.





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