Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

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When implementing a purchased solution should your requirements and design documents cover features that were not requested but come with the package?


The short answer is yes.  But first, consider the following exaggerated illustration to make the point.

Let's say that you're in the market for a sports car and you have requirements such as: must be a 2 seater, must do 0-60mph in under 4 seconds, must have tires wider than 'x' inches, must be red in color, must have paddle shifters, etc. Then when you go to pick up the car, it has everything you asked for but it also has a 18-wheeler truck permanently attached to the back.  That's not going to go over so well, is it.

The point is that if you didn't have a requirement for it then at a minimum each additional feature needs to be assessed to determine its potential positive or negative impact.

Start by doing a Gap Analysis between the features of the purchased solution and your requirements. After identifying which features are in addition to your requirements assess each to determine if:

  1. The feature is not wanted and needs to be disabled, hidden, or removed in some way (some features may cause operational, compliance, or security issues).
  2. The feature is nice to have but can only be kept if modified in some way or integrated with other features/system
  3. The feature is fine as is

For features that you eliminate you still need test cases to ensure they have been handled and correctly removed.

For features you keep, be sure to incorporate them into the requirements documentation and create some basic testing scenarios to ensure they work as expected.  These are similar to features that you would normally have categorized as "Nice to Have" but that never get implemented because other requirements take priority.  By incorporating them into your documentation, you maintain appropriate traceability. This is useful during testing but also in the future to ensure new features don't break any existing features.

Chris Adams
LinkedIn Profile



rdeva3 posted on Friday, January 29, 2016 3:13 PM
The question is unclear
Adrian M. posted on Saturday, January 30, 2016 1:15 PM
I think the question is a good one and maybe not that easy to put into one sentence.

EXAMPLE: The essence is this: You or your client need 3 features in the product: A, B, and C.

The product you are buying has 5 features: A, B, C, D, and E (basically you don't need features D and E.

QUESTION: do you need to document or maintain documentation (either requirements or functional specifications) for features D and E (which you don't need)?

ANSWER (my opinion): At least at the high level, you should understand and document those features. This would be a small, upfront investment, which may pay off in the long run.

One scenario is when you get to the point when you actually need to begin using these features - having them documented will allow you to make business decisions (are the enough, do I need to change them, what do I tell the users) without trying to reverse engineer code which nobody has looked at in years.

Another reason for documenting these features to some extent is that rarely are features implemented in such a way that they do not interfere with each other. Most likely, as you make modifications to A, B, or C or as your users use A, B, and C they will come across the "unneeded" features D & E and you need to know the system behavior in order to provide guidance to the users, solve defects, extend the system behavior.

What do you think?
Adrian M.
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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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