The Community Blog for Business Analysts

Dahlia Biazid
Dahlia Biazid

The Need for a Recipe

Everyone knows what use cases are and their use in the software requirements process. We all know there are many ways to write them: logical, physical, to describe a manual procedure or an automated procedure. The purpose of State Diagrams is well-known to everyone in the field. They help us define the transitional lifecycle of an object moving and manipulated on within a system. Data dictionaries are important to describe the elements of each data entity or class. And so on.

It is like a toolbox to choose from. I could use the hammer to bang on a nail (its original use), or to open something (an innovative use). In my requirements projects (or rather sub-projects form software development for that matter), I can use any or all of these techniques to analyze the system at hand. The question is when? What is the best strategy to employ these tools and get results most efficiently and effectively?

Nevertheless, this question did not seem answerable; even worse, it was not even asked! Instead, I looked around for a sample deliverable or a template to follow, with the hope that they would give me a picture to visualize and help me put the pieces together; and hopefully relieve me from the need to have a strategy. The tactic worked to an extent, but not completely. I still did not know for sure which step to make at each time I went to see the client or sit to think about the requirements plan. Only until the project was complete was I able to see the picture. So naturally, I took longer than I should to complete requirements; and the results were not as satisfactory as I as well as everybody involved wished for.

What was missing was the method, the strategy, the cunning of a chef who knows which ingredient to add and the exact timing and portion. What was really missing - and seems to be still missing - is the "recipe".

This entry was published on Sep 13, 2012 / Dahlia Biazid. Posted in Use Cases, Systems Analysis, Business Analysis, Getting Started as a Business Systems Analyst, Technical Topics. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
Like this article:
  3 members liked this article

Related Articles


David Wright posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 12:03 PM
A recipe is a process description. Requirements work needs a process. In my work, I use one called "The Requirements Discovery Process", developed by IAG Consulting ( It indeed uses the types of "ingredients" you list above. Here is a taste of that process

(I hope I am not breaking any site rules about linking to vendors. If so, revise or delete as needed.)
David Wright
Only registered users may post comments.

Modern Analyst Blog Latests

As we start a new year many of us will take the time to reflect on our accomplishments from 2012 and plan our goals for 2013. We can set small or large goals. goals that will be accomplished quickly or could take several years. For 2013, I think Business Analysts should look to go beyond our traditional boundaries and set audacious goals. Merriam-...
Recently, I was asked by the IIBA to present a talk at one of their chapter meetings. I am reprinting here my response to that invitation in the hope that it will begin a conversation with fellow EEPs and BAs about an area of great concern to the profession. Hi xx …. Regarding the IIBA talk, there is another issue that I am considering. It's p...
Continuing the ABC series for Business Analysts, Howard Podeswa created the next installment titled "BA ABCs: “C” is for Class Diagram" as an article rather than a blog post. You can find the article here: BA ABCs: “C” is for Class Diagram Here are the previous two posts: BA ABCs: “A” is for Activity Diagram BA ABCs: “B” is for BPMN


Blog Information

» What is the Community Blog and what are the Benefits of Contributing?

» Review our Blog Posting Guidelines.

» I am looking for the original Modern Analyst blog posts.


Copyright 2006-2024 by Modern Analyst Media LLC