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New Post 1/19/2008 8:42 AM
User is offline sorin
2 posts
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Books and Tools for a begginer Systems Analyst 



 I've a BSc in Computer Science and also a MSc in Computer Science. After that I've worked for 3 1/2 years as a J2EE developer (analyst-programmer) for a private company and for another 1 year as a R&D Eng. in a Computer Sciene Institute. At this point I got now a job as a system analyst at another company. Apart from my knowledge from the undergraduate courses for Software Engineering and apart from my knowledge of UML which I've used as a developer (use cases mainly, but also activity diagrms, class diagrams, component diagrams) I've also some general ideas about the software engineering processes, gathering the requirements, defining the use cases, CRC cards, design patterns, RUP, Agile, and so on...

 I want to ask you to recommend e some  books about modern Analysis and Design. I'm interested in a pratical approach not only a theorethical one. What books do you think I should use in order to become a professional SA? I want also to emphaize that I'm inerested in the latest practices and tools in domain and not necessary on books from 90's.

 What tools should I use also in my future activiy as a SA?

Thank you very much

With best regards,




New Post 1/19/2008 3:18 PM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
4th Level Poster

Re: Books and Tools for a begginer Systems Analyst 

BABOK 1.6 can be downloaded from IIBA's website.  I has a large section on practical techniques that you shuld be able to pick up right away.

If the flavour is less development and more system management have a look at ITIL.

As for books, I think there are plenty to choose from but couldn't recommend any particular one.  Yourdon's "Just Enough Structured ANalysis" is free and from the late 80's and revised in the 90's, but he also has a wiki of the book to keep the info up to date.


New Post 1/22/2008 11:06 AM
User is offline Chris Adams
323 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Books and Tools for a begginer Systems Analyst 
Modified By Chris Adams  on 3/3/2008 6:05:51 PM)
There are three broad analysis methodologies that are used today:
  • Business process analysis
  • Object-oriented analysis
  • Structured analysis
Business Process Analysis is a component of Business Process Engineering (used almost interchangeably with Business Process Re-Engineering, Business Process Transformation, and Business Process Modeling). As the name implies, it focuses on improving the processes of a business to maximize efficiency and reduce costs to support the organizations goals and objectives. I’ve yet to find a solid book on business process analysis to recommend. Perhaps someone else in the community can provide a recommendation. I would however recommend the following link on business modeling notations and workflow patterns. 
Object-Oriented Analysis views the world as a set of logical objects. During analysis, logical classes are design with attributes that describe and define them. Later, during the design phase physical classes are developed with both attributes and methods for passing and transforming data.
Given your background as a developer, and the information that you have listed I would guess you are fairly comfortable with Objected-Oriented Analysis. Of course, it never hurts to brush up on your UML diagrams such as Class Diagrams, Sequence Diagrams, etc. For this I would recommend the following books.
Structured Analysis views the world in terms of processes and the data that represents the inputs and outputs to those processes. Data is information. Strong followers of Structure Analysis like this methodology for this reason. They believe that data/information is created out of a need and that by following the data trail you will uncover the true requirements of the business. As Craig mentioned, the following is a great FREE book on this topic.

Finally, regardless of the methodology being used, requirements management and elicitation is huge for any analysts. Any, I have yet to find a good book to recommend here. I have read lots of information books on the topic that are alright, but nothing that I would say is a must read. I will let the community comment here.

 Hope this was helpful.

Chris Adams
Core Member –
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New Post 1/23/2008 11:48 PM
User is offline sorin
2 posts
No Ranking

Re: Books and Tools for a begginer Systems Analyst 

Thank you both for your answers. Regarding the three methodologies used today I want to ask if these ones are used independently one of the others or, in the process of  SA, they can be used combined. I understand that all these are different views of the same thing, is it often needed in the practice of SA to describe the problem from multiple perspective (object oriented, business processes, etc..) or is it ok to use only one methodology?

With best regards,



New Post 1/24/2008 12:41 AM
User is offline Adrian M.
764 posts
3rd Level Poster

Re: Books and Tools for a begginer Systems Analyst 

Hi Sorin,

Some proponents of certain methodologies or techniques claim they can be used for everything on a project.  In theory that might be true, but in practice a combination of multiple methodologies and techniques is often used.  The answer also depends on the culture of the organization, the technical architecture and platform, experience of the analysts, etc.

I like to think of the business analyst as a craftsman who has many tools at his/her disposal, knows how to use them, and applies the appropriate tool for the given job. 

For example: to describe the high-level business processes that need to be supported by the system, the business analyst might model business process flows using BPMN.  When getting into the details the requirements, the analyst might use use cases to document them.  The systems analyst on the same project might use object oriented techniques using UML to create the functional specifications.

- Adrian

Adrian Marchis
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