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New Post 2/1/2009 8:30 AM
User is offline wheek
1 posts
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A newbie BA questions 

Hi All,

I am glad to find this board with people of similar career fields and hope wont be laugh by my questions. I have been doing BA and strategic planning job for about 5 mths and do enjoy certain aspects of it. Upon in it, I realize that along the way, there are countless times we will be tasked to analyse data with different objectives in view which the higher management want to know. For example, if we want to build a place, calculate the number of rooms that may be needed in the future or the customers profile etc. That sort of things.What makes me panicky is that, usually I am clueless to begin the analysis and felt real stupid with myself not able to handle it well. Is there a way to sharpen or strengthen my analytical skill aspects? How do all of you handle this aspect?

I have thought of undertaking some courses and found a few. One of them is recommended by some analysts here about the IIBA course which I am unsure whether it helps? The rest I found is more finance related analysis courses, which I am not finance analyst. Does taking finance related course help? I would be much grateful if someone would provides "a light ".

Thank you for reading and answering. =)




New Post 2/1/2009 2:39 PM
User is offline BA Trainer
18 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: A newbie BA questions 
Modified By BA Trainer  on 2/1/2009 5:42:49 PM)



Very interesting question and a very peculiar one...this is the toughest challenge faced by the BA on where to start and howto start with a project and how to end it.

I really appreciate you asking this question, bcz every time I teach my students the processes and phases within a requirement phase, I always ask them how will you start? and I know with experience that this is difficult. You havent asked a silly question, but a very smart one which somehow other BA's keep thinking about it but do not have the courage to ask the same


Let me tell you: There are some fixed BA processes that should be followed when you start gathering your requirements/analysis. Those processes are very sequential and with each step you will move ahead to a smaller and deep chunks of requirements.Some techniques and skills need to be applied effciiently within each phase of requirement phase


I think you might need a formal BA process training to get clarified on this.I would also like to know which industry type you work with? With your question it seems like a construction industry

Contact me at : [email protected] to know more





New Post 2/13/2009 3:07 AM
User is offline unknown
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Re: A newbie BA questions 

Your question and frustration is normal for all new BAs regardless of their industry. "Clueless" usually means the mental picture between where I am now and the answer to what is demanded from me is simply not appearing for me. So the trap that a BA will fall into is to be 'active' and busy in the hope that the solutional path will appear in the form of some magic method or process. And this causes so much stress and anxiety that you are unable to focus productively.

Firstly, sit down and define your Role and Responsibility for the task at hand. Then write down the stakeholders. Next go and talk to these stakeholders for whom you are doing the work; interview, discuss, share, plan with them until you 'see' the vision they see. Let them know you are struggling with the vision, as they will try to explain in different terms, one of which might strike a note with you. Unless of course you have an excellent answer when the timeframe elapses and they ask the question "Why didn't you come ask us for more help and input earlier?" Having got some vision of what, where and how, now draw with pencil and paper a diagram of your understanding of that vision - it must be a picture, high-level, broad but covering the entire scope. Drawing will crystalise your understanding.

The result of drawing will be many unanswered questions, action tasks your need to follow up on, and other such that require your delving into. Now you can start asking relevant and focused questions. It will become clearer: what parts are key, which are support, where problems lurk, and those that are 'noise'. Now label each part as one of these: 1) data or behaviour; 2)process; or 3)usage. To elaborate a little, data& behaviour deals with information, numbers, data, etc; Process is the flow of work or operations; and Usage is the interaction between people and the various elements. Once you have done this the particular analytical model can be applied. I can share with you which models for which label.

Lastly, as a guide, for each 1hr of analysis there should be 1hr of stakeholder communication. Nothing is worse than the embarassement felt on completion of your hard work on a major problem than to discover you have solved the wrong problem. It does not matter how well or how badly you have analyzed something if its the wrong thing.

Your thoughts... btlw

New Post 3/18/2009 8:18 AM
User is offline cgullage
4 posts
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Re: A newbie BA questions 

I am a new BA (4 months on the job) and really appreciate this answer (and the original question!), because I have been feeling exactly the same way. The guidance is helpful.

New Post 3/23/2009 1:44 PM
User is offline cgullage
4 posts
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Re: A newbie BA questions 

Actually, I would really appreciate more info on the models for each label, and some clarification on the difference between "process" and "usage".



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