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New Post 11/6/2008 9:02 AM
User is offline Roger
15 posts
9th Level Poster


Starting as BA 

Hi All,

I am getting statted as a BA  The project am getting started does not have any documentation  all they only have is the scope plan , and my PM wants to start interviewing the stakeholders rightaway from the first day and get the requirements. Am not sure what questions to ask but i know it should be Open mind questions. Am yet to join the project but my PM had telephonic conversation and informed me about this before i get started.

Please can anyone provide any hint how to start and what kind of questions i should be ready with

Roger

 

 
New Post 11/6/2008 9:40 AM
User is offline Chris Adams
323 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: Starting as BA 

 Roger9 wrote

Hi All,

I am getting statted as a BA  The project am getting started does not have any documentation  all they only have is the scope plan , and my PM wants to start interviewing the stakeholders rightaway from the first day and get the requirements. Am not sure what questions to ask but i know it should be Open mind questions. Am yet to join the project but my PM had telephonic conversation and informed me about this before i get started.

Please can anyone provide any hint how to start and what kind of questions i should be ready with

Roger

Roger,

In a few words...what kind of project is this? What are the 3-4 main goals of the project? Are you improving a process...replacing a system?


Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
LinkedIn Profile
 
New Post 11/6/2008 9:52 AM
User is offline Roger
15 posts
9th Level Poster


Re: Starting as BA 

Chris, This project is in Retail industry To my idea they are improving a process and also moving to a new system ariba, Am joining them shortly ,but i had a telecon conversation with my PM who gave the info to arrange for meetings with the stakeholders.

Thank you for your quick response....Any input on this

Roger

 
New Post 11/6/2008 6:08 PM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
www.iag.biz
7th Level Poster




Re: Starting as BA 

Roger,

If as you say you are just getting into Business Analysis, have you done anything to prepare for the role? Training, for example? I recommend getting one of the premier books on Requirements, by the Robertsons or Karl Wiegers and immerse yourself in it ...see http://www.amazon.ca/Software-Requirements-Karl-E-Wiegers/dp/0735618798/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226027249&sr=1-2


David Wright
 
New Post 11/6/2008 6:13 PM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster


Re: Starting as BA 

Roger,

What an exciting BA assignment. It looks like the business has already decided that they'll implement ARIBA, which is a good spend management (procure-to-pay) piece of sofware. Here are some pointers.

Prepare

1. Check out Ariba on the net www.ariba.com (its an excellent site full of great material, white papers etc)

2. Think of a retail store raising requisitions- what do you think are their processes?

3. Think of head-office (if the organization has centralised purchasing) - what do you think are their processes?

4. Find out from your PM what the requirement gathering standards are in your org. Familiarise yourself with that; if not create your own or check the internet and find a template.

5. Also ask your PM to provide you with the project plan, and get a copy of the ARIBA implementation methodology. Most large software vendors have a methodology that they follow to install their software. The vendor might even have a standard way in which they record and store requirements. if so, could you get a copy. It will be very helpful and you'll avoid having to rework your requirements.

First 2 interviews

5. Armed with this retail spend management/procure-to-pay knowledge and the right templates (Ariba's or yours) arrange an interview with 2 stakeholders . Tell them what you are after a day or two in advance and set your time limit to 20 minutes for the initial interview.

  1. Stakeholder 1 (retail store manager) - Ask what they do now (getting an as-is view) with regards to requisitions, approvals, returns, inter-shop exchanges, delivery, invoicing, reporting and budgets etc. Then ask him/her to describe the key processes (limit to 3)
  2. Stakeholder 2 (corporate purchasing) - Ask  what they do now (also getting an as-is view). Find out about suppliers, quotations, prefered suppliers/vendors, order-cycles, etc. Then ask him/her to describe the key processes (limit to 3-4)
  3. As they explain things, ask for copies of material (eg. paper requisitions or screen dumps)
  4. for both, ask what is their main problem and what solutions they envisage
  5. Tell them you'll be back to validate the requirements

6. Return to your desk, with your working papers. Writeup your findings and pass them by your PM. Discuss resources and timings with the PM, and set some realistic expectations. Be carefull not to be swayed to ignore the as-is processes, as later when the new system is implemented, you'll need all the as-is information for data conversion etc. And, more importantly, you'll have to validate the "as-is" to develop the "to be" processes, as it will be required to indentify the gaps and flag functionality that is not provided by ARIBA. Rest assured there will be gaps!

The above is not complete .. its just an approach, that is not too time consuming; but it gives you an early heads-up

warm regards,

K

 
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