What is the H-Method?

The H-method is an analysis tool that aids the BA in organizing a fact finding interview with a business representative or system user.  

Before discussing the benefits of the H-Method and how it works, let’s consider a typical interviewing process.  Without the use of a framework for organizing an interview, an analyst and business representative will often participate in a relatively unstructured dialogue in which the analyst asks questions such as:

Then based on the answers given the analyst will continue to ask follow up questions.  The success of the fact finding is typically dependent upon the experience level of the analyst.  While this method can work, the analyst will often walk away with several pages of unstructured notes.  The important information must then be extracted and organized into something meaningful and useful.  Only then will the analyst be able to determine if they have discovered all of the necessary pieces of information or if there are still gaps in their understanding.

The H-method uses the following “H” shaped diagram to provide a structured framework to guide the interview and to allow the analyst to captured information in an organized way from the start.

nonBA H-Method


This diagram also asks the business representative questions is a business friendly manner. As information is gathered, the analyst can document it in the appropriate area of the “H” shaped diagram. 

Finally, the information gathered using the first diagram can be mapped to more business analysis centric concepts on the following revised diagram.

BA H-Method

The H-method is successful because it provides both a structured framework to guide the interview process and because it reminds the business analyst to avoid business analysis jargon that may confuse the business representative.  Instead it asks questions that align more closely with how the business representative views their world.

Chris Adams
LinkedIn Profile

posted @ Sunday, January 9, 2011 12:51 PM by Chris Adams