General Business Analysis

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Business analysis is an indispensable function in all business organizations, performed at myriad forms and scales.  Maintaining high quality of business analysis consistently is a challenge to many organizations. Inconsistent business analysis output quality results in undesirable project outcomes, poor decisions, operational disjoints and missed opportunities.  This article uses an actual case to discuss how low quality business analysis impacts an organization and what improvement initiatives the organization implemented to address the problems.

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Given the right circumstances, even good people can go astray as our psychology push us down the slippery slope of questionable behavior.   A little bit of knowledge about the forces that drive us to cheat can go a long way helping avoid bad behavior. Here are some common landmines to become aware of so you can make sure to defuse them as you embark in a new BA project

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The context diagram and the use case diagram are two useful techniques for representing scope. This article describes two other methods for documenting scope: feature levels and system events.

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Once requirements analysis is completed, Business Analyst has all the information needed for a well-running function. Further actions for design, development, test and eventually roll-out are conduct accordingly. Usually and unfortunately, because of the rush of ongoing project execution no one thinks about the roll out activities until the end of the project plan and when the PM starts to drill down the roll out plan in details, project team face with the big nasty surprise of new requirements necessary for the selected software changeover (a.k.a. software adoption) strategy. Cost increase, delays, unmet deadlines create the nightmare one by one.  
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Many organizations in the last year moved to Agile and eliminated the business analyst role. With the migration to the cloud the role of the business analyst is still being questioned. If you want to know what a business analyst can offer in this fast changing IT world as you migrate to the cloud; here are the answers
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I have had the opportunity in my career to move, not only, from industry to industry, but from company to company. I have been a consultant as well as a full time employee throughout my career. As companies merge and/or begin to grow talent is needed and could come from anywhere. New/outside talent can bring in fresh wave of diverse perspectives and ideas. However, there should be some caution taken, if you are that new person entering into the organization. Whether you are a consultant, temporary employee or full time employee, here are 5 pitfalls that I have found in my career that can either make you or break you as you enter into new companies.
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If you are looking for a specific decision to be made on a specific issue or capability, then getting the meeting down to a small core team is important in order to ensure the decision is being made quickly. This is where Minimally Viable People comes into the picture. Minimally Viable People is the concept that a small group performs better by making decisions with higher quality while being representative of the larger group.
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I’ve been a Business Analyst for about 15 years now starting as a graduate back in the day. And while I do not consider that to be close to a career’s worth of experience I have certainly seen significant changes in the way business analysis is performed and the tools that are used thanks to the evolution of technology.

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Every software team talks about project scope and team members often complain about unending scope creep. Unfortunately, the software industry lacks uniform definitions of these terms, and the requirements literature is short on clear guidance regarding how to even represent scope. I confront scope head-on in this series of three articles...

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Bias is seen in action through bad decisions, miscommunication, perceptual blindness, and alienation of groups with diverse thought. Here’s what the dictionary says about bias: “A preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits impartial judgment.”
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Do we “on board” new project team members? In today’s busy organizations individuals are shuffled around all the time being assigned and unassigned almost daily to projects. We employ the “sink or swim” mentality. New person it’s your job to figure it out and get it done.
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Many skilled individuals do ask themselves: “How can I be sure, that I am doing well?” Especially in the business analysis sphere, the criteria of a quality job may be vague or only partly relevant.

In reality, what many people do is try to measure the quality of business analysis work through analyzing some aspects of BA artifacts they produce.
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You finally did it. You figured out the real business problem your project is meant to solve, and identified a solution that is far superior than the originally proposed. Now you just need to get buy-in from the project sponsor so the delivery team can alter their plans and set out to build the higher-value solution you devised. But there is one problem: the project sponsor was deeply involved in identifying the original solution and nurturing it. It’s his baby… and if you say it needs to be overhauled, you are basically saying his baby is ugly. Now what? How do you make sure your news aren’t received as an insult, and dismissed with defensiveness by the decision-maker?
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Discovery of real needs is the responsibility of the business analyst. Choosing the optimal solution is usually the responsibility of the stakeholders. Working together, both parties can ensure that they are providing the maximum business value.
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Follow this script at the beginning of your requirements discovery process, and you should see visible results in terms of the quality of your solution requirements. This checklist will help you anchor any and all discussions about features and designs on how they will help your customers achieve their desired outcomes and benefits. It will also allow you to define a valuable, usable, and feasible solution without having to rely on your customers being able to describe it for you.
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