General Business Analysis

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"What we have here, is failure to communicate". This is the catch phrase of a once very popular movie. And while the theme of this movie has nothing to do with the corporate business world, its meaning most certainly does.

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This year’s top 10 business analysis trends show that in many ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In 2014, the focus will continue to be on delivering business value to the organization by leveraging the power of requirements at all levels through Agile and business architecture. Business analysts (BAs) will also continue their quest to take on new skills to meet a broader job scope and the needs of more multidisciplinary roles.

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What does innovation mean to the Business Analyst?  This article is my practical way of handling innovation and understanding the role that the Business Analyst plays in innovative projects.  Giving five tips for success the article explains how innovative projects can be approached and how the unique skill set of the Business Analyst can add measurable business value. 

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The traditional axiom in business analysis that there should be a “Berlin Wall” between analysis and design is being torn down these days. Several authors and thought leaders are arguing that you cannot do analysis without designing and that you cannot design without analysis. This article is striving to visualize why this is really so.

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It’s pretty rare to be a business analyst and not facilitate meetings...  In this article, we’ll look at 3 possible roles new BAs fill in meetings, how to expand your meeting facilitation experience, and review 5 critical meeting facilitation techniques that will help you run working, productive meetings.
 

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There’s little argument that investigating and identifying business needs (i.e. requirements) is a critical task of business analysis. However it’s of little use correctly identifying business needs if we can’t then effectively document them - to the clients who will be paying for the solution and to the developers who will be building it. In today’s time poor world we need to address both audiences in a single document.

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This article describes an integrated system of actions, tasks, and methods for managing project stakeholders. It highlights the strategic business actions, the tactical project tasks, and operational methods conducted by project sponsors, project managers and business analysts respectively.

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As Business Analysts, we are involved in requirements development and management day in and day out with most of the time spent on eliciting, analyzing and specifying business and software requirements for multiple projects. We follow or adopt multiple frameworks, approaches and tools that help us to successfully gather and analyze requirements. Having done all these things to ensure the success of the projects, we still end up in a few projects wherein we have “missed” few requirements.

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But what about user experience or interaction designers? Does every software project truly need a UX/UI specialist (or team of specialists)? Or could this aspect of the solution be taken care by the collaboration between the BA and the development team?

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Recently I saw the movie “42,” based on the true story of Jackie Robinson,who in 1947 bravely fought custom, bigotry, and violent hostility to become the first African American to play major league baseball. His courage came from his inner strength which allowed him to withstand with dignity the cruel behavior from fans, other team managers and players, and at first some of his own teammates.

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Since its inception, the CPRE Foundation Level certification has evolved to become the most achieved certificate in Requirements Engineering (RE) worldwide. Right now, over 10,000 people have been certified worldwide in more than 35 countries. So what is it all about, how is it set up, what are the contents of the CPRE syllabi and how does the CPRE compare to other certifications?

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Multiple stages of a project can benefit from brainstorming, from identifying your stakeholders, to eliciting requirements, to enterprise analysis. In UML for the IT Business Analyst, Howard Podeswa describes brainstorming as useful “during the Initiation phase and whenever the project is ‘stuck’”.

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Managers should do some soul-searching; do they really need that information or are they interfering with the responsibilities of others? My advice to managers is simple: Delegate responsibility, hold people accountable, and get out of their way.

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 It takes courage to scribe well. In many organizations we encounter pushback related to scribing. We hear lots of reasons why not to scribe. Remarks like those below can discourage us unless we have the courage to educate project and resource managers on why scribes are needed and influence them to assign this important role.

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This year’s top 10 business analysis trends focus on leveraging the power of requirements at all levels through Agile and business architecture to deliver business value to the organization. We also expect to see business analysts being utilized in more robust ways, forcing them to take on new skills to meet a broader job scope.

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