Requirements Analysis (BABOK KA)

Jan 08, 2023
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Rather than building systems in house, many organizations outsource development to contract development companies. They might outsource the work to take advantage of skills they do not have available in-house, to augment their internal staff, or in an attempt to save money or time. The outsourced development supplier could be located physically nearby, on the other side of the world, or anywhere in between.  The role of a business analyst is even more important on these projects than on a co-located project. If the team members are all in one location, developers can walk down the hall to ask the BA a question or to demonstrate newly developed functionality. This close collaboration can’t happen in the same way with outsourced development. Compared to in-house development, outsourced—and particularly offshore—projects face requirements-related challenges...

Oct 23, 2022
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Whether you’re purchasing a package (also called commercial off-the-shelf, or COTS, products) as part or all of the solution for a new project or implementing a solution in the cloud, you still need requirements. Requirements let you evaluate solution candidates so that you can select the most appropriate package, and then they let you adapt the package to meet your needs.

Jun 12, 2022
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There are many other valuable requirements activities besides these six. However, these practices greatly increase your chances of building a solution that achieves the desired business outcomes efficiently and effectively. Applying them doesn’t guarantee success for any BA, product owner, or product manager. But neglecting them likely ensures failure.

May 08, 2022
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A software feature consists of one or more logically related system capabilities that provide value to a user and are described by a set of functional requirements. Many business analysts use features as a way to describe the scope of a project. However, a simple list doesn’t readily show the size and complexity of various features. Nor does quickly skimming a feature list easily reveal the full scope of a project. A feature tree is a visual analysis model that organizes a set of features in a format that makes them easy to understand.

Apr 17, 2022
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As an analyst you have to ensure your own understanding of the bigger picture. You have to zoom in and zoom out frequently. You need to analyze either in small initiatives the context under which the ba work will take place. It is possible to get so focused on the solution that your thoughts are stuck only in delivering the solution and forgetting to revisit frequently the alignment with the scope and the context.

Jan 09, 2022
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Many BAs struggle to produce ‘normalized’, function-independent data models (or don’t produce them at all). Very few business stakeholders can appreciate such models as “… a picture worth a thousand words.” This article describes an easy-to-create, simple-to-understand view data model. The view is of just those records involved in an information system capability supporting a specific business activity.

NOTE: This article uses the business-friendly terms record and field rather than the usual data modeling terms entity (or class) and attribute.

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     Designing a new product is a messy process. It involves initial brainstorming, rough concepts, false starts, and extensive refinement. Good designs begin with an identified need or opportunity, and they’re based on a solid understanding of the product’s requirements. No matter how skilled the requirements analyst is or how informed and cooperative the customer participants are, the first set of requirements they develop will be only approximately correct. It takes a process of iterative refinement and validation to accurately understand the requirements for any nontrivial product.

Jul 11, 2021
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Product configuration requirements are a specialized type of requirement when an information system supports product-related needs through data values. Where there are specific changes to business processes needed to sell and/or operate a new product, the requirements for the information system to support activities within those processes involve standard functional requirements.

Whether an information system can support a product though configuration or requires custom development, when an information system is involved there are standard pre-go-live activities that need to be performed (e.g. testing). Requirements support those activities.

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Integration requirements are critical for any Project’s success when Business Processes flow across multiple systems. As a Business Analyst it’s our responsibility to understand the end-to-end Business and Systems Process flow and document the hand off as part of the requirements gatherings process. A systematic approach to gather the requirements for integration between systems will ensure that there is a smooth interaction between the systems and hence the Business Process flow. The below Framework on Integration Requirements Analysis provides a systematic approach to document requirements for an Integration Project

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     Continuity planning can occur at many levels including at the project, department, organizational, or enterprise level. At the project level, a business analyst considers what will happen if a project solution fails or underperforms. This is usually documented in the form of transition requirements. At the higher levels, a business analyst collaborates with organizational leaders in key areas to determine the steps that need to be taken in the occurrence of major events that significantly disrupt business operations. With that said, I’ll be discussing the role a business analyst can play in developing an effective continuity plan.

     First, let’s discuss what a business continuity plan is. Essentially, this is a comprehensive plan to make operational changes that will allow an organization to continue business or services through a crisis, disaster, or operational disruption. The process of developing and maintaining this plan is known as business continuity planning. Typically, business continuity consists of the following three key areas...

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The intention of this article is to identify and specify the artifacts listed in the BABOK. These artifacts are listed within the Outputs section of the BABOK tasks. Outputs are described by a paragraph of text within each task. In this article I attempted to expand on these descriptions by adding detail to their content.

It is assumed that each activity produces a tangible output[2] which is consistent with the layout of the BABOK. Those outputs are classed as artifacts with attributes. Each artifact’s attribute description is taken from the element description of the tasks that output that artifact. The BABOK element descriptions provide guidelines for activity that produces the attribute, without necessarily defining the information contained in the attribute.That information has been derived from the element description.

Artifacts are derived from the BABOK Output sections. Artifact attributes are derived from the BABOK Element sections. A useful addition to the BABOK might be examples or templates of the outputs.

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 Not every manager is convinced that his team needs to do a better job on requirements development and management or that such an investment will pay off. Numerous industry studies, however, indicate that requirements issues are a pervasive cause of project distress. Let’s see why investing in better requirements is a smart business decision for any organization.

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Consider the situation where you are the business analyst who is planning project work according to the BABOK guidelines. The project manager wants to plan their time spent on business analysis activities. You produce a report of the BABOK that shows tasks that the project manager is expected to contribute to.

This article describes an analysis I performed of the Business Analysis Body Of Knowledge v3 (BABOK). The result of this analysis is a model contained in the Visual Paradigm modeling tool. This model captures 461 pages of the BABOK, from the Business Analysis Key Concepts chapter through to the end of the Techniques To Tasks Mapping chapter.

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Requirements management is a critical function for business analysis. Requirements management is focused on ensuring that the business users and stakeholders have the following information available...  But the more important question to have answer to and where the real business value is delivered in requirements life cycle management is answering the following questions:

  1. Are the requirements impacting critical business processes?
  2. Which processes have recurring change?
  3. Are the requirements priorities aligned to key business processes?
  4. Which process will be impacted by which requirements?
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In the world of software development Use Cases are one of many very powerful techniques often used these days.  Use cases describe how a person or a system interacts with the solution being modeled/built to achieve a goal. Basically, it’s a step by step explanation of what a user can do and how the solution must respond.

As any other business analysis technique, use cases have their advantages and disadvantages. One of the main disadvantages of use cases is that this technique is not graphical – a use case diagram is but use case descriptions are not, and use case descriptions really lack of visualization especially if there are multiple alternative flows and exception flows that branch out and then loop back into the main one.

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