General Business Analysis

Dec 01, 2019
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For business analysts working in an environment where there is a gap between SMEs and the delivery of an IT-based solution for business needs, requirements are documented to bridge that gap. You are reading this because you are a business analyst responsible for documenting detailed requirements and, in the case of this article, business needs involving one or more user interfaces (UIs) or reports.

The objective of this article is to answer the question, “How much detail is necessary?” Spoiler alert – quite a bit. This is to avoid, as much as possible, a BA having to go back to a SME when designers or developers have business-level questions about a UI or report. Or worse – designers or developers not asking questions. Instead, making assumptions about what the business needs and proceeding to deliver the solution based on those assumptions.

Nov 03, 2019
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Learning about mental models and how to apply them to their work is one of the best investments for business analysts interested in achieving the level of deep thinking that leads to better outcomes for their projects and organizations. The first article in this series described what mental models are and talked about the first mental model covered, second order thinking. In this second installment we discuss another mental model that that can help business analysts become better problem solvers: integrative thinking.
Oct 06, 2019
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The ethics behind accessibility is possibly not something you have considered before. I think many would categorise an accessibility tool as something that; ‘makes life easier’, for a disabled user. However, what we should be taking into account when designing new digital platforms is how to make sure that every single user has the same experience. This is actually a very key point as we are not even specifically talking about disabilities here.

Have you considered mobile users vs web? IOS vs Windows? Online vs Offline? These are all possible different users of your system and all deserve the same experience. It may well be that a lot of these points are non-functional requirements that come later in the development, but if you make sure you are considering them at the start, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort in the future.
Sep 15, 2019
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The question of how essential domain expertise is to a business analyst is a recurring debate in the BA community. One school of thought maintains that domain knowledge is not critical. A skilled BA, the thinking goes, can walk into nearly any project situation and do an effective job of exploring requirements, relying on previous experience and a rich tool kit of requirements techniques. The counterargument avers that an analyst who has deep subject matter knowledge can be far more effective than a more general practitioner.

I have experienced both situations, from inside a company as a regular employee and from the outside as a consultant. This article offers some thoughts about when domain knowledge is valuable, when it’s essential, when it’s not necessary, and when it can actually pose a risk.

Sep 08, 2019
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Learning about mental models and how to apply them to their work is one of the best investments for business analysts interested in achieving the level of deep thinking that leads to better outcomes for their projects and organizations.
Aug 25, 2019
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Successful projects—and successful relationships—are based on realistic commitments, not on fantasies and empty promises. This article, adapted from the book Practical Project Initiation, presents several ways to improve your ability to make, and keep, achievable commitments... Unfulfilled promises ultimately lead to unhappy people and unsuccessful projects. Strive to build a realistic commitment ethic in your team—and in yourself.

Aug 11, 2019
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The reason why top performing business analysts tend to be so effective in complex projects, even when their domain knowledge is limited, is because of their ability to see things from a higher angle and with more nuanced colors.
Jul 29, 2019
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As the business analyst (BA) role continues to evolve, the responsibilities continue to expand. One of the best ways for a business analyst to add value to a project is to understand the processes involved in both the project life cycle (PLC) and the software development life cycle (SDLC). Contrary to popular belief, the two life cycles are independent of one another, however, it's best that they are aligned.
Jun 16, 2019
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A business analysis consultant might perform three types of roles when working with clients: expert, pair-of-hands, and collaborator. Each of these represents a different kind of interaction and a different source of satisfaction for the consultant. This article, adapted from my book Successful Business Analysis Consulting: Strategies and Tips for Going It Alone, describes these three modes of consulting engagements, which apply both to independent consultants and to internal consultants who work in large organizations.
Jun 09, 2019
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The ability to build and exude self-confidence can contribute to success in many areas of our lives from personal to professional. Unfortunately, many business analysts who are beginners or experienced but new to an organization are not provided with the tools and recourses to be confident in their ability to add value to their organization. As a BA, self-confidence facilitates the ability to build relationships, gain respect, and influence others. Below are some of the most effective tactics that I have taken throughout my career to bolster my confidence as a business analyst. Once I became confident in myself, I started noticing that other people’s confidence in my abilities increased as well. Hopefully, these tips will help you recognize your true potential and the value you bring as a business analyst.
Jun 02, 2019
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To be effective, we BAs need to learn as much as we can about the digital world—about the world of digital transformation and what it means for the organization. We need to immerse ourselves in research and journal articles and think of how to make sense of it for our organizations. We need to think of digital projects from both the data scientist and business perspectives. And we can do that. After all, we’re BAs and that’s what we do best.

Apr 07, 2019
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Our job is to be trusted advisors and one area where we can establish trust is to help our stakeholders understand language that might be confusing to them. In order words, we can establish trust by translating technical complexity into business language. We BAs have always done this. We take customer requirements and translate them into something the technical folks can understand…and vice versa.  But what about translating in the digital world? We still need to translate, but it’s different. It’s more complex. 

Mar 31, 2019
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We live in a time when business in many industries offer similar products and use comparable technologies. One of the last points of differentiation are processes, and the evidence is clear, in sector after sector: companies that figure out how to combine business domain expertise with advanced analytics to improve their internal and customer-facing processes are winning the market.  Let’s take a look at three of the many opportunities that the advanced analytics technologies developed over the past decade are creating for business analysts..

Feb 17, 2019
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The function of a technical business analyst is to bridge between business and technical teams. This can be undertaken in various forms. First, the bridging can be done by translating business requirements into technical artifacts. The analyst must be able to assess the business and note the basic requirements of that particular business at that given time. Using their skilled knowledge in technology they must be able to translate the given come up requirements into technological terms. The requirements must, therefore, be taken care of technologically for efficiency and accuracy.

Jan 27, 2019
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If you have some experience in modeling real-life, full-size architectures for large-scale organizations – preferably in the ArchiMate language, of course – you have likely come across the challenge of organizing your models in logical and manageable ways. In the following pages, we’re going to share our top 6 ways to organize your architecture models. These methods should help you keep your models neat and tidy, while also supporting better outcomes for your strategic initiatives. Let’s see what they are.

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Detailed Requirements for User Interfaces and Reports
Dec 01, 2019
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For business analysts working in an environment where there is a gap between SMEs and the delivery of an IT-based solution for business needs, require...





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