Business Analysis Articles

Apr 18, 2021
For the past year the COVID-19 virus has forced us to limit our exposure to the outside world. This virus has given us a need to find a home activity to entertain ourselves and our families. One of the activities I have pursued is assembling jigsaw puzzles. As you may know, a jigsaw p...
For the past year the COVID-19 virus has forced us to limit our exposure to the outside world. This virus has given us a need to find a home activity to entertain ourselves an...
Business is rarely 100% smooth sailing. Regardless of the industry or sector, there are always challenges to overcome and obstacles that must be faced on the pathway to success. ...
     Continuity planning can occur at many levels including at the project, department, organizational, or enterprise level. At the project level, a business analyst...

Latest Articles

Oct 25, 2020

This article first provides a reference for defining small businesses. It then, focuses on two aspects of business analysis for a small business: Strategic Planning and Requirements Management. I use a graphic note-taking technique called Mind-Mapping to set the BA context for this article and then pursue the above questions for small businesses.

I am sure we have all heard the cliché, “size matters.” So let’s start with why does size matter for business. 

Oct 18, 2020

Data science and analytics is a dynamic world and anyone pursuing a career in analytics needs to stay on the cutting edge of the latest tools and conceptual approaches to advance their career. These certifications prove to any employer that you are a valuable candidate whose passion is matched by their knowledge, as well as a desire to keep learning. Don’t get left behind by your competitors, prove your worth with these certifications.

Oct 11, 2020

Most of us have seen praise and recognition at work go to the people who react quickly when a problem occurs:

  • The IT person who takes care of technical issues at critical moments, like restoring access to a demo site right before a sales rep is scheduled to present to a hot prospect.
  • The salesperson who closes a deal on the last day of the quarter, preventing the sales department from facing the negative consequences of missing quota.
  • The business analyst who works extra hours to make sure late-breaking requirements are properly documented in time to prevent delays in the next development cycle.
Oct 04, 2020

Sometimes it’s the simple things that make a profound difference. Sometimes they can be so blindingly obvious that we cannot see them. And the biggest impediment to progress can be between our own ears.

In this article I will describe ‘attentive listening’. We will cover how to do it, why it works and when to do it. At all times we will bear in mind the Agile manifesto commitment to maximizing the amount of work not done – not done by us, by the teams we work with and by the stakeholder!

Listening is a cornerstone skill of business analysis. If an analyst is to be of any value then they must be alert to clues in the environment. What thoughts, frustrations and opportunities are there? Understanding what is said, is an absolutely fundamental part of any analysis in order to produce useful insight or alignment.

So, you listen already? Sure you do, yet what are you listening to? The whole of what the speaker has to say? Are you giving them a chance to finish their thoughts?

Sep 27, 2020

Business analysts who aspire to the topmost leadership positions and who are looking to expand their career horizons need to be multidimensional professionals with broad business, IT, and leadership skills. They must seek out and create their own opportunities beyond their comfort zones, hone their existing skillsets, and acquire new knowledge and skillsets required for the coveted role.
In this article, we discuss some broad guidelines which a BA can follow to take their career to the top level.

Sep 26, 2020

You might think that Spider-Man is a fictitional superhero living only in coming books or on the big screen.  You might be right!  But what if? What if Spider-Man is out there trying to decided where to move next, where to take his crime-fighting super-skills? Well, Sean Smith, a business analyst, wondered just that.

Sep 20, 2020

In the simplest explanation of the term, a UX writer is an author who writes for user experience. When using a digital product, you follow text in order to obtain the user experience you’re after. This text should be precise, brief, and straight to the point. The writer’s goal is to guide the user through the different stages of product use.

The term gets mixed up with technical writing and copywriting. The difference is that UX writing is much more concise.  An effective copy results from the collaboration between the writer and the entire design team.

Let’s start with the specifics: how can you improve your UX writing skills and contribute towards an improved final product?

Sep 13, 2020

Business analysts are expected to be the ones who will create plenty of documentations that will guide the design, implementation and maintenance phases of a system. Documents varies from Business Requirement Documents (BRDs), Functional Requirement Documents (FRDs), System Requirement Document (SRDs), Project vision Document, Requirement Management Plan and other. Also a business analyst may contribute to the formation of a Request for Proposal (RFPs), validate and comment on contracts and write user manuals and other type of explanatory documents regarding a solution. It is crucial the documentation created to add value. Every party that has access to documentation must find easily what is looking for and after reading it to gain specific knowledge and understanding of a specific issue.

As a business analyst you will have to decide how will present the information in a document in order to maximize value for he readers. Include diagrams, screenshots, pictures, as well as text descriptions at your documents. Apply what is suitable taking into account the context and the specific characteristics of the project. Tailor any template or approach to the specific context. The solution team will use the diagrams more than the words, especially since they are most likely going to render the words into diagrams for development anyway. The business community may relate to a drawing of a screen layout better than to a three-page textual description of the same screen layout.

Sep 07, 2020

Business people call remote meetings virtual or on-line sessions, or simply conference calls. For many years we have been utilizing this form of communications to save time and money. Due to the global virus pandemic, remote meetings are now not just convenient, but a necessity for maintaining social distancing. Fortunately we have technology that assists us in managing these remote sessions to not only hear the stakeholders, but see them as well. However, remote stakeholder interviewing and meetings have their additional challenges beyond face-to-face encounters. Regardless of the technology used, we need to be keenly aware of these additional negative risks and pursue mitigations.

Aug 30, 2020

In the computer age, we’ve limped along literally for a human lifetime without blueprints for business knowledge and the vocabulary used to communicate it. How well is that working out?

If you have any doubt, do a quick internet search on all the problems associated with ‘data quality’ and their costs. Or look at the still dismal success rates of IT projects. Or consider how much sharper your decisions could be if the data were better.

A business knowledge blueprint, whose core component is a concept model, permits you to deeply analyze your concepts, your vocabulary, and your business knowledge. In this post, Ron explains all the critical reasons you need that blueprint.

Aug 23, 2020

The phrase "project audit" sounds threatening to some, while for others these words have a sense of formalism and bureaucracy. No one particularly likes to have their work checked, especially if the person checking it is an outsider. Most often we've heard the word audit in the context of checking financial or accounting statements. Furthermore, in the past few years, many have encountered an IT security audit. But I'd like to tell about the audit of business analysis processes for one of our company's projects. This service may also be useful to your project.

About ten years ago, I first served as a project auditor in terms of business analysis. First, we created a document that regulates the work of a business analyst — the procedure for developing and managing requirements. Such an audit, for the most part, consisted of checking compliance to these requirements within a specific project. But as part of the audit, I could make recommendations that were not directly provided for by formal documents, but rather based on common sense and my practical experience. Thus, I combined audit and consulting. Based on these results, a plan was drawn up, and then the implementation of this plan was checked as part of the next audit.

Aug 16, 2020

Business Analysis journey is typically triggered by a desirable change. A change that although may appear local in impact, restricted inside a defined project scope, it can have an effect of many hidden aspects of an organization’s ecosystem. Strategic outlook and mindset is a common trait of successful business analysts. Having in your mind the desirable future and seeking for opportunities in order to contribute with your tasks at the overall efficiency, success and sustainability of the organization you work for, can make the difference.

Aug 09, 2020

It is strange how something that is supposed to be simple is actually so complex.  Something that is supposed to be a matter of linear career progression can actually end up in a state of a continuous loop, with no way of terminating such a loop.  A point of stagnation and frustration. This is a quandary facing many intermediate business analysts. They do not know how to shift gears and move one notch up and be senior business analysts - who play a strategic role in helping their business stakeholders bring their strategies to life through the right initiatives.

Aug 01, 2020

Good news is that the adoption of an agile approach is increasing with more and more projects being successful. As a business analyst / project management professional, it is important to understand how success is measured for Agile projects? What are the key performance indicators and metrics?

In this article, I am going to list down the top metrics for measuring the success of Agile projects/approaches.

Jul 26, 2020

The majority of IT business analysts spend their careers in “reactive mode”. They are assigned to tasks like define the requirements for a new partner loyalty program, create user stories for an enhancement to a billing system, and go about delivering their artifacts.

Data-inspired analysts are those analysts who make a conscious decision to “go upstream” and find data to help their organizations identify the areas of value creation with the highest return on investment before jumping into “solution mode”.

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