Business Analysis Articles

May 26, 2024
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Navigating agile software development requires awareness of common pitfalls with user stories. Avoiding the mistakes of over-reliance on user stories, treating them as specifications, and not defining user roles clearly can significantly improve your process. By integrating diverse documentation tec...
Navigating agile software development requires awareness of common pitfalls with user stories. Avoiding the mistakes of over-reliance on user stories, treating them as specificatio...
Every decision-making group should first decide how they will arrive at their conclusions by selecting appropriate decision rules.  Too often, when people begin to collaborate...
Well-crafted strategic plans are mapped in detail from business design to agile solution delivery and execution to enable the necessary changes within an organization in response t...

Latest Articles

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Babies and Business Analysts go through four stages, as they open their eyes and see. 

In Stage 1, with eyes closed, BAs are blind to their organization’s mess.

In Stage 2, as their eyes begin to open, BAs see in black and white: a single process step, template or isolated requirement.

In Stage 3, the mobile movement of the outside world attracts and delights them: industries, methodologies, collaborations and emerging trends.

In Stage 4, they strengthen their muscles: the analytical and creative skills used to facilitate organizational futures and protect their parent enterprise in this new economic climate.

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In the twenty-first century, business processes have become more complex; i.e., more interconnected, interdependent, and interrelated than ever before. Businesses today are rejecting traditional organizational structures to create complex communities comprised of alliances with strategic suppliers, outsourcing vendors, networks of customers, and partnerships with key political groups, regulatory entities, and even competitors.

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A couple of months ago, I was driving along a well-traveled road here in town when my headlights fell upon a large pool of standing water. The little boy in me still loves splashing in puddles, whether on foot or in my car. I smiled at the thought of creating a huge spray. Unfortunately, the harmless puddle of standing water was actually a large pothole. What I thought was going to be a fun splash turned into a blown tire and bent rim. As business analysts, we encounter these water-filled potholes all too often.

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In the last article I covered the term Service to death. In this one I want to go through a number of other SOA Three Letter Acronyms and terms that you may come across and for which you would like to be able to nod knowingly.

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Many business analysts' find themselves in their role quite by coincidence but once there either decide this is a role they love or hate. There are certain requirements (if you'll pardon the cliche) or competencies you must display to be successful in this profession. We will first explore the foundational knowledge and skills needed in the early part of a business analysts' career and then what is required to progress.

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A lot of people think that coming up with solutions to business problems is the hardest part about being a business analyst – particularly when working with a client who knows more about the business than you ever will. Don’t believe it, after all you’ve already made considerable progress in understanding the problem – and your understanding is based on level-headed analysis rather than a potentially emotional interpretation by your client.

Now it’s time to look for solutions – to be creative and think outside the square. In this paper we’ll offer a few tips and techniques for getting the creative juices flowing. We’ll show you that anyone can be creative and that solutions can come from the most unexpected places – you don’t have to be a subject matter expert to come up with valid, workable solutions to business problems.

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Like all professions, business analysis has its golden rules – rules that are fundamental to the design of successful business systems. They might seem like common sense but it’s surprising how often we forget them and get ourselves into hot water.

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Where application development is concerned, the ability to produce great code is just one small component of overall success. Just as essential is the ability for the developers to clearly grasp the business requirement – and deliver against an accurate functional specification.

Nick McKenzie, technical director at nVisionIT, notes that the process for the creation of an application is not always clearly understood. “From the business owner, to the user, to the developer, there are different perspectives and different expectations at play. As requirements pass through this chain, inconsistencies or assumptions can be introduced which can derail this process.”
 

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Agile is here, and it's coming soon to an organization near you-if it's not already there. As a business analyst, are you ready to make the transition to this value-centered development approach? How will your role change? What will you do differently? What will you actually do as part of an agile team? What agile analysis practices might you adapt if you're working on a traditional (waterfall-style) project?

In short, how can you make yourself more valuable to your agile team and organization using your business analysis skills and abilities?
 

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Understanding why BA CoPs fail is an essential part of strategic planning. If you can identify the gaps in your own organization, you will be in a much better position to put a plan in place to "Mind the Gap."  This article will look at 10 common reasons why BA CoPs fail.
 

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