May 2008 - Modern Analyst e-Journal - The Business Analysis & Systems Analysis Magazine

Modern Analyst e-Journal: May 2008


Modern Analyst Journal
Customer Driven Business Requirements
Is there such a thing as a business requirement which is not customer driven? Unfortunately, yes! I have worked with many organizations where "business" requirements were dictated by IT executives or by any number of other non-customer folks which stood between the customer and the developer.  Such a situation does not bode well for any project.
As a result, scores of Agile methods came to the rescue of failed projects and promised to bring the customer closer to the developer.  Sadly however, many Agile proponents threw out the proverbial baby with the bath water to the point to where the only roles involved in the project were the customer and the developer.
Regardless of the project methodology, all systems must be built to meet the customer's need and, I believe, that a seasoned business analyst is best suited to continuously interact with the customer to elicit, understand, and refine the business requirements.  In this issue of the eJournal, Ellen Gottesdiener discusses key practices for managing requirements in Agile projects.  For those of you who are tired of managing requirements in Word or Excel, read Andrew Tokeley's article on using Enterprise Architect to support your business analysis activities.

- Adrian
Adrian Marchis, Publishing Editor

Developing Requirements in Agile Projects
by Ellen Gottesdiener, EBG Consulting
The latest progression in software development methods is the agile approach. Its growing popularity proves how effective it is. But two extreme—and even dangerous—views have arisen about agile development. One is that you don’t do requirements at all when you’re working on an agile project. The other is that you don’t need good requirements practices.
In truth, agile development processes are based on good practices. Most of them are not new but are being reconfigured, along with good product development, engineering, and project management practices. In my work with agile teams, I’ve notice a number of key practices.

Enterprise Architect for Business Analysts
by Andrew Tokeley, Development Manager
As a software architect and developer I’ve used Enterprise Architect (EA) from Sparx Systems for a number of years. In that time I’ve spent considerable time and energy trying to get our business analysts to do the same. While I’ve had some success I must admit it’s been an uphill battle. I suspect this is partly because EA is often seen as a technical person’s tool. And that’s not altogether surprising... [but], if you’re a Business Analyst looking for a tool that can help you do your job more effectively then read on.

Business Analysis Consultant: Perry McLeod
Name: Perry McLeod
Company: PJM Limited
Title: Business Analysis Consultant
How did you become a Business Analyst?
I have been a professional business analyst for more than 10 years. Originally I had planned a career in database design. My first job out of school was as a Jr. Oracle Administrator on a BSD platform. It wasn’t long before I discovered that the only way to get decent requirements from management and the user community was to gather them myself. Preferring the business side I found myself on the bleeding edge of business analysis.

World Congress for Business Analysts - Regional
Bringing together the world’s industry experts and corporate practitioners to answer your toughest questions, the World Congress for Business Analysts regional conference is a must attend event.  The speakers will provide the skills, processes and tools you need to do your job faster and more efficiently.  They will reveal real life lessons learned and clear methodologies to achieve project and program success., in partnership with the conference, is offering a 15% discount to registered members.  Just visit and use the following code: M2010-Modern.

Informative Forum Posts
Activity Diagram: Decision or Parallel Activities?
Busines Systems Analyst in an Agile environment

Relevant Interview Questions
What is a Vision Document?
What are some of the formats used for writing use cases?
Are use cases the functional requirements or do you think functional requirements are different from use cases?

Articles of Interest
What Do Business Analysts Actually Do for Software Implementation Projects?
Why Business Analysts Are So Important for IT and CIOs

MAY 2008 

EBG Consulting training offer for Modern Analyst members

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PW & WCBA - San Diego, CA 

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