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What does your BA-Developer relationship look like?
As a business analyst, one of the most valuable skills you can acquire is the ability to build relationships. This in itself may have more of an impact on your long-term BA career than your business knowledge and technical skills. Because BAs are often key participants in so many different projects and initiatives, it can be difficult to nurture all of the relationships established throughout your organization. The relationship that I will be focusing on, however, is the relationship with the developer(s). Solid business analyst-developer relationships are often easier to facilitate in agile environments; therefore, it is essential to put more effort into managing this relationship in an environment that uses a waterfall or traditional methodology. Below are some tactics we as BAs can use to make developers’ lives easier and enhance the business analyst-developer relationship.
Stakeholders Relationship: How to Make Your Stakeholders Like You?
The relationship between a business analyst and the stakeholders is one of the fundamentals to the journey of delivery. If the relationship is dysfunctional, the process of delivering the solution will be negatively impacted... Each one of us is blessed with a different personality that makes us unique. In the case of business analysts, personality plays an important role, thus making it a key to survival. Business analysts are adaptive survivors. It is imperative that every impacted stakeholder is engaged and collaborating. It's fundamental to a robust requirements analysis process. Having mentioned the need to bond with your stakeholders, let’s see what skills are needed to be a successful business analyst.  
The Evolution of Decision Focused Technology
Decisions are at the heart of every business transaction. That’s why it is crucial to make the right decision at the right moment in time. In high turnover environments this can be an issue, as new staff need constant monitoring as they ‘learn the ropes’. This can lead to a significant deficit in efficiency and customer satisfaction.   To counter this problem, we advocate what we call a ‘Decision-Centric Approach’, which is designed to address the business challenge by enabling innovative technology in those crucial ‘moments of truth’
Non-Functional Requirements - Why do we need them?
  What do you put down in non-functional requirements when you are documenting requirements in your project? When we say non-functional we typically mean those requirements that are not related to functionality of the system, then what exactly are these and why do we need them.
The Case of the Missing Algorithm - And what has Haecceity got to do with it?
There are a small number of core concepts that can be said to embody the essence of an enterprise. This article asserts that one such concept is the business algorithm, the unique combination of business logic, algebra, and rules that is used by the enterprise to convert real world data and events into useful outcomes that benefit all stakeholders – giving rise to happy customers, prosperous proprietors, and fulfilled staff! ... The business algorithm is a unique and fundamentally important concept that no enterprise can function without. There are other aspects of the enterprise like brand or culture that may also claim to be ‘of the essence’, but the business algorithm is the only such concept that has a formal existence inside computer systems. The business algorithm is like the soul of the enterprise, uniquely defining the enterprise and giving it life via its systems. As such it has a unique claim to relevance as a first-order systems requirements artifact.
Practical Approach To Elicit Requirements Successfully
Project statistics state that most project rework/failure is due to incomplete/improper/unclear requirements, hence the role the Business Analyst becomes even more critical as they shoulder a huge responsibility of eliciting and collaborating with the stakeholders to obtain clear, concise and complete requirements.  The elicitation and collaboration knowledge area focuses on drawing forth or receiving information from stakeholders and other sources by directly interacting with stakeholders, researching topics, experimenting or simply being handed information.
Defining your role as a Business Analyst
Many professionals and organizations understand the value of a business analyst (BA), however, the role itself is still ambiguous to many. There are numerous articles and resources that outline business analysis and the general role of a BA so I won’t be focusing on those aspects. Every organization and industry is unique therefore the needs and expectations for a business analyst can vary greatly. However, there are a few core competencies that remain consistent. The goal of this article is to give BA practitioners (especially new practitioners) an approach to determine what their specific organization expects from them in order to get on the path of success throughout their career. Below are some steps you can take to define your role in the organization you serve.
Users and other Business Analysis Myths
Well, for one thing, consider the user. I mean, what is a ‘user’?”...  I understand that is what the term is used for, but can you point me to a user. Don’t answer. You could probably point to any number of people around you who would be users.  ...That man over there is using his cell phone, some app or other.... The nice lady who fixed my coffee entered the transaction on a computer in her stand to account for the money and the inventory. She is a user. 
Business Analyst’s Mission: Advocate for Your Stakeholders’ Requirements
Business Requirements Advocacy is neglected in the business analysis practice!  Once considered to be an essential part of IT teams, the business analyst has become an integral position in any successful, market-driven organisation. Rightly said to be the change agents for any business, business analysts help organisations adapt to the changing environment while meeting the needs and demands of all their stakeholders, including employees, customers, and suppliers.
Enterprise vs. Self-Service: 6 Things I’ve Learned From Exploring Data Tools
There is much to say about the often challenged relationship between IT and “the business” that has existed since IT became IT. Centralization, decentralization, self-service tools and applications, enterprise tools and applications – the pendulum swings again and again.  You’d think by now that we’d get it. There is no one all-encompassing data management or BI solution that will satisfy all of your data related requirements.
Stop wasting time, Visualize your workflow - Continued...
In this article, I am going to focus on the key 3 tools that you can use to help you identify the pain points in your workflow.  One of the key things to identify when working in a visual manner is understanding where your blockers are. It is only when you have identified these blockers, you then able to do something about them. There is no use trying to change something when you don’t have the evidence to baseline the problem. As business analysts, we wouldn’t tell the business where the problems are without conducting a thorough root cause analysis. So, why do we do it at work, why do we think without evidence we know exactly what the problem is and the impact it has on. 
Lean-Agile Bath Remodel Project
The purpose of this article is to cite an example of using Lean-Agile project management for a small home construction project – a bathroom remodel. The remodeling firm unknowingly uses a Lean-Agile project approach that was the result of lessons learned over years of experience. In fact, when I questioned the remodeling firm about Lean-Agile, the firm’s response was “What is that?” Regardless of what you call it, the firm uses their construction approach because it works.
Business Analyst vs Data Analyst
Somebody inquired to me in one of the professional networking site if I can suggest what the difference between a Business analyst and data analyst is. This is a dilemma that is common in the minds of numerous professionals who are new to Business analysis or intending to get into this space. As the name proposes a first hand analysis by any layman will state that the business analyst role includes analysis from a business perspective, though the data analyst role deals with primarily analyzing data.
Why Defining the Business Need is Critical
In order for any project or initiative to be successful, an agreed upon business need must be determined. This need may present itself as a problem or an opportunity. Business Analysts must be able to guide the business in articulating which of these is the catalyst for the initiative prior to starting any BA work. Projects without a clearly defined business need get drawn out due to issues such as increased stakeholder conflict, poorly defined requirements, and excessive rework. So, to save you some pain and effort, below are some reasons why defining the business need is a critical starting point for any organizational change.
Doctor BA Answers an Old Question: how the BA profession came into being
I wanted to get to the bottom of things once and for all. We had been having several discussions about the birth of business analysis and how the profession of business analyst came into being. There were no business analysts, at least as currently incarnated, in Data Processing when I started a long time ago, and a look into the history of business analysis might be interesting. So I went sought out Doctor BA who has been around a lot longer than I.
Business jargon….in a nutshell
With this article, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you, by mentioning some of these jargon-based pearls of wisdom here. You need to realize that in order for you to make some headway in the corporate world, you’ll need to get some skin in the game, stop being an armchair general and put your head on a block instead.
Let's explore Business Analysts' Toolbox
Chaos! Stress! Everyday mess! Isn’t this an everyday situation for a business analyst? If not, either you’ve job satisfaction or you’re not being introduced to the real world of business analysis. A person might possess great skills, however, (s)he might not be able to utilize skills without the right mix of tools and environment. A toolbox enables a person to implement the skills in the most efficient way. Possessing necessary tools is just the one part of it. Another is the knowledge to utilize the right tools at the right time to cater the solution and ensure timely committed delivery. What are these tools? How do we map the usage of tools to the given circumstance? How can we efficiently utilize the tool? Does it depend on the solution or the approach?
Delivering Success When Replacing a Software System
A replacement project replaces an existing software system with a new custom-built system, a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) system, or a hybrid of those. There are some challenges that most replacement projects share, including stuffing in unnecessary functionality, degrading the organization’s operational performance, users refusing to adopt the new system, and having such a large project that it never deploys. Focusing requirements practices on addressing these issues directly can increase the likelihood of a system replacement that delivers the desired value and is accepted by the users.
8 Ways Data Preparation Software can Boost Excel Productivity
The most time-consuming process of doing analysis in Excel is data cleansing which can be extremely slow and laborious. However, it is very important because the cost of a mistake caused by incomplete information, discrepancies and outliers, can cause serious faults in your analysis that could significantly impact business outcomes. With the purpose-built data preparation software, you can eliminate the pain of data cleaning and improve your data quality. This article shares eight key ways you can significantly boost your productivity with Excel using purpose-built data preparation software...
Non-Functional Requirements: Scalability
Non-functional Requirements capture conditions that do not directly relate to the behaviour or functionality of the solution, but rather describe environmental conditions under which the solution must remain effective or qualities that the systems must have. They are also known as quality or supplementary requirements. These can include requirements related to capacity, speed, security, availability and the information architecture and presentation of the user interface.
Why Problems and Opportunities are NOT the same for projects
Most professionals in project management understand that in order to successfully approach a project, the problem statement must be clearly defined. The problem is that many practitioners treat problems and opportunities interchangeably when developing Business Cases and Project Charters. Understanding the difference between problems and opportunities is critical to selecting the optimal approach any project. 
Who is a Business Analyst?
In a large firm, a business analyst (BA) organization makes an effort to identify, analyze and provide a solution to the above questions. A BA organization is a prime pillar in optimizing resources to provide maximum value out of it to the business. A BA organization consists of business analysts in various roles like Product Manager, Program Manager, Project Manager, Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Business Systems Consultant, Business Process Analyst etc.  The prime objective is to analyze business to maximize value addition. To understand more about the BA organization, it is important to understand what is business analysis
Does it make sense to talk about “enterprise analysis” or “strategy analysis” in the context of business analysis?
A benefit that I see of moving away from terms like enterprise analysis and strategy analysis is that removing this division between “flavors” of business analysis helps us see more clearly how BA activities can add value at all levels of the organization. Whether we’re making project portfolio recommendations or specifying a tiny software feature, the purpose is the same: help stakeholders clarify the real business need and determine the best solution to address it.
Let’s Talk IT Project Failure: What Causes Requirements Volatility?
Scope change and frequent requirement modifications impact projects execution. Unpredicted changes that occur outside project planning are all encompassed by the concept of volatility. Lack and insufficient predictability of change creates volatile dynamics that impact execution and project’s deliverables. Endeavours with objectives to find and develop solutions suffer most from volatility, a phenomenon that directly correlate to the volatility degree. Although little control can be exercised on volatility, some instances can be managed or averted. However, the level of uncertainty exerts great influence on the overall volatility of the project.
Craftsmanship: The Meaning of Life
Quality and service used to be considered paramount in this country. If it wasn't just right, you were expected to do it over again until you got it right. We cared about what we produced because it was a reflection of our personal character and integrity. But somewhere along the line we lost our way and craftsmanship has fallen by the wayside. Why? Probably because we no longer care.

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