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What Does a Technical Business analyst do?
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.
Do Business Analysts Need to Know SQL????
While many business analysts may be able to get by without ever writing a single line of code, the ability to write and interpret SQL queries can greatly increase your effectiveness as a BA. The purpose of this article is not to provide a tutorial on learning SQL, however, it is to demonstrate how SQL can be used in various business analysis techniques without having to rely on more technical roles such as data analysts or developers (they have plenty of other things to do).
Simple Steps for Managing the Day-To-Day of Digital Projects
No matter what type of project you’re working on, how big your team is, or what your specific processes are like, you can apply these 5 steps to help you manage the day-to-day events that get you to the finish line. They help you cover the bases by assessing the project status, planning proactively, reacting appropriately, connecting your work with others, and following up with the team and clients.
Why We No Longer Think 'BIG'
The design of major systems need not be a complicated process couched in a cryptic vocabulary using seemingly esoteric techniques. While the state of the art in programming has undergone considerable changes over the last half century, little progress has been made in the area of systems which has stagnated due to the lack of standards and the heavy emphasis on programming.
6 Ways to Organize Your Architecture Models
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.
Business Analysis vs. Technical Business Analysis
With the increasing growth in knowledge and information about the aspects of Business Analysis and technical analytics domains, there is a notable increase in confusion when it comes to the real difference between Business Analysis and Technical Business Analysis. In fact, the two are often used interchangeably. However, the differences between the two practices are prominent. In this article, we will discuss each practice and the set of skills required to claim being a business analyst or a technical business analyst.
7 Powerful Analysis Techniques to Boost Value from Your Models
Strategists, architects, process experts, software developers, data managers and other professionals involved in changing the enterprise often put substantial effort in creating all kinds of useful models of their designs. In many cases, such business models, enterprise architecture models, business process models, software models, or data models are only used to specify some design, i.e. to describe what should be built. But there is much more value to be had from these models, by using powerful analysis techniques to elicit new insights. In the following pages I will cover 7 of these analyses, discussing the business outcomes you can achieve with their help.
Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Back to Work We Go
Nonetheless, it's a new year, and time to go back to work. January is when we reset the statistics, brace for a new year, and try to prove ourselves once again. Some people have trouble getting back into the swing of work after the holidays; they've probably slept too much, partied too much, and ate way too much, which explains the five-to-eight pounds they've put on. This is why dieting and temperance are among the top New Year's resolutions. Regardless, they are having trouble focusing on their work.
Five Trends in Business Analysis, Project Management, and Agile
For almost 10 years we have enjoyed reflecting on what’s happened the previous year and making predictions for the upcoming year in the realms of Business Analysis, Project Management, and Agile. Some of the recent trends we have discussed: The digital BA, Lean business cases, BAs and PMs in a Dev Ops environment, BAs and PMs in the gig economy, etc. Here are five industry trends that we have chosen for 2019:...
Stakeholder Interviewing and Facilitated Meetings: steps for eliciting requirements
This article provides high-level steps for eliciting requirements when interviewing or holding a facilitated meeting with stakeholders; it was motivated by an attendee question at a recent Modern Analyst webinar: “Functional vs. Nonfunctional requirements.” The question was, “Can a Business Analyst elicit functional and nonfunctional requirements in the same iteration?”
Using a Predictive Analytics Decision Tree
When it comes to Predictive Analytics, several algorithms can allow you to use the available data by constructing a prediction model. Previously, we looked at a few algorithms designed to calculate probability. Another popular predictive analytics and AI algorithm is a Decision Tree known as C4.5.
Framing a New Piece of Work
Sometimes I find it difficult to explore new pieces of work in a structured way. When given a new challenge / piece of work it’s easy to jump straight into a solution. However as BAs we first need to understand the problem area better.
Adding Value as an Agile Business Analyst
As more organizations move toward agility, development and project management teams still struggling to define a common language and standard regarding the agile framework. In addition, many organizations that are implementing agile approaches have not fully planned the transition and are still unclear on how to fully optimize the approach. One area that continues to remain vague is the role of the business analyst (BA). Below are some steps to help business analysts navigate their way through the transition to agile and add the most value to their agile teams.
Are You an ‘Analyst’ or a ‘Facilitator’?
Surely facilitation is an important part of a business analyst’s job, but it is far from the only part. Analysis in itself should always form the core of a business analyst’s responsibilities. We are called ‘analysts’ for a reason! Facilitating information gathering and translating it to ‘requirements’ doesn’t make you an ‘analyst’. Go above and beyond, and add value by ‘reasoning backwards’ and ‘reasoning analytically’.
One of the Sidebars to the Business Agility Manifesto introduces the notion of Reconfiguration Agility. It’s a fundamental capability your organization needs in the Knowledge Age. What’s it about? In the big scheme of things, you have two basic choices for conceiving, and ultimately implementing, business capabilities: procedural or declarative. They are fundamentally different. Traditionally, the vast majority of business systems have been modeled and constructed on a largely procedural basis – virtually all things tied together step-by-step in processes. Unfortunately, that procedural approach simply doesn’t scale.
Top 5 Data Visualization Tools
With the help of visualization tools, data can be converted easily to more accessible form hence making it much simpler to understand. Data Visualization is available for both developers and for presentation ensuring ease of work for both.
First of all, let’s get this out of the way. Gamestorming is not new. Gamestorming is a collection of ‘games’ put together under the banner of ‘gamestorming’. As a business analyst (BA) I can assure you there will be many games in the book and on the website, that you have used in your role under different guises. Dave Gray (co-author of ‘gamestorming’) put it best when he described himself and his fellow authors as the Grimms brothers. The Grimms brothers, if you are not familiar with them- they brought together different fairy tales and published them in a book.
Demystifying Strategic Thinking in Business Analysis
One of my former business analysts on the team asked me this question recently; ‘I am really over being a BA. How do I move into strategy?’ I got to the realization that she was associating ‘strategy’ with a job title which consists of certain tasks. In my view, it appears as if for some business analysts, before becoming strategic, they have to be given a title ‘Strategic Business Analyst’. This I believe is the mystery that surrounds ‘strategy’ and ‘strategic thinking’, making it appear as a destination to reach, at some point.
Business Analyst: What Is Your Mission?
Every profession in a sophisticated business structure has a certain mission attached to it. This mission includes the job duties and deliverables, but that’s not all. The only way to really encapsulate the essence of what the profession of a business analyst is all about is to understand the Business Analyst Mission. In other words, the Business Analyst Mission is definitive of the value created by business analysts.
Obligations Are Business Rules
One of the Sidebars to the Business Agility Manifesto unabashedly indicts the software industry for its long-standing failure to provide direct support for obligations, an obvious and fundamental aspect of real-life business activity. Where can you find obligations in business? Virtually everywhere you look: acts, laws, statutes, regulations, contracts, MOUs, agreements, terms & conditions, deals, bids, deeds of sale, warranties, guarantees, prospectuses, licenses, citations, certifications, notices – and of course, business policies. Direct support for obligations is a fundamental capability your organization needs in the Knowledge Age. What’s it about?
Five Reasons to Model Your Company’s Value Chain
Most of us are well aware of the problem of organizational silos and non-integrated applications and channels. The question is how can we plan to eliminate them? The notion of a value chain is to take a 10,000-foot view of the business based on how value is created incrementally toward final delivery of products to end-customers. In other words, a value chain model looks holistically at the value-adding capabilities of an organization end-to-end, irrespective of organization lines of responsibility or existing functional activities.
Managing Requirements is an Art Mastered by a Business Analyst
In a classic business analyst universe, requirements are the soul of all the work a business analyst does. If a business analyst fails to identify and translate the right requirements, they’re out of a job. This is the reason why a successful business analyst is always good at requirements handling/management process. What makes requirements an essential part of a BA’s job? For a business analyst, requirements are defined as the logical and essential steps which needs to be fulfilled in order to achieve a successful end-state or a solution to a stakeholder’s business problem. These requirements drive the solution and are the key elements of any successful solution implementation. Business analysts are the ones who not only ensures the expected solution is delivered, but they’re also the owner of the requirements handling/management process. Business analysts identify the right requirements and help them convert into a form consumable by delivery teams to deliver the expected outcome in a timely manner. The requirements management/handling process consists of 4 basic steps: Discovery, Analyze, Draft and Implement. 1. Discovery Requirements discovery is a phase in which we identify, gather and scope the requirements. This phase builds the basic requirements framework for delivery. To identify and gather requirements, a business analyst uses various requirements elicitation techniques like observation, shadowing, protocol analysis, apprenticeship, prototyping, focus groups, scenario’s, background research and many others. These techniques are aimed towards gathering information related to a business problem and/or a solution that business stakeholders are trying to achieve. Requirements identification is a highly interactive activity, which relies on the involvement of the right stakeholders. Elicitation activities continue while a business analyst traverse through other stages/steps of requirements gathering. It is very important for a business analyst to not only identify but to scope the requirement. Requirements are driven by information collected by various elicitation methods; however, the relevancy of the requirement needs to be determined. The simplest way to do so is to perform some of the elicitation techniques repetitively. Look for facts via secondary support of documents or information from another source just to verify. Chart your scope based on the overall direction of the information flow and the end-state which stakeholders are trying to achieve. Scoping cannot be definitive in the business analyst’s landscape. It’s a loose boundary which needs to be flexible enough to account for other business or priority changes. Loose boundaries do help the business analyst in defining a playground where they need to operate for a successful outcome. 2. Analyze The most important activity of the requirements handling process is to analyze a requirement. Analyzing a requirement will provide us with a definite outcome along with the complete information on achieving that outcome. There can be various types of analysis like strategic analysis, functional and technical analysis. Strategic analysis is performed by understanding the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats provided by implementing this requirement. It helps a business analyst to understand the priority and criticality of the requirement which also determines how essential it is for a business to implement those requirements. Functional analysis provides an ability to understand the requirement from the end user perspective. It is performed by interacting with people who’re impacted by the implementation of requirements. This provides unique opportunity for a business analyst to shape the solution in a way that accommodates the minimal, easy to adapt change to the end users or the impacted. Technical analysis is performed by further breaking down functional requirements into a series of small implementation steps which a delivery person can understand. It is the delivery person/team who needs to deliver the technical solution. It is important to not miss any aspect of functional requirement to be translated into technical requirements which is a supporting pillar for successful solution implementation. Depending upon the type of analysis, we determine the type of requirement. Upon successfully analyzing and understanding the type of requirement we start drafting requirements into various artifacts. 3. Draft Once a business analyst has understood the type of requirements and its expected outcome, business analyst can draft those requirements in their respective artifacts. There’re various artifacts such as business requirements document and/or specification requirements document and user stories which are authored and owned by a business analyst while there’re some other like project charter, technical design document or anything alike to which a business analyst contributes actively. Drafting of requirements take the utmost time as the translation needs clarifications and numerous back and forth interactions. Once a requirement drafting is complete, it’s time to walk them through with the entire team. 4. Implement The first step of requirements implementation is to arrange for a walk-through of freshly drafted requirements where the audience includes all stakeholders including delivery team. This walk-through session helps with course correction of requirements if there’s a miss while drafting them. Also, requirements walkthrough is a common platform where in the stakeholders and other team members have the opportunity to ensure alignment of the requirements to the desired end state. Once the requirements are defined and finalized, business analysts have to ensure continuous requirement refinement for successful delivery. This is the final step of requirements management process. Once the requirement has been identified, scoped, analyzed, drafted and confirmed, business analysts have to keep their eye out for on-going business changes, these changes may affect any of the existing requirements and their desired outcomes. As business changes are constant, the impacts on the already drafted requirements is constant. There is a small deviation of requirements which can still be managed by refining the requirement and updating them, but then if the deviation requires additional effort for which the cost involved is high, then changes are to be considered for enhancement. This decision must be evaluated by a business analyst before taking appropriate actions accordingly. At this stage, all the requirements are the guiding principle for the delivery team to deliver the solution. Requirements Handling/Management Process is the one, a business analyst has to master to be considered as successful. Author: Nimil Parikh, Business Analyst Nimil Parikh is a new generation business analyst who transforms business processes by leveraging IT tools and applications. He has over 7 years of experience modeling, analyzing, measuring, improving, optimizing and automating business processes. He adds value by his ability to context switch while providing cross-functional business solution and ensuring timely delivery by managing and streamlining business processes and driving strategic leadership. He is known to introduce IT business transformation and ensure successful implementation. Nimil possess MBA from San Jose State university, MBA Marketing and Information technology engineering from India. Nimil lives in Campbell, California. He enjoys challenges and believes in making things right. Reach him via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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’
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