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Three Modes of Business Analysis Consulting
A business analysis consultant might perform three types of roles when working with clients: expert, pair-of-hands, and collaborator. Each of these represents a different kind of interaction and a different source of satisfaction for the consultant. This article, adapted from my book Successful Business Analysis Consulting: Strategies and Tips for Going It Alone, describes these three modes of consulting engagements, which apply both to independent consultants and to internal consultants who work in large organizations.
Boosting Your Confidence as a Business Analyst
The ability to build and exude self-confidence can contribute to success in many areas of our lives from personal to professional. Unfortunately, many business analysts who are beginners or experienced but new to an organization are not provided with the tools and recourses to be confident in their ability to add value to their organization. As a BA, self-confidence facilitates the ability to build relationships, gain respect, and influence others. Below are some of the most effective tactics that I have taken throughout my career to bolster my confidence as a business analyst. Once I became confident in myself, I started noticing that other people’s confidence in my abilities increased as well. Hopefully, these tips will help you recognize your true potential and the value you bring as a business analyst.
The Digital BA Series: 5 Killer Questions Types For Digital Transformation
To be effective, we BAs need to learn as much as we can about the digital world—about the world of digital transformation and what it means for the organization. We need to immerse ourselves in research and journal articles and think of how to make sense of it for our organizations. We need to think of digital projects from both the data scientist and business perspectives. And we can do that. After all, we’re BAs and that’s what we do best.
Creating a Culture That Respects Requirements
Culture clashes frequently arise when teams are working on requirements. There are those who recognize the many risks associated with trying to develop software based on minimal or telepathically communicated requirements. Then there are those who think requirements are unnecessary. It can be tough to gain business-side cooperation on projects like legacy-system replacement if users see this as unrelated to their own business problems and not worth their time. Understanding why people resist participating in requirements development is the first step to being able to address it.
4 Things To Consider Before Hiring A Business Analyst For Your Project
I like to compare a business analyst to an architect. While the architect asks questions about design, budget, and personal preferences of a person who wants to build a house; similarly, the business analyst interacts with business owners to know and understand their needs.   A business analyst also produces requirements which clearly state the needs of a business and ensures that those align with its business processes, just as an architect would draw up plans and have an agreement with the owner before reaching out to builders.
Breaking the Complex Down to Simple
Process modeling/mapping/flowing, can be an art, and science, based on the maturity of the organization, knowledge of those doing this work in the organization, and many other factors. What I have found can be challenging is identifying the actual processes to model/map/flow. The fight identification may not occur on the first attempt as this work can be quite iterative, however, there are some concepts that can help make the identification a little easier
Requirements In Context Part 3: Scope = High-Level Requirements
Project Scope. We will see how scope statements, when making reference to business functionality, lead directly to High-Level requirements.  Gathering requirements for a business information system is most often done within the context of a project. Approval of a project includes its sponsors signing off on its scope. The scope for a business information system project is typically defined in functional terms. Items in scope make reference to (or should make reference to) business functions, processes and/or activities that are to be delivered.
Capability-Based Planning with ArchiMate®
Capability-based planning is a growing practice in the field of enterprise architecture. Its success is due to the fact that it provides actual value to practitioners and the organizations that employs them. Indeed, capability-based planning helps in a number of ways, from providing a clear understanding of existing capabilities to promoting effective Business-IT alignment. Considering these benefits, we thought it useful to address this practice and bring some clarity to the subject for the benefit of all who might not yet have a good handle on the topic.
Strategy for Passing the CBAP Version 3 Exam
Becoming a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) has been one of the most rewarding and challenging endeavors for me as a business analyst. The purpose of this article is to help other business analysts pass the CBAP exam on the first try by sharing the strategy that I used. Hopefully, it will be of great service to many business analysts and aspiring CBAPs. Below is an outline to navigate you through studying for the CBAP and absorbing the BABOK material.
The Core Question about Building Better Software
In recent years, agile software development has been the classic example of this pursuit of magic solutions, so I’ll use that as an example here. Over the years, though, people have leapt onto the bandwagons of numerous new software approaches. They all have merits, they all have limitations, and they all need to be applied to appropriate problems.
The Digital BA Series: Translators Needed in the Digital Age
Our job is to be trusted advisors and one area where we can establish trust is to help our stakeholders understand language that might be confusing to them. In order words, we can establish trust by translating technical complexity into business language. We BAs have always done this. We take customer requirements and translate them into something the technical folks can understand…and vice versa.  But what about translating in the digital world? We still need to translate, but it’s different. It’s more complex. 
The Critical Role BAs Can Play in Companies Using Advanced Analytics
We live in a time when business in many industries offer similar products and use comparable technologies. One of the last points of differentiation are processes, and the evidence is clear, in sector after sector: companies that figure out how to combine business domain expertise with advanced analytics to improve their internal and customer-facing processes are winning the market.  Let’s take a look at three of the many opportunities that the advanced analytics technologies developed over the past decade are creating for business analysts..
What is DevOps?
DevOps is based on a culture of trusted partners. This partnership is between software development, quality assurance, security and controls, and operations. The result is a smooth and fast transition of software from development to operations. However, like Dover, if the trusted partners are somehow reorganized into formal handoffs each with their own software acceptance procedures, the movement of software is no longer smooth nor fast.
Requirement Elicitation: Stories Are Not Requirements
One of the three activities encompassed under Requirements Analysis is the process of ‘ Requirements elicitation’. IIBA’s definition of ‘elicitation’ is “An activity within requirements development that identifies sources for requirements and then uses elicitation techniques to gather requirements from those sources.” However, this definition appears incomplete from an analyst’s point of view as it relies solely on the assumption that one can come up with requirements only by running elicitation techniques; however, the process of elicitation is not as simple and straightforward as it seems. Let’s see why.
Strategic Enterprise Analysis: A Revised Article
This article describes the process of the strategic enterprise analysis utilizing text and tables. In the past 5 years, things have changed, and I have gained new insight and most important learned new aspects. As a result, this article expands previous material to include...
How To Build Right Product Backlog Structure
In this article, I want to share my knowledge on how to manage product backlog using Jira. The article will be useful not only to business analysts or product owners but also to scrum masters, project managers. Basically, anyone who works with backlog and requirements on a project will benefit from reading it. There are certain rules and approaches that you have to follow to achieve good results. Before we take a look at it I want to point out that this approach is not a market standard yet. However, over the last 3 years, I’ve completed a good number of projects using the approach I’ll be describing here On the image below I tried to emphasize the main activities and processes that should be presented in your project. You also have to keep in mind that each artifact and process has own goal and definition.
How to Improve Cyber Security with Enterprise Architecture
Personally, I believe the best approach to enterprise risk and security management (ERSM) is to rely on several open standards, most notably the ArchiMate standard for enterprise architecture modeling, as well as the Open FAIR standard for information risk management. More details are described in The Open Group’s white paper on modeling enterprise risk management and security.
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.

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