How to Navigate Politics as a Business Analyst

I posted this article on LinkedIn in February. I’m sharing it today with my blog community. If we’re not connected on LinkedIn and you’d like to be, just send me a connection request via LinkedIn. Now for the article on navigating politics… We all experience it, and we wish we didn’t have to. Politics and corporate culture vary among companies and clients, but they’re always there to some degree…and sometimes you as a BA are caught in the middle. But there are ways to navigate the political waters and stay afloat. The first thing to understand is that many times, […]

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Can Questions Change Your Life?

I have read many articles and books this year that tell us we can change our lives by starting the day with questions; asking ourselves the same questions every morning. I am committed to doing this in 2016 and I’d like to challenge you to do it with me. The key is to ask empowering questions – questions that will empower you, make you feel better, and can even help others as you begin helping yourself. Below is the list of questions I’m going to ask myself each morning. Feel free to use these for yourself or create your own […]

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Building Credibility with the Technical Team

This is from an article I recently posted on LinkedIn. One of the problems I hear about frequently from clients is related to trust and credibility with the technical team – you can have it if you follow these tips. As the liaison between the business and IT department of an organization, all eyes are on the BA when each side needs answers. But trust is not given outright with the BA title. Instead, a BA must earn the project team’s faith and prove their credibility. Consider the development team. To them, the BA is the voice of the customer–if […]

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Confessions of a Business Analyst Coach

I published this article on LinkedIn this morning. I think all of us – every single person – needs to take a look at what they don’t like about their lives and then make a plan, take action, and change it. Confession #1 – I’m a hard ass. My family tells me that; my friends tell me that. I know it to be true. You will not her me say “oh, you poor thing” when you tell me what’s going wrong in your life. What you will hear me say is something like “so what are you doing to change […]

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Process Flows – Keep it Simple

I published this article on LinkedIn because I’ve been seeing this crop up quite a bit recently and I felt a reminder might be in order to remember that your value lies in keeping it simple… The beauty of flowcharts lies in their simplicity…but only if you keep it simple. You can use basic symbols to map out any job and you can use flowcharts for just about any situation. People make processes complicated and people make defining processes complicated. I’ve seen process flows that are for a fairly basic process be drawn in a very complicated way. I’m always […]

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From Whiteboard to Benefit

  *picture courtesy of bsgdelivers.com I like the questions in this infographic; they can be used for many types of conversations you’re having with stakeholders and SMEs on your project. It doesn’t have to be specific to the “whiteboard” conversation. However, I do agree that it’s important to focus on these points when future requirements/processes are being discussed. Oftentimes I have seen the “future flow” discussion turn into a wish list of great magnitude that isn’t possible given the timeline and budget for the project. To help keep the project on track: Ensure your future flow is in line with the scope […]

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What Is The Cost Of Poor Business Requirements ?

It’s absolutely staggering how much money is wasted on failed iT projects. And even more frustrating is how much of that could have been avoided. Studies have shown that poor business requirements are to blame for 80% of failed projects. Taking that into account, this infographic shows the cost of that on a global level.

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Business Analysis—What You Need the First Day of a Project

On day one of a business analysis project, your most important weapon is knowledge—not only with respect to business analyst skillsets, but it’s also crucial to walk in with an understanding of your client’s organization. When you start—and many times before you start—a project, it’s paramount to have a working knowledge about your client’s mission, values, obstacles, and objectives. This information should not consist of broad strokes. Instead, try to take in as much in-depth information as you can. When you have comprehensive knowledge in your tool-belt, you’ll never lose focus as you complete project milestones, create use cases, tackle […]

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Necessary Business Analyst Skillset: Running the Most Productive Meetings

If you’ve read my articles before, you know how I consistently remind business analysts that their stakeholders expect them to have a virtual treasure chest of skillsets. Running a productive meeting is yet another benchmark in a long list of necessary business analyst skillsets. And though it sounds so simple to stay on task, facilitate discussion, and bring new ideas to the table, you may find yourself feeling like a deer in the headlights once the meeting begins. If you haven’t run a meeting with stakeholders yet, know that it is a cornerstone of your career, so it’s best to […]

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Combining Business Analysis Roles for Maximum Effect

Photo credit: Salford Business School As a business analyst, so much is expected of you. Your stakeholders expect you to increase company revenue and make life easier for employees. Your bosses want you to make a good name for their company and maintain consistently updated skillsets. That’s a lot to ask—but I’m here to help you develop a comprehensive set of business analysis skills that lead to a higher salary and vastly easier workflow. To meet this end, you have to become a “triple threat” and combine the three principal business analyst roles, which are Strategist, Architect, and IT-Systems Analyst. Strategist […]

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