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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Stakeholder Negotiations (It’s Not Impossible)

Stakeholder negotiations—it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s far from impossible. As a business analyst, you’ll find yourself faced with an old familiar challenge quite often. That challenge is to convince stakeholders that your course of action is the right choice for their business. Of course, you may meet some serious resistance, especially if a stakeholder is not convinced of your expertise. This is why it’s important to go into stakeholder negotiations 100% prepared. In my years winning arguments with stakeholders, I’ve discovered the recipe for stakeholder success. Take note of the following criteria, so that you can set the course […]

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Heptalysis: Do You Use this Business Analysis Technique?

If you haven’t heard about Heptalysis, it’s a biggie. This business analysis technique helps you provide solutions in manners of market opportunities, product/solution, execution plan, human capital, and potential return. Needless to say, heptalysis allows you perform business analysis from multiple angles. With this bird’s eye view of your project, you put yourself in orchestral role that allows for maximum control and more comprehensive results. Since heptalysis is such an all-inclusive method, the best practice is to know about every facet. Check out this short play-by-play of the five elements of heptalysis. Market Opportunities The only reason for business failure […]

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Data Analysis Strategies for the Successful Business Analyst

Data analysis strategies. What do they mean for you as a successful business analyst? If knowledge is power, then the successful business analyst is the most powerful person on the planet. But knowledge doesn’t mean much without application, so take these techniques into account as you perform data analysis that spawns an actionable plan. A data-driven strategy means that you take facts into account, and as a result, construct an actionable plan that’s based on evidence. When you add in an understanding of the clients’ overall goals, you will be able to construct a step-by-step process that leads to real, […]

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Risk Assessments: the Surefire Methodology

Risk assessments. Your stakeholders need them… And in your business analysis career, you need to create them in a clear and comprehensive way. We’d all love a surefire methodology that guarantees a successful project, but that’s not going to happen overnight. To weigh all your variables on a project, you’ll need to create a solid risk assessment that reveals potential pitfalls before they become issues. Both the business impact analysis and risk assessments are foundational. No question about that, but first it’s important to understand the difference between a BIA and a risk assessment. A business impact analysis indicates the […]

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Business Analysis Strategies: How to Reduce Expenses

One paramount truth about business analysis strategies is that it’s up to you to improve efficiencies. One way to do that is to reduce expenses for the organizations you serve. The caveat is that the opportunity to cut down on costs while you work on a project often goes unrecognized. So how do you identify those hidden opportunities to satisfy stakeholders by reducing expenses? How do you cut costs without sacrificing efficiency? This blog reveals the how-to steps to save your stakeholders money and improve the organization at the same time. These two pillars of a successful project are not […]

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The BA Architect: Foundational Strategies for Core Processes

There are differences between business analyst strategies and successful business architect techniques. But, as a business analyst, it’s important to integrate business architect skills into your mental toolkit. So what’s the big difference between an analyst and an architect? Well, according to the IIBA, “business architecture is business analysis.” I think there’s a caveat to the IIBA’s assertion: an analyst is an expert who seeks to impact positive change from the inside, while a business architect seeks to transform an organization at the foundational level. As a business analyst who wants to create lasting solutions, it’s important for you to […]

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How to Use the 5 WHYs in Business Analysis

The 5 WHYs? You’re probably familiar with this effective business analyst strategy, even if you’re not sure what it is or have never used the technique in your career. To explain how the 5 WHYs serve as a career-building technique for business analysts, I have to start with an unusual analogy. Have you ever noticed how young children constantly ask the question “why?” For us adults, the endless stream of “why” questions may feel like a nuisance, because after the third iteration, we stop knowing the answer. When it comes to providing transformational solutions for all your clients, it’s highly […]

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Business Analysis Brainstorming Sessions: How Does Your Mind Work?

They call it business analysis for a reason. As a BA, you’re expected to think deeply about a project, and then articulate transformative and lasting solutions. But what about self-analysis? They don’t teach that in business analyst school. When it comes to brainstorming sessions especially, it’s best to know which way your mind works best. According to the authors at Mind Tools, knowing which “thinking hat” you wear will help your career. This is especially important for business analysts. To break it down, there are 6 “thinking hats” that dictate your mental MO. Keep in mind that every now and […]

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Document Analysis: 3 Things Most BAs Forget

According to the BABOK guide, document analysis is one of the “16 required techniques” for successful business analysts. But so often, I find that it’s a neglected part of the business analysis process. When it comes to eliciting requirements, you won’t always find everything you need during the interview process. And more often than not, you get stranded with not enough information because the interview process didn’t begin with document analysis. Before you set foot in that office (or wherever you’re doing the interviews), take some time to go over IT help reports, financial documents, surveys, operational reports, accounting records, […]

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