User Story Breakdown – 5 Effective Analysis Approaches to Story Splitting

Learning how to story split is a skill that takes some time and practice to master, so don’t beat yourself up if you still find it to be more of a challenge than you thought. Once you get it though, you’ll see team metrics increase exponentially. The concept is simple – the more a team can accomplish the better they feel about themselves, the project, and the product they’re producing. Confidence is an indicator of morale. When morale is high, motivation comes naturally. Stories are ready for acceptance at an impressive pace. If you were to ask most agile teams, […]

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Are You a Lightweight BA?

10 Valuable Underutilized Analysis Tools to Improve your Analytical Standing + Five More to Consider The term ‘lightweight’ when not describing a professional boxer or down comforter, usually comes with negative connotations. It implies lack of substance or ability, one-dimensional importance or a category positioned below another. Commonly used to describe a person of little influence, inept politicians or less than stellar skill sets by an otherwise qualified individual, ‘lightweights’ are often found on the losing end of a competitive fight. We know the role of a business analyst is to perform a set of tasks to gain understanding of […]

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Top Ten Ways to Guarantee Failure in Requirements Sessions

Top Ten Ways to Guarantee Failure in Requirements Sessions Use these bad listening habits to guarantee an unsuccessful meeting, after which you’ll walk away with little to no helpful information – not to mention the wasted time for everyone who attended the meeting. 1.       Interrupt stakeholders If what you have to say is so important that it just can’t wait, go ahead – interrupt the person who is speaking. For maximum failure, interrupt a stakeholder or a SME. You’ll succeed in showing your disrespect – to the person who is speaking as well as those who are trying to listen. […]

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BA Agility & Adaptability: It’s All About Trust

Transitioning to Agile can be scary…but you can do it! As a BA, when you first join an Agile team, there may be an element of fear associated with letting go of familiar, traditional BA processes and activities. This usually stems from a ‘fish out of water’ feeling, or as some put it – ‘working without a net’. It’s hard to let go of 72-page BRDs, FSDs and multi-tabbed spreadsheets containing everything we think we need to know about a project. Without these artifacts, it can feel as though we’re on a steep staircase that has no banister, or riding […]

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Are You Committed to CPD?

You probably won’t see it listed as a requirement in a job description. It’s also not likely to show up as a trait of strength on your résumé – but on both counts, it should. What is CPD? CPD is Continual Professional Development. Without it, the best resumes are nothing more than a laundry list of experience doing this or doing that. While experience is good, and for the most part is responsible for getting us from point A to point B, it inherently implies ‘the past’. Continual Professional Development suggests furtherance, persistence, and maintenance. Commitment to CPD is a […]

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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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Is Your Business Analysis Exhausting Your Team?

What is Business Analysis? According to version 3 of the IIBA BABOK® Guide, “Business analysis is the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. Business analysis enables an enterprise to articulate needs and the rationale for change, and to design and describe solutions that can deliver value.” I would add that business analysis is also the channel that drives communication between business and technology partners – you cannot be successful at enabling change if all parties do not have the same understanding and agreement on what those changes should […]

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Preparing for Requirements Elicitation Sessions

As a business analyst, you’ve most likely been in this position. You’re in a conference room with about 5 people you know or have worked with before and about 5-10 people you have never met or talked to before…and it’s your responsibility to get them all sharing their knowledge with you and with each other. Nerve wracking isn’t it? When your focus is eliciting requirements from subject matter experts (SMEs) and end users, there are some things you can do to prepare for the meeting that will help you feel less nervous and be more productive. Do Research Learn what you are […]

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How to Define Business Needs

Having a clear definition of the business needs, or problems that require a solution, of the organization gives you a blueprint for your BA activities. When you understand why change is needed, and what that change needs to be, you can focus your attention on meeting those expectations. Determining specific business needs is the objective you need to clarify and understand completely in order to be most effective in Business Analysis. The solution is driven by those business needs, and your project will be evaluated by them. Most business needs arise due to common issues such as revenue reduction, client […]

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Mary Was So Annoying

Does this scenario seem familiar to you? You get assigned to a large project and they assign 2 BAs – you and another BA that we’ll call Mary. You find out that Mary is on the project with you and you let out an internal groan while you’re smiling on the outside. Mary is so annoying. Everyone loves Mary, Mary can do no wrong. And on top of that, Mary points out when you are doing something wrong and you just know she’s going to make you look stupid on this project. I’ve been in this exact situation earlier on […]

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