Archive for September, 2008

Business Analyst

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I’m working as a Business Analyst from past 2.5 years which means i’m very new to this field though have done BA job with 2 different companies so far and learnt a lot.

There are different definations of a Business Analyst and my own simple defination of a Business Analyst is “A person who works as a liasion between business teams and development teams”.

The International Institute of Business Analysis has the following definition of the role:

 “A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems. The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.”

The British Computer Society defines BA as:

“An internal consultancy role that has the responsibility for investigating business systems, identifying options for improving business systems and bridging the needs of the business with the use of IT.”

My 1st BA role invloved in managing stakeholders mainly business clients from different companies. I used to write Business Proposals to submit for a tender to get a project, conducting interviews and workshops to gather requirements, analyse and document those requriements to present to both IT and business teams. Once i get the final sign off for the proposed solution of a project, i used to forward those requirements on to development team. Once the expected solution is developed then i had to verify that the developed system meets busienss objectives. I used to conduct UAT (User Acceptance Testing) and then the successful implementation of the system.

As documentation, I had to write SRS, use cases, test cases, user training manuals, system guides, presentations etc.

From above you could see that a BA has to work on full Business Life Cycle using any BA methodology and in my case i used RUP.

In my current BA role I m working on processes and policies. It’s kind of a bit different task as above though it involves managing stakeholders and gathering requirements.

A precious thing i learnt from my  experience is that always manage your stakeholders/business clients very carefully. There are different type of people in different roles and different organizations and its not a childs’ play to keep everybody happy.

Once you have learnt this skill then consider yourself a successfull Business Analyst.

I think its enough about a BA so far. I will write more about BA skills in my future posts.

You can see this post on the Modern Analyst website as well:

http://www.modernanalyst.com/Community/Blogs/tabid/78/Default.aspx

Become an IT Star

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Stars, no matter in which field, have always been respected while earning both fame and money.

The following are the secrets to become an IT star:

  1. Be good to your end user
  2. Go beyond the walls of IT and learn the business
  3. Understand the organization’s structure and goals
  4. Build trust with your boss

Being a Busienss Analyst these qualities are a must to be a good business analyst. I was reading through an article which gave me this receipe of being a star.

A quote from the article:

“People outside of IT won’t necessarily understand tech speak, so you need to present information in a manner so they understand technology and what it provides to the company,” says John Murphy, CIO of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Biloxi

Google’s Android mobile software

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Google has released two major projects for its users in 2008 – Chrome and Android. Chrome has already been released few weeks ago and the first mobile telephone (Gphone) using Google’s Android software is due to be unveiled on 23 September.

Today is a G-day for T-Mobile as it will be the first carrier to offer a mobile phone powered by Google’s Android software. The new Gphone will be on sale in October.

The idea behind Android is to do for phone software what the open source Linux software has done for PCs.

Android SDK is now available enabling developers to create compelling mobile applications that take full advantage of all a handset has to offer.

Google has now entered into mobile phone market where it will have to face the well established phone software players like Nokia with its Symbian operating system and Microsoft with its mobile software.

Interesting to know that Microsoft has delayed Windows Mobile 7 release until the second half of 2009. I think Microsoft had a bad experience of releasing IE 8 with Google’s Chrome which forced it to change its strategy for Mobile7 release.

Let’s future decide who will win the market of mobile phone software as there had already been major releases by Apple and Bleckberry in second half of 2008.

Hackers infiltrate Palin’s yahoo e-mail

Friday, September 19th, 2008

One of the most concerned news of the morning for me was:

 

Hackers have broken in to the e-mail of the US Republican vice-presidential candidate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.”

 

My concern to this news doesn’t mean that I am a supporter of Us Republican party but it was more about the email security especially of high profile people. I was looking to see Yahoo comments about this hijack and found out that Yahoo declined comment on security features for its free email.

Yahoo spokeswoman Kelley Benander says:

“We don’t comment on the specifics of our security policies so that we don’t give a roadmap to hackers and bad actors”  

The anonymous group of hackers used Palin’s date of birth, Zip code and where she met her spouse to change the password in only 45 minutes. As per hacker, it was a very easy task to hack Palin’s personal email.

Some email screenshots and 2 photos of Mrs Palin’s family have been posted on Wikileaks website. I have seen this website for the first time.

It sounds that easy passwords are always a golden chance for hackers to get into your email accounts. I am currently working on Security and Data Compliance project assessing the company’s security policies. One of the critical policies we are taking care of is to use passwords which are not easily guessable and have them changed regularly.

 

I believe that now the companies’ especially public offices will be much careful after this incident though there already have been some incidents in the past.

 

Big Bang project is also under the hackers’ threats and special care under consideration to make it more secure.

Lloyds TSB to acquire HBOS

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Our group (Lloyds TSB) chief Executive Eric Daniels announced this morning that Lloyds TSB has reached an agreement to acquire HBOS.

He said:

“We will now start a process to complete the acquisition which will include securing shareholder, regulatory and other approvals, with a target to complete the acquisition early next year.

What I can also tell you this morning, is that our acquisition of HBOS is completely aligned with our strategic aim to build the UK’s leading financial services company. We have focused on growing sustainable earnings streams, based on deep customer relationships – and this deal fully supports these ambitions. For our customers, it is business as usual, the same applies for HBOS customers.”

This news was welcomed as a great future for the TSB group and everybody was happy in our company.

Yesterday night there were some rumors in media that does TSB has such a position to buy HBOS which is much bigger than LTSB but it has happened.

HBOS shares were already fell by 70% in the market and that’s why LTSB bought each share for 322p as compared to the shares last month price 967p.

 LTSB has also mentioned that there still will be a great job loss in HBOS after this deal.

Sad to know about Ahmed Faraz

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Hui hei shaam tu Ankhon mein bas gaya Phir tu
Kahan gaya hei Mere shehar ke Musafir tu
Mein Janta hoon ke dunya tujhe badal de gi
Mein manta hoon ke aisa nahi bazahar tu

May Allah bless him by forgiving him and may his soul rest in peace.

Ameen

Lehman bankruptcy shakes world financial system

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

A great shock for the financial world after Lehman Brothers declared itself bankrupt on Monday.  

Share prices have tumbled and are likely to fall further as investors take flight from a sector that appears to be in meltdown.

Most of Lehman’s 25,000 employees will be out of work which is alarming as its been said in todays news that there will be a great job loss from British financial sector as well due to this financial slump which could be recovered by 2010/11.

I personally have moved from healthcare sector to financial sector after finding it a very charming sector for job especially in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is one of the europe’s biggest city being a home of financial giants.

Due to all these reasons i was facinated by Scottish Widows and luckly got a chance to work with this company. I beleive i wouldn’t be one the employees going to be sacked in future. As the company has a very good financial reputation so far and it’s Llyod TSB bank is planning to buy Britian’s biggest bank HBOS (which is currently not seeing good old days).

Hope for the best.

New World Wide Web Foundation

Monday, September 15th, 2008

The internet needs a way to help people separate rumour from real science, says the creator of the World Wide Web.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has announced a new the World Wide Web Foundation with a three-part mission:

to advance One Web that is free and open,
to expand the Web’s capability and robustness,
and to extend the Web’s benefits to all people on the planet.

He says:

The Web Foundation will bring together business leaders, technology innovators, academia, government, NGOs, and experts in many fields to tackle challenges that, like the Web, are global in scale. The Web Foundation is in the unique position of being able to learn from the results of projects to accelerate the evolution of the Web.  

I am fully agreed with sir Tim that web has been used to spread disinformation but I don’t know if this strategy to vet websites will work to a greater extent or not. The web now looks like a beast out of control Let’s future decide about this but i do appreciate Sir Tim’s efforts and new strategy.

Google Chrome

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Perhaps you all are aware that Google is very much in the news these days. The very much reason is the release of Google’s new web browser – Chrome.

There has been a lot written about chrome on different blogs and i tried to read most of them. I personally am keen trying new technology and software mostly Web related. So I immediately downloaded chrome and to give it a go and i found it very fast as claimed and its interface is very simple.

One of my friend installed both Chrome and IE8 for comparison and IE8 really annoyed him which was obvious from his blog.

Some of the disadvantages (tiny) of Chrome are that you cannot run hotmail or live mail etc. Of course there is not Microsoft Passport so that’s the problem. I don’t know how the problem will be solved by Chrome but Google will do something or may be will compromise with this blockage by Microsoft.

Also some websites like www.isaca.org are slower on chrome.

Microsoft was already aware of the Chrome and that’s why it launched its buggy browser.

I believe Chrome will play a significant role in Browser world and will try to snatch the 80% browser market currently captured by Microsoft IE.

These days I’m becoming very much fan of Google rather Microsoft though Microsoft has done a great job in different areas but Google’s growth is very fast and its IT solutions are very solid.

Google has been rated as the world’s most wanted work place to work for.

My First Blog

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Assalam-o-alaikum and hello to every body!

I used to leave comments on different blogging websites as a blog reader but never tried to write my own blog ever. Then i had this blog phobia all of a sudden and the main cause was to share information and my personal views about any topics particularly IT related.

Now i have my own personal blogging website and soon there will be very informative and informal/yummy blogs as well:)

Your comments are always welcomed.

Wish me good luck in this new adventure.

Cheers,

K.