Posts Tagged ‘Business analysis’

Competencies of a Business Analyst

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

A competency is something a business analyst needs in order to perform his or her job effectively.

The set of business analysis competencies can be divided into three broad groups.

  • Behavioural skills and personal qualitie
  • Business knowledge
  • Techniques

Behavioural skills are arguably more important than technical or business skills, as they are prerequisite for working with other people.
It is often said that it is easier to give a person with good behavioural skills the techniques needed for a job than to graft behavioural skills on to a good technician.

Typical Problems with Requirements Analysis

Friday, May 1st, 2009

The following are the typical problems which causes a poor requirements analysis:

  • lack of relevance to the objectives of the project;
  • lack of clarity in the wording;
  • ambiguity;
  • duplication between requirements;
  • conflicts between requirements;
  • requirements expressed in such a way that it is difficult to assess whether they have been achieved;
  • requirements that assume a solution rather than state what is to be deleivered by the system;
  • uncertainity among business users about what they need from the new system;
  • business users omitting to identify requirements;
  • inconsistent levels of detail;
  • users and analysts taking certain knowledge for granted and failing to ensure that there is a common understanding;

The first point often results from a lack of terms of reference for the project. The eighth difficulty, that the users are uncertain of their needs, is by no means uncommon in a world of new business practices and enw technology. The business analyst is the person who must help the users to visualize precisely what they need the new system to perform and then to articulate it.

Another source of diffculties for the business analyst is recognising the different viewpoints behind each user.

A Business Analyst therefore must be very careful about requirements analysis as a large proportion of errors are introduced at the requirements analysis stage. 

The above detailed points are taken from ISEB Business Analysis book by Debra Paul. While studying the Requirements Engineering chapter, i found it worthwhile to share these points with you:)

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: