BA Techniques BABOK

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This presentation covers IT Business Analyst Techniques as listed in BABOK Version 2.0 Chapter 9

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  • Thanks for this - it's a good quick reference for me to use when I'm not quite sure which technique to use without having to delve into the BABOK manual! Useful - I nearly re-created the same - but a bit of searching and I knew someone somewhere would already have done it!
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BA Techniques BABOK

  1. 1. Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria Definition : To define the requirements that must be met in order for a solution to be considered acceptable to key stakeholders. Advantages : Agile methodologies may require that all requirements be expressed in the form of testable acceptance criteria. Acceptance criteria are also necessary when the requirements express contractual obligations. Disadvantages :Acceptance and evaluation criteria may express contractual obligations and as such may be difficult to change for legal or political reasons. Applicability : Requirement Elicitation , Business Bidding
  2. 2. Benchmarking Definition : Benchmark studies are performed to compare the strengths and weaknesses of an organization against its peers and competitors. Advantages : Benchmarking provides organizations with information about new and different methods, ideas, and tools to improve organizational performance. Disadvantages : Benchmarking is time consuming. In addition, organizations may not have the expertise to conduct the analysis and acquire or interpret useful competitive information. Because it involves assessing solutions that have been shown to work elsewhere, with the goal of reproducing them, benchmarking cannot produce innovative. Applicability : Business Bidding, Requirement Analysis , Business Solution Design
  3. 3. Brainstorming Definition : It is used in a group by focusing on a topic or problem Advantages Ability to elicit many ideas in a short time period. Non-judgmental environment enables creative thinking. Can be useful during a workshop to reduce tension between participants. Disadvantages Dependent on participants’ creativity and willingness to participate. Organizational and interpersonal politics may also limit participation. Group participants must agree to avoid debating the ideas raised during brainstorming. Applicability : Business Bidding, Requirement Elicitation
  4. 4. Business Rules Analysis Definition : Defines the rules that govern decisions in an organization and that define, constrain, or enable organizational operations. Advantages : Can make changes to policy without altering processes. The Easy business rules change assessment Disadvantages : Lengthy lists of business rules. Business rules contradictions. Applicability :Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation, Requirement Elicitation
  5. 5. Data Dictionary and Glossary Definition : A data dictionary or glossary defines key terms and data relevant to a business domain. Advantages : Ensures that all stakeholders are in agreement on the format and content of relevant information. Records consistently used terms Disadvantages : Time Consuming. Wrong Interpretation of words may be possible. Applicability : Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation
  6. 6. Data Flow Diagrams Definition : To show how information is input, processed, stored, and output from a system. Strengths : Easy To Understand A useful analysis deliverable to developers in a structured programming environment. Weaknesses : Do not easily show who performs the work and alternative paths. Applicability : Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation
  7. 7. Data Modeling Definition : It describes the concepts relevant to a domain, the relationships between those concepts, and information associated with them. Advantages Flexibility of different levels of description. Consistent modeling approach that supports the transition through planning, analysis, design and implementation. Accuracy in Development Disadvantages Complex for Non Technical Background People Difficult for users to understand and relate to. Terms and definitions may vary in use in different organizational units or domains. Applicability : Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation
  8. 8. Decision Analysis Definition : It supports decision-making when dealing with complex, difficult, or uncertain situations. Advantages Determines the expected value of an alternative scenario to the organization. Provides quantitative measures to make investment decisions. Assessment of Different Alternatives Importance for stakeholders Disadvantages Requires specialized knowledge and skills. Results of decision analysis may become more certain if decision- makers do not understand the limitations and the assumptions behind it. Applicability : Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation
  9. 9. Document Analysis Definition : Document analysis is a means to elicit requirements by studying available documentation on existing and comparable solutions and identifying relevant Advantages Not starting from a blank page. Leveraging existing materials to discover and/or confirm requirements. A means to cross-check requirements from other elicitation techniques such as interviews, job shadowing, surveys or focus groups. Disadvantages Limited to “as-is” perspective. Existing documentation may not be up-to-date or valid. Can be a time-consuming and even tedious process to locate the relevant information Applicability : Requirement Elicitation, Requirement Analysis
  10. 10. Estimation Definition : It is forecasting the cost and effort involved in pursuing a course of action. Advantages Make better decisions. Disadvantages Estimates may be treated as commitments. Estimates may be altered to match the desires of influential stakeholders Applicability : Business Bidding , Requirement Analysis
  11. 11. Focus Groups Definition : It is a means to elicit ideas and attitudes about a specific product, service or opportunity in an interactive group environment. Advantages Data Elicitation from a group in a single session Effective for learning people’s attitudes, experiences and desires. Active discussion enables personal view of participants Disadvantages In the group setting, participants may be concerned about issues of trust, or may be unwilling to discuss sensitive or personal topics. Data collected (what people say) may not be consistent with how people actually behave. A skilled moderator may be required to manage group Applicability : Requirement Elicitation
  12. 12. Functional Decomposition Definition : It is breaking larger processes, functional areas into their components to analyze each part independently Advantages Creates a conceptual model of the work. Provides all stakeholders with a consistent view of the scope of the effort. Assists estimating Disadvantages No way to be certain that all components have been captured. Decomposing a problem without fully understanding the relationship between pieces of the problem may create an inappropriate structure that impedes analysis. Applicability : Requirement Analysis
  13. 13. Interface Analysis Definition : To identify interfaces between solutions and/or solution components and define requirements that describe how they will interact Advantages Early identification of interfaces provides an early, high-level view of interoperability for planning: Impact on delivery date. Collaboration with other systems or projects. Specification of the interfaces should prevent difficulties in integrating multiple components. Disadvantages Does not provide insight into other aspects of the solution since the analysis does not assess the internal components. Applicability : Requirement Analysis , Requirement Elicitation , Requirement Documentation , Business Bidding
  14. 14. Interviews Definition : It is a systematic approach to elicit information from a person or group of people in an informal or formal setting by asking relevant questions and documenting the responses. Advantages Encourages participation and creates satisfaction with the stakeholder. Allows the interviewer and participant to have full discussions Enables observations of non-verbal behavior. Clear Understanding of problems and Maintains Focus towards interview objectives Brings out views of reluctant interviewees also Disadvantages Not an ideal means of reaching consensus across a group of stakeholders. Requires commitment and involvement of the participants. Training required for conducting effective interviews. Depth of follow-on questions may be dependent on the interviewer’s knowledge of the business domain. Analysis of interview data can be complex and expensive. Documentation dependent on Interviewer’s interpretation. Risk of unintentionally leading the interviewee. Applicability : Requirement Elicitation , Business Bidding
  15. 15. Lessons Learned Process Definition : It is a way to compile and document successes, opportunities for improvement, failures, and recommendations for improving the performance of future. Advantages Useful for identifying opportunities for process improvement. Builds team morale after a difficult period.e projects or project phases Disadvantages participants may assign blame during these sessions or honest discussion may not occur. Participants may be reluctant to document and discuss problems May risk becoming a “gripe” session and improvement opportunities may be neglected. Applicability : Project Implementation , Operations
  16. 16. Metrics and Key Performance Indicators Definition : It measures the performance of solutions, solution components, and other matters of interest to stakeholders. Advantages Enables stakeholders to understand the extent to which a solution meets an objective, and effective of activities of developing the solution (output) were. Indicators, metrics and reporting also facilitate organizational alignment, linking goals to objectives, supporting solutions, underlying tasks, and resources. Disadvantages Gathering excessive amounts of data beyond what is needed will result in unnecessary expense in collecting, analyzing and reporting. Individuals being measured are likely to act to increase their performance on those metrics Applicability : Business Bidding , Requirement Elicitation
  17. 17. Non-functional Requirements Analysis Definition : It describes the required qualities of a system, such as its usability and performance characteristics. Advantages : Strong influence on whether or not a system is accepted by its users. Disadvantages : More difficult to define than functional requirements. Expectations regarding quality attributes may not be described Overly stringent non-functional requirements may significantly impact the cost of developing a software application Applicability : Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation
  18. 18. Organization Modeling Definition : It describes the roles, responsibilities and reporting structures that exist within an organization and to align those structures with the organization’s goals Advantages Organizational models are one of the few types of models any organization is almost certain to have defined. Disadvantages Organizational redesigns are likely to be highly contentious and require significant executive support in order to be successful. Informal lines of authority and communication that are not reflected Applicability : Requirement Analysis
  19. 19. Problem Tracking Definition : It is a way to track, manage, and resolute defects, issues, problems, and risks throughout business analysis activities. Advantages Organized method for tracking and resolving risks, issues and defects. Mechanism to communicate problems across the team. Disadvantages Fails if regular prioritization and management of problems is not done, Fails If key team members are not available on a regular basis to discuss the lists of problems. Time Consuming Activity Applicability : Requirement Validation , Testing , Project Implementation
  20. 20. Process Modeling Definition : To understand how work that involves multiple roles and departments is performed within an organization Advantages Most stakeholders are comfortable with the basic elements of and concepts behind a process model. Show how to handle a large number of scenarios and parallel branches. Can be used by business stakeholders for training and co-ordination Disadvantages Can become extremely complex and unwieldy if not structured Problems in a process cannot always be identified by looking at the model. Applicability : Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation,Business Solution Design
  21. 21. Prototyping Definition : It describes user interface requirements and integrates them with other requirements such as use cases, scenarios, data and business rules. Advantages : Stakeholders often find prototyping to be a concrete means of identifying, describing and validating their interface needs. Supports users comfortable and effective at articulating their needs by using pictures Early user interaction and feedback. An inexpensive means to quickly confirm requirements that go beyond just the interface such as processes, data, business rules. Can demonstrate feasibility with existing systems. Provide designers and developers a clear view of user interface needs Disadvantages Time Consuming Assumptions need to be made initiate prototyping. May lead users to develop unrealistic expectations. Users may focus on the design specifications of the solution Applicability : Requirement Analysis , Business Bidding , Requirement Elicitation
  22. 22. Requirements Workshop Definition : A structured way to capture requirements Advantages Elicit detailed requirements in a relatively short period of time. Stakeholders can make decisions and gain a mutual understanding of requirements. Cost – Effective Solution than serial interviews Feedback is immediate. Disadvantages Stakeholder availability may hamper performance The success of the requirements workshop is highly dependent on the expertise of the facilitator and knowledge of the participants. Applicability : Requirement Analysis, Requirement Elicitation
  23. 23. Risk Analysis Definition :To identify and manage areas of uncertainty that can impact an initiative, solution, or organization. Advantages Risk analysis enables an organization to prepare for the likelihood that at least some things will not go as planned. Disadvantages The number of possible risks to most initiatives can easily become unmanageably large. It may only be possible to manage a subset of potential risks. Applicability : Business Bidding , Requirement Analysis
  24. 24. Root Cause Analysis Purpose : The purpose of root cause analysis is to determine the underlying source of a problem. Advantages : Root cause analysis provides a structured method to identify the root causes of identified problems, thus ensuring a complete understanding of the problem under review, Disadvantages : Root cause analysis works best when someone who has formal training or extensive experience facilitates a team of experts. The primary concern revolves around the ability of the facilitator to remain objective, a critical element to effective root cause analysis. Applicability : Requirement Analysis , Business Solution Design
  25. 25. Scenarios and Use Cases Definition : Scenarios and use cases describe the interaction between the actors and the system and goals of the actors. Advantages Provide high-level understanding of user behavioral goals, normal situations, alternatives or exception paths through an activity diagram or use case scenarios. Disadvantages Business analysts are frequently tempted to describe most or all system behavior using use cases. Because many requirements can be captured in the use case format, there is frequently a temptation to use them to capture all requirements, even in situations where it is difficult to apply them or another analysis method might prove more effective. Additional analysis and design is usually required after use case definition is complete to identify these common elements. Applicability : Requirement Elicitation, Requirement Analysis , Requirement Documentation
  26. 26. Scope Modeling Definition : It describes the scope of analysis or the scope of a solution Advantages Determine in and out of scope requirements for a solution. Disadvantages Leaves much of the detailed scope to be investigated. Applicability Requirement Documentation
  27. 27. Sequence Diagrams Definition: Sequence diagrams are used to model the logic of usage scenarios, by showing the information passed between objects in the system through the execution of the scenario Advantages The sequence diagram may be used in object-oriented analysis to validate class diagrams against use cases , or to show the timing of interactions between entities within the system scope. Disadvantages A sequence diagram must be defined for each possible scenario. Strictly speaking, a sequence diagram requires a fully defined class model Applicability: Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation
  28. 28. State Diagrams Definition : A state diagram shows how the behavior of a concept, entity or object changes in response to events. Advantages Domain SMEs can be kept aware of life cycle states for their key concerns. Disadvantages Each state should be validated to determine if it is relevant to the solution scope which may be time consuming Applicability : Requirement Analysis, Requirement Documentation
  29. 29. Structured Walkthrough Definition : Structured walkthroughs are performed to communicate, verify and validate requirements Advantages : Promotes discussion of the requirements among stakeholders. Effective at identifying possible ambiguities and areas of misunderstanding. Disadvantages : Review sessions can lead to repeated revisions if changes are not carefully managed. The length of the revision and review cycle can result in a lengthy approval process. Applicability : Requirement Validation, Requirement Elicitation
  30. 30. Survey/ Questionaire Definition : It elicits information from many people, in an anonymous way in a relatively short period of time. It can collect information about customers, products, work practices and attitudes. Advantages Can obtain quantitative data for use in statistical analysis. Can obtain not easily obtainable through other elicitation techniques. Inexpensive and Lesser Time is required Effective when stakeholders are not located in one location. Disadvantages Use of open-ended questions requires more analysis. Ambiguous results can be obtained. Not well suited for collecting information on actual behaviors. Response rates for surveys may be too low for statistical significance. Applicability : Requirement Elicitation
  31. 31. SWOT ANALYSIS Definition : It is a tool to quickly analyze various aspects of the current state of the business process undergoing change. Advantages It can quickly analyze various aspects of the current state of the organization and its environment. Disadvantages It is a very high-level view and more detailed analysis is almost always needed. Applicability : Business Bidding, Requirement Analysis
  32. 32. User Stories Definition : User Stories are a brief description of functionality that users need from a solution to meet a business objective. Advantages User stories create an environment of customer ownership of features and prioritizations in an incremental, iterative development environment. They may eliminate the need to provide functional requirements in some environments. User stories also require that the value delivered by the story be clearly articulated. Disadvantages They may not be the best technique for some environments with regulatory restrictions or when an organization mandates documentation. This modeling technique may not be effective when participants are not co-located. This technique does not explicitly address how to document non-functional requirements. Applicability : Requirements Elicitation
  33. 33. Vendor Assessment Definition : To assess the ability of a potential vendor to meet commitments regarding a product or service. Advantages An effective vendor assessment reduces the risk of the organization developing a relationship with an unsuitable vendor and is likely to improve long-term satisfaction with the decision. Disadvantages Can be time-consuming to gather sufficient information on multiple vendors. Some information may not be readily available. Vendors with new and innovative products may score poorly because they do not have a significant history in the market. Applicability : Business Bidding , Business Solution Design

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