MASTERING BUSINESS ANALYSIS

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  • 1. MASTERING BUSINESS “Our business analysis has shown us what we need to do to fix our business processes and systems. It also ANALYSIS allowed us to identify the projects that will yield the highest value.” The authors of Mastering the Requirements Process and the Volere requirements techniques, bring you their business analysis masterclass. Business Analysis — what is it for? Business analysis provides the In short, business analysis is of the real, underlying business foundation for almost every kind about understanding the real policy, and the root cause of any of business change. The craft of business and providing ways to problems within this business. business analysis is to investigate make it better. Further, the analyst must the business, to find its problem communicate this understanding The business analyst is a hot spots and recommend ways so that all stakeholders arrive at modeller and a communicator. to improve them. Business the same view of their business. Models are used to understand analysis is a combination of The analyst understands what the processes, information and modelling, systemic thinking, people do, not what they say behaviours that make up the innovating, communicating, root they do if he or she is to help business. This understanding is cause analysis, persuasion and bring the enterprise to its not superficial, but a knowledge several other analytical skills. optimal state. Business Analysis — who is it for? Business analysis is almost • Business Analyst or similar titles. We also find everyone’s job—every employee • Systems Analyst Users and Software Customers has some responsibility for benefit from learning state-of- • Project Leader effective business improvement. the-art business analysis The most likely job titles you • Requirements Engineer techniques, and how they can would find at this course are: • Product or Program Manager contribute to this vital activity. This Course — what do I get? By attending this two-day course • Define the most beneficial partitioning the business for you will learn how to: scope for the analysis project. easier understanding. • Discover real business needs, • Use models to understand and • Be better at interpersonal not just the most talked-about communicate the business communication. ones. processes, and ensure • Think systemically, and find stakeholders also understand. truly the best way to improve • Improve the business processes by applying automation or • Understand how to employ your client’s business. other means. business events as a way of • Be a better business analyst. 1
  • 2. Topics — what will I learn? MASTERING BUSINESS ANALYSIS Business Analysis —what are we trying to do? The response to the event is modelled as an end- Business analysis is about improving your business. to-end process. This gives the analyst the To do this, business analyst studies the enterprise advantage of seeing the big picture, as well as and establishes the difference between the business finding more and better opportunities for process as it is, and as it wants to be, or should be. improvement. The business analyst employs systems thinking to see Systems Thinking – not getting carried away with past the technological bias of the current way of solutions, but seeing the essence of the business doing things, and see the ideal business—what The essence of the business—or the real business should be happening. This involves looking at a —is quite different from the current solution, and wide scope of business processes, seeing the essence indeed different from the proposed solution. The of the business, and ultimately delivering a model essence is not a solution at all, but the underlying of the desired future state. business seen without the burden of technology. By discovering the essence of the problem, the The desired future state takes advantage of business analyst avoids the age-old problem of business opportunities discovered along the way, as developing what is asked for, only to find that it is well as fits with the management’s goals for the not what is needed. enterprise. The essence is an abstract statement of the Modelling Business Processes – techniques for business; one that is free of technological bias. By studying the business’s response to the event gaining this pure statement of the business, the The business analyst may use a variety of business analyst ensures that any system built is the modelling tools to arrive at a complete and agreed right one, and one that lasts longer than any understanding of what the business is currently current technological fad. doing. The current state is by no means the desired future state, but nevertheless provides a baseline for Systems thinking means looking at the business as future improvements. It is also vital that the all a whole, not just one small part of it, or one opportunities for improvement are recognised at business user and his software system. The this stage. systemic-thinking analysts is concerned about the effect of one part of the enterprise on another, and We use Business Process Modelling Notation the detrimental impacts of changes. (BPMN) as a standard way of modelling the process. This is an established technique that is The Human Element – interviewing, resolving easy enough for business users to understand well conflicts, facilitating workshops, communication enough to participate in the modelling process. skills The business analyst is above all a communicator. We also look at alternative ways of modelling, each He or she is charged with understanding a piece of having its own advantages. Scenarios are perhaps the business using information collected from the the most “business friendly” way for the business people in that business. Clearly, the needed skill is analyst to show the stakeholders what their an ability to talk to people, listen to them, and then business is doing, and what it is supposed to be ensure that both parties arrive at the same doing. UML models are also popular. understanding of the enterprise. Data models show the information used by the Moreover, the business analyst frequently has to business. In discovering the stored information, the facilitate workshops, and to use communication business analyst uncovers almost all of the business skills to bring the sometimes disparate viewpoints policy. Data are often confused with database to a consensus. design schemas, but here they are used in “business normal form” as an easy-to-understand way of Delivering – now that you understand the business, discovering the underlying business policy. here’s how to bring about the changes to improve it A thorough understanding of the enterprise mans Business Events – organising my analysis that the business analyst is able to identify the most Business events are things that happen outside of beneficial changes to the business. Usually, this the business, but are significant in that the business means developing software systems, but sometimes must respond to the event. By discovering the it means updating and changing the business business events, the business analyst sees the actual processes to be more effective. triggers that make the business function. The business analyst is also charged with Business analysis is concerned with modelling the identifying the high-value projects. These are the response to the business event. This response is ones that give give the greatest advantage for the known as a business use case or BUC, and is the cost and effort expended, and the ones that result basis for the subsequent investigation of the in the most beneficial changes to the enterprise. business processes. 2
  • 3. Mastering Business Analysis — what’s in it for me? MASTERING BUSINESS ANALYSIS Our businesses thrive or struggle on the This two-day course in business analysis gives you effectiveness of their business processes, both the skills and tools to discover your client’s real automated and manual. Businesses with good business, and to determine and demonstrate the processes provide better service and are more best ways of improving it. responsive to their customers. The converse is true. This course is a natural companion to Mastering the Business analysis is the craft of enlightened Requirements Process, where we teach the art of improvement to business systems and processes. requirements writing. The models and Moreover, business analysis gives you ways of understanding produced by Mastering Business identifying the areas where improvement projects Analysis are the optimal input, and foundation for, will yield the highest value. your requirements process. Instructors — learning from experience James Robertson is a consultant, teacher, author, James Archer has worked in many different project leader whose area of concern is the application areas using the Volere approach. He requirements for products, and the contribution has always managed to come up with innovative that good requirements make to successful solutions to the business problems, ones that have projects. His work in the area of business analysis proved to be cheaper to implement and provide and requirements gathering is valued by clients in greater customer satisfaction in the long-term. He many parts of the world. has always taken the approach of discovering the essence of the business problem before leaping He is co-author of Mastering the Requirements Process, into technical solutions, and customers provide Second Editions (Addison-Wesley 2006), glowing references to James’s skills. Requirements-Led Project Management (Addison-Wesley 2005) and the Volere approach to requirements James also speaks on various aspects of Business engineering. He is also a founder of The Atlantic Analysis to organisations across the UK including Systems Guild, a think tank known for its running popular workshops at the Government IT innovative systems engineering techniques. Profession Conference. He is a co-founder of the Business Change Special Interest Group of the BCS. 3
  • 4. Mastering Business Analysis — how do I get it? MASTERING BUSINESS ANALYSIS Please contact one of the principals of: In Australia please contact Software Education The Atlantic Systems Guild In Belgium, for training and consulting, contact 11 St. Mary's Terrace I.T. Works London W2 1SU United Kingdom For training in Italy contact Technology Transfer S.r.l. Tel: +44 (0)20 7262 3395 Email James Robertson Training in the Netherlands is handled by Array Email Suzanne Robertson Seminars For all needs in the New Zealand please contact Software Education In Norway please contact the Norwegian Computer Society. Seminars and consulting in the United Kingdom are available from IRM UK Strategic IT Training In-house and public seminars the United States from Software Quality Engineering 4