the                                           CONNECTING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS TO TECHNOLOGY

letter from the editors
     all often evokes memories of heading back-to-school, complete
F    with new pencils, pens, pa...
Seven Steps
     to Mastering
   Business Analysis
There are seven key areas that a
                              BA should focus on to develop
consensus on requirements is much more          asked to come in and help, and doesn’t         used by the developers to b...
Some situations will require developing a        and requirements definition: all of these
      deliverable required by t...
lost in translation
  SOA – A low tech discussion
  BY A N G I E P E R R I S, P M P ®, C BA P ®
  V I C E P R E S I D E N ...
grass roots effort started in IT, a small           Well trained BAs already skilled in SOA    necessarily much depth.
gaps. Inside out looks from an                     service consumer. Loose coupling also        as business services or us...
ask the experts
                Avoid Analysis Paralysis
Question: When is Done Really Done?             problem may sudde...
Grassroots Excellence: Creating a BA
   Community in Your Organization – Part I
   BY L I L A K . RO SA , C BA P®
   L E A...
The resulting solution set you propose to     living community, responsive to the needs     clients, IT management, projec...
International Institute of Business Analysis
   Delivering on the Value Proposition
  P R E ...
The Right Business Analyst,
  The Right Project
  F OU N D E R , C O L L E C T I V E G E N I U S

Matching the Business
Analyst to the Project
                                                 Passion and structure are th...
opportunity to address skill areas that can                    The right person for the right project
   be built upon for...
A Day in the Life
      of an Agile BA
      Requirements Activities for Agile
      Development Projects – Part II
Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Seven Steps to ...
Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Seven Steps to ...
Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Seven Steps to ...
Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Seven Steps to ...
Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Seven Steps to ...
Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Seven Steps to ...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Seven Steps to ...


Published on

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Seven Steps to ...

  1. 1. the CONNECTING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS TO TECHNOLOGY Fall 2008 Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Grassroots Excellence: The Right Business Requirements Activities Creating a BA Community Analyst,The Right Project for Agile Development in Your Organization Projects
  2. 2. letter from the editors all often evokes memories of heading back-to-school, complete F with new pencils, pens, paper and books in tow! And speaking of books, we are thrilled to announce publication of Barb’s first book, Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis. The book serves as a ‘how- to’ manual for business analysts of every skill level. We are confident this reference will find a spot in your must-have career library. Congratulations to Barb! In light of the new book, our feature article offers a sneak peek at those seven steps. Learn what they are with a brief overview of each one and why you must obtain this knowledge in order to truly BARBARA CARKENORD and TINA JOSEPH master business analysis. Build further on those seven steps with a brief overview of one of the profession’s buzz topics: Service-Oriented Architecture, in Lost in Translation. Mastering business analysis is a personal goal, but should also be an organizational one. This issue contains an article on creating a BA Community of Excellence within your organization by a Lead Process Analyst at GlaxoSmithKline, Lila Rosa. In the first of this two-part series Lila has outlined what a BA community is and why it is important. Jeff Martin, founder of Collective Genius, has contributed a look at how to get the right BA on the right project. He maps out the vital stages a business must go through to ensure that a BA’s skills and experience meet the needs of a particular project. Keeping up with the IIBA? IIBA President Kathleen Barret delivers a look back on the organization’s five year history and how it continues to grow and provide valuable benefits to its members. Finally, be sure to check out Part II on agile BAs by Jacqueline Sanders of Success Architechs. This article focuses on the various requirement activities seen on a daily basis in agile projects, based on Jacqueline’s extensive experience. B2T Training is sponsoring two upcoming conferences this fall, the Project Summit and Business Analyst World in Chicago, Ill. from November 10 -13 and the Project World and World Congress for BAs in Orlando, Fla. from November 18-21. We hope to see you there! TINA JOSEPH BARBARA A. CARKENORD The IIBA and IIBA logo are trademarks belonging to the International Institute of Business Analysis. The Business Analysis Body of Knowledge and BABOK are registered trademarks belonging to the IIBA. PMI and PMBOK are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
  3. 3. the Fall 2008 TM volume 5 l issue 2 table of contents 4 Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis by Barbara Carkenord 8 Lost in Translation SOA - A low tech discussion by Angie Perris 11 Ask the Experts Avoid Analysis Paralysis 12 Grassroots Excellence: Creating a BA Community in Your Organization – Part I by Lila K. Rosa 14 IIBA Update by Kathleen Barret 16 The Right Business Analyst, The Right Project by Jeff Martin The bridge is a Page 4 publication of 18 Book Review B2T Training. Getting It Right: Business Requirement Analysis Tools Please send inquiries, and Techniques suggestions and address by Kathleen B. Hass, Don Wessels and Kevin Brennan changes to Elizabeth Lowman, Editor-in-Chief, 19 A Day in the Life of an Agile BA: Activities for Agile Development Projects – Part II Editorial Contributors by Jacqueline K. Sanders Thank you to all the M authors who contributed To subscribe to the bridge or view issues online visit their time and talent to this issue of the bridge. B2T Training • 11675 Rainwater Drive, Suite 325 • Alpharetta, GA 30009 • 866.675.2125 Design and Production Design: B2T Training offers a business analysis training curriculum that focuses on proven skills and techniques to Mendenhall Design define and scope the business problem, elicit and analyze requirements, document the requirements, model Print Production: the requirements, and follow through with the development of business requirements test plans to ensure the Douglas W. Lesher project has met its defined objectives. Printed in the USA Our training is offered nationally and on a limited international basis. Most of our classes are taught onsite ©2008 B2T Training and are tailored to the unique environments of each organization. Public classes are also available in various All Rights Reserved. cities around the US. Reproduction of content CEO President Vice President, Client Solutions is not permitted without Tina Joseph Barbara A. Carkenord Angie Perris prior written permission. the bridge l Fall 2008 3
  4. 4. Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis BY BARBARA A. CARKENORD, CBAP , BABOK CORE TEAM MEMBER ® ® PRESIDENT, B2T TRAINING usiness analysis involves very complex and sophisticated B thinking patterns and advanced communication. A successful Business Analyst (BA) is the rare individual who can combine technical knowledge, business acumen, analytical skills and communication skills while being able to see problems from both a strategic and detailed perspective. Excellent BAs bring value to their organizations by understanding true business opportunities, making realistic recommendations, and facilitating the successful implementation of these solutions. There are seven key areas that BAs should focus on to develop their professional value. Mastering STEP 1 Possess a Clear I Elicitation of needs and constraints from Understanding of Business stakeholders business analysis Analysis I Analysis of stakeholder needs to define You cannot master something if you requirements for a solution is a lifelong don’t understand what it is. I Assessment and validation of potential and actual solutions pursuit for What is business analysis? The International Institute for Business I Management of the “product” or those who love Analysis (IIBA™) defines business analysis as “the set of tasks and techniques used to requirements scope problem solving. work as a liaison among stakeholders in The meaning and importance of the term requirement is central to business analysis. order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and Requirements are complex and come in recommend solutions that enable the many types and levels of detail. This organization to achieve its goals.” makes requirements difficult to elicit, Business analysis involves: analyze and communicate. Master BAs are I Identification of business problems and able to explain complex requirements to opportunities various audiences. In addition they can 4 Fall 2008 l the bridge
  5. 5. There are seven key areas that a BA should focus on to develop their professional value. seven steps explain the time required to develop I People sometimes answer the same developer responsible for implementing requirements. For most people, analysis question differently if asked twice. a requirement when the requirement is work is performed by thinking and Business stakeholders often give different not documented anywhere. making notes. The notes may become answers to the same question at different formal requirements documents or not. times. This may be because after the first BAs work to create just enough detail and discussion, they have had time to think STEP 2 Know Your just enough documentation to clearly about the question further; or it may be Audience communicate the requirements. New agile that they have simply changed their Communicating effectively requires an approaches to software development mind. BAs are experts at asking the same in-depth knowledge of project encourage the project team to elicit, question in different ways before stakeholders. analyze and agree upon requirements as documenting the requirement – to be If a BA knows the motives and experience quickly and efficiently as possible. sure that the SME has really answered of everyone on the project most of the Everyone agrees that requirements are definitively. questions about how to elicit and represent elicited from subject matter experts (SME) requirements will be answered. It is critical and given to developers. Why not have the I Writing something down forces a person to know your audience because business SME talk directly to the developer to think about it more carefully than communication is most effective when and cut out the “middle man” – the they do when they say it. Example: A tailored to and for each person with whom business analyst? SME may say he wants the report to the BA communicates. There are several reasons why the show totals by month but when he sees a Every human being communicates analytical process is facilitated by making report layout with twelve columns slightly differently. The successful BA notes and keeping some records of crammed together he realizes that he understands that the first task on any new agreements between stakeholders. actually wants only the last three project is to get to know all of the Analyzing and documenting requirements months. significant participants and analyze their is beneficial because: communication needs. Understanding I Having a second person (the BA) try to people is the key to successful I People forget things. Business write down a user request and then have communication. Many BAs and Project stakeholders will forget what they tell the user review it for accuracy highlights Managers (PMs) refer to this as stakeholder developers. Developers will forget ambiguity and poorly defined identification and stakeholder analysis. requirements. This leads to a lot of requirements. It also points out missing The BA should be familiar with the wasted time while team members try to requirements and undocumented roles with which he or she will typically remember what was discussed. assumptions. work (i.e. PM, executive sponsor, SME, IT developer). Each stakeholder has a unique I Verbal communication is fraught with I It is difficult to control the scope of a communication and learning style and has errors. Remember playing the telephone project without documented, agreed his or her own perspective on the game as a child? A message that is passed upon boundaries. importance of the project. When one from one person to another changes stakeholder feels that the project is very significantly the more people that are I Evaluating and managing a developer important while another stakeholder feels involved. Requirements are very specific, assignment requires the assignment to be that it is low priority, it will be a challenge detailed items that can easily be changed clear and documented. This is actually getting them to agree on the requirements. by using a different word or phrase. true for all employees and the reason A master BA will work to bring the Verbal communication of requirements that HR departments encourage stakeholders to a common understanding will rarely be accurate. managers to articulate assignments on the business impact of the project to the accurately. It is difficult to hold a enterprise. Once they hold a shared vision, the bridge l Fall 2008 5
  6. 6. consensus on requirements is much more asked to come in and help, and doesn’t used by the developers to build software; likely. even know the product or service that the the techniques and tools used to maintain company is built around. BAs work to applications, the political environment, and understand the business environment of the attitude towards the business and the STEP 3 Know Your Project each project and be an advocate for the rest of the organization. To be successful, business analysts must business people. The title Business Analyst Master BAs are very adept at building have a clear goal or objective. is used to ensure the business focus. strong team relationships with IT people Without a goal, BAs can get lost in the One way that a BA can learn about the wherever and whoever they are (i.e. analysis – analysis paralysis – and never get business is by reviewing marketing outsources or offshore development). For a anything done. This is the black hole of materials. There is no better way to get a BA to successfully work with technical analysis and should be avoided at all costs. foundational understanding of a company’s architects and developers he or she An excellent BA helps management set products than reading what marketing communicates in the context of the boundaries about what is to be materials say about them. Before a BA technical environment. accomplished and stays focused on that walks in the door of a client, it is Understanding the technical goal. BAs also work to understand how the important that he or she has read the environment also involves awareness of current assignment or project fits into the company web site and everything possible how an enterprise views technology. Is overall enterprise strategy. An experienced about their products and services. technology a key success factor to the BA recognizes that solving a problem in Marketing materials have been designed by organization, as in the case of a software one department by moving it to another expert communicators with a specific goal vendor, or is technology a support does not further the mission of the in mind. The goal of a particular brochure mechanism that allows the organization to enterprise and as such does not add value may be to create brand awareness or to fulfill its true mission? Looking at where to the enterprise as a whole. The BA works reinforce the corporate image. Another the CIO sits on the organization chart is a to find the root cause of the marketing piece may be aimed at selling an clue. problem/opportunity driving the project individual product. Marketing materials One area that BAs should be aware of is and determine whether the stated goals are show how the company positions itself to data management and the importance of achievable and appropriate. Delivering a potential customers and against the information in information systems; solution that doesn’t solve the real problem competitors. The more the BA knows ignoring data requirements will guarantee is not success. about the marketing message developed for project failure. Every successful The most powerful tool used to discover outside customers, the better he or she will organization in the world needs this information is the “why question.” An be able to communicate with business information and a lot of it. Organizations excellent BA asks the “why question” stakeholders about products and customers. can’t make intelligent decisions without frequently. He or she is always looking for This knowledge is most critical for BAs easy access to critical data. So how do underlying causes of problems and core assigned to represent business areas like organizations keep track of all of this data? reasons for business processes. An sales, marketing, product development and Much of it resides in sophisticated software experienced BA understands that the “why customer service. Other techniques for databases and files containing terra bytes of question” can be intimidating and knows learning the business include reviewing data on our PCs, servers, mainframes, and how to ask the question properly, with a financial reports and reading the corporate Web sites. Business Analysts understand curious respect for the business knowledge strategic plans. the importance of data; understand how it of the stakeholder. The expert BA knows is stored, and more importantly how it is that the initial answers may not tell the accessed. A BA who does not understand whole story and that there is more STEP 5 Know Your fundamental database concepts may information to be learned. Technical Environment struggle. Most projects that BAs are working on have a technology component. STEP 4 Know Your BAs frequently work on projects that touch STEP 6 Know Your Business Environment technology. Clearly communicating with Analysis Techniques The BA is the representative of the the solution team involves knowing more There are numerous techniques that an business on the project and must clearly than the acronyms that represent the analyst can use. understand the business he or she is operating system, network architecture, How does a BA decide which requirements representing. and database management system. technique is appropriate for a given There is nothing more annoying to Knowing the technical environment situation? Some techniques result in business executives than an outsider who is includes the methodologies and processes deliverables that are favored by the SMEs. 6 Fall 2008 l the bridge
  7. 7. Some situations will require developing a and requirements definition: all of these deliverable required by the software skills can be constantly improved over the Now Available development methodology. There are as course of one’s career by practice and by many reasons for choosing a particular learning. at technique as there are techniques. BAs should be familiar with most of the Examples of the skills that can be seven steps commonly used analysis techniques (i.e. continually improved: and use cases, root cause analysis, I The ability to work effectively on details decomposition). An excellent BA can be I Facilitation of requirements elicitation all major booksellers flexible when one approach doesn’t seem to I Asking the right questions and probing be working well. The key for mastering for more information business analysis is being able to utilize I Active listening and effective note taking numerous approaches to elicit, analyze, I Breaking requirements into core present, document and communicate components (data, process, business requirements, along with being able to rules, externals) bring a group to consensus, help I Combining requirements into informal stakeholders prioritize requirements, work products, composite deliverables manage user acceptance testing, brainstorm and packages on solution options, etc. BAs should be I Conducting effective reviews and continuously building their toolbox with working as an effective team member additional analysis techniques. Every I Making recommendations to change project may require a different business processes, software, and combination of techniques and approaches. organizational structure Choosing the best analysis technique and presentation format for each Mastering business analysis is a lifelong project/situation is a complex activity. pursuit for those who love problem solving. Some types of requirements lend Analyzing problems and helping to design themselves to a particular representation effective business solutions is complex, better than others. Choosing techniques important work. BAs can continuously “Barbara Carkenord has put involves understanding the BA’s preferences increase their value to the organization by together an excellent ‘How to’ and strengths, stakeholder’s preferences and using every experience to learn something manual to help BAs deliver on learning styles, the technical team’s new. For those who love learning, business the value of business analysis methodology and preferences along with analysis is a profession offering endless to their organizations. The step- the project manager’s preferences. satisfaction. I by-step instructions provide a Corporate standards and best practices practical guide to the practicing must also be considered. BA, translating her experience About the book: and insight to show you what it Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis takes to be a great BA.” STEP 7 Increase Your Value includes specific methods and approaches - Kathleen Barret A master BA is always learning and for business analysis work interwoven with President, IIBA practicing to improve their productivity personal experiences of BA work. The steps and value to the organization. provide a learning framework for business “Seven Steps to Mastering There is a long list of skills that a BA uses analysts that can be used for beginners as Business Analysis has gone to be competent in the field of business well as experienced practitioners. Each beyond what we discuss in the analysis. Most of these skills are never truly chapter includes links to specific tasks in BABOK™ to address the real perfected. Just as doctors practice medicine the latest version of the IIBA BABOK® challenges business analysts and lawyers practice law, business analysts draft version 2.0, and provides many face in the workplace. I wish practice business analysis. A master BA will references to other books and publications this book had been available continue to work to improve his or her that will support business analysis years ago, but I’m glad that skills and never be satisfied with good development. Now available at BAs have the opportunity to enough. and all major benefit from it today!” Communication skills, analytical skills booksellers. - Kevin Brennan, CBAP® Vice President, Body of Knowledge, IIBA
  8. 8. lost in translation SOA – A low tech discussion BY A N G I E P E R R I S, P M P ®, C BA P ® V I C E P R E S I D E N T, C L I E N T S O L UT I O N S, B 2 T T R A I N I N G What is SOA? Okay let’s break down an the popular building blocks play set. Service-Oriented Architecture or SOA example: Rather than build separate, custom (which rhymes with boa – yes, the snake) Let’s say you have a sub-process named applications for each department or is one style of business and systems Check customer account that belongs to enterprise (as was done in the past) today’s architecture that promotes process your CRM which is part of your sales businesses, operating in an interconnected efficiencies, reduced operational and business area. This particular service can world “flattened” by the Internet, need maintenance costs, and the ability to be reused in many other standard blocks of respond faster to changing business needs applications, such as your functionality that fit with high quality software solutions. custom marketing system, with each other and Much hype and misunderstanding have your accounts payable can be easily swarmed SOA in the last few years; this and accounts receivable integrated and article is an introduction that answers applications. Each configured.” some basic questions pertinent to business application is Think analysis professionals and provides some written in a about how high level concepts and key points geared different language our global specifically for a less technical audience (COBOL, .NET, expectations than developers and technical architects. Java, C++, etc.) for software One caveat: SOA is a complex subject and and on a different interoperability cannot be fully explained in a short hardware platform. have changed in article. SOA allows you to use the same code the past 15 years. It’s every time you want to check customer mind boggling. People account. expect systems to talk to each other. If your SOA terminology organization is piloting a SOA approach, SOA involves the discovery and the business analyst is a pivotal role that development of reusable, shareable business Truths, myths and metaphors needs to be aware of SOA fundamental services that are less costly to maintain and Service-oriented architecture begins with concepts. deploy. A service is defined as a business business architecture and affects how task that can be reused (such as search business process and application logic, employee, check customer account, data, and rules are viewed, segregated and Is SOA a passing fad? authorize credit). Multiple services usually automated. SOA is NOT synonymous with Gartner research shows SOA was used to make up a business process. A service object-oriented (OO) design, business some extent in more than 50% of large, provider is whoever allows the service to process management (BPM), web services, new applications and business processes be shared. A service consumer (similar to or enterprise commercial applications such designed in 2007. Additionally the a use case actor) is who uses the service. as SAP and Oracle but each of these majority of SOA projects succeed and There is a service registry which is a technologies has a relationship to SOA. companies that have started with SOA are catalog that displays and describes each Unfortunately SOA has been defined many sticking with it. Gartner estimates that by service. There are also terms and conditions different ways, especially by software 2010, 80% of large, new systems will use on how a service may be used which are vendors who attempt to define SOA from some aspect of SOA. Gartner analysis called a service contract or agreement. the perspective of their software. One summarizes that “SOA is a durable change Services are chunks of code. The main writer greatly simplified SOA concepts in application architecture, like the business benefits to implement SOA are using LEGO™ toys as a metaphor. Several relational data model and the graphical reuse, easier development, simplified references to LEGOs were listed in a blog user interface” (Abrams and Schulte). Even maintenance, reduced operational costs, posting asking, “Why are we building software giants such as Microsoft, SAP and increased speed to market and software ‘enterprise’ SOAs with ‘LEGO blocks’?” by Oracle, are using SOA in the way their portability. SOA is completely Joe McKendrick. ( proprietary applications communicate with programming language and platform service-oriented/?p=777) A clever reference assorted applications and technology agnostic: plug and play. is quoted below: infrastructures. “A pertinent analogy for SOA is LEGO, Identifying a need for a SOA can be a 8 Fall 2008 l the bridge
  9. 9. grass roots effort started in IT, a small Well trained BAs already skilled in SOA necessarily much depth. effort from a particular business unit or it friendly techniques such as detailed process ( could be a strategic decision handed down and use case descriptions, step-by-step oriented/?p=777) Look wide across the from the top of the business. As part of any workflows, and process decomposition organization and shallow. One of the best SOA strategy, a plan or SOA Roadmap diagrams. These techniques help the BA models to envision reusable sub-processes is should be developed, which outlines any identify reusable processes and eliminate the decomposition diagram. A BA can take projects to be implemented with SOA, and wasteful procedures. BAs can continue to each essential process and break it down to the capabilities that need to be put into use skills to manage different stakeholder find any redundant processes which can be place over a period of time (such as two to perspectives to clarify and understand converted to business services. five years). By iteratively and incrementally conflicting needs. These are a few of the Whether organizations would like to building the required services over a period techniques in which business analysts are distribute their services commercially or of time, organizations can increase their trained and can be valuable in SOA efforts simply want to normalize their redundant SOA maturity, and will have the ability to to analyze business processes and to processes internally across all business deliver more projects in a more efficient identify reusable services. Additional units, SOA proposes to be an enabler. and less risky way. techniques are used by BAs to elicit, One additional business benefit is that understand and define the remainder core organizations decide at a business level requirements components (data, business what services should be hidden Why is SOA important to a rules and external interactions) needed in (encapsulated) in black box design from business analysis SOA. consumers and what services can be professional? exposed using white box design. How At the heart of SOA is a philosophy that services are shared and or distributed unless the core business is understood in SOA requires a paradigm shift internally or externally are rightfully detail, reusable, shareable services cannot SOA requires a shift for some companies in business decisions and best not relegated be well-defined. Understanding what needs how business analysis is to be for programming staff to determine as to be built and shared before concentrating accomplished: moving away from a project often done in the past. on the how (and all the technical perspective to a more strategic enterprise ramifications) will always save time and resources. The good SOA is a durable change in SOA concepts and final thoughts news for business analysts is their role application architecture, like the Much of what is written and discussed about SOA is extremely technical and best and analytical skills relational data model and the left to technical enterprise or application are sorely needed in architects. Fundamental concepts can be SOA efforts. graphical user interface. understood by any business analysis Fortunately, professional that has been around the business analysts who know how to view of the business. The challenge is to software industry for the last several years. abstract core requirements components justify the time to analyze additional Some SOA principles needed by the BA are: (business processes, data, business rules, processes at an Enterprise level that are and external interactions) independent of outside the project scope. Even when the 1) Reusable business services can be technology implementation, will find their scope of the SOA effort is minor: identified taking a top down approach. skills central to SOA efforts. Quite stakeholder education is needed to clarify Use techniques such as process importantly, the BA with cross-functional the business goals and priorities and to decomposition diagrams to identify the knowledge is perfectly suited to recognize plan the SOA efforts and capabilities. organization’s essential parent and when business area processes may be Selecting slices of valuable business children processes, looking for leveraged elsewhere in the corporation. processes to be constructed iteratively and redundant processes. An excellent BA is always scouting for adding more services as you grow your redundant and reusable processes to save SOA. Analysis performed at the enterprise 2) Processes can be analyzed from inside operational costs. level should have breadth but not out and then from outside in to find any the bridge l Fall 2008 9
  10. 10. gaps. Inside out looks from an service consumer. Loose coupling also as business services or used as a organization’s perspective and describes describes an approach where integration combination of services to build a more core processes needed to operate the interfaces are developed with minimal complex composite service or process business. Outside in is from a use case assumptions between the service provider (called orchestration). These decisions actor’s perspective and focuses on what and service consumer, thus reducing the need to be driven by the business and an actor needs to do and what business risk that a change in one service/module not IT because the services need to be goals the actor needs to achieve. will force a change in another meaningful at a business function level. service/module. Services are self- 3) Services must work on any platform and contained and are independent of In summary, this has been an be shareable and may be distributable – technology. This is a software principle introduction to SOA concepts, benefits and that means services are technology that has been around for many years and how business analysis skills can be adapted independent. Business rules, essential processes Organizations choose to adopt a SOA and logical entity classes and attributes can be approach to develop timely, quality software documented separately to describe the business solutions for complex systems consisting of needs independent of technology. distinct business service building blocks. 4) Service interfaces must be clearly is often used to describe system use and useful in SOA projects to define defined and documented. Inputs or cases. Each use case is its own business services while not getting LOST outputs must be sufficiently and clearly independent task that accomplishes a IN TRANSLATION. Organizations detailed by the business analyst so that business goal for an actor. choose to adopt a SOA approach to software developers can write or generate develop timely, quality software solutions interface data which will be clear to any 6) Services have a concrete meaning on the for complex systems consisting of distinct other developer (or consumer) who is business level. (Krafzig, Banke, and business service building blocks which can looking for that service. Slama). One design principle is to be assembled faster and less expensively organize and separate the different core while being highly adaptable, shareable, 5) The design principal of loose coupling requirements components such data, distributable and reusable. I indicates that the service implementation processes, business rules, and external details (the code) are hidden from the interactions to be cataloged, and reused New BA Certified TM We are pleased to highlight the newest individuals who have earned the recognition of BA Certified since the last issue of the bridge. To date, we have more than 6,000 students in our program, with over 300 who have completed and received certification. We have an additional 499 candidates who are BA Associates and are in the final stage of the certification process. Individuals who are BA certified have firmly demonstrated knowledge and application of business analysis. We congratulate them on their success! Laura Bailey Penny M. Hofmaier Christopher Oman Jennifer Swearingen Anjali Balwally David Horstman Sarita Rajendran Shannon Thorpe Mary Combs Kimberly Hurley Nancy L. Rambo Julie Wallen Shannon Forte Michael Knueven Debbie Reeves JeNeena Greer Steve Kubick Nicola Reeves Brenda Gritters Robert M. Leavitt Tracy Rizzo Li Gu Mary Mattson Phillip Seeberg Cheryl Guieb Amy K. Miller Kernesa Snyder Michael R. Hawkins Cindy Mullins Tammy Spoo 10 Fall 2008 l the bridge
  11. 11. ask the experts Avoid Analysis Paralysis Question: When is Done Really Done? problem may suddenly appear clear or less requires the human mind to manage? important. Do you ever hear yourself say • Are you looking for something that you Answer: Analysis Paralysis is what “Why did I spend so much time agonizing may never find (i.e. a software package happens when you continue to think on, over that?” When you are stuck in the that meets the user’s exact need)? analyze, research and document a problem details of a problem (analysis paralysis), • Are you over-analyzing how the work is over and over again. you lose perspective. Somehow you need to currently done when your project will be There are probably a lot of reasons this change your perspective so that you can see changing that procedure anyway? can happen but there are a couple of it differently to get unstuck. common reasons. It • Are you brainstorming about better ways may be a result of of automating the lack of a clear business analysis “Perfection is a slow death.” the business when you work plan. It may Hugh Prather, inspirational speaker and writer should be also occur when you focused on start the analysis work with a pre-conceived Ideas to get unstuck: understanding the core processes? answer but your research shows something 1. Refer back to the business analysis work else. You keep looking for more plan to see if you are off track or outside However you are spending time, is it the information that will support your original of scope. very best use of your time at this point in theory because it is human nature to prove 2. Ask a fellow BA or coworker (or any the project? If not, stop and change ourselves right. Also you want to make friend) to listen to you talk about the directions. A busy analyst doesn’t have time sure, if wrong, that you are really problem; just talking about it out loud to get distracted. convinced, because you will have to sometimes helps you to see why you are One of the best ways to get help with convince others about the new direction. stuck. perspective on your work is to talk with Another common reason for analysis your project manager. Many project 3. Give yourself a time limit: “I am going paralysis is that the answer you are coming managers conduct weekly status meetings to work on this for one more hour and to is not going to be one that your boss is to make sure that their team members are then wherever it is at that point, it will going to like. In this case it is a good idea not getting too far off base from the project be done” (learn about timeboxing). to make sure that you have really done goals. Project managers are very good at your research and thought this carefully 4. Sit down with the subject matter expert getting things done. Don’t hesitate to give through because you are going to be the and review the work that you have done your project manager a description of what bearer of bad news. so far, explain that it is a draft and ask you have been working on for the past Finally, analysis paralysis may be caused for them to help find the missing pieces. week and see how she reacts. BAs are by a lack of confidence in your work. New 5. Sleep on it. skilled at reading body language so even if BAs may not be sure that their conclusion your project manager doesn’t say it directly, 6. If you have time, put it aside for a few or recommendation is correct so they you will be able to tell if she winces and days to get perspective. continue to prove the same point using fears that you are off track. different techniques or approaches. This is 7. Try a different requirements technique An important fact about business very common with new BAs and is solved to represent the situation (i.e. if you are analysis work: The requirements will never with experience. using a swim lane diagram, try an ERD). be 100% complete and never be perfect. Remember the goals of business analysis are How do you stop analysis paralysis? First At least once a day stop, take a step back to confirm a clear understanding of the you must learn to be aware that you are and think about how you are spending problem and facilitate the development of doing it. This is often the most difficult your time. an effective solution not to create the part. BAs must “look up” from the details • Have you gotten off track? perfect document! I periodically and make sure that the work • Have you wandered down a path that is they are doing is the most important work very interesting to you but is really Send your questions to Ask the Experts at at that moment for that project. This is a outside the scope of your task? good reason for leaving a task incomplete • Are you spending time detailing a at the end of the day and giving it a fresh requirement that will never be look the next morning. In the light of a automated because its complexity new day, after a good night’s rest, the the bridge l Fall 2008 11
  12. 12. Grassroots Excellence: Creating a BA Community in Your Organization – Part I BY L I L A K . RO SA , C BA P® L E A D P RO C E S S A N A LYST, G L A XO S M IT H K L I N E Introduction BA practitioners across the organization. A • Explicit – have support of a senior level In July 2005, one business unit in our BA community is also a low-cost sponsor, ideally someone on your organization launched a business analysis mechanism for ongoing training and skills organization’s leadership team who is community that included a recommended transfer for BAs, and can include a focusing BA continuity and/or framework, an excellence recognition mentoring program for less experienced improvement, or their delegate program, a mentoring program, a website, analysts. It also creates advocacy for BA • Implicit – each BA Community core and regular community events. This career planning within an organization. team member has her or his manager’s created a new sense of identity and support Depending on the BA profile of your support and access to budget for business analysis practitioners. This BA organization, creating a BA community • General – have general support of your community model and activities have now will provide high, significant, or good leadership team for time and budget spread to other business units with equal benefit, see Figure 1. invested success. Part I looks at how to get started. Steps for Beginning a Next, you must have agreement with BA Community management as to what a BA community What is a BA Community? First, you must have management support is expected to accomplish. Develop goals First of all, what is a BA community? For at some level: and objectives for management approval the purpose of this by identifying key or representative BA discussion, a BA practitioners and having them articulate community is defined as the problems they face in doing business an internal “volunteer” analysis. This list of problems should be network, supported by prioritized with a management level management, which serves sponsor or steering group. Then do a root the business analysis cause analysis on these problems, and community in an create goals and objectives that address organization. highest priority problems first. Present A BA community is not these to management as problem restricted to those in IT statements with value-based solutions to be with “BA” in their title. accomplished by the BA community Depending on the needs network, see example in Figure 2. and profile of a specific Be sure to use good business analysis project or support group, practices for good problem definition first. business analysis activities may be Figure 1 - Benefit Level by BA Profile performed by developers, business users, Organization’s Business Analysis Profile Benefit Level of a project architects, systems analysts, BA Community technical leads, quality analysts, or project • No standard BA process High managers, as well as by those designated as • BA done in silos BAs. It’s the business analysis role and • BA resources separated by distance activities, rather than a particular job title and/or organization boundaries that are supported by a BA community. • Mostly inexperienced BAs • Several different “standard” BA processes Significant Why Have a – or, BA process is ill-defined and/or undocumented BA Community? • BA resources distributed across workgroups There are a number of excellent reasons for • A mix of experienced and inexperienced BAs having a BA community. First, a BA community helps prepare business analyst • Shared, documented standard BA processes Good practitioners for success. It aids in • Centralized BA resources identifying and communicating with other • Mostly experienced BAs 12 Fall 2008 l the bridge
  13. 13. The resulting solution set you propose to living community, responsive to the needs clients, IT management, project managers, management can then be designed to target of the business analysis practitioners, project architects, developers, data analysts, specific improvements and benefits, and management, and the entire organization. quality analysts, as well as BA practitioners. may include elements like electronic or Plan for regular milestones to review social media (a web page, wiki, or blog), accomplishment and benefit delivery with Summary the creation or publicity of best practice management as well as checkpoints to elicit Creating a grassroots BA community takes tools and techniques, peer mentoring, and analyze stakeholder feedback, time and commitment, but the benefits can and/or a BA recognition program. identifying and prioritizing the next goals be far-reaching, strategic, and significant Finally, for long-term success you must and objectives to target. Included in your for you, your colleagues, all of IT, and your include plans at the start for how to be a stakeholder profile plan should be business entire organization. I Figure 2 - Example Problem Statement with Value-Based Solution Part II will detail how to set up your BA The problem of: Inconsistent BA practices across IT community core team, the elements of solutions areas outstanding BA community events, and how Affects: The software development team, the quality to stay successful and relevant over time. assurance team, and the business customers Acknowledgements: The Impact of which is: Projects are not consistently delivered on Three articles by Renee Saint-Louis, Sr. time and on budget due to missing or Systems Analyst, The Schwan Food Company inconsistent requirements (source: A successful solution would be: To provide a BA framework of best practices • Building an Analyst Community through a for all of IT to follow Center of Excellence • Creating and Sustaining a Sense of Resulting in the benefit of: A standard approach to business analysis Community through a Center of Excellence that delivers better quality projects, on time • An Analyst Center of Excellence - Lessons and on budget Learned One Year Later the bridge l Fall 2008 13
  14. 14. International Institute of Business Analysis Delivering on the Value Proposition BY K AT H L E E N BA R R ET P R E S I D E N T, I I BA n October 30, it will be five years the IIBA has over 66 chapters (with an and options will continue to grow as the O since the inception of the IIBA. At that time, 23 individuals met to create an additional 70 in progress). The Web site continuously undergoes updates to improve IIBA can afford to invest in these products. The strategic value is more abstract and organization they hoped would drive the communications amongst its members. intangible. However, for participants in the formalization and recognition of a Currently the IIBA Senior Leadership team BA community, that value is even more profession that they had been practicing for (SLT) hosts a blog, members have access to important than the “physical” deliverables. many years – Business Analysis. Little did members-only forums and information, What is this strategic value? Within the last they realize how important this organization and the webinar series kicked-off last five years, the IIBA formally defined and would be to Business Analysts all over the month with two sessions on the Evolution articulated the value of the Business Analysis world: 23 has grown to 6,833; a single of the BA Role with additional monthly profession. That work was performed by location has grown to 56 countries. webinars scheduled. IIBA members and supported by sponsors During its relatively short existence, the The IIBA has made great progress – all and EEPs. Those individuals and the others IIBA has also delivered on its that will continue their efforts promise as an organization – to be Small opportunities are often the will further evolve and refine the the world’s leading association for BA discipline. Rarely do Business Analysis professionals, beginning of great enterprises. individuals have the ability to responsible for developing and Demosthenes (384 BC - 322 BC) determine the direction of their maintaining standards for the profession and its importance to practice of business analysis and for the made possible through the efforts of our industry. The IIBA volunteers, drawn from certification of its practitioners. Significant volunteers and the financial support of its membership base, are doing just that. By milestones have been met for each of its our members, sponsors and Endorsed providing feedback and input to the three strategic goals: Education Providers (EEPs). But it is only association responsible for their profession the beginning. Our challenge as an and by engaging in the development of the 1. Define the Business Analysis Body of organization is to balance what we can Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®, they Knowledge® (BABOK®). deliver with our limited resources. are defining the direction of their future. While the BABOK will continue to evolve What is the value proposition to IIBA The IIBA is only in its infancy, and we as the BA profession matures, the IIBA members, sponsors and EEPs? What makes have a long and exciting future ahead of us. has already released three versions of the those groups continue to support an As respect and recognition for the profession BABOK – 1.0, 1.4 and 1.6 – with version organization that is a “work in progress”? grows, demand for qualified Business 2.0 currently undergoing its final edit. There are two perspectives – the tactical Analysts will outpace supply. The IIBA will 2. Publicly recognize qualified practitioners and the strategic. help address this gap by further defining and through an internationally acknowledged The tactical value is the immediate, refining BA standards and clarifying BA skill certification program. physical deliverables the IIBA brings to its and competency requirements, working The first certification exam was held stakeholders. For members, it is access to with businesses and training organizations in November 2006 in a proctored our newsletter, online forums, tools and to put the tools and framework in place to environment. On September 1, 2008, the templates, job postings, career road maps, make them successful in recruiting and IIBA released its Computer-Based Testing webinars and discounts on current and preparing BAs. As the IIBA continues to (CBT) version so that qualified BAs future products (e.g., publications, course grow, we will offer more products and would be able to write the exam at offerings, and conferences). For sponsors services to our members, sponsors and testing centers all over the world. To date, and EEPs, it is visibility on our Web site EEPs, continuing to deliver on the tactical over 400 individuals have been certified. and access to members through our value promise of the organization. But these 3. Provide a forum for knowledge sharing. newsletters, webinars and other soon to be tactical deliverables will only be possible as The IIBA reaches out to its members both offered membership communications (e.g., long as our supporters – members, sponsors physically, through its chapters, as well as pod casts, monthly e-mail tips). They offer and EEPs – believe and support the strategic virtually, through its Web site. As of today, immediate, obvious value and the selection value proposition of the IIBA. I 14 Fall 2008 l the bridge
  15. 15. The Right Business Analyst, The Right Project BY J E F F M A RT I N F OU N D E R , C O L L E C T I V E G E N I U S hether it’s allocating your internal the role the BA (or BAs) will play combination of skills and experience for W resources, selecting a new hire, or bringing in a consultant; organizations that throughout the project. Having a specific definition of the role, as well as the project. truly value the role of the Business Analyst identification of the categories and tasks (BA) frequently ponder what is the best each BA will perform, creates the baseline Attract the Best Business process to match the right business analyst of skills and experience needed to match Analysts to the right project. the right BA. One of the biggest mistakes Casting the net to identify the best people Companies that want the right people organizations can make is assuming that for the project is often overlooked in this in the right roles need to address four main BA’s role will be the same as in previous process, nor is it an easy task. There are stages; defining the BA’s role in the project, projects. B2T Training’s Business Analysis fewer qualified BAs than projects that need attracting the best talent, matching the best Maturity Model (see figure 1) seeks to them. Organizations in every market BA to the project and finally, making the define and replicate the process, however it should design and implement a plan to selection and continuing to support the BA does not mean that the BA will be playing market, attract and retain the best talent. as needed. the same role in each project. Prospective employees or consultants It is important to spend time most commonly view the job description identifying the specific tasks within each of or project requirement. Often this Define Business Analyst’s the following business analysis role document only lists the required and Role in the Project categories, based on the knowledge areas in desired skills of the BA, with no It is just as important to assess the project the BABOK®: Business Analysis Planning description of the project or type of itself as it is the BA for the project. In the and Monitoring, Enterprise Analysis, solution they will be developing. Many times the same job description is used for each new BA. In one Collective Organizations in every market should Genius study, over 80% of organizations admitted to using the design and implement a plan to market, same HR job description for all BA job postings. attract and retain the best talent. The project and potential solution cannot be communicated enough. first stage the Enterprise Business Analyst Elicitation, Requirements Analysis, Great BAs are motivated by being part of a and Project Manager work to define the Solution Assessment and Validation, and collective team, creating and then business case, high-level requirements, risk Requirements Management and implementing business driven solutions; assessment, staffing, project plan, scope, Communication. These categories and communicating phrases such as these will budget, timeline and the work plan. related tasks become the baseline to use trigger passion in and attract and the best A deliverable at this stage is to identify when identifying the BA with the best BAs. Figure 1 - B2T Training’s Business Analysis Maturity Model 5 4 Managed Optimizing 3 Defined Continue 2 Measurements process 1 Repeatable Process is formalized collected and improvement Initial Standard practices (predictable) assessed Business analysis and templates performed inconsistently Adapted from CMMI Maturity Model 16 Fall 2008 l the bridge
  16. 16. Matching the Business Analyst to the Project Passion and structure are the key The next stage is to accurately assess the elements that drive innovation. BA for the project. In assessing the BA, it is important to review the following four The right BA has both. critical areas for success: core business analysis project competencies, cultural fit, key elements you have established in this dramatically affect the project’s success to motivation and the organizational vision phase in the past? deliver a great solution, over just creating of the BA. an answer to the problem. Passion and The core project competencies consist of 2. What information do you feel is structure are the key elements that drive assessing the skills and experience related to important to know before preparing for innovation. The right BA has both. the business analysis role categories and the elicitation process? It is important for both the organization related tasks, expertise in industry and and the BA to have a short and long term technology subject matter and other 3. What best practices have you gathered in assessment of the vision of the BA within additional skills. Developing a matrix of previous projects that were successful the organization. Will this project be a good these items provides a clear way to rate the when preparing for elicitation? stepping stone for the BA to lead them to best talent for the project. The matrix should the next project or are they here just for a be used for both existing and potential After you rate a candidate’s skills, short term solution? To support the external project resources and can provide consider the fit of the candidate within the organization’s growth through the Business feedback and track career growth through organization’s culture. The organization can Analysis Maturity Model, it is important to projects for internal resources. It also use their own cultural assessment and take a global look at the organization’s provides a clear way to organize information specific characteristics, including all projects, in addition to the BAs, in order to for new resources beyond stacking resumes. stakeholders and the project team. The gain a clearer vision for the BA within the Example 1 displays a matrix you could candidate must be aligned with the culture organization. Communicating this vision to use for rating the candidates on a specific of the organization and the organization potential BAs will lead to the candidate knowledge area (Elicitation) and a subtask must have a vision of how the BA should most in alignment with the future of the (Preparing for Elicitation). Rate the fit within that culture. organization. Example 1 - Sample Matrix Knowledge Area: Elicitation Candidate 1 Candidate 2 Candidate 3 Selection and Task: Preparing for Elicitation Support Now it is time to make 1. Years of experience and number of projects final selections. Connect 2. Level of Experience with all the people in the 3. Importance of Preparing for Elicitation process to let them know 4. Interest level in Preparing for Elicitation whether they were selected. For those not candidates from 1-10 on each criterion. Another facet when making a selection selected, it is best to be honest with your Define three to four questions per task. is to assess the BA’s motivation. It is reasons. If it was a matter of specific core Add both the questions and answers to the important to properly understand why the business analysis competencies such as matrix. Good questions for the example BA is interested in the project. Is his or her skills, experience, industry or technology, above would include: motivation simply to have a job or is there help point them in the right direction to fill a sincere interest in developing a solution the gaps. This activity is important to for 1. Walk me through your steps when for the business? Having a person with a BAs that could be great future candidates. If preparing for elicitation. What are some strong motivation for the solution will it is an internal employee, use this the bridge l Fall 2008 17
  17. 17. opportunity to address skill areas that can The right person for the right project be built upon for future projects and has now been selected and everyone can get provide encouragement to keep learning to work! In order to keep the BA engaged and growing within the organization. in the project, implement a plan to manage Also give the candidates that are and provide support throughout. Supply In order to keep the BA engaged in the project, implement a plan to manage and provide support throughout. selected feedback as to why. It is never too continued business analysis education and early to start preparing for the upcoming resources, and encourage memberships in project. Acknowledge both strengths and business analysis organizations and areas where support could be useful. Point communities with like-minded people to chosen candidates in the direction of tools help push candidates to learn and grow in and resources to begin enhancing these their careers. Stay involved and be strategic areas and build excited about the in keeping the right BA on the right upcoming solution. This is also a good project in the right organization, so he or time to reinforce the position’s vision she can continue to be focused and beyond this project and how the candidate energized, and create unmatched results for may be leveraged in future solutions. your organization. I book review Getting it Right: Business Requirements Analysis Tools and Techniques by Kathleen B. Hass, PMP ; Don Wessels, PMP ; and Kevin Brennan, PMP ® ® ® Management Concepts, 2008 BY BA R BA R A A . C A R K E N O R D, C BA P ® , BA B O K ® C O R E T E A M M E M B E R P R E S I D E N T, B 2 T T R A I N I N G etting it Right: Business Requirements identifying and supporting confusing to readers also G Analysis Tools and Techniques is one of a series of books that make up the Business a strong, high-performing project team. learning these techniques from other sources. In Analysis Essential Library. Each of these The second part of the addition, the book includes books covers a different area of business book covers the analysis and specific recommendations for analysis work. This particular book specification process. There language to use when presents current practices for analysis is an interesting discussion documenting requirements supported by tools and techniques. about understanding scope with text. The first four chapters of the book from the perspective of The last section of the discuss setting up infrastructure, the project, product, and book, called Other transition from requirements elicitation to business change. Several Considerations includes a analysis and preparing for requirements different types of models are good description of change management. There is an excellent section defined and a few examples are provided. management and an article by Kevin on setting up the core team called However, some of the examples do not Brennan on selecting the right requirements Organize for Success. This section presents show common, standard notations (context technique, which can also be found in the ten concrete recommendations for diagram, data models) and may be Fall 2006 issue of the bridge. I 18 Fall 2008 l the bridge
  18. 18. A Day in the Life of an Agile BA Requirements Activities for Agile Development Projects – Part II BY JAC Q U E L I N E K . SA N D E RS, P M P ®, CBAP®, S E N I O R I N ST RU C TO R , S U C C E S S A RC H IT E C H S article gives you an idea of some typical I n the Spring 2008 issue of the bridge, my article focused on the planning tasks a BA performs during development activities that take place in Iteration iterations, based on my own experiences. Zero (0) of an agile project. Iteration 0 is Those tasks included creating and sharing the initiation phase involving the planning user stories, participating in the iteration and scoping tasks done in an agile planning and daily stand-up meetings, environment. The Business Analyst (BA) joining in open and ongoing discussions and lays the requirements foundation during facilitating the testing and implementation Iteration 0, prior to the launch of the phase. development iterations. The development iterations are where the design and build User Stories activities take place simultaneously. Once To facilitate the fast pace of short agile the development team launches into the iterations, there were always two BAs on my fast-paced development iterations the BA projects. We alternated the responsibilities of will rely on the groundwork established in initiating the next iteration. The initiation Iteration 0 to stay organized, manage their of an iteration began with the creation of a work and to quickly react to the needs of user story, the BA’s primary documented the agile project team. artifact. A user story is similar to a use case but usually represents one specific path or The Development Iterations scenario within a use case. The functions and features that make up a solution are divided into small components The user story is typically 1 – 2 to be implemented within an iteration. The pages. Our template consisted purpose of each development iteration is to of the user story name, a 1 – 4 demonstrate or deliver a feature or function sentence description, the primary of a working system that provides value to user, required features, expected the stakeholders. The length of iterations are benefits, a narrative and based on the type of project. Whatever the acceptance criteria stated as length of the iterations, the BA’s main scenarios. responsibilities are remarkably similar to those on a traditional, waterfall project. The core components of software design are still Each user story was posted on a project user classes, data, process and business rules. wiki™. The project wiki was our online, The difference is that the BA has to become collaborative tool of choice and the informal accustomed to applying these skills in an focal point of requirements information. agile environment. The wiki allowed us to document significant Although agile environments vary, this requirements, decisions and discussions, but the bridge l Fall 2008 19