The Top Ten Skills


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  • The Top Ten Skills

    1. 1. The Top Ten Skills … your Mother forgot to tell you that you needed to be a Business Analyst A founding member of the
    2. 2. Who is Kathleen Barret? Senior Business Consultant, Requirements Management / Business Analysis Centre of Competency Lead, BMO Financial Group President, International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) 1 2
    3. 3. Who is BMO Financial Group? <ul><li>Founded in 1817 as Canada’s first chartered bank, BMO Financial Group is one the largest financial services providers in North America </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assets – $256 billion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees – 34,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information Technology – 3,500 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Services include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BMO Bank of Montreal - Personal & Commercial Banking (Canadian) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BMO Nesbitt Burns - Investment & Wealth Management (Canadian) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harris Bank – Financial Services (Mid-West US) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harris Nesbitt – Investment Bank (US) </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>So you want to be a Business Analyst… </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is a Business Analyst <ul><li>Business Analysts are responsible for identifying the business needs of their clients and stakeholders to help determine solutions to business problems. </li></ul><ul><li>The Business Analyst is responsible for requirements development and requirements management. Specifically, the Business Analyst elicits, analyzes, validates and documents business, organizational and/or operational requirements. Solutions are not predetermined by the Business Analyst, but are driven solely by the requirements of the business. Solutions often include a systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement or organizational change. </li></ul><ul><li>The Business Analyst is a key facilitator within an organization, acting as a bridge between the client, stakeholders and the solution team. </li></ul><ul><li>Business analysis is distinct from financial analysis, project management, quality assurance, organizational development, testing, training and documentation development. However, depending on an organization, an individual Business Analyst may perform some or all of these related functions. </li></ul>
    6. 6. The 10 “Skills” <ul><li>Analyst </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiator </li></ul><ul><li>Artist / Architect </li></ul><ul><li>Planner </li></ul><ul><li>Communicator </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomat </li></ul><ul><li>Expert / Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Strategist </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary </li></ul><ul><li>Describe each role </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the skill or activity required </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an example of the type of training available to support its development </li></ul>
    7. 7. The Analyst <ul><li>“ Help determine solutions to business problems” </li></ul><ul><li>The ultimate problem solver </li></ul>
    8. 8. The Analyst <ul><li>Analytical & Systems Thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Understand & make judgments about a situation by breaking it apart into smaller pieces or by tracing the implications of a situation in a step-by-step way </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize the problem, opportunity or situation in a systematic way </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set priorities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify causal or If-Then relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Synthesize the component parts in the context of a whole system </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Training <ul><li>Problem Solving & Decision Making </li></ul><ul><li>Provide participants with the skills and tools they need to determine root issues and plan for success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify and find solutions to problems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply creative thinking skills, resulting in improved solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apply decision-making methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anticipate & plan for problems before they occur </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a process tool to analyze situations, separate concerns, establish priorities & initiate appropriate action </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. The Facilitator <ul><li>“ Key facilitator within an organization” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Elicits… requirements” </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures positive, continuous discussion & progress </li></ul>
    11. 11. The Facilitator <ul><li>Facilitation / Requirements Elicitation </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a positive and constructive group environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain the group focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead the discussion toward stated goals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Elicitation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use questioning techniques and other tools to discover process and data from a group of users or stakeholders </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Training <ul><li>Facilitating Client Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Provide the methodology and skills needed to discover client requirements in a meeting environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elicit business & system requirements from stakeholders using a variety of meeting management techniques bases on the types of meeting (e.g., modeling, kick-off, status, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use group management methods to ensure an productive requirements gathering session </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. The Negotiator <ul><li>“ Act as a bridge between the client, stakeholders & solution team” </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain balance between potentially conflicting needs of various stakeholders </li></ul>
    14. 14. The Negotiator <ul><li>Consensus & Agreement Building </li></ul><ul><li>Help others reach agreement around a project or a set of ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Take on contentious issues or entrenched interests to bring about a beneficial resolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiation: Ensuring ‘win-win’ solutions when two parties start from different positions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consensus and Agreement Building: Working together, assisting others, to reach a common understanding and commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conflict Management: Bringing disagreements into the open to help diffuse them </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Training <ul><li>Power Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate effectively with team members, manage client expectations to reach consensus & to ensure successful project outcomes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilize influence and communication skills to manage client and peer relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage difficult conversations & more effectively deal with conflict </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice negotiation skills that result in consensus with your client and stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handle objections effectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand Emotional Intelligence and how it applies to self management and effective communication </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. The Artist / Architect <ul><li>“ Solutions often include a systems development component but may also consist of process improvement or organizational change” </li></ul><ul><li>The BA contributes to the successful solution of the problem </li></ul>
    17. 17. The Artist / Architect <ul><li>Modeling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Data Modeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop an accurate representation of the business’ information needs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Process Modeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Develop an accurate representation of the business’ processes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional / User-Centered Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate and apply knowledge of usability factors and techniques </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Profile targeted user groups to understand who will be using the product </li></ul></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Training <ul><li>Business Process Modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Describe the various methods of modeling business processes </li></ul><ul><li>Create business process models based on case study examples </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze the process models for gaps, process improvements, and strategic significance </li></ul>
    19. 19. Training <ul><li>User Centered Design </li></ul><ul><li>Define user-centered design </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the eight steps to web-design & the rules for good design </li></ul><ul><li>Define effective web navigation and page layout </li></ul><ul><li>Describe web accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>List the key elements of usability testing </li></ul>
    20. 20. Training <ul><li>Data Modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Describe data modeling & when to use it </li></ul><ul><li>Identify different data modeling deliverables & how they fit into the process </li></ul><ul><li>Define high-level data definition & detail data specification </li></ul>
    21. 21. The Planner <ul><li>Or “Requirements Manager” </li></ul><ul><li>The BA is the “project manager” of the requirements activities </li></ul><ul><li>The BA needs to plan & manage his/her activities to ensure a successful outcome within the identified project constraints </li></ul>
    22. 22. The Planner <ul><li>Requirements Planning & Management </li></ul><ul><li>Assure the client’s requirements for products or systems are accurately identified, captured, and tracked throughout the project life cycle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Define, organize and schedule requirements management activities in a way that is consistent with the organization’s culture and standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Execute planned requirements management activities while remaining flexible to changing requirements and project deadlines </li></ul></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Training <ul><li>Project Management Fundamentals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define requirements scope & objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe tasks & activities required to meet the objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimate resources required to complete tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule tasks & activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor & modify plan as required </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. The Communicator <ul><li>Or “Translator” </li></ul><ul><li>The BA draws out the needs of the various stakeholders, captures them in the form of a document & feeds it back for validation & agreement </li></ul>
    25. 25. The Communicator <ul><li>Verbal & Written Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use discussion, conversations and interviews to further understanding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak clearly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Actively listen </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Written communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create clear, complete and useable documentation to support the requirements management process and to report findings to other stakeholders </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. Training <ul><li>A few courses contribute to the development of this role </li></ul><ul><li>Writing Effective Use Cases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the process, methods, steps & questions to use when employing a Use-Case driven approach to gathering and defining requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writing Detail Requirements Specifications </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe how to decompose the features & functions from the High Level Requirements Document into a Detailed Requirements Specification </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. The Diplomat <ul><li>Combination of other roles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Artist / Architect </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The BA ensures the client is satisfied with the solution </li></ul>
    28. 28. The Diplomat <ul><li>Client Relationship Management </li></ul><ul><li>Establish & maintain a positive working relationship with the client </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider or anticipate the needs of the client throughout the requirements process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have insight and appreciation of client needs, priorities, goals & competitive advantage </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Training <ul><li>A synthesis of the training provided for the other roles contributes to the development of this skill </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitating Client Requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power Communications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Modeling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This role develops with maturity </li></ul>
    30. 30. The Expert / Consultant <ul><li>“ To help determine solutions to business problems” </li></ul><ul><li>The BA needs to understand the: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competition </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. The Expert / Consultant <ul><li>Professional Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Understand key business fundamentals, industry levers & the drivers of the financial health and viability </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate working knowledge of the business/organization & of software and application development best practices </li></ul>
    32. 32. Training <ul><li>This role develops with experience, maturity & an increased understanding of the industry </li></ul><ul><li>Formalized training would be industry specific </li></ul>
    33. 33. The Strategist <ul><li>Think outside of the “box” </li></ul><ul><li>See both the “forest” & the “trees” </li></ul>
    34. 34. The Strategist <ul><li>Strategic Business Planning </li></ul><ul><li>Develop, link and communicate long-range visions, goals or plans to support achievement of business goals </li></ul><ul><li>Translate visions & strategies into tactical plans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Align Current Actions with organization’s strategic goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think in future-oriented terms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand external impact on internal strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plan actions to fit strategy & handle external events </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. Training <ul><li>As with the Consultant or Expert role, the Strategist develops with experience, maturity & an increased understanding of the industry </li></ul>
    36. 36. Revolutionary <ul><li>By contributing to a solution, the BA introduces change </li></ul><ul><li>The BA helps manage the impact of the change </li></ul>
    37. 37. The Revolutionary <ul><li>Organizational Change Management </li></ul><ul><li>Discover & define areas for change </li></ul><ul><li>Conduct impact analyses </li></ul><ul><li>Actively champion the cause for change </li></ul>
    38. 38. Training <ul><li>Organizational Change Management </li></ul><ul><li>Provides an understanding of organizational change management within system project lifecycle by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Building an understanding of the change process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Examining the factors critical to successful implementation of the change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying historical barriers that may impact this change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying the resistance to change & determine the causes of the resistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing an effective strategy to deal with resistance </li></ul></ul>
    39. 39. The BMO Financial Group Curriculum <ul><li>Orientation to Requirements Management </li></ul><ul><li>Specifying Client Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Eliciting Client Requirements (web-based) </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating Client Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Data Gathering Techniques (web-based) </li></ul><ul><li>Power Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Problem Solving and Decision Making </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding Information Security </li></ul><ul><li>Detailed Requirements Specification </li></ul><ul><li>Data Modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Process Modeling </li></ul><ul><li>User Centered Design (web-based) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing Effective Use Cases </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational Change Management </li></ul>Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 <ul><li>Class room Simulation </li></ul><ul><li>Process Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Simulation </li></ul><ul><li>Accreditation </li></ul>
    40. 40. So remember what your Mother said… <ul><li>Analyst </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitator </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiator </li></ul><ul><li>Artist / Architect </li></ul><ul><li>Planner </li></ul><ul><li>Communicator </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomat </li></ul><ul><li>Expert / Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Strategist </li></ul><ul><li>Revolutionary </li></ul>