My name is Michael Christenson, & I’m the Information System Coordinator for eGrants, which is H&SS’s online application for grants management. Through eGrants, we administer $170 million a year split up among 245 grantees. This presentation is about training I received on the Fundamentals of Business Analysis Nov 1-3 in Arlington, VA.
By way of contextualization, I’d like to begin by outlining several IT industry trends, all coming from the same source, and all leading to the same outcome. First of all, virtualization of servers leads to fewer purchases of physical servers, which leads to smaller server farms.
Smaller farms mean fewer farmers. Smaller farms also make it easier to do away with physical infrastructure completely…
and switch operations to the cloud.
The decline of the traditional centralized IT dept will continue in 2011, as companies align their IT professionals with individual business units rather than in a central services group.
Meanwhile, many of the technical roles in IT will get outsourced to companies that specialize in those areas, as companies concentrate on their core competencies, which for most companies is not IT.
Finally, gray ponytails. The first wave of IT professionals is preparing to retire, which will provide management with an opportunity to downsize further. The replacements will be eager to change everything, including moving to Google apps and open source software.
According to business analysts, the exception to the trend to downsize and outsource will be corporate savvy business analysts and project managers able to bridge the gap between IT expertise and practical business solutions.
This will be a review of Fundamentals of Business Analysis taught by Chip Schwartz, Nov. 1-3, 2010 Arlington, based on A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge2.0 by the International Institute of Business Analysis (Toronto, 2003). The IIBA currently has 11,500 members and 90 chapters worldwide, none in Alaska however.
Fairly new development of standards for practice of business analysis and certification of its practitioners -"World's First Certified Business Analysis Professional Exam Nov 10, 2006“ Mr. Schwartz is CBAP, #001, and provided examples from his extensive experience to illustrate complex ideas and how they’re all related.
The field of Business Analysis includes requirements management, systems analysis, business analysis, and requirements analysis. The four pillars of business analysis are analysis skills, business domain knowledge, technical domain knowledge and interpersonal skills and professionalism. Approximately 1/3 of business analysts work in the finance/banking/insurance industry, and ¼ in IT software.
This “Overview of the Overview” will skip over some important areas, such as modeling requirements, work breakdown structures, communications management and the levels of testing.
In particular, it will skip over the V Model of testing. The V-Model of testing aligns the relationships between the solution development and solution validation and verification. It is an effective tool to ensure all appropriate levels of testing are planned and that all tests can be traced back to specific documentation that defines the solution, but there isn’t enough time to cover that.
Instead, today I will share with you 3 different views of the role of the business analyst, 2 processes typical to business analysts, 4 documents or deliverables the business analyst would likely create in the course of a project, and 5 business analysis best practices.
This is the official definition, which gains precision at the cost of some intelligibility (otherwise known as a mouthful.) A liaison among stakeholders (individuals or groups involved) that understands the business and communicates the results of research into possible improvements to the business and how to achieve them.
The project manager manages the project, minimizing risks and ensuring that it comes in on time in scope and on budget. The business analyst manages the triple constraints of traceable, justifiable and validated requirements. The PM ensures that the product is built right, and the BA ensures that the right product gets built.
The BA serves as the representative of the business, facilitates communication among key stakeholders, negotiates solutions between the stakeholders and the technical team, and validates solutions against requirements.
We’ll be looking at 2 processes, Business Analysis and Traceability
This slide is a little bit too complicated
It’s not as bad as this more detailed view of the business analysis process, which may be one of the worst slides in the world.
This slide is a little bit too complicated
Traceability is a risk management tool that connects the business needs to the solution.
A feature is a high level solution characteristic, which carries with it a measurable potential benefit.
A documented representation of a condition or capability needed by a stakeholder to solve a problem or achieve an objective.
The description of the technology-specific details for a material, product or service, including the criteria for determining that the requirements have been met.
We’ll be looking at 4 deliverables
Assumptions are factors considered to be true; dependencies are logical relationships between and among tasks, and constraints are restrictions that affect the scope of the project, affect how an activity can be scheduled, or limits the project team’s options.
The RWP is a miniproject plan focusing solely on the scope, cost and schedule of the requirements elicitation phase of a project.
The BRD is the elaboration of the regulatory, business, user and solution requirements created by the BA and handed off to the system analyst that provides a baseline for requirements management.
The traceability matrix is a tool that helps the organization trace requirements changes throughout the Solution Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and test life cycle. It is a part of the Business Requirements Document.
Business Analysis identifies the who what where and why of a problem, and ensures that the right solution is implemented. Benefits of business analysis manifest in three areas: benefits for the organization, benefits of a center for excellence, and project constraint benefits. Organizational benefits include improved flexibility to respond to project complexity, and increased stakeholder involvement and satisfaction. Benefits of a COE include improved quality of deliverables and documentation and use of lessons learned. Benefits for the triple constraint include prevention of unnecessary scope creep.
Business Analysis“The set of tasks and techniques used to work as a liaison among stakeholdersin order to understand the structure, policies and operations of anorganization, and recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieveits goals.”
DocumentsVision and Scope ReportRequirements Work PlanBusiness Requirements DocumentTraceability Matrix
Vision and Scope ReportVision and Scope ReportExecutive SummaryApprovalCurrent Business – AS IS modelVision and Scope – TO BE modelAssumptions, dependencies and constraintsRisksProposed scheduleProposed BudgetRevision log
Requirements Work PlanThe RWP should contain the followingExecutive SummaryApprovalsPurposeAnalysis ScopeResourcesRisksAnalysis Schedule & Budget EstimateProcurement Plan (if needed)Communications planRevision log
Business RequirementsDocumentBusiness Requirements Document (BRD)Executive SummaryPurpose: Levels of requirements, Requirement Prioritization,Intended Audience, Analysis ApproachSolution ScopeFunctional RequirementsNonfunctional Requirements (Quality of Service)Transition RequirementsTraceability MatrixRisksRevision logGlossaryAppendices: Models, Business rules catalogue, Decision tables
Traceability MatrixRequiremen Source Busines Busine Model Test Test t s Need ss Rule Scenario Case 1.1.1 Busines X BR-054 X X s Strategy 1.1.2 CEO X BR-043 X X X 1.1.3 Supplier X BR-302 X X 1.1.4 Custom X BR-129 X X X er 1.1.5 CEO X BR-137 X X
Business Analysis BestPracticesIdentify the Problem/Opportunity Apply diagnostic approachDetermine where the problem Apply a process based approachoccursDetermine why the problem Determine current performanceoccurs through metricsDetermine who is involved Identify direct and indirect stakeholdersManage Analysis Process Trace business needs and requirements throughout the business analysis process