What’s In Your BA Toolkit? Nov 2010

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Presentation to BA World conference, Ottawa Ontario, Nov 2010.
What to look for in your toolkit and how to choose the tools that meet your needs?

This presentation looks at the different types of tools that are available to BAs, and how each can best be leveraged for the various BA artifacts and techniques. You’ll learn about the problems that can be encountered using standard office tools, and some features of BA-focused tools that can help increase your productivity. You’ll be provided with some key requirements to consider when choosing the tools for your BA toolkit, and some caveats to watch out for when assessing BA tools.

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What’s In Your BA Toolkit? Nov 2010

  1. 1. What’s in Your BA Toolkit? Marie Halsey November 2010Marie Halsey Consulting Inc.
  2. 2. Learning Objectives The different types of BA tools and when they are appropriate The key requirements to consider when selecting BA tools The process to follow when assembling your BA toolkitNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 2
  3. 3. BackgroundNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 3
  4. 4. One day …November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 4
  5. 5. BA Role: Liaison Among Stakeholders … Business Project Sponsors Clients Managers Customer Reps Solution Delivery Team Business - Solution Architect End - Developer Users Analyst - DBA - Usability Specialist - Tester - Trainer - Change ManagerSuppliers Operational Support RegulatorsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc.
  6. 6. What Tools to Use?It depends … Methodology Waterfall, iterative, agile Project type Custom software, COTS, infrastructure/hardware-only Artifacts produced Maturity of BA organizationNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 6
  7. 7. Types of Communication Tools… Low-tech and hardware-based tools Collaboration tools Software-based tools, to produce: Documents Diagrams Other ArtifactsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 7
  8. 8. Low-Tech & Hardware-based ToolsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 8
  9. 9. Collaboration ToolsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 9
  10. 10. Software-based Communication ToolsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 10
  11. 11. Software-based Tools Let’s look at: the various types of software-based communication tools which artifacts are best suited to each type Refer to “Marie Halsey - Software Tool Categories.xls”November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 11
  12. 12. Issues with Office-type Tools? No supporting database No support for meta-data No associations, traceability is difficult Re-use is difficult No integration between diagrams & elements Requirements management is very difficult Reporting is WYSIWYG, no automated ‘packaging’November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 12
  13. 13. How to choose? Follow the process! Assess Processes, Conduct Current Problems Product State Assessment Detailed Toolkit Req’ts Identify Define Select BA Toolkit Toolkit BA Toolkit Product(s) Needs Needs Req’ts Identify Implement Toolkit Toolkit Gaps BA Toolkit GapsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 13
  14. 14. Document Your RequirementsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 14
  15. 15. Functional Requirements – Usability Easy to use; intuitive, consistent interface Easy to learn; online help, tutorials Supports fast data capture & diagramming ‘Drag and drop’ existing elements onto diagramNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 15
  16. 16. Functional Requirements– Requirements Capture and Presentation Tree view Parent-child hierarchy Expand/collapse Table/spreadsheet view List of attributes Parent-child structure maintained Traceability Matrix view Tree viewNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 16
  17. 17. Functional Requirements – Traceability Directional Hierarchical (‘Traces To’ and ‘Traces From’) Parent-child Non-directional (peer-to-peer) Cross-project (project segmentation, re-use) Flag missing traceability Flag ‘suspect’ relationshipsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 17
  18. 18. Functional Requirements– Views and Reports Searching, filtering and sorting Tailoring and user-defined templates Report on text, tables, diagrams, meta-data Multiple formats (e.g., Word, Excel, HTML, XML) Metrics (e.g., how many changed req’ts?) Impact analysis Packaged output appeals to all stakeholdersNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 18
  19. 19. Functional Requirements– Useful Features Spell checking Glossaries (e.g., highlight ambiguous terms) Bulk data selection Range (SHIFT-Click), non-contiguous (CTRL-click) Bulk processing Parent-child, re-parent Update attribute values TraceabilityNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 19
  20. 20. Functional Requirements – Use Cases Full integration of use case with activity diagram Automatically maintains activity diagram Changes to activity diagram automatically reflected in use case, and vice versa Use case has different attributes than use case steps. Automatic numbering of steps, alternate paths Supports ‘extends’ and ‘includes’ use casesNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 20
  21. 21. Functional Requirements– User Interface Prototyping Sketches, mockups & wireframes (low fidelity) Simulations and prototypes (high fidelity) Templates and branding ‘Look and feel’ widgets, banners, controls Images and snapshots of current UI Site maps and screen transitions/flow User comments Associate data model elementsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 21
  22. 22. Functional Requirements– Requirements Management Change Management / Change control Revision history Compare versions; shows revision marks! Notification of changes Configuration Management Baselines and versioning Release management (multi-release support) ‘Living’ Master Requirements List Re-useNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 22
  23. 23. Functional Requirements - Integration Associate diagram elements with meta-data Associate requirements artifacts with reference material (e.g., documents, images and diagrams, URLs) Import from Word and Excel Package requirements, using all formats of artifactsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 23
  24. 24. Functional Requirements– Associations and Interoperability Integration is critical!November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 24
  25. 25. Document Your RequirementsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 25
  26. 26. Non-Functional Requirements Work offline? Co-located or distributed team? Client-side or web-based? Team size? Concurrent or ‘named’ licenses? Multi-user support? Project size? How many requirements? Data security and user management? Scalable for future growth?November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 26
  27. 27. Non-Functional Requirements– Tool Administration User-defined requirement types Different attributes for each requirement type Attribute formats (text, $, date/time, URL, etc.) Attribute validation – single- and multi-valued lists, range of values Project templatesNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 27
  28. 28. Keep following the process! Assess Processes, Conduct Current Problems Product State Assessment Detailed Toolkit Req’ts Identify Define Select BA Toolkit Toolkit BA Toolkit Product(s) Needs Needs Req’ts Identify Implement Toolkit Toolkit Gaps BA Toolkit GapsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 28
  29. 29. Prepare for Product Assessment Weight / prioritize requirements Prepare list of candidate vendors Check the internet, web reviews Talk to peers, professional associations Gartner reports, Forrester surveys Consider open source software Conduct survey based on high-level requirements, to short-list 3-5 vendors, Arrange for demos, training & supportNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 29
  30. 30. And then … Caveat emptor !November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 30
  31. 31. Known Toolkit Challenges Baselining, versioning, release management Comparing versions Integration of requirements elements Packaging / reporting, esp. non-text and associated elements Ease of capturing and reporting traceability Support for re-useNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 31
  32. 32. Conduct Product Assessment Assess product compliance against detailed requirements 1 – Compliant, with ease 2 – Compliant, with challenges 3 – Partially compliant, with workaround 4 – Partially compliant, no workaround 5 – Non-compliant Write notes for items 2-5 (for later reference) Determine workarounds to tool gaps Are they worth the cost & effort?November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 32
  33. 33. Keep following the process! Assess Processes, Conduct Current Problems Product State Assessment Detailed Toolkit Req’ts Identify Define Select BA Toolkit Toolkit BA Toolkit Product(s) Needs Needs Req’ts Identify Implement Toolkit Toolkit Gaps BA Toolkit GapsNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 33
  34. 34. Select Product(s)Consider cost of ownership vs. functionality Migration and training Licensing, vendor support, maintenance BA support (e.g., tool administrator(s), in- house trainers, customized user documentation) Integration / interoperability of multi-vendor toolkit Hardware (e.g., server, database license)November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 34
  35. 35. Implement BA Toolkit Develop training, guidelines, best practices, pre-defined templates or reports Conduct pilot to test new toolkit, including testing of the training and documentation Consider phased deployment to reduce project impact, esp. with multi-vendor toolkit Provide toolkit support Implement feedback mechanismNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 35
  36. 36. One Final Thought …November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 36
  37. 37. What You Learned … The different types of BA tools and when they are appropriate The key requirements to consider when selecting BA tools The process to follow when assembling your BA toolkitNovember 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 37
  38. 38. Questions? Thank you! Marie Halsey mhalsey@magma.ca Marie Halsey Consulting Inc.November 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 38

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