What Makes A Good Business Analyst

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ABAA presentation by Phil Rich. Business Analysis tips and techniques to interview and elicit requirements

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What Makes A Good Business Analyst

  1. 1. What makes a GOOD Business Analyst Presented by Phil Rich Senior Business Analyst
  2. 2. The Fundamentals <ul><li>Analysis skills </li></ul><ul><li>Logic skills </li></ul><ul><li>Customer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Tool skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BPMN </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Analytical skills </li></ul><ul><li>Logic skills </li></ul><ul><li>Customer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Tool skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BPMN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Career Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Journalism (getting the story) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Interview skills </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Service skills </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation skills </li></ul>My Fundamentals <ul><li>Body Language skills </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological skills (personality profiling) </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Risk analysis skills </li></ul><ul><li>Change Management skills </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology Skills </li></ul><ul><li>QA Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Time and motion study skills </li></ul><ul><li>JIT Analysis Skills (Just in time) </li></ul><ul><li>Research Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Audit Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring Skills </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>If you can’t interview you can’t get the information </li></ul><ul><li>If you can’t write you can’t communicate </li></ul><ul><li>If you can’t write succinctly and explicitly your document will be of less quality – and worse will have less effect </li></ul><ul><li>If you can’t write QUICKLY you’re already in trouble </li></ul>Journalism & Business Analysis
  5. 5. Journalism & Business Analysis <ul><li>Interview skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know who you are interviewing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Either by personality or by position </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Interview Information recognition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing an antennae for information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Getting the story (the real one) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why hasn’t the problem been fixed before </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OR what has caused this new problem </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Story Structuring </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Headline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 st paragraph outline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 nd paragraph background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other paragraphs develop the story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final paragraph summarises the story </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use OUTLINE mode </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep breaking down the headings until you can’t any more --- you just about have your text. </li></ul></ul>Journalism & Business Analysis
  7. 7. <ul><li>General document Writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use ACTIVE voice!!!!! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look out for watch words eg “Will”, “that” – any often used word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write STRONGLY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eg “It is believed due to unusual circumstances this situation has arisen because…” – change to “This situation has likely arisen due to…” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on the important wording </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!!!!! </li></ul></ul>Journalism & Business Analysis
  8. 8. <ul><li>Business Analysis Writing (Requirements) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Waterfall the information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a complete background on the subject matter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Break down the units of information to granular detail </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use a waterfall approach to flowcharts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overview level (executive) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mid-Level (Management) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low-Level (Coal Face) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activity Diagrams to illustrate complexity </li></ul></ul>Journalism & Business Analysis
  9. 9. <ul><ul><li>Understanding the types of requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>User Requirements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FPS Requirements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SSS Requirements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does your CUSTOMER know the difference? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Manage expectations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write a requirement with the TEST already understood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good requirements writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Measureable, testable, explicit, succinct, non-ambiguous </li></ul></ul></ul>Journalism & Business Analysis
  10. 10. <ul><li>How to learn journalism techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Books on Journalism (the basics) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books on interviewing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing magazines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn Script Writing techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These will teach story positioning in a given scene </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active voice will be forced </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Learn Advertising copywriting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active and LEAN wording to get a message across </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DON’T be afraid to mix it up. </li></ul>Journalism & Business Analysis
  11. 11. <ul><li>Tips for editing your own work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unless your work has had time to go “cold”, then either: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get a person you respect to edit the work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Edit the document yourself…. BACKWARDS! This stops you getting involved with the rhythm of the words </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drone the words. Add NO inflection at all. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Tips for writing (anything!!) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outline Mode </li></ul></ul>Journalism & Business Analysis
  12. 12. <ul><li>Research is essential </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but retrieval is paramount </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Key word groupings – how you enter information is vital </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia type approach (knowledge base) </li></ul><ul><li>Thales Intelligence Tool </li></ul><ul><ul><li>London Bombings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Using the information to identify gaps </li></ul>Researching & Business Analysis
  13. 13. Interviewing & Business Analysis <ul><li>Rapport – all important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapport can be built easily just by observation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eg. Is the office all crowded in, allows a comment like “Boy, I thought my desk was crowded in – how do you guys cope with all the noise?” Expressing REAL sympathy is a valuable tool to establish rapport. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the person is difficult then understand why they are. Most of the time it is because they don't think they’ve been heard. To show they ARE being heard, start using their own words back at them in your questions. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Find the comfort zones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect their language eg lawyers tend to speak formally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>helpdesk & IT combine IT terms into normal languages eg Interface (with people) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write EVERYTHING down that is said, even if you don’t think what’s been said is important. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You’d be surprised where such information comes into it’s own later in a project. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Listen for NUANCE!! </li></ul>Interviewing & Business Analysis
  15. 15. Body language & Business Analysis <ul><li>Security investigators (especially in retail) are trained in body language for a reason </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for the eye movements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch body movements when discussing business functions or activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discomfort can mean a political situation or lack of confidence in the picture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A blocking movement can mean “Don’t go there” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>BUT body language MUST be read in clusters! </li></ul><ul><li>How to learn – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Books (by Alan Pease) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lie to Me (TV series) </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Profiling & Business Analysis <ul><li>Profiling is a valuable tool for a BA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn the behavioural patterns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn the cultural issues (multicultural users) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Profile skill sets (Position Descriptions -> Reviews) </li></ul><ul><li>Profile business units </li></ul><ul><li>Profile Enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Utilise (or develop) the vision document </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Unit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprise </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Utilise (or develop) the strategy document </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Unit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enterprise </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Just In Time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To a Business Analyst </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>At risk of rushed requirements </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Break up the workload into multi-phase </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To the end result </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the low-hanging fruit – Phase 1 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the must haves – Phase 2 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the nice to haves – Phase 3 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify the ideal world – Phase 4 </li></ul></ul></ul>JIT & Business Analysis
  18. 18. <ul><li>Set expectations and set boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Educate </li></ul><ul><li>What is the document you’re creating? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the outcome from this document? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let them know there is an action plan sitting behind the paperwork but the paperwork is necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is an FPS? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I’ve seen differences of opinion between 3 project offices on a single floor of an org </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure you DELIVER to the expectation </li></ul>The Customer & Business Analysis
  19. 19. <ul><li>Managing Change in the organisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a vision </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sell it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coalface </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Confirm it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Management </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coalface </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Implement it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Let the coalface implement it for you (SELL IT!!!) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Who Moved My Cheese </li></ul>Change & Business Analysis
  20. 20. <ul><li>Mentor where possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Causes you to consider how you accomplish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forces honest appraisal of your own weaknesses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Utilise other experiences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from problematic customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from experiences from other organisations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from Commercial imperatives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treat each client/customer as a business and ask yourself the following: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Should the business be more profitable (Gov Depts still can be)? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Should the business goals be customer service focused (not every business should – but most definitely should)? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What are the pain points for this business? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why does the business operate – what is the historical context and the imperatives it perceives? </li></ul></ul></ul>How do we improve?
  21. 21. <ul><li>Analytical skills </li></ul><ul><li>Logic skills </li></ul><ul><li>Customer skills </li></ul><ul><li>Tool skills </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UML </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BPMN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Career Diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Journalism (getting the story) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Interview skills </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Service skills </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation skills </li></ul>Questions? <ul><li>Body Language skills </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological skills (personality profiling) </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Risk analysis skills </li></ul><ul><li>Change Management skills </li></ul><ul><li>Methodology Skills </li></ul><ul><li>QA Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Time and motion study skills </li></ul><ul><li>JIT Analysis Skills (Just in time) </li></ul><ul><li>Research Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Audit Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring Skills </li></ul>

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