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What is in your Business Analysis Toolkit?

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What’s in Your BA Toolkit?Are you frustrated with the tools, or lack of tools, in your Business Analysis Toolkit? Are your current tools hindering your productivity? Learn about what to look for in …

What’s in Your BA Toolkit?Are you frustrated with the tools, or lack of tools, in your Business Analysis Toolkit? Are your current tools hindering your productivity? Learn about what to look for in your toolkit and how to choose the tools that meet your needs.

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  • 1. What’s in the BA Toolkit? Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. September 2010
  • 2. Background September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 2
  • 3. One day … September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 3
  • 4. BA has many Stakeholders … - Sponsor - End User - Customer Client - Solution Architect Project Delivery - Developer Manager Team - DBA - Usability Specialist BA - Tester - Trainer Operational Supplier Support Regulator September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 4
  • 5. What Tools to Use? It depends … Methodology Waterfall, iterative, agile Project type Custom software, COTS, infrastructure/hardware-only Artifacts produced Maturity of BA organization September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 5
  • 6. Types of Communication Tools… Low-tech and hardware-based tools Collaboration tools Software-based tools, to produce: Documents Diagrams Other Artifacts September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 6
  • 7. Low-Tech & Hardware-based Tools September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 7
  • 8. Collaboration Tools September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 8
  • 9. Software-based Communication September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 9
  • 10. Software-based Tools Let’s look at: the various types of software-based communication tools which artifacts are best suited to each type Software Tool Categories September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 10
  • 11. Issues with Office-type Tools? No supporting database No associations, traceability is difficult Re-use is difficult No support for meta-data No integration between diagram & elements Requirements management is very difficult Reporting is WYSIWYG, no automated ‘packaging’ September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 11
  • 12. How to choose? Follow the process! Conduct Assess Problems, Product Current processes Assessmen State Detailed t Toolkit Req’ts Identify Define Select BA Toolkit HL Toolkit BA Toolkit Product(s) Needs Needs Req’ts Identify Implement Toolkit Toolkit Gaps BA Toolkit Gaps September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 12
  • 13. Document Your Requirements September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 13
  • 14. 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 diagram September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 14
  • 15. 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 view September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 15
  • 16. 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’ relationships September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 16
  • 17. 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 stakeholders September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 17
  • 18. 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 Traceability September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 18
  • 19. 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 cases September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 19
  • 20. 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 elements September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 20
  • 21. 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-use September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 21
  • 22. Functional Requirements – Associations and Interoperability Business Process Requirements Diagram Requirement Attributes Business Requirement Use Case Diagram Traces to Business Process Data Model Defects Activity Diagram Stakeholder (ERD, Class Diagram) Requirement Logs User Interface Traces to Use Case (e.g., Decisions, Mockup Data Dictionary Issues, Risks) Solution Requirement Data Entity (Functional & Non-functional) Business Rule Contains Discussions Data Attribute Peer-to-peer Association Integration/ Association Interoperability References Lifecycle Management Tools Documents, Tables. Diagrams, (e.g., quality assurance, URLs, Images, Other Artifacts development tools) September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 22
  • 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 artifacts September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 23
  • 24. Document Your Requirements September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 24
  • 25. 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? September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 25
  • 26. 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 templates September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 26
  • 27. Keep following the process! Conduct Assess Problems, Product Current processes Assessmen State Detailed t Toolkit Req’ts Identify Define Select BA Toolkit HL Toolkit BA Toolkit Product(s) Needs Needs Req’ts Identify Implement Toolkit Toolkit Gaps BA Toolkit Gaps September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 27
  • 28. Prepare for Product Assessment Weight / prioritize requirements Prepare list of candidate vendors Check the internet, web reviews Talk to peers, 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 & support September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 28
  • 29. And then … Caveat emptor ! September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 29
  • 30. 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-use September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 30
  • 31. 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? September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 31
  • 32. 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) September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 32
  • 33. 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 mechanism September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 33
  • 34. One Final Thought … September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 34
  • 35. Questions? Thank you! Marie Halsey mhalsey@magma.ca September 2010 Marie Halsey Consulting Inc. 35