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How to become a great Business Analyst


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The slide shows what areas of competence you need to succeed as a business analyst. It also includes a short test to see if you're a natural talent.

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How to become a great Business Analyst

  1. 1. How to become a great Business Analyst By Andreas Hägglund
  2. 2. Competence = A*E*K
  3. 3. Competence = A*E*K Aptitude Experience Knowledge
  4. 4. What is aptitude? An aptitude is the natural ability to do a certain kind of work at a certain level, or one’s capacity to acquire the ability, which can also be considered "talent". Manuel and Christoph Mitasch, world record-holding club passers. Photo by Cmitasch (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
  5. 5. What is experience? Practical contact with and observation of facts or events
  6. 6. What is knowledge? The theoretical or practical under- standing of a subject
  7. 7. In other words: ”Competence is the ability to perform a certain task which is acquired through repeated observation/training and understanding.”
  8. 8. Characteristics of Competence Situational vs Non-situational Recollection •The ability to discover similarites between different situations Holistic vs Decomposed Recognition •The need (or not) to decompose a situation to distinct component features in order to recognize it. Intuitive vs Analytic Decisions •Whether a decision is based on a conscious analysis or not
  9. 9. 5 Levels of Competence The main goal of novices is to accomplish immediate tasks. Since they have little or no previous experience, they’re usually insecure and are focused only on having their first successes. Novices need clear rules and unambiguous instructions, and to concentrate on following them strictly. Advanced beginners still operate following rules, but they’re able to apply them not only on the exact situations that they were intended for, but also on similar contexts. The once-rigid rules become more like guidelines. Advanced beginners try new things out, but still have difficulty troubleshooting problems. Competent practitioners begin organizing and sorting the rules by relevance, forming conceptual models. Competent practitioners can troubleshoot problems, and will work based on deliberate planning and past experience. Proficient practitioners intuitively identifies problems. They can adjust their behaviors according to their result and they can use and adapt to others’ experiences. Experts solve problems intuitively, without explicit analysis. They tap into their vast pool of knowledge and effortlessly identify patterns, applying solutions in context. Non-situational recollection, decomposed recognition, analytical decision, monitoring awareness Situational recollection, decomposed recognition, analytical decision, monitoring awareness Situational recollection, holistic recognition, analytical decision, monitoring awareness Situational recollection, holistic recognition, intuitive decision, monitoring awareness Situational recollection, holistic recognition, intuitive decision, absorbed awareness Experts Proficient Practioner Competent Advanced Beginner Novice Rule Governed Knowledge Governed
  10. 10. Business Analyst Role •A business analyst works as a liaison among stakeholders in order to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements for changes to business processes, policies and information systems. •The business analyst understands business problems and opportunities in the context of the requirements and recommends solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.
  11. 11. Categories of Requirements to deal with •Business Requirements are higher-level statements of the goals, objectives, or needs of the enterprise. •User Requirements are statements of the needs of stakeholders. They describe the need and how the stakeholder will interact with a solution. •Functional Requirements describe the behavior and information that the solution will manage. E.g what the system will do in terms of behaviors or operations – a specific system action or response. •Quality Attributes (aka Non Runctional Requirements) describe conditions under which the solution must remain effective or qualities that the systems must have. •Constraints Aspects of the problem domain that limits or impacts the design of the solution. •Implementation requirements describe capabilities needed to transition from the current state of the enterprise to the desired future state, but that will not be needed once that transition is complete.
  12. 12. Areas of Competency •Tools •Gathering/elicitation •Specification •Approval •Prioritization •Planning and monitoring •Enterprise Analysis •Business know-how •Collaboration and communication •Related areas/processes
  13. 13. Tools to know •Modeling Tools •Issue Management •Test Management •Office suite •Document Management •Project Management
  14. 14. Techniques for gathering/elicitation •Questionnaires •Interviews •Brainstorming Sessions •Modeling Workshops •Observations and User Studies •Document Analysis •Process Analysis •System Analysis •Testing
  15. 15. Techniques for Specifications Literal •Use Cases •User stories •Planguage Modeling (UML/SysML/BPMN...) •Business Rules •State Charts •Domain models •Process/Activity/Flow Models
  16. 16. Techniques for getting approval •Formal review/Inspections •Informal review •Walk-throughs •Demonstrations
  17. 17. GIVE WAY Techniques for Prioritization •Relative Priorities •The Cross •MoSCoW •”Dotting” •Classes of Service •Cost of delay •Pairwise comparisons •Business Value Points •Kano Analysis •Purpose Alignment Model
  18. 18. Planning and Monitoring •Risk assessment •Estimation •Scheduling and planning
  19. 19. Enterprise analysis •ROI-analysis •Business Value Estimation •Value Stream Mapping •Business Capability Analysis •Stakeholder analysis
  20. 20. Business Know-How Understanding... •How the business works •How the business changes •How the business communicates •How the business makes decisions •What makes the business successful
  21. 21. Collaboration •Managing Workshops •Conflict Management •Negotiation •Communication •Retrospectives
  22. 22. Related Areas/Processes •Software Development (Agile, Lean, KanBan) •Change Management •Project Management (PMI, Props, PPS) •Test •Business Development •Enterprise Architecture (Togaf) •Maintenance (ITIL)
  23. 23. Analysis Guidelines Discovery •Get the big picture •Think as a customer •Determine what is valuable Delivery •Be concrete and specific •Understand what is doable •Stimulate collaboration and improvement •Avoid waste
  24. 24. Personal Traits •Structured •Communicative •Likeable •Leadership •Naivity •Neutral •Analytical •Pedagogical •Collaborative •Committed •Pragmatic •Politician •Bird’s eye view •Detail oriented
  25. 25. Are you a natural BA (1/2)? •I like structure and organization. My desk is neat and all my papers are usually in good order. •I like to plan and prepare. When I go shopping I have my shoppinglist with me and my todo-list is my best friend. •I am visual and good at writing. When I talk to people I often end up drawing pictures. •I am good at listening and advising. When I was young I was usually the one everyone came to when they needed someone to talk to. •I am analytical and very good at seeing patterns, even between seemingly unrelated things. •One of my favorite expressions is ”on the one hand, on the other...” •I like tests like this  No Yes
  26. 26. Are you a natural BA (2/2)? •I’m a good teacher. I have patience with slow starters and can explain things in different ways if I need to. It makes me feel good when I see people develop, learn and/or understand something new. •I am very naive and am not afraid of asking ”stupid” questions. •I do not lead by running ahead and showing the way, I rather go behind and help people when needed. •I’m a good mediator and can usually help people understand each other and find common ground. •When I’m about to send an e-mail I pause a while to think about how to phrase it and to whom I should send it. •I thrive at meetings! I like group discussions at the same time as I’m good at moving things forward. I have no problems with talking in front of others. No Yes
  27. 27. Certifications for BAs CBAP PMI PBA REQB
  28. 28. Value of certificates •Inexperienced recruiters •Students •Managers •BAs •Certifying orgs.
  29. 29. Certificates... ...are good at showing areas of improvements
  30. 30. How to learn On the job training •Tutoring •Mentorship •Trainee •Job rotation •Networking •Retrospectives •Reviews and inspections Off work •Schools and Universities •Internet based training •Home studies •Reading •Networking •Internet forums
  31. 31. Want to stay updated? Ahab1972 /andreashagglund (personal site) (corporate site)