Business Analysis Theory and Practice

Why do more than 50% of projects fail to meet their original objectives? Why do we continue to see the number of troubled and cancelled projects on the rise? 47% of failed projects fail to meet goals due to poor requirements management [1]. With a strong correlation between poor requirements practices, failed projects, and wasted dollars; organizations can no longer afford to accept mediocre business analysis skills from those fulfilling the business analysis role.

This course provides students a clear understanding and total immersion into all of the facets of the business analyst role, including a thorough walkthrough of the various domain/knowledge areas that comprise the business analysis profession. Students are provided an opportunity to try their hand at several business analysis techniques for eliciting, analyzing, and modeling requirements. The business analysis work performed in strategy analysis and solution evaluation, which is most often the least familiar to business analysts, is thoroughly presented and explored. Students completing this course will be well equipped with new skills and knowledge that can be immediately applied on current and future projects.

Course Objectives:
This course intends to provide beginner and intermediate students a total immersion into the business analyst role by exposing attendees to the various aspects of the business analysis profession and numerous techniques to allow them to improve elicitation, analysis, and documentation of requirements.

Learning Objectives:

  • Obtain a thorough understanding of the core responsibilities of the business analyst

  • Understand the main professional associations and standards supporting business analysts in the industry

  • Discuss and explore the components of each of the domains/knowledge areas that comprise the work of business analysis

  • Recognize the importance of properly defining the business need prior to engaging in requirements activities

  • Formulate a strong understanding of the concepts that comprise strategy analysis

  • Obtain knowledge of and experience with the important work of stakeholder analysis

  • Decipher between project and product scope and successfully use models to communicate scope

  • Thoroughly understand and identify the various requirements categories and be able to recognize requirements of various types

  • Develop interviewing skills and explore ways to plan and structure interviews

  • Examine different forms of requirements documentation

  • Explore elements of communication, conflict, and issue management

  • Obtain a solid understanding of the concepts and activities involved in solution evaluation

  • Obtain hands-on experience with a number of business analysis techniques for eliciting, analyzing, and modeling requirements


Workshop Objectives:

  • Throughout the course, students work together in small groups on a pre-determined project.

  • Each exercise allows students to apply their learnings throughout the course.


This course is compliant with IIBA’s Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® Guide) version 3 standard of business analysis.

 

Course Outline

Day 1

Section 1: Introduction to Business Analysis

  • What is Business Analysis?

  • Benefiting from business analysis

  • Business analysis and project success

  • Challenges of business analysis

  • Discussions:

    • Who performs business analysis functions in your organization?

    • Exploring solutions options

    • Your biggest challenges on past projects




Section 2: A Closer Look at the Business Analyst Role

  • Definition of business analyst

  • Responsibilities of a business analyst

  • The BA/PM roles

  • IIBA/PMI and the goals of a professional association

  • Purpose for having a BA standard

  • IIBA’s BABOK® Guide and PMI’s Practice Guide in Business Analysis

  • Business analysis core concepts

  • Business analysis perspectives

  • IIBA and PMI certifications for business analysts

  • Workshop: Introduction to Case Study


Section 3: Strategy Analysis and Change

  • Define Strategy Analysis

  • When to perform Strategy Analysis

  • Business models

  • Defining the business need

  • Root cause analysis

  • 5 Whys

  • Fishbone diagram

  • Defining business requirements

  • Discussions:

    • Who is involved in strategy analysis in your organization?



  • Workshops:

    • Create a Business Model

    • Define the Business Need

    • Create a Fishbone Diagram

    • Write Business Requirements




Section 4: Defining a Change Strategy

  • Define change strategy

  • Gap analysis

  • Determining solution options

  • Enterprise readiness

  • Cultural fit

  • Operational and functional analysis

  • Impact analysis

  • Transitioning to the future state


Section 5: Stakeholder Analysis

  • What is a stakeholder?

  • The importance of stakeholder analysis

  • Stakeholder identification

  • Stakeholder types

  • Tips/techniques for identifying analyzing stakeholders

  • Keeping track of stakeholders

  • Workshop: Identify Stakeholders


Day 2

Section 6: Understanding and Defining Solution Scope

  • Defining solution scope

  • Techniques to use

  • Project scope versus product scope

  • Finding solution boundaries

  • What is a feature?

  • Identifying key features

  • Discussion: Identifying Solution Scope

  • Workshops:

    • Draw a Context Diagram

    • Defining Scope with Features




Section 7: Understanding Requirements

What is a requirement (IEEE and IIBA definitions)

  • Project roles involved in requirements activities

  • Requirements types

  • Assumptions and constraints

  • Business rules

  • Decision tables and inference rules

  • Requirements vs. business rules

  • Requirements vs. specifications

  • Discussions:

    • Requirements

    • Business rules



  • Workshops:

    • Define a Business Rule

    • Write Requirements




Section 8: Business Process Modeling

  • Why do we model processes?

  • What is Business Process Management?

  • Using a modeling notation

  • “As Is” vs. “To Be” modeling

  • Why use BPMN?

  • Basic BPM notation

  • Developing a business process model

  • Using a facilitated session

  • Business Process Modeling – A case study

  • Developing a Business Process Model

  • Workshop: Create a Business Process Model


Section 9: Preparing for Requirements Elicitation

  • Types of elicitation techniques

  • Interviewing – what and why?

  • Preparing for an effective interview

  • Selecting the right interviewees

  • Types of questions to ask

  • Sequencing of questions

  • Discussion: Elicitation Techniques You Have Used

  • Workshop: Planning for an Interview


Day 3


Section 10: Elicitation using Interviews and Workshops

  • Conduct the Interview

  • Establishing rapport with stakeholders

  • Active listening and listening styles

  • Workshops and getting the right people

  • The role of the facilitator

  • The brainstorming technique

  • Decision rules and reaching consensus

  • Avoiding Groupthink

  • Encouraging participation

  • Managing meetings and conflict

  • Workshop: Conduct an Interview


Section 11: Confirming Elicitation Results

  • Defining requirements analysis

  • Prioritizing requirements (MoSCoW, Timeboxing, Voting, etc.)

  • Documenting requirements

  • Other uses for specifications and models

  • Unified Modeling Language (UML®)

  • Explaining user stories

  • The traceability matrix

  • Communicating requirements

  • Workshop:

    • Analyzing Requirements

    • Identifying User Stories

    • Tracing Requirements

    • Obtaining Approval




Section 12: Analyzing Requirements with Use Cases

  • What is an actor?

  • Types of actors

  • Defining actors

  • Locating use cases

  • Use case diagrams

  • Use case tips

  • Defining and identifying scenarios

  • Parts of a use case

  • Defining primary, secondary actors and pre and post conditions

  • Best practices for writing use cases

  • Template: Use Case Specification

  • Workshop:

    • Drawing a Use Case Diagram

    • Write the Main Success Scenario




Day 4


Section 12 (cont’d): Documenting Requirements

  • Scenarios and flows

  • Alternate and exception flows

  • Alternate scenario post conditions

  • Guidelines for Alternate flows

  • Examples of alternate and exception flows

  • Workshop: Writing Alternate and Exception Flows


Section 13: Documenting Requirements

  • How requirements relate to use cases

  • Writing Non-Functional requirements

  • User Interface Requirements

  • Reporting requirements

  • Data requirements

  • Data accessibility requirements

  • Business requirements document (BRD)

  • BRD vs the Functional Requirements

  • Verifying Requirements

  • Quality attributes

  • Purpose of the requirements package

  • BA Deliverables across knowledge areas/domains

  • Planning BA deliverables

  • Workshops:

    • Develop a User Interface

    • Verifying Requirements




Section 14: Managing and Communicating Business Analysis Information

  • Business analysis communication

  • The business analyst’s role in communication

  • Forms of communication

  • 7Cs of communication

  • Symptoms of information overload

  • Information mapping

  • Presentation and common elements

  • Requirements walkthroughs

  • Conflict and issue management

  • Conflict resolution techniques


Section 15: Evaluating the Solution

  • Understanding solution evaluation

  • Verification vs. validation

  • Timing of solution evaluation

  • Planning solution evaluation

  • Performing solution evaluation

  • Using existing metrics

  • Evaluating long term performance

  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative measures

  • Tools and techniques used in solution evaluation

  • Comparing expected vs. actuals

  • When variances occur

  • Proposing recommendations to address variances

  • Communicating evaluation results


Section 16: Additional Information

  • Helpful links for obtaining additional business analysis information

Audience


  • Project managers and senior managers

  • Business analysts

  • Project stakeholders concerned with requirements management

  • Those who aspire to become project managers or business analysts


This course is intended for beginner to intermediate business analysts who are looking to improve their skills by learning best practices and techniques for eliciting, analyzing, documenting, validating, and communicating requirements.