How to Develop Your Business Analysis Toolkit

How to Develop Your Business Analysis Toolkit

How to Develop Your Business Analysis Toolkit

How would you like a toolkit of guidelines and templates at your finger tips and ready to apply in your next business analysis effort?

It would be insanely useful!

But often business analysts find themselves in situations with no predefined set of tools, and non readily available.

So I’m going to show you what you need to do to create a custom set of tools and templates.

But firstly… [Read more...]

17 Must-Read Blogs and Websites for Business Analysts

In alphabetical order, I’ve listed 20 sites that will help keep up to date with recent developments in business analysis and business analysis related disciplines.  here are the ones that I gained most value from.

  1. Adrian Reed’s Blog: Adrian Reed is an excellent story teller and blogs on a variety of topics to promote the value of business analysis.
  2. All About Requirements: The author, John Hansen, focuses on business process analysis, use cases and requirements.
  3. BA Times: The Business Analyst Times is a large platform providing a range of resources for business analysts including articles, training webinars, templates and jobs ads. If you have ideas that you want to share, you can register as a member and submit articles to the BA Times article repository.
  4. Bridging the Gap: Owned by Laura Brandenburg, this site focusses on helping people start their business analyst career. It offers a range of resources including business analysis books, courses, templates and free articles. [Read more...]

The BA Muster #4

The Business Analyst's Muster

The Business Analyst’s Muster

This week’s BA Muster brings you articles about the challenges faced by business analysts and business analyst managers.

  1.  2005 Survey:  The Top Challenges Facing Business Analysts by Business Improvement Architects. Still relevant today, this article summarises survey data collected from interviews with business analysts attending Project World/Business Analyst World 2005 in Toronto, Canada. The survey identified that “Lack of Clarity in the Scope of the Business Functions” and “Business Requirements Not Well-Defined” as the top two challenges facing business analysts. Discussion is provided on how to deal with the top 4 of the overall 10 challenges documented in the article. [Read more...]

The Ultimate BABOK Kit Review – My Honest Opinion

The Ultimate BABOK Kit

The Ultimate BABOK Kit

Thanks for visiting my IIBA Certification page. You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a comprehensive review of the Ultimate BABOK Kit developed by Yamo, The BA Coach.

First and foremost, I want to clarify that I’ll be giving you an honest and unbiased review of Yamo’s study guide for gaining  your IIBA certification, whether that be the CBAP or CCBA.

Please note that this is an independent review: Click here to visit the official Ultimate BABOK Kit website.

How does the Ultimate BABOK Kit work?

The Ultimate BABOK Kit is a comprehensive resource designed to help you study for the CBAP or CCBA exam. The intention of this study guide is to help you pass the exam as fast as possible through presenting you with visual aids that assist you in remembering the BABOK Guide’s key information.

Through a highly structured learning approach, it contains:

  • Hundreds of examples
  • Easy to remember acronyms
  • Well structured mind maps
  • Study tips and captions
  • KAT Tale cartoons containing mnemonics
  • A fully integrated case study

Click here to visit the official Ultimate BABOK Kit website.

What are the BAD things about the Ultimate BABOK Kit?

Let me make this as clear as possible. The Ultimate BABOK Kit promises to help you pass the CBAP or CBAP exam as fast as possible. But remember, this is your responsibility only. It’s up to you whether you succeed and how fast it happens.

The Ultimate BABOK Kit just provides you with the tools necessary to get your IIBA certification via the most direct route possible. How dedicated and determined you are will only ever be up to you. There’s no silver bullet in this case.

And what about the GOOD things about the the Ultimate BABOK Kit?

The resources were very easy to work through. They way the key information was presented, especially in the mind-maps and cartoons, easily kept my attention. The professionally drawn cartoons wove together, and progressively built upon, the fundamental concepts throughout the course material. No concept was left behind!

The acronyms were excellent memory joggers and very well thought out. They looked like real words with no “hard to remember” combinations of letters. This made it much easier to remember. And fun too!

The key information was presented through different visual aids and, supported with lots examples and a case study, catered for my learning style. At my work when I’m discussing a new idea with a colleague, I say to them draw me a picture and give me an example so I can understand better. This is exactly what the Ultimate BABOK Kit did for me.

Overall, what do I think?

In my opinion, the Ultimate BABOK Kit is the best available study from home resource for gaining your IIBA certification that I’ve seen. From my research of the author Yaquab Mohamed (Yamo) he is shown to be a passionate educator, public speaker, author and podcaster.  He actively engages in the business analysis community and holds the CBAP designation. Yamo believes that to enrich your life, you must first enrich the lives of others. And his energy and philosophy shines through in this outstanding product.

I hope this review has helped you.

Thanks,
Alexandra

Click here to visit the official Ultimate BABOK Kit website.

How to Identify the Likely Causes of a Problem with a Fishbone Diagram

How to Identify the Likely Causes of a Problem with a Fishbone Diagram

How to Identify the Likely Causes of a Problem with a Fishbone Diagram

Whenever there’s a problem to explore, which is most often during the initiation of a project, it’s useful to have a visual means of your analysis. Like mind mapping, the fishbone analysis method is a business analysis technique that enables you to explore the likely causes of a problem. The fishbone method can be used in brainstorming sessions or as a personal thinking tool.

In my example below I use the six categories for defining a problem to structure my fishbone diagram.

Here’s how it works… [Read more...]

The BA Muster #3

The Business Analyst's Muster

The Business Analyst’s Muster

This third edition of the Business Analyst’s Muster comes from The Analyst Coach, the Seilevel Software Requirements Blog and Techwell.

1. Communication Skills You’ll Need for Effective Analysis by The Analyst Coach. This article gets back to the important fundamentals reminding us of the types of communication skills that business analysts must develop. It describes the relevance of oral and written communication – and teaching skills – needed to effectively communicate requirements. [Read more...]

Free Business Case Template

Business Case for Change

Write a compelling case for change

This business case template is comprehensive, and depending on the level of detail required, it can be adapted according to your needs. Each section contains instructions, and examples where possible. Sections can also be rearranged or condensed as per your preference and need.

This template is free. I only ask that you sign up to receive my blog posts via e-mail to receive your download link.

Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else. You can unsubscribe at anytime.


Business Analysis Techniques: 72 Essential Tools for Success – A Book Review

Book Review

Book Review

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a comprehensive review of the book,  Business Analysis Techniques: 72 Essential Tools for Success.

I personally own a copy of this book, and based on my own research, I would like to provide you with the best and most unbiased information possible.

About the Book

This book describes 72 business analysis techniques and explains the context in which they are used within a business analysis effort. Each of these techniques are specific “tools” that can applied at various stages of a project life cycle.

There are 7 chapters: Business Strategy and Objectives, Investigate Situation, Consider Perspectives, Analyse Needs, Evaluate Options, Define Requirements and Manage Change. [Read more...]

The BA Muster #2

The Business Analyst's Muster

The Business Analyst’s Muster

I hope you enjoy this week’s BA Muster bringing you articles from Business Analyst Learnings, The Business Analyst Times and the BA Coach.

1. Applying the Kano Analysis Model to Requirements Identification & Prioritization. Following on from my current theme focusing on business analysis techniques, the Kano Analysis Model is a way of eliciting, categorising and prioritising product requirements. I haven’t used this technique before but it’s certainly has my interest piqued. I like how requirements are categorised as threshold, performance and excitement requirements. Especially how excitement requirements “can help differentiate the business in the market and set it aside from competition.” [Read more...]

How to Explore a Problem Using a Mind Map and 6 Strategic Categories

How to Explore a Problem Using a Mind Map and 6 Strategic Categories

How to Explore a Problem Using a Mind Map and 6 Strategic Categories

The mind map is among the business analysis techniques that provides a visual representation of ideas, thoughts, problems… anything. It’s a great brainstorming tool for generating new ideas and exploring a problem.

There’s no real rules to using mind maps. You just enter your central idea, maybe it’s a requirement or a problem, and then start adding everything that comes to mind.

Mind maps are excellent in interviews and workshops, or as a personal thinking tool.

Here’s how to create a mind map… [Read more...]

“Why” is the How of Getting to the Root Cause of a Problem

"Why" is the How of Getting to the Root Cause of a Problem

“Why” is the How of Getting to the Root Cause of a Problem

Ever heard of The Five Whys questioning technique? This is one of many business analysis techniques but it’s one of my personal favourites when it comes to understanding a problem. That’s because it’s so simple.

Asking “why” is a simple and effective way to solving problems that can be used by any business analyst to improve a business process or write better requirements.

However it’s so easy to forget this simple questioning approach when we’re given a task. There’s a risk to take the information we’re given – a business requirement or a half formed solution – and build a solution based on untested information.

And this untested information may result in rebuilding a system or re-engineering a process later on. It can get expensive! [Read more...]