Essential Skills for Business Analysis

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Essential Skills for Business Analysis
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Introduction

To stay competitive in today’s fast paced economy, companies need to deliver innovations that meet business or market needs without spending time on the wrong problem or rework for missed requirements. This foundational course provides students, regardless of their title, the essential business analyst skills necessary to identify the best solutions and realize significant value on their projects. It supports the IIBA BABOK industry standards and PMI’s PBA certification and is an excellent class for individuals seeking certification.

Essential Skills for Business Analysis explores the breadth of business analyst skills, tasks and interactions expected in a professional role. It provides a complete foundational set of practical tips and hands on exercises to build expertise and confidence using requirements delivery strategies, independent of methodology. Workshops throughout the course allow students to practice the techniques as they learn.

The business analyst skills covered in this course are applicable whether analysis is performed in an agile or more traditional plan-driven approach. To best customize the course to your development approach, day four of this course has two options for the workshop format: an agile-based case study or one with a traditional approach. This is the perfect course for those new to business analysis, to level set analysts across the organization, or for senior analysts needing to refresh their business analyst skill set.

Objectives

At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Define business analysis and requirements
  • Elicit requirements from stakeholders using a variety of effective techniques
  • Practice creative thinking skills to engage stakeholders, uncover needs, and identify new approaches and ideas
  • Compare and contrast analysis techniques in order to select the technique(s) that will most appropriately:
    • support your understanding, critical thinking and problem solving
    • communicate information to stakeholders to enable review and their understanding of requirements
  • Reduce confusion and development errors by creating excellent requirements that can be easily understood by outsourced or distributed teams
  • Get the most out of your models and diagrams by asking the right questions during analysis
  • Identify why the project is being done (business drivers) in order to ensure the right analysis effort is being performed and so that requirements efforts can be appropriately prioritized
  • Create a context data flow diagram to identify interfaces, data flows, and high-level processes associated with the project, that is valuable both for planning and communications purposes
  • Discuss strategies for content organization and collaboration, and describe why being more organized increases team agility
  • Practice creating an analysis approach to make the most efficient use of elicitation and analysis techniques
  • Learn to address common barriers that face project teams

Is this course for you?

Not sure if this course is a good fit for your needs? Take our self-assessment!

Student Profile

This course has been designed for business analysts, project managers, business systems analysts and systems architects or any other member of a project team involved in the analysis. It is aimed at people who manage or participate in projects.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites to attend this course.

Course Materials

Each student will receive a copy of the course documentation prepared by Netmind.

Methodology

Engaging and interactive course. Our instructors teach all course materials using the demonstrative method; the participants learn new concepts through exercises and real application practices.

Highly interactive exercises provide students opportunities to practice and reinforce the techniques and business analysis skills taught during class. Regardless of the participant’s skill level, the workshop cases and discussions inspire learning insights for every level of experience. Students are encouraged to bring projects into class for exercises and to develop a more personalized post-class action plan to take their project to the next step.

Certification

This course is included in our Business Analysis Certification Program. At the core, we believe all analysts, regardless of their environment, project type, or development approach, should possess the foundational skills covered in this course. Therefore, this class has been incorporated into our program at all levels.

By attending this course, students earn credit towards the BA Associate and BA Certified certifications, as well as credit towards all badges in our BA Certification Program.

Additionally, students will earn 28 credit hours for their attendance.

Accreditation

A certificate of attendance will be issued to students who attend the course for at least 75% of the duration.

Course Outline

Requirements Elicitation and Review
  1.  Introduction
    1. Define business analysis
    2. Discuss what requirements are and how they are utilized in analysis
    3. Reinforce the importance of a good understanding of stakeholders
  2. Putting Requirements Elicitation into Practice
    1. Describe the considerations for planning elicitation
    2. Manage conflict within the context of requirements and stakeholders
    3. Describe how to use 12 different elicitation techniques within 3 categories (Collaborative, Research-based, Experiments) to understand stakeholder requirements: Document Analysis, Observational Studies, Interviews, Surveys and Questionnaires, Requirements Workshops, Brainstorming, Collaborative Games, Focus Groups, Personas, Data Mining, Prototypes and Proofs of Concept and Benchmarking and Market Analysis
    4. Improve your elicitation skills by:
      1. Practicing several elicitation techniques
      2. Utilizing active listening techniques
      3. Enhancing critical thinking skills
      4. Using various techniques for increased brainstorming results
    5. Choose the appropriate technique(s) for your project
Scope Your Area of Analysis
  1. Introduction to Scoping
    1. Define solution scope and explain its applicability and purpose
    2. Identify the components of scope and explain the purpose of a business requirements document
    3. Describe the value of scoping your area of analysis
  2. Define Project Context and Purpose
    1. Analyze Strategy for Context
      1. Explain how to assess a project within the larger context of the enterprise
      2. Identify the documents and information valuable to establishing project context
    2. Understand Current State of the process, problem, or business area
    3. Learn to identify the Root Cause
    4. Document Project Purpose
      1. Compose a well-defined problem statement
      2. Clearly state business objectives
      3. Differentiate business drivers from problem solutions
      4. Study problems and opportunities in the organization
      5. Define project approach
      6. Construct a project glossary and illustrate its value
  3. Analyze Business Risks
    1. Distinguish and express key scope parameters and explain their importance
      1. Risks
      2. Assumptions
      3. Constraints
      4. Dependencies
  4. Scope Your Area of Analysis
    1. Determine the business requirements needed to deliver value and solve the problem
    2. Express scope with graphical representation (Context Diagram)
      1. Illustrate components of graphical scope & order of definition
        1. Identify external agents
        2. Analyze and Identify data flows
        3. Determine the project boundary
    3. Identify the affected Business Capabilities that the project entails
    4. Detect stakeholders from scope context
    5. Set up your requirements for traceability
    6. Discuss ways to manage changes on a project
Requirements Analysis Techniques
  1. Introduction to Requirements Analysis Techniques
    1. Describe requirements and the importance of requirements analysis
    2. Provide guidance on how requirements analysis techniques are applicable within any methodology
    3. Compare and contrast the requirements analysis perspectives:
      1. Stakeholder perspectives
      2. What vs. How and AS IS vs. TO BE
  2. Breaking Down Requirements into Core Components
    1. Define the four core components that make up all requirements:
      1. Data
      2. Process
      3. External Agent/Actor
      4. Business Rules
    2. Describe what the core components represent
    3. Identify the importance of core components to your audience
  3. Using Analysis Techniques to Your Advantage
    1. Describe how particular analysis techniques:
      1. Drive quality analysis
      2. Communicate requirements perspectives effectively
    2. Go beyond documenting requirements solely with text – describe how diagrams and models can also be used for analysis
    3. Compare and contrast the different requirements analysis techniques when preparing to communicate with your audience:
      1. Context Data Flow Diagram
      2. User Stories and Personas
      3. Decomposition Diagrams and Story Maps
      4. Entity Relationship Diagram
      5. Glossary
      6. Decision Tables and Decision Models™
      7. Flowcharts
      8. Use Case Modeling
      9. User Stories
      10. Prototyping
    4. Create the right analysis approach based on your stakeholder’s learning style
    5. Confirm the analyzed requirements with stakeholder
Applying Business Analysis
  1. Developing an Analysis Approach
    1. Review elicitation and analysis techniques
    2. Discuss how to trace, categorize, and organize for better management of requirements and changes to requirements and for optimal communication to stakeholders
    3. Define Excellent Requirements characteristics
    4. Workshop Options – What is your Analysis Approach?
      1. Use a case study or your own project to discuss and determine the best approach to requirements for the situation OR
      2. Use a case study to learn and experience the Agile Mindset and Scrum framework and to understand the timing of and techniques to use for user story requirements
  2. Swimming with the Sharks
    1. Workshop: Work in groups to create an approach for overcoming real world obstacles that effect projects
      1. Describe key strategies for having difficult conversations with SMEs and maneuvering through office politics
      2. Describe options for increased stakeholder engagement with a Quick Tip job aid
      3. Discuss approaches to resolve conflicting needs, including prioritization options
  3. Course Summary
      1. Bringing it all together
      2. Develop an Action Plan with next steps on the student’s current project
Appendix – Job Aids and Templates
  1. Stakeholder Analysis Template
  2. Quick Tips: Stakeholder Engagement
  3. Brainstorming Techniques Job Aid
  4. Elicitation Plan Detail Job Aid
  5. Elicitation Planning Job Aid
  6. Engaging Participants Job Aid
  7. Persona Template
  8. Process Context Job Aid
  9. Process Flow Chart Symbols Infographic
  10. Risk Responses and Planning Job Aid
  11. Risk Register Template
  12. Capability or Process Text Template
  13. Customer Journey Map Template
  14. Decision Table Job Aid
  15. Entity-Attribute Templates
  16. Guidelines for Process Models
  17. Use Case Description Template
  18. Consensus Job Aid
  19. Considerations for Analysis Job Aid

Public Classes

Oct 12, 2020 - Oct 15, 2020
9:00 - 5:00 EST
Live Virtual

This session utilizes our OpenClass® delivery format. Additional details will be forwarded to you 2 weeks prior to class with login details.

Sep 8, 2020 - Sep 11, 2020
9:00 - 5:00 EST
Live Virtual

This session utilizes our OpenClass® delivery format. Additional details will be forwarded to you 2 weeks prior to class with login details.

Course Details

Reference

JIS 402

Duration

4 days

Delivery Mode

Virtual, Face-to-Face

Certification

BA Certified
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