Sunday, November 10, 2013

Business Analysis and Analyst Overview

Hello guys. How is your sunday? I hope today is another great day for you. Now, i would like to post about Business Analyst. Currently, I am reading the BABOK (Business Analysis Body Of Knowledge) Version 2.0. I was just finishing several chapters, and I believe with write on this blog, it  helps me to understand more about them.

1. What is Business Analysis & Business Analyst?
Business analysis is the set of tasks and techniques used to work as a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals.

A business analyst is any person who performs business analysis activities, no matter what their job title or organizational role may be.

2. Key Concepts
Here are several key concepts related with business analysis :
  1. Domain is  the area undergoing analysis. Related with organizational unit and stakeholder.
  2. Solution is a set of changes to the current state of an organization that are made in order to enable that organization to meet a business need, solve a problem, or take advantage of an opportunity. Related with time, budget, regulations, and others.
  3. Requirements:
    • A condition or capability needed by a stakeholder to solve a problem or achieve an objective.
    • A condition or capability that must be met or possessed by a solution or solution component to satisfy a contract, standard, specification, or other formally imposed documents.
    • A documented representation of a condition or capability as in (1) or (2).
    • Classification :
      • Business Requirements are higher-level statements of the goals, objectives, or needs of the enterprise.
      • Stakeholder Requirements are statements of the needs of a particular stakeholder or class of stakeholders.
      • Solution Requirements describe the characteristics of a solution that meet business requirements and stakeholder requirements.
        • Functional Requirements describe the behavior and information that the solution will manage.
        • Non-functional Requirements describe environmental conditions under which the solution must remain effective or qualities that the system must have.
      • Transition Requirements describe capabilities that the solution must have in order to facilitate transition from the current state of the enterprise to a desired future state, but that will not be needed once that transition is complete.
3. Knowledge Areas
Knowledge areas define what a practitioner of business analysis needs to understand and the tasks a practitioner must be able to perform.
  • Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring is the knowledge area that covers how business analysts determine which activities are necessary in order to complete a business analysis effort. It covers identification of stakeholders, selection of business analysis techniques, the process that will be used to manage requirements, and how to assess the progress of the work. The tasks in this knowledge area govern the performance of all other business analysis tasks.
  • Elicitation describes how business analysts work with stakeholders to identify and understand their needs and concerns, and understand the environment in which they work. The purpose of elicitation is to ensure that a stakeholder’s actual underlying needs are understood, rather than their stated or superficial desires.
  • Requirements Management and Communication describes how business analysts manage conflicts, issues and changes in order to ensure that stakeholders and the project team remain in agreement on the solution scope, how requirements are communicated to stakeholders, and how knowledge gained by the business analyst is maintained for future use.
  • Enterprise Analysis describes how business analysts identify a business need, refine and clarify the definition of that need, and define a solution scope that can feasibly be implemented by the business. This knowledge area describes problem definition and analysis, business case development, feasibility studies, and the definition of solution scope.
  • Requirements Analysis describes how business analysts prioritize and progressively elaborate stakeholder and solution requirements in order to enable the project team to implement a solution that will meet the needs of the sponsoring organization and stakeholders. It involves analyzing stakeholder needs to define solutions that meet those needs, assessing the current state of the business to identify and recommend improvements, and the verification and validation of the resulting requirements.
  • Solution Assessment and Validation describes how business analysts assess proposed solutions to determine which solution best fits the business need, identify gaps and shortcomings in solutions, and determine necessary workarounds or changes to the solution. It also describes how business analysts assess deployed solutions to see how well they met the original need so that the sponsoring organization can assess the performance and effectiveness of the solution.
  • Underlying Competencies describes the behaviors, knowledge, and other characteristics that support the effective performance of business analysis.
4. Tasks
A task is an essential piece of work that must be performed as part of business analysis.
  • Purpose : Each task has a purpose. The purpose is a short description of the reason for a business analyst to perform the task and the value created through performing the task.
  • Input : An input represents the information and preconditions necessary for a task to begin. It can be generated by previous tasks.
  • Stakeholders : represents a class of people that the business analyst is likely to interact with in a specific way.
  • Output : An output is a necessary result of the work described in the task. Outputs are created, transformed or change state as a result of the successful completion of a task.

5. Techniques
Techniques provide additional information on different ways that a task may be performed or different forms the output of the task may take. A task may have none, one, or more related techniques. A technique must be related to at least one task.

6. Underlying Competencies
The underlying competencies are skills, knowledge and personal characteristics that support the effective performance of business analysis. The underlying competency areas relevant to business analysis include:
  • Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving supports effective identification of business problems, assessment of proposed solutions to those problems, and understanding of the needs of stakeholders. Analytical thinking and problem solving involves assessing a situation, understanding it as fully as possible, and making judgments about possible solutions to a problem.
  • Behavioral Characteristics support the development of effective working relationships with stakeholders and include qualities such as ethics, trustworthiness, and personal organization.
  • Business Knowledge supports understanding of the environment in which business analysis is performed and knowledge of general business principles and available solutions.
  • Communication Skills support business analysts in eliciting and communicating requirements among stakeholders. Communication skills address the need to listen to and understand the audience, understanding how an audience perceives the business analyst, understanding of the communications objective(s), the message itself, and the most appropriate media and format for communication.
  • Interaction Skills support the business analyst when working with large numbers of stakeholders, and involve both the ability to work as part of a larger team and to help that team reach decisions. While most of the work of business analysis involves identifying and describing a desired future state, the business analyst must also be able to help the organization reach agreement that the future state in question is desired through a combination of leadership and facilitation.
  • Software Applications are used to facilitate the collaborative development, recording and distribution of requirements to stakeholders. Business analysts should be skilled users of the tools used in their organization and must understand the strengths and weaknesses of each.
This post is just an overview and summary of how is Business Analyst work, and what is BA do taken from BABOK. Hopefully this post will be useful for you and me. Thank you.

Next : Planning & Monitoring