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BA30 - Foundations of Business Analysis

Why do more than 50% of projects fail to meet their original objectives? Why do we continue to see the number of troubled and canceled projects on the rise? According to PMI’s 2014 Pulse of the Profession® In-Depth Report, 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.

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Prerequisites


No prerequisites - This course is suitable for both beginner and intermediate business analysts who would like to increase their skills in order to better elicit, analyze, write and effectively manage requirements for their projects.

Detailed Class Syllabus


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

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

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
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