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Business Analysis
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Preface xv Acknowledgments xxv International Institute for Learning, Inc. (IIL) xxvii PART I THE PROBLEM SOLVER 1 CHAPTER 1 What Is a Business Analyst? 3 The Business Analyst in Context 3 What Is It All About? 4 The Role of the Business Analyst 5 The Business Analyst in the Center 6 Business Analyst Focus 8 The Ideal Business Analyst 9 Last-Liners 11 Notes 11 CHAPTER 2 The Evolution of the Business Analyst 13 The Business Analyst Hall of Fame 13 Where It Began 15 Information Systems 17 The Rise of the Business Analyst 18 The Business Analyst Position 20 The Business Analyst Profession 21 The Question of Certification 24 The Challenge of Business Analyst Certification 25 The Value of Certification 26 Notes 27 CHAPTER 3 A Sense of Where You Are 29 Business Analysts Coming from IT 30 Business Analysts Coming from the Business Community 31 Living with the Business 33 The Lone Ranger 35 Working Both Sides of the Street 36 Central Business Analyst Organization 37 CHAPTER 4 What Makes a Good Business Analyst? 39 The Skillful Business Analyst 40 Is a Business Analyst Born or Made? 41 So What Does It Take to Be a Business Analyst? 42 CHAPTER 5 Roles of the Business Analyst 45 Intermediary 49 Filter 59 Mediator 63 Diplomat 65 Politician 68 Investigator 69 Analyst 70 Change Agent 72 Quality Control Specialist 73 Facilitator 74 Process Improver 79 Increase the Value of Organizational Business Processes 79 Build It and They Will Come 80 Reducing Complexity 82 Playing Multiple Roles 83 Notes 84 PART II THE PLAYERS 85 CHAPTER 6 The Business Analyst and the Solution Team 89 Business Analyst and Project Manager 89 Business Analyst and Systems Analyst 94 Trying to Do All Jobs 98 Business Analyst and the Rest of the Solution Team 100 Bottom Line 107 Notes 108 CHAPTER 7 The Business Analyst and the Business Community 109 Constituents and Constituencies 110 Business Analysts and Upper-Level Management 110 Product Stakeholders 113 Subject Matter Experts 119 Process Workers 122 Managing Expectations 126 Notes 130 PART III THE PROBLEM 131 CHAPTER 8 Define the Problem 135 First Things First 135 Challenge 1: Finding the Problem 138 Challenge 2: The Unstated Problem 139 Challenge 3: The Misunderstood Problem 140 Define the Real Problem 141 The Problem Determination Game 145 Documenting the Problem 154 Product Vision 155 Define the Vision 157 Checkpoint Alpha 159 Focus on the Problem and Vision 161 Note 162 CHAPTER 9 Define the Product Scope 163 Project and Product Scopes 163 Product Scope 164 Product Scope Formula 165 Strategic Justification 165 Business and Product Constraints 167 Business and Product Risks 168 Functional Goals 169 Political Success Factors 171 Product Scope Formula 172 Measuring 173 Take the Technical Pulse 174 Applying the Product Scope 175 Notes 177 CHAPTER 10 Confirm Alignment and Financial Justification 179 The Business Case 179 The Value of IT 180 Considering Alignment 181 Organization Mission 182 Organization Goals 184 Organization Strategies 184 Department-Level Mission, Goals, and Strategies 185 At the Tactical Level 187 Determining the Value of the IT Project 188 Provide Financial Justification for Solving the Problem 190 Proof of Solution: Feasibility Study 194 The Metrics Game 194 In the End . . . 195 Notes 196 PART IV THE PROCESS 197 CHAPTER 11 Gather the Information 199 Why We Cannot Define Good Requirements 200 Stop Gathering Requirements 201 Users Do Not Have Requirements 203 Gather Information, Not Requirements 204 Gathering the Information 205 Information-Gathering Plan 206 Information-Gathering Session 217 Solving Common Information-Gathering Issues 225 Iterative Information Gathering 227 Interviewing 228 Information-Gathering Meetings 239 Other Elicitation Methods 245 Are We Done Yet? 247 Notes 249 CHAPTER 12 Define the Problem Domain 251 Problem Domain Analysis 253 Defining the Domain 256 Changes in the Problem Domain 261 Neighboring Constituencies 263 Ancillary Benefits 264 Change in the Problem 264 The Essence 265 Note 265 CHAPTER 13 Determine the Solution 267 The Accordion Effect 267 Tools and Techniques 268 Determining the One Best Solution 278 Constraining the Solution 279 Stop Analyzing, Already 280 Confirmation 280 Checkpoint Beta 283 Notes 284 CHAPTER 14 Write the Solution Document 285 The Value of Documentation 285 The Anatomy of Requirements 289 Forms of Solution Documentation 300 Write the Right Thing 300 Write the Thing Right 302 Canned Brains 305 Requirements Ownership 306 Complete the Process 307 Note 308 PART V PRODUCING THE PRODUCT 309 CHAPTER 15 Monitor the Product 313 Entering the Solution Domain 314 Development Processes 314 Implementing the Solution 317 Keep the Light on 319 Things Change 319 Checkpoint Charley 320 The Watchdog 321 The Essence 323 Notes 323 CHAPTER 16 Confirm the Business Problem Has Been Solved 325 Correct Behavior 326 Acceptable Level of Confidence 326 Circumstances of Interest 327 The Testing Game 328 User Acceptance Testing? 333 Handling Defects 335 Testing Does Not Stop at Delivery 335 Note 336 CHAPTER 17 Transition and Change Management 337 Steps to Ensure Successful Change in the Organization 339 Orchestrate the Transition 341 Facilitate the Transition 342 Timing the Change 344 Major and Minor Changes 345 Do Not Change a Thing 345 Wrapping Up 347 Notes 349 POSTSCRIPT Where to Go from Here 351 Future of Business Analysis 351 Why We Need Business Analysts 352 The True Value of the Business Analyst 353 Increasing the Value of the Organization 354 Power to the Business Analyst 356 Notes 359 APPENDIX A Business Analyst Process 361 APPENDIX B The Principles 365 APPENDIX C Why We Do Not Get Good Requirements 373 APPENDIX D Comparison of the Roles of Business Analyst, Systems Analyst, and Project Manager 379 APPENDIX E Context-Free Problem Definition Questions 383 APPENDIX F List of Nonfunctional Requirements Categories 385 Bibliography 387 About the Author 395 Index 397

About the Author

STEVEN P. BLAIS is a solution architect and a consultant, coach, trainer, and course author in business analysis, software development, and project management. He contributes articles on a regular basis to allPM.com, a project management webzine published by the International Institute for Learning (IIL). He is a frequent content provider to numerous BA blogging sites, including EssenceoftheBA.com, and chairs a committee for the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge R3 with the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), the predominant organization for the growing discipline of business analysis, with currently over 15,000 members in ninety chapters worldwide.

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