Business Analysis Essentials

Duration

3 days

Audience:

Employees of federal, state and local governments; and businesses working with the government.

Course Description

In this introductory course, you’ll delve into the role and responsibilities of the business analyst (BA)- the communication link between all business areas and a critical player in project success. Learn techniques for ensuring project success every step of the way-from identifying and analyzing potential projects to making sure that the final project product meets the requirements you identified. Through hands-on exercises, you’ll learn to define the scope of work and master requirements-gathering techniques that will work for a variety of projects and audiences. You’ll consider the unique needs of customers, stakeholders, and the IT department as you work toward building, documenting, communicating, and managing requirements.

Students pursuing a university-recognized and/or accredited certificate in Canada or continuing education units in the US must attend at least 90% of class time, participate in class exercises and section-knowledge checks, and score at least 70% on an end-of-class, multiple-choice assessment.

What You’ll Learn

  • Role and importance of the BA
  • Vocabulary standards and business analysis practices through the use of the IIBA A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide)
  • Plan BA requirements activities
  • Elicit requirements from stakeholders, with an emphasis on interviews
  • Analyze stated requirements, with an overview of modeling techniques
  • Document requirements for different types of projects
  • Verify and validate requirements
  • Elements of requirements management and communication and the BA’s role in them
  • Elements of solution verification and validation and possible BA roles
  • Enterprise analysis: choosing appropriate projects
  • Necessary competencies and best practices of BAs
  • Waterfall, incremental, and agile lifecycles and how they change BA practices

Hands-On Exercises

  • Identify Business Analysis Concepts and Activities in Your Organization
  • Review a Vision and Scope Document
  • Plan Requirements Activities for a Project
  • Conduct an Interview
  • Choose Elicitation Techniques
  • Analyze a Location Model
  • Analyze a Workflow Model
  • Analyze a Use Case Model
  • Analyze a CRUD Matrix
  • Identify Models that Answer Key Questions
  • Review a Requirements Document
  • Determine the Impact of a Proposed Change to a Requirements Set
  • Write a Test Case Using a Use Case
  • Walk Through the Steps of Enterprise Analysis for a Project
  • Develop a Personal Action Plan to Improve Your BA Skills or Environment

Who Needs to Attend

Systems analysts, business analysts, requirements analysts, developers, software engineers, IT project managers, project managers, project analysts, project leaders, senior project managers, team leaders, program managers, testers, and QA specialists.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Outline

1. Introduction to Business Analysis

  • Importance of Effective Business Analysis
  • Role of the BA
  • Standardization and Adaptability

2. Requirements Planning

  • Role of the BA in Requirements Planning
  • Vision and Scope Document
  • Types of Requirements
  • Stakeholders
  • Business Analysis Plan

3. Requirements Elicitation

  • Role of the BA in Requirements Elicitation
    • Investigative approach
    • Iterative approach
  • Techniques
    • Interviews
    • Focus groups
    • Requirements workshop: Requirements meeting
    • Requirements workshop: JAD session
    • Brainstorming
    • Observation
    • Survey
    • Prototype
    • Document analysis
    • Business rules analysis
    • Reverse engineering
    • Product trials

4. Requirements Analysis

  • Need for Analysis
  • Using Analysis to get Stakeholder Feedback and Verify and Validate Developing Requirements
  • Value of Modeling Techniques in Analysis
  • Modeling Techniques
    • Organizational model
    • Location model
    • Process/flow models
    • Use case models
    • Data models
    • State model
  • Types of Requirements
  • Business Rules Analysis
  • Prioritizing Requirements
  • Verifying and Validating Requirements

5. Requirements Documentation

  • Formal and Informal Documentation and the Level of Detail Required
  • Writing for Usability and Comprehension
  • Common Requirements Document Defects
  • Components of a Formal Requirements Document
  • Requirements Verification and Validation
  • Requirements Sign-Off

6. Requirements Management and Communication

  • Throughout the Project and to Decommission
  • Change Management
    • Define a baseline
    • Define a change management process
    • Identify the Change Authority
  • Traceability and Its Uses
  • Requirements Attributes
  • Requirements Communication

7. Solution Validation and Acceptance

  • Testing and Non-Testing Methods
  • Purposes of Validation
    • Find defects
    • Prove compliance to requirements
  • Test Cases and Test Suites
  • Challenges in Testing
  • Structured Testing
  • Role of the BA in Solution Validation: the V Model
  • Solution Acceptance and Project Close-Out

8. Enterprise Analysis

  • Definition and Causes
  • Role of the BA on the Enterprise Analysis Team
  • Steps in Enterprise Analysis
    • Define the business need
      • Techniques for root cause analysis
    • Assess capability gaps
      • SWOT analysis
    • Determine the solution approach
    • Define the solution scope
    • Define the business case
      • Contents of business case
      • Who does what?: the BA’s limited role in developing a business case

9. Competencies, Best Practices, and Life Cycle Models

  • Competency Proficiency
  • BA Necessary Competencies
    • Analytical thinking and problem solving
    • Behavioral characteristics
    • Business knowledge
    • Communication skills
    • Interaction skills
    • Software application knowledge
  • Best Practices
    • Use iterative analysis
    • Focus on process improvement
    • Apply progressive elaboration
    • Check as you go
    • Use the investigative approach
    • Adopt traceability
    • Formalize business analysis through standardization
    • Improve communication through modeling
  • Life Cycle Models
    • Waterfall
    • Incremental
    • Agile
    • Effects on business analysis

10. BA Fundamentals

  • Communication Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Business Knowledge
  • IT Knowledge

11. Case Studies

12. Exercises