Essentials of Business Analysis

A business analysts investigates business needs and proposes solutions to business problems. In order to succeed, business analysts require a unique combination of skills that combine an understanding of both business and technology.

This course is a revised version of our popular Essentials of Business Analysis. The revised course is still based on real-world experience and lessons learnt by practising business analysts but now incorporates some new advice for business analysts working in an agile environment.

Participants leave the course with a clear understanding of what is expected from a business analyst in a modern business environment and and the skills necessary to fulfil those expectations.

Course Features

  • Draws material from the certification syllabi of International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Project Management Institute (PMI) and British Computer Socienty (BCS)
  • Summarises the vast body of business analysis best practice into a straightforward Business Analysis Process Model which provides a clear strategy for succeeding at business analysis
  • Includes a wealth of supplementary course material offering advice on workflow modelling, describing software features, refining use case diagrams,creating a glossary of terms and populating a product backlog. The material also includes a number of mind map templates and feasibility checklists.
  • The revised course structure includes a clear mapping of topics to IIBA's BABOK, a reworking of the Business Analysis Process Model on which the course is based and new content describing the role of business analysis agile environments
  • The course is suitable for graduates, developers and others moving into a BA role for the first time as well as experienced business analysts who need to update their skills, attend a “refresher" course or simply get some new ideas

Participant Benefits

  • Develops the essentials knowledge and skills required to investigate business systems, identify business needs and specify the requirements of a software solution
  • Improved panning and execution of business analysis tasks following a clear process model
  • Gain a better understanding of the role of a business analyst in both traditional and agile environments and prepares business analysts staff for a possible transition to agile
  • Explore strategies for better aligning IT with an organisation's business needs

Who Should Attend

  • Those who want further develop their careers as Business Analysts, Business Systems Analysts, Systems Analysts or Functional Analysts
  • Those who want enhance their careers with the knowledge and skills necessary to perform Business Analysis such as Product Owners, Product Managers, Software Engineers and Software Developers
  • Those who need to coach, plan or manage teams of Business Analysts such as Scrum Masters, Project Managers and Program Managers
  • Those who need to participate in or guide Business Analysis activities such as Business Stakeholders, End-User Representatives and Project Sponsors

Course Duration

  • 2 days full time

Course Agenda

Introduction to Business Analysis

  • The Business Analyst's Roles and Responsibilities
  • The Holistic Approach to Business Analyst
  • The Business Analyst's Skill Set
  • Business Analysis Projects
    • Business Analysis and Project Roles
    • Business Analysis Deliverables
    • The Project vs. Product Focus
  • Requirements at Different Levels
    • Business Needs, Solution Features and Requirements
    • Requirements and the Traditional Software Development Life Cycle
    • Requirements and Agile Software Development
    • Agile Software Development and the Role of the Business Analyst

Business Analysis Process Model

  • Business Analysis Standards and Certification
    • International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) - BABOK
    • British Computer Society
    • Project Management Institute (PMI) - PMI-PBA
  • The Business Analysis Process Model
    • Investigate the Situation
    • Consider Perspectives
    • Analyse Needs
    • Evaluate Options
    • Define Requirements
  • Modelling and Business Analysis
    • Modelling Hard Systems
    • Modelling Soft Systems
    • Classifying Business Analysis Models
      • Logical vs. Physical
      • As-is vs. To-be
    • Modelling Workflows
    • Modeling Software Solutions
  • Roles and the Business Analysis Process Model
    • Traditional Software Development Life Cycle
    • Agile Software Development

Investigating the Situation

  • Defining Initial Scope
    • Traditional vs. Modern Business Structure
    • Defining the Business Areas
    • Software Applications vs. Solutions
    • Defining Initial Scope
      • Business Area
      • Software Solutions
  • Identifying Business Requirements
    • Defining Business Needs
      • Strategic Business Needs
      • Operational Business Needs
    • Business Environment PESTLE Analysis
    • Buiness Area PROMPT Analysis
    • Buiness Area SWOT Analysis
    • Identifying Business Requirements

Considering Perspectives

  • Consider Perspectives
  • Stakeholder Analysis
    • Identifying Stakeholders Using MACROSCOPE
    • Analysing Stakeholdera
    • Developing Stakeholder Strategies
    • Considering Stakeholder Attitudes
    • Stakeholders and Scope
      • Fuzzy Boundaries
      • Different Stakeholder Perspectives
  • Modelling Business Area Scope
    • Defining Activities
      • The Verb-Noun Template
      • Examples of Strong, Active Verbs
      • Investigating Activity Outcomes
    • Activities and Tools
    • Software as a Tool
    • Functional Decomposition
      • Defining the Business Area Mission
      • Identifying Tasks
      • Grouping Tasks Into Functions
      • Knowing When to Stop Decomposing
  • Modelling Software Initial Solution Scope
    • Context Diagrams
    • Actors
    • Information Flows
  • Business System Scope = Business Area + Software Solution Scope

Modelling Workflows

  • Activity Diagrams
    • Activities
    • Sequential Activities
    • Parallel Activities
    • Decisions
    • Events
    • Functional Decomposition
  • Workflow Models
    • Defining Business Processes
    • Classifying Workflow Models
      • Logical vs. Physical
      • As-is vs. To-be
    • Physical As-Is workflow Example
    • Logical Workflow Example
    • Physical To-Be Workflow Example

Modelling Software Solutions

  • Classifying Software Solution Models
    • Logical vs. Physical
    • As-is vs. To-be
      • Solution Options
      • Selected Solution
  • Modelling Software Solutions
  • Solftware Solution
  • Modelling Components
    • Components
    • Required Services
    • Provided Services
    • Component Diagram
  • Modelling Features
    • Business Needs vs. Software Features
    • Activities and Software Features
    • What Area Software Features?
      • External User Capabilities
      • Internal System Capbility
      • Constraint
    • Describing Capabilities
    • Describing Capability Constraints
    • Describing System Wide Constraints
    • Defining a Glossary
    • Summary Of Naming Features
  • Modelling Features Using Use Case Diagrams
  • Grouping Features Into Functional Areas
    • What Is a Functional Area?
      • Logical View of Software
      • Groupings of features having a common purpose
      • Used to organise requirements
    • Why Group Requirements Into Functional Areas?
    • Comparing Components and Functional Areas
  • Describing Solution Features With User Stories
    • User Story Cards
    • Capturing Requirements On the Back Of the Story Card
    • User Stories and the Three C's
      • Card
      • Conversation
      • Confirmation

Analysing Needs

  • Why Model the Current Business System?
  • Identifying Operational Business Needs Using POEM Analysis
  • Information Analysis
    • What are Information Requirements?
    • Information Analysis Steps
    • Identify Information Flows and Data Stores
      • Current Applications
      • Informal Applications
      • Gaps
    • Reorganising Data Elements Into Concepts
    • Grouping Concepts Into Subject Areas
    • Subject Areas vs. Functional Areas
  • Business Rule Analysis
    • What Are Business Rules?
    • The Business Rules Mantra
    • Business Rule Analysis Steps
    • Identifying Business Rules
      • Current Applications
      • Informal Applications
      • Gaps
    • Creating a Glossary of Terms
    • Defining Facts
    • Buisness Rules
      • Constraints
      • Decisions
      • Permissions
      • Derivations
  • Gap Analysis
    • Comparing As-Is and To-Be
    • Identifying Gaps

Evaluating Options

  • Comparing Traditional and Agile Approaches
  • Defining Solution Options
    • Holistic Solutions
    • Benefits
    • Assumptions
  • Why Model the Proposed Business System?
  • Solution Components
  • Solution Features
  • Evaluating Solution Options Using TESCO
  • Developing a Traditional Stakeholder Requirements Document
  • Populating Agile Product Backlog
    • Product Backlog Items
    • Prioritising the Backlog
    • Estimating the Backlog

Defining Requirements

  • Comparing Traditional and Agile Approaches
  • Formal Requirements
    • What Area Software Requirements?
    • Adding Subject and Obligation To Capabilities
    • Desribing Functional Requirements
    • Describing Funbctional Constraints
    • Describing System Wide Constraints
    • Obligations as Attributes
    • Other Requirements Attributes
    • Interface Requirements and Wire Frames
    • The Data Dictionary
    • Requirements vs. Business Rules
  • Requirements Traceability
  • Developing a Traditional Solution Requirements Document
  • Working With the Sprint Backlog
    • Planning the Sprint Backlog
    • Product Backlog Refinement
    • Backlog Item Elaboration
  • Identifying Transition Requirements