You already know him as a Business Analysis trainer, blogger, and all-around expert. Now get to know Steven Blais as an author!
Filmed at Rizzoli’s Bookstore in New York City, Blais reads from his book, Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success, recalling the former “no man’s land” between IT and business—and how Business Analysis became the needed solution.
|Business Analysis Best Practices for Success: provides a complete description of the value of business analysis in solving business problems. Steve Blais has provided a must have guide filled with tips, tricks, techniques, and tactics to help execute the process in the face of sometimes overwhelming political or social obstacles, this guide is also filled with real world stories from the author’s more than thirty years of experience working as a business analyst.|
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by George Bridges
When asked to identify the stakeholders for our work, we can almost name them without having to go through a very long labor process. They are the sponsors, management, employees, HR dept., IT dept., safety department. They could be our customers, suppliers, government entities, joint venture clients. Based on the project, we have good idea of who the stakeholders are.
What about the spouse, the children, the cat or the dog? Most of us will understand why we would include our spouse. Let’s say we are working on a project and are asked to spend weekends and long hours, we have to work out arrangement with our families so that we can get our work done. Don’t forget to remember the family after the project is over. Plan a long weekend trip or plan to go to that vacation spot that you have been talking about for years. Take them out to dinner or spend more time at home watching their favorite movies. Find a way to express your appreciation of them for allowing you to work on that deadline and complete it.
How about the cat and the dog. At first glance, I don’t think so. However, a team of people were working on a stakeholder analysis and they included their pet. The pet had to be considered when they went on a long trips. One lady who travels for her company has to check her pet into a “pet hotel” for extended stays. Another lady had a very expensive surgery done for her cat and perhaps had to arrange for time off for the pet’s surgery. This may be extreme for some, but for others, this is the world in which they live today.
Our expanded definition of a stakeholder is that it is anyone that may be affected by or impacted by a project or the results of a project either positively or negatively. Not all stakeholders have a concern for the results and not all stakeholders have power of influence over the outcome. Each stakeholder should be considered, and all issues should be put on the table for discussion.
Who are the real stakeholders on your job, your project, and in your life? Do you know what a win would be for each of them? Do you fully understand their concerns, and have you shaped options to meet their needs so that you may be able to drive for a win-win for all stakeholders? In doing either a formal or informal review of your stakeholders, be sure to broaden your horizon on who are the “real” stakeholders on your project and in your life. You may be surprised at the answer.
As the holiday season approaches and the year 2013 winds down to a close, for many individuals and organizations it is a period of reflection, introspection, and goal-setting for personal and professional growth.
With a turbulent economy, emerging disruptive technologies, and a global emphasis on organizational efficiency and effective resource allocation, taking the time to look back through your initiatives in 2013 and see what worked, what exceeded, and what could be effectively improved is an undertaking that is essential to ensure the continued success of your career and your organization in the year to come. Surely, 2014 will be the year to get lean, seen, and green.
With that in mind, IIL wants to provide you with the resources you need to accomplish your organizational transformation. So, we’re offering 30% off a selection of essential Business Analysis guides and resources now through December 31st.
Enter discount code ba2013 at checkout to receive 30% off the following books and courses that will give you the hard skills and technical know-how to help guide your company to the next phase of business excellence.
- Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success by Steve Blais
Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success explains the value of business analysis in solving business problems. Steve Blais has delivered a must-have guide filled with tips, tricks, techniques, and tactics to help execute the process in the face of sometimes overwhelming political or social obstacles. The book is filled with real world stories from the author’s more than thirty years of experience working as a business analyst.
Is the role of the business analyst being marginalized by agile development? What does the business analyst need to do in the new agile environment? This course answers that question by defining the variety of roles and options a business analyst has in agile development approaches. The program also describes real-life techniques for business analysts to be agile in any environment and to help you lead your organization in becoming more agile.
Once a business analyst has completed the information gathering and analysis to produce the solution to a business problem, the results must be documented for all stakeholders to see and understand. This course will enhance the skills needed for effective writing and managing the complex readership that business analysts interact with on a day-to-day basis.
Business Analysts facilitate the solution to business problems. These ideas are put into practice to help change the way people perform in their organizations and the tools that they use. The Business Analyst is a change agent who must understand the basic principles of quality management. This course covers the key role that Business Analysts play in organizational change management.
by George Bridges
The process of analyzing requirements will call for the modeling of the information you collect from your group of stakeholders. Business Analyst are often torn with what to include in the model and how much details to include in the model that they build. In our Business Process Modeling Class (3 day course) at International Institute for Learning, we ask small groups of people to diagram the process of going out to lunch from your office. The scenario is vague and is meant to be that way for the exercise. Here are a few of the models that we have gotten from a few classes:
When looking at the models, they all seem to be logical and make sense. What is missing in these models? Are they good representations of the process? Are they accurate? And are they clear and well understood? Because of the simplicity of the process, these models are not difficult to develop. What is missing from these models? They all use different symbols to describe the process. Some things are very similar, and some contain more emphasis on certain aspects of the process.
Which one do you think is the best? This question is a very difficult one to answer or almost impossible to answer. What we need to know is the purpose of the model? How will we use this model to aid in the understanding of a problem, communicating the process, or providing clarity on the possible solutions?
Here are some guidelines and tips to follow when creating models:
- When you develop a model, always model with a purpose
- When you create a model, model what you know
- In creating a model always model only what you know
- As you build a model, keep the model simple
- When creating a model, use a standard modeling language (UML, BPMN, etc)
Always model with a purpose. Business Process Modeling is a form of communication that will help the Business Analyst communicate with the relevant stakeholders about the process on which they are working. A picture will facilitate discussion among diverse groups of people. A picture will help to minimize ambiguity, help clarify the scope, and will provide a basis of consensus that is difficult to achieve using other methods and approaches. Whenever you model, consider that it is both an art and science that when properly combined provide the basis for problem identification, solution identification validation, and verification. You should have a good reason for your model.
TORONTO, Nov. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) continues to aggressively expand its global reach by making available multiple translations of the seminal reference work for the profession and its certification exams.
Kevin Brennan, Executive Vice President of IIBA® says, “In our global economy, it is critical to the development of the business analysis profession to find consensus on the uses and common translations of key terminology.” Most business analysis reference texts are in English which can hinder implementation of best practices worldwide.
Earlier this month, IIBA released the Spanish translation of A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®Guide). This guide is already available in English, Portuguese, Japanese, French and German. Together these are the six largest languages used on the Internet.
Also starting in November, in partnership with the European Association of Business Analysis (EABA), eligible candidates can complete the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) exam in German at all computer-based test centres where IIBA certification exams are offered. The exam is available in German in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and on request in other countries.
IIBA® members can download different translations of the BABOK® Guide at no cost at www.IIBA.org and non-members can purchase a PDF for $29.95. Hardcopies of the guide are available at all major book retailers. Information about writing the CBAP®exam is available in the Certification section at www.IIBA.org.
IIBA® thanks the volunteers who dedicated considerable professional time and effort to the translations of key documents.
About International Institute of Business Analysis
International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) is the independent, non-profit, professional association serving the growing field of business analysis to the international business community. The organization has over 27,000 members worldwide in fields ranging from requirements management and requirements analysis to project management and consulting. IIBA® has over 100 chapters in more than 60 countries, and is committed to developing and advancing standards for the practice of business analysis and for the certification of practitioners. www.IIBA.org
SOURCE International Institute of Business Analysis
By Brian Simpson
As the world has become more complex, delivering real benefits and lasting value in organisations undergoing change has become much harder and more complicated. At the same time, the emerging role of business analyst has grown and developed to the point where business analysts acts as catalysts for change across a wide range of industries.
Leadership is a key skill for these influencers of change. It’s not a line management type of leadership but rather one which will draw together disparate stakeholders to come to consensus on what’s needed to take the organisation forward.
As the business analysis discipline has evolved, so have the career frameworks and range of roles available to analysts.
Accompanying this evolution is an increasing demand for Business Analysts to demonstrate leadership at all levels. Leadership is not something that has always come naturally to Business Analysts, who may consider it more in line with management roles. However, leadership is not just the sole province of project and business managers, and there are a number of ways analysts can develop and demonstrate these skills.
to read the rest of this article visit ComputerworldUK.
By Ken Hardin in IT Consultant
Ken Hardin shares a tale from his days as a TechRepublic manager that illustrates why PMs need a direct channel to the business analyst.
Almost all prescribed remedies to scope creep relate to change management after the business requirements for a project have been set. Project managers (PMs) are trained to try to police increases in the cost and time required for the project that don’t create any clear benefit for the business.
I italicized that last phrase because, ultimately, business value is the final litmus test on whether a scope change is creep or just crazy-smart Agile management. Growing a project can actually make sense, so long as there is a payoff. Evaluating the business impact of features and projects is the first, the best, and often the only guard against scope creep, “gold plating,” and other ways to waste the company’s money.
That’s why you need to make sure the business analyst is among your closest allies on the project team.
*to further hear Ken’s thoughts on the importance of the relationship between Business Analysts and Project Managers you can read the rest of the article in full at TechRepublic*
For more free information on the future of business and how Business Analysts and Project Managers can work in harmony for the success of their organizations join us for the free virtual global summit International Project Management Day 2013: Power of the Profession – register today!