About Adriana Beal

Adriana is a recognized leader in the business analysis community, often invited to speak at IIBA events. She received her B.S. in electronic engineering and MBA in strategic management of information systems from two of the most prestigious graduate schools in Brazil, and offers consulting assistance throughout the software development life cycle for organizations implementing large, complex software projects. Her ebook Measuring the Performance of Business Analysts has made many organizations change the way they look at performance measurement and raised thousands of dollars for charitable causes. More about her profile can found at adrianabeal.com

The Challenging Job of Leading BAs

Author: Adriana Beal When I was first asked to take a lead business analyst position, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea. One of the things that most attracted me to a BA career was the opportunity to dedicate large blocks of time exploring a business problem and investigating the best alternatives to address it. Would […]

How to make your executives CARE about business analysis

Author: Adriana Beal “Why do we need business analysts?” is a question that many BA managers and practitioners face at some point in their career. In particular, when a company is trying to cut costs, or moving into agile development, it’s not unusual for top management to start questioning the need for BAs in their […]

Do this one thing, and you’ll become a much better stakeholder interviewer

Author: Adriana Beal I have an ambitious goal for my new e-book, Tested Stakeholder Interviewing Methods for Business Analysts: change forever how business analysts conduct interviews and requirements workshops, and drastically improve the results BAs get from these interactions with their stakeholders. But I also realize that many members of the Bridging the Gap community may be […]

Missed requirements: how to avoid this BA nightmare

Author: Adriana Beal Some time ago, I received a call from an IT manager from a large NY-based company. This manager (let’s call him John) wanted my help in Phase 2 of a project whose first phase had experienced serious cost overruns.  The purpose of the project was to customize an off-the-shelf content management system […]

A foolproof way of gaining your stakeholders’ attention

Author: Adriana Beal If you are like many BAs I know, you often worry about two things: How do I get my stakeholders to come to my meetings? How do I get my decision-makers to read my documents? But see, these are not the right questions to ask. What if, without ever being in a […]

How to Use Feedback to Become an Expert in Requirements Documentation

Author: Adriana Beal Participants who complete Crafting Better Requirements may have very different educational and professional backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: they leave the course with a unique set of strategies to successfully communicate requirements to the various audiences of their requirements documents. Let’s look at the improvements a few selected […]

How Good Requirements Writing Skills Can Help You Develop a More Successful Career in Business Analysis

Author: Adriana Beal A business analyst was in danger of losing her job due to the negative feedback she was getting from her manager, unhappy with the quality of her requirements documents. She reached out for help during her participation in Crafting Better Requirements, and after looking at her work products, it became clear to […]

What Are You Waiting For?

Author: Adriana Beal What this article says about designers also applies to business analysts: don’t wait or ask for permission to showcase your potential. Work Samples Don’t wait to get hired to start building a work sample. If you are an aspiring BA, that will help provide evidence to prospect employees how good you are […]

3 Characteristics of Star BAs

Author: Adriana Beal In every workplace there are a few people who outperform everyone else.  Their work is of such high quality and quantity that others admire and value them. A “star BA” is someone who is recognized by their peers and superiors for the extraordinary results they deliver in business analysis work. Because of […]

Too Good to Be Ignored: The Recipe for a Fulfilling BA Career

Author: Adriana Beal Sarah* got her first IT BA job 18 months ago. Even though she already had several years of experience in the workplace, this is her first job as an analyst. Soon she started to get frustrated with many aspects of her job (lack of training, very little guidance, no control over the […]

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Leading a Requirements Meeting

Author: Adriana Beal Requirements meetings are a great place for BAs to show their potential as leaders. Everybody knows that good meeting leaders start and end meetings on time, set clear agendas, deal effectively with disruptive personalities, and produce timely meeting minutes with a clear record of the decisions made and action items assigned. However, BAs […]

How to Be Super Productive and Effective

Author: Adriana Beal It has been said multiple times that the primary difference between the novice and expert analyst lies in the ability to recognize and apply patterns to solve problems. A pattern describes a recurring problem and the core of a reusable solution to that problem. I’ve recently identified a pattern in my work, […]

How Can I Add Value On Projects If I’m Not a Specialist?

Author: Adriana Beal A reader asks: I was hired 6 months ago as a BA for a financial company. The other BAs on the team are all specialists of this company/business and changed from specialist role to the BA role. They know how the business works. I do not know any details yet… How can […]

3 Celebrity Apprentice Lessons that Successful Business Analysts Apply

Author: Adriana Beal Whenever I decide to watch a new season of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice, my husband looks at me puzzled. After all, I rarely watch TV, and we both share an aversion for reality shows in general. However, while designed to entertain,  “The Apprentice” depicts business interactions and challenges that can teach business analysts […]

How Do I Convince My Team to Adopt Better Requirements Practices?

Author: Adriana Beal A reader asks: I have been working on a project for the past few weeks that has become increasingly frustrating. The way the project has been handled so far defies many of the practices I have been taught in grad school as well as knowledge I’ve been gaining while preparing for the […]

Why I May Never Adopt the Practice of “Just-in-Time Requirements”

Author: Adriana Beal The agile movement promotes positive change when it encourages teams to work together to create products that are fit for purpose with as little non-value-added activities as possible. Agile approaches embrace mechanisms for continuous improvement, and include practices that can be traced to Lean thinking, a management philosophy that aims to identify […]

Traditional vs. Agile: The Future is Hybrid

Author: Adriana Beal Even though the Agile Manifesto recently completed 10 years, there are still some lingering misconceptions about the agile approach within the BA community. In this post I’d like to address two points that are often overlooked by business analysts when they discuss agile methods: 1. Waterfall is not the only alternative to […]

We are all part of the conversation, from inception to design and beyond

Author: Adriana Beal In my last post, Help a BA! How do I get stakeholders to focus on business requirements?, I wrote: As discussed above, it’s not only OK, but expected that the business side will be involved in defining the solution that will be built to address a business problem or opportunity. The solution […]

How Do I Get Stakeholders to Focus on Business Requirements?

Author: Adriana Beal A participant of the course, Crafting Better Requirements, that I’m teaching at the My Business Analysis Career platform asks: We run into situations where the business users want provide the design of the solution besides the business requirements. The technical team is against it — they would prefer to be responsible for […]

Why Writing a Software Requirements Specification is a Valuable Analyst Skill

Author: Adriana Beal If you are a BA working on the IT space, you may be responsible for creating multiple deliverables, many of them intermediate documents such as meeting minutes and as-is/to be business models. You may also be in charge of producing important and high-visibility requirements specifications such as a Vision document describing the […]