About Laura Brandenburg

Laura Brandenburg, CBAP, is the author of How to Start a Business Analyst Career and Professional Development for Business Analysts. Laura offers business analysis courses and consulting to people who want to get started in a business analyst career. Click here to learn more about getting started as a business analyst (it's a free email course).

Requirements Prioritization Made Simple

Ask your stakeholders to prioritize requirements and you are likely to hear groans. While conceptually we understand that project budgets are limited, and requirements prioritization helps us receive the most possible value for our investments in technology, there is a part of us that wants it ALL and wants it ALL NOW. And that’s why […]

3 Ways to Find Cost-Effective Solutions to Business Problems

One way BAs add value is to find more cost-effective solutions to business problems, saving company time and resources in big projects where small changes might be just as effective. And even for larger projects, being sure the work that is being done actually adds value and eliminating a lot of the “fluff” that can […]

From Technical Recruiter to Business Analyst: Jack S. Michel Jr. Shares His Clear Path to Success

I met Jack Michel while speaking at the Charlotte IIBA meeting. He introduced himself and let me know how Bridging the Gap had helped him go from his role as a technical recruiter to get his start in business analysis. We didn’t have much time to talk, as he needed to get home to his […]

3 Tips for Minimizing Requirements Changes

We know that one of the ways we add value as a business analyst is through reducing rework and requirements churn. We get everyone on the same page about what DONE means, and minimize unnecessary requirements changes. What do we do if stakeholders keep changing their requirements? How can we ever be done? And how […]

How Business Analysts Create Value

As a business analyst, I’m focused on creating positive change for my organization, and ensuring my work adds value and increases the return on investment for projects. For those unfamiliar with business analysts, or who have never worked with a business analyst, or who have never worked with a good business analyst, this concept can […]

User Stories Versus Use Cases

If you are on an agile team, do you write user stories, use cases, or both? My take is that until you know how to think in use cases, you need to write them to be sure you’ve got a clear and complete view of the software or functional requirements, even on an agile team. […]

3 Situations that are Absolutely Perfect for Use Cases!

A use case is a type of textual requirements specification that captures how a user will interact with a solution, specifically a software solution, to achieve a specific goal. They are a very common way to create “developer ready” specifications in a format with enough context that business stakeholders can provide meaningful feedback too. (Before […]

How to Structure a Business Analyst Team

This question came to us from our Facebook page. When you have multiple projects and multiple business analysts, how do you structure your team and work assignments? Like so much in BA, it depends. The best answer to this question has to come in the context of your organization – what projects are you working […]

What Tasks to Give to a New Business Analyst

This question comes to us from Marie, who is a business analyst manager and often has people in her organization approach her for help getting started in business analysis. She wanted to know how to find the right task, or first assignment, that will help increase their confidence and expand their capabilities.   For those […]

How to Help New Business Analysts Capitalize on Their Transferable Skills

In your role as a leader in your organization, it’s likely that you are approached by many people interested in starting business analysts careers, and are looking for your support and guidance. Helping new business analysts get started provides a path for you to move into more of a leadership role, expand the credibility of […]

Getting Clear Requirements in Agile from Waterfall Stakeholders

We’re going to the dark side of business analysis and agile requirements today, and looking at how we really help out end users who still have a waterfall mindset get clear about their requirements. This is the under-the-radar STUFF that no one else is talking about. But it’s very much the reality of many of […]

How to Transition to Agile as a Waterfall Business Analyst

So, you’ve heard the news – your organization is going agile. Or you are looking for jobs, and every single one requires agile experience. What does this mean for you, your career, and business analysis? How do you leverage your skills and experience in more traditional, waterfall environments to succeed as an agile business analyst? […]

The Agile Business Analyst: 4 Crucial Strategies for Success

Many business analysts feel like their role is not needed in agile. We hear that agile teams don’t want “requirements” and so we assume they don’t want business analysts! Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s exactly why agile teams need business analysts.   For those who like to read instead of watch, here’s […]

The Inner Game of Succeeding as a Business Analyst

Succeeding as a business analyst takes more than just knowing all the right questions and techniques. It also requires getting your mindset right – this is what is called the inner game. I also share how certifications really can help you with your inner game, when you approach them with the right mindset.   For […]

How to Get Past Barely Managed Chaos

If you are always running from one fire drill to another, can’t get key people to show up for your meetings because they have competing or last-minute priorities, and are overwhelmed by trying to finish ALL the requirements (but never actually getting there), then you are working from barely managed chaos. You feel busy, but […]

Your Organization Needs You to Step Up

Business analysts create positive change, make our organizations more efficient, and help us add more value to our customers. If you’ve been frustrated by your lack of opportunity in your business analysis career, this is the message you’ve been waiting for.   For those who like to read instead of watch, here’s the full text […]

3 Ways to Write Clearer Requirements

Clarity is one of the most fundamental attributes of writing good requirements. Clear requirements are less likely to be misunderstood by business stakeholders and technical implementers. Clear requirements require fewer review cycles to confirm and validate them. Clear requirements lead to insightful questions, that show your power and value as a business analyst. But what […]

The Difference Between a Product Manager Role and a Business Analyst

The product manager role and business analyst role go hand in hand. Many product managers get their start as business analysts, and as a product manager, you can expect to work closely with a business analyst. What’s the difference between the two roles? And how do you transition from one role to another? That’s the […]

Laura Brandenburg on Being a Mom Entrepreneur

Last year, I was honored to present at Jeff Walker’s LaunchCon and share my business journey with nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs. During my 4 minutes on stage, I shared: **How I rekindled my passion for serving business analysts. **How I’ve doubled the size of my launches with less time and stress. **How I’m role modeling honoring […]

How to turn training into $$$…for YOU and for YOUR EMPLOYER.

It’s easy to look at the cost of virtual business analyst training and feel overwhelmed. But what about the potential value of that investment? What if you could 5X or 10X that investment through a single promotion or job offer or salary bump? It’s entirely possible, when you leverage your training in the right way. And […]