Are Your Requirements Documents Worth the Drive Space They Take Up?

Author: Adriana Beal Many books and articles describe the characteristics of good requirements and offer templates for requirements documents, but as we all know, applying such knowledge in real-life projects requires more than looking at concepts and examples in a book. In a blog post for TechRepublic,”10 things you should know about hiring a business […]

How to Add Value to a Project Using Smart Knowledge Sharing Strategies (Part II)

Author: Adriana Beal In How to add value to a project using smart knowledge sharing strategies (Part I), we discussed the many reasons for having up-to-date system information available for business and technical stakeholders in order to avoid a dependency created when only the BA is capable of answering questions about software behavior and other […]

How to Add Value to a Project Using Smart Knowledge Sharing Strategies (Part I)

Author: Adriana Beal Is there value in keeping system documentation up-do-date? Keeping system documentation up-to-date is a challenge faced by many business analysts. In discussion forums, it is common for this concern to be raised in questions such as, “How do you avoid the problem of having only one or two BAs with full understanding […]

How to Use Performance Objectives and Measures to Improve Requirements Processes

Author: Adriana Beal Considering the benefits that a disciplined approach to business analysis can bring to organizations, it is hard to understand why so few of them spend the time and effort necessary to establish performance objectives for the BA work, and to develop a solid performance measurement system to monitor progress toward those objectives. […]

How to Use Performance Measures to Fix Business Analysis Problems

Author: Adriana Beal It is well and good to opine or theorize about a subject, as humankind is wont to do, but when moral posturing is replaced by an honest assessment of the data, the result is often a new, surprising insight. –Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, in Freakonomics Many people like to […]

How to Move From IT to Business Analysis

Author: Adriana Beal You are a good software engineer, database manager, or software quality assurance professional who recently discovered that business analysis is the role you enjoy the most. How do you go from a technical role to a business analysis role? This is a problem faced by many aspiring business analysts, and even by […]

Is the CBAP® Right for You?

Author: Adriana Beal Many business analysts and aspiring BAs ask me if I think that becoming a Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®, offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis™ – IIBA® ) would help their careers. I’m offering my opinion here based on experience on both sides of the table: as a business analyst […]

How to Successfully Sell Your initiatives to Your Boss

Author: Adriana Beal In my previous article for Bridging the Gap, I wrote about the importance of right-sizing your initiatives to get beyond a career plateau as a business analyst. A reader left a comment saying, “if your management listens, you can think about taking initiative, else, its just a waste of time and energy”. […]

How to Get Beyond a Limited Business Analyst Role

Author: Adriana Beal It’s common for me to receive emails from business analysts who are feeling frustrated with their current situation at work, all related to the same theme: the limited business analyst role they are given in their organizations. Frequent complaints include: In my company the BA is involved in projects only when all […]

The benefits of using a wiki to manage requirements

Author: Adriana Beal In this previous article on building a better BA practice I started to answer an excellent question posed by John Davis: Short of hiring a company such as IAG, how can we as BAs best help our organisation – or a client organisation for those of us in IT Services – develop more […]

3 Ways to Improve Your Marketability as a BA

Author: Adriana Beal Bridging the Gap readers write: I’ve been doing functional testing, requirements gathering, and functional support to technical and business teams for the past 4 years, and I’m finding it difficult to be considered for junior BA positions in other organizations. What could I do change this situation? How to improve as a […]

Building a better business analysis practice

Author: Adriana Beal John Davis writes: We’ve been looking at IAG’s BA Benchmark 2009 that deals with the impact of poor requirements practices on project and organisational success. Short of hiring a company such as IAG, how can we as BAs best help our organisation – or a client organisation for those of us in […]

Managing ambiguity – a key business analyst competency

Author: Adriana Beal Among the many competencies that business analysts need to develop in order to advance their careers, the ability to manage ambiguity is undoubtedly a critical one. The rapid changes that happen internally and externally to organizations require business analysts to become comfortable acting in an environment in which uncertainty and change are […]

The Positive Influence BAs Have in the Quality of Documentation in Agile Projects

Author: Adriana Beal As you read the title of this article, you may be thinking, “Doesn’t agile methodologies emphasize verbal rather than written communication? Is there any value in even talking about documentation in this type of project?” The answer is yes to both questions. Agile developers may require very little written documentation to do […]

Beyond Gathering, Eliciting and Trawling for Requirements

Author: Adriana Beal In my last article, I explained why I don’t see any benefit in moving beyond the term “requirements” when describing the key activities performed by a business analyst. My point was that business requirements and solution requirements represent the logical progression toward establishing a solution for an identified business need. This article […]

Requirements As the Main Focus of Business Analyst Work

Author: Adriana Beal In discussions about the role of the business analyst, it is common to see professionals insisting on the importance of “going beyond requirements” when describing the BA work. These analysts argue that BA activities such as enterprise analysis and process improvement indicate the need for a broader description. Being myself a consultant […]

Expanding the Business Analyst Role — Good or Bad?

Author: Adriana Beal One of the topics that appear to be on the mind of many business analysts lately is the expansion of the business analysis role. How can a BA make a difference in his/her organization, perhaps going beyond conventional analysis to become a visionary? What are the challenges a BA may need to […]

How to Increase Your Chances of Finding a Business Analyst Job in this Tough Market

Author: Adriana Beal I’ve been working as a consultant in New York City since 2005, performing business analysis activities for client organizations either as a stand-alone service or as part of a larger consulting packaged service related to custom software development. Because of the nature of my role, it’s common for me to start looking […]

Managing Business Analysts for Success: 4 Questions to Ask and Answer

Author: Adriana Beal Too often, IT management doesn’t address the key issues that may cause talented business analysts to become far less effective than they might otherwise be. IT managers should consider part of their responsibility to ensure that the BAs in their organization are being managed for success, creating the right environment for these […]

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