About Adrian Reed

Adrian Reed is a Consulting Lead Business Analyst who is passionate about the analysis profession. He is Principal Consultant and Director at Blackmetric Business Solutions, and he has built a reputation for creativity and innovation in his work.

Adrian is a keen speaker, author and blogger. He is a director of the UK Chapter of the IIBA, and a member of the team that runs Pragnalysis.com (a site providing a free BA toolkit including templates). Adrian is a true advocate of the analysis profession, and is constantly looking for ways of promoting the value that good analysis can bring.

You can follow Adrian on Twitter or read his blog.

3 Elicitation Techniques You Can Do Without Stakeholder Access

Imagine the scene: A significant project is underway, and you are leading the detailed analysis.  You create your business analysis work-plan, and decide to start the initial requirements elicitation by meeting and interviewing a few key stakeholders.  You then plan to hold a series of workshops to refine the requirements and obtain sign off, perhaps […]

The Set Comes After the Script and the Solution Comes After the Business Need

A few weeks ago in Cannes, France, the annual “Cannes Film Festival” was held.  This is a world-famous annual festival that dedicates itself to the development of the cinema and movie industries.  It’s an opportunity for filmmakers to compete, as well as enjoying the red carpet and the opportunity to hang out with other stars […]

How to Push Through When You “Don’t Feel Like Dancing”

A few months ago one of my favourite bands, The Scissor Sisters, were playing in my home town here in the UK.  I bought some tickets as soon as they were released, and I wasn’t disappointed – they put on an excellent show. During the show, just before they sang one of their most popular […]

Helping Stakeholders to See the Wood for the Trees

One of the real challenges associated with business analysis is drilling down to the real business need and requirements.  Often stakeholders will come to us with a preconceived idea of what the solution might be, and through a range of elicitation and questioning techniques we help crystallize an understanding of what they really need. Ironically, this challenge […]

Make Your Requirements Atomic!

I have to admit that I have a rather eclectic music collection, with tracks covering almost every conceivable genre. Every time I hit the “Shuffle” button on my MP3 player, there’s a tense moment of jeopardy. Will the next track be by an epic rock legend, or will it be a remix of some trashy […]

Help Your Stakeholders Leave Their Rank at the Door: 6 Workshop Levelers

A well facilitated workshop can be an extremely good opportunity to bring stakeholders together, brainstorm and discuss potential ideas and requirements.  Great workshops are often creative, high-energy and fun.  They should provide stakeholders with equal “air time” to raise their views, concerns or requirements…  At least that is the theory! However, we’ve probably all had experiences where […]

Avoiding Elitism in Your Business Analysis Templates and Techniques

A few weeks ago, I was travelling home from London on a rush hour train.  The train journey was scheduled to last a good couple of hours, so I took my seat, booted up my laptop and prepared to use the time productively. I was getting into “the zone” and was really making progress when […]

4 Business Analysis Myths We Could Do Without

As those of you that read my articles regularly will know, I occasionally like to “shake up the hornets’ nest”, in order to provoke thought and to get a healthy debate going.  With the end of the year looming, I thought it was a great time to think about BA myths that our profession could […]

The Forgotten Art of Document Analysis: 8 Documents That Can Help You Ask All the Right Questions

Elicitation can be a tricky activity.  Often when needing to understand the requirements for a particular project, the temptation is to jump straight into facilitating a requirements workshop or holding stakeholder interviews.  The challenge, of course, is getting enough stakeholder time, and knowing which questions to ask with the limited time available.  Understandably, business stakeholders […]

Get Up to Speed in a New Business Domain: 5 Ideas That Really Work

While core business analysis techniques work irrespective of the industry or organization you’re working in and working in a new area can be an effective way of broadening your experience, exposure, and expertise, moving between domains can seem daunting—particularly if you’ve been working in a specific industry for a while.  Even moving within the same domain can be disorientating. […]

The Tough Truth: Your Stakeholders Don’t Want a BA

One thing that I’m confident that readers of this site will agree on is that good quality business analysis can add significant value throughout a project’s lifecycle.   But let me ask you a question.  Have you ever found that some stakeholders just don’t “get” business analysis?  They just want to implement a tactical, messy solution […]

5 Tips to Enhance Your Split-Second Credibility

It’s often said that we make assumptions about people the moment we meet them.  We make these assumptions unconsciously, and they might very well affect the way that we feel, interact or work with the individuals in question.  It might affect our initial ability to trust them. Imagine the scenario:  You enter a top-class private medical […]

How to Push Beyond the Role of Scribe in Requirements Elicitation

If you’re anything like me, you’ll agree that watching music live is so much better than listening to recorded music.  I recently saw a number of bands play at an open-air concert and it reinvigorated my love for live music.  Being part of an audience and seeing a band in the ‘real world’ is second to […]

Five Ways to Break the “No Experience = No BA Job” Vicious Cycle

If you haven’t yet attained your first BA role, life can seem complicated.  The majority of BA roles ask for previous business analysis work experience, and you might find yourself caught in a familiar feedback loop:  “Without previous experience, employers won’t consider me for a BA job.” “Without a BA job, I can’t get experience.” […]

How to Avoid 7 Common Workshop Pitfalls

OK – I admit it.  One of my favourite parts of the BA role is facilitating workshops.  I love being able to coax ideas out of people’s unconscious mind and I love the co-operation, creativity and healthy tension that present themselves in a good workshop.   Executed well, a workshop is a valuable use of stakeholder […]

How to Use Your Customer Service Skills to Land a Business Analyst Job

Did you have a part time job when you were at college?  I can still remember mine vividly.  In order to support my studies (and my many social activities) I worked in a late-night convenience store.  Working there was an education – I learned how to handle all manner of situations involving people. Working in […]

Can We Explain Business Analysis By Relating Our Role to a Plumber?

Explaining the role of the Business Analyst to those not involved in Change can be a real challenge.  I have always found it useful to use analogies, but I’ve never been able to find an analogy that quite fits the BA role. I’ve heard and used many – from a BA being like a nurse […]

Should You Really Work on Your Weaknesses?

Traditional thinking leads us to focus our training and development activities purely around perceived weaknesses.  Whilst it is inevitably important to ensure that critical weaknesses are addressed, there are massive opportunities for us to further develop our strengths so that we “shine” and stand out from the crowd. With this in mind, I’m going to […]

Stop the project plan crash. You are the expert.

Imagine the scene.  It’s 22:30, and an aircraft is preparing to take off for a long haul flight. In the cockpit, the captain and first officer are busy carrying out their final pre-flight checks.  They check the weather, the fuel levels and a whole range of technical dials and indicators.  They start to map out […]

How to Avoid Project Land Mines: 3 Tips for Finding the Backstory

As a BA, joining a project that has been in force for some time can be challenging.  There are normally a whole host of previous decisions that have been made, and it’s likely that key members of the project team will have already formed a working relationship with each other.  You might not know the […]

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