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The Business Analyst’s Handbook

Book Description

The Business Analyst (BA) plays an important role as liaison between business stakeholders and the technical team (software developers, vendors, etc.), ensuring that business needs are reflected in any software solution. Despite the importance of the job, there is currently no book specifically designed as a comprehensive reference manual for the working BA. The Business Analyst's Handbook solves this problem by providing a useful compendium of tools, tables, lists, and templates that BAs can use on-the-job to carry out their tasks. For example, you might be preparing for an interview session and use the book's checklist of interviewees to verify whether there is appropriate coverage of business stakeholders. Or you might be asked to review some diagrams and refer to the Glossaries of Symbols (organized by diagram type) for guidance. Or you may be asked to prepare textual requirements documentation and refer to the Business Requirement template for a list of artifacts and table of contents. Whatever your BA needs, the Business Analyst's Handbook places the necessary information right at your fingertips.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. In Memory
  4. About the Author
  5. Introduction
    1. Standards and This Book
    2. Terminology
    3. How to Use This Book
  6. 1. Overview of BA Activities Throughout the Life Cycle
    1. Adapting the Noble Path
      1. How to Use the Tables
      2. Initiation Phase
      3. Discovery Phase
      4. Construction Phase
      5. Final V & V Phase
      6. Closeout Phase
    2. Placing the IT Project Life Cycle in Perspective: The Spectrum Diagram
  7. 2. Meeting Guide
    1. Planning for the Meeting
      1. Checklist: Who to Invite to Requirements Workshops
        1. Roles
        2. Participants
      2. Contribution to Meeting by Role and Stakeholder Type
        1. Responsibility by Role
        2. Contribution by Stakeholder Type
      3. Types of Meetings That a BA May Be Asked to Participate In
      4. Facilitated Meeting Work Plan
        1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
        2. Standard Facilitated Meeting Work Plan
      5. Meeting Readiness Checklist
      6. Standard Meeting Agenda
      7. Facilitated Meeting Rules and Guidelines
      8. Facilitated Meeting Expectations
      9. Approvals Process Expectations
    2. Review Meeting (Structured Walkthrough and Gate Review)
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Who to Invite
      3. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
      4. Structured Walkthrough Guidelines
    3. Meeting Objective: (Kick-Off Meeting) Identify Opportunities and Challenges
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    4. Meeting Objective: Identify Stakeholders and Interests
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    5. Meeting Objective: Analyze Impact on Business Services and Processes
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    6. Meeting Objective: Analyze Risk
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    7. Meeting Objective: Requirements Management—Setup and Planning
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    8. Meeting Objective: Define Internal Workflow for End-to-End Business Processes
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    9. Meeting Objective: Describe Users
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    10. Meeting Objective: Identify User Tasks
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    11. Meeting Objective: (Static Modeling) Define Business Concepts, Objects, and Rules
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    12. Meeting Objective: Define Non-Functional SLRs
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    13. Meeting Objective: Gather Detailed User Requirements
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    14. Meeting Objective: Reuse User Requirements
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    15. Meeting Objective: Analyze the Life Cycle of Business Objects
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    16. Meeting Objective: Assess the Results of an Iteration
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
    17. Meeting Objective: Gather Service Desk Requirements
      1. Prerequisites, Timing Considerations
      2. Input Documents
      3. Deliverables
      4. Who to Invite
      5. Checklist: Questions for the Interview
  8. 3. Standards and Guidelines Used in This Book
    1. ITIL
    2. IIBA and BABOK®
    3. UML
  9. 4. BA Toolkit
    1. BA Tools Overview
    2. Activity Diagram
      1. Activity Diagram Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: Activity Diagram—Key Modeling Elements
      3. Symbol Glossary: Activity Diagram—Modeling Elements for Complex Diagrams
    3. Block Diagram
      1. Block/Swimlane Workflow Diagram Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: Block Diagram
    4. Business Process Diagram (BPD)
      1. BPD Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: BPD Flow Objects (with UML Conversion Chart)
    5. Business Process Modeling
    6. Business Use Case
      1. Business Use-Case Diagram Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: Business Use-Case Diagram
    7. Cause-and-Effect Diagrams
    8. Class Diagrams and Static Model
      1. Class Diagram Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: Class Diagram
    9. Communication Diagram
      1. Communication Diagram Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: Communication Diagram
    10. Data Flow and Context Diagrams
      1. DFD Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: Data Flow Diagram
    11. Decision Table/Tree
      1. Decision Table Example
      2. Interviewing with Decision Tables
    12. Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) and Data Model
      1. Entity Relationship Diagram Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: Entity Relationship Diagram
    13. The Five Whys
    14. Flowchart
      1. Flowchart Example and Symbols
    15. Functional Decomposition Chart
      1. Functional Decomposition Chart Example and Glossary
    16. FURPS+
      1. FURPS+ Checklist
    17. Object Diagram
      1. Object Diagram Examples
      2. Symbol Glossary: Object Diagram
    18. Pareto Analysis (Pareto Diagrams)
      1. Pareto Diagram Examples
      2. How to Perform Pareto Analysis
    19. Requirements Attributes Table
      1. Requirements Attributes Table Example
    20. Requirements Traceability Matrix
      1. Requirements Traceability Matrix Example
    21. Role Map
      1. Role Map Example and Glossary
    22. Root-Cause Analysis
      1. Root-Cause Analysis Work Plan for the BA
    23. Sequence Diagram
      1. Sequence Diagram Example
    24. State-Machine (Harel Statechart) Diagram
      1. State-Machine Diagram Example
      2. Symbol Glossary: State-Machine Diagram
      3. State-Machine Diagram: Advanced Modeling Elements
    25. Structured Walkthroughs
    26. System Use Cases (and Diagrams)
      1. Key System Use-Case Terms
        1. Actor
        2. Use case
      2. System Use-Case Diagram Example
      3. Symbol Glossary: System Use-Case Diagram
    27. Use-Case Analysis
      1. Key Points about Use Cases
      2. Use-Case Goal Levels
      3. Use-Case Analysis for Different Objectives
      4. Use-Case Writing Guidelines
  10. 5. Tips and Checklists
    1. Checklist: Requirements Investigation Methods
    2. Tip: What to Do When Key Participants Can’t or Don’t Show
    3. Checklists: Change Advisory Board
      1. Checklist of Potential CAB Members
      2. CAB: Standard Items for Review
    4. Tip: ITIL Seven Rs of Change Management
    5. Tips: Five Keys to Requirements Management
    6. Tips: Planning Iterations
    7. Tips: SMART Requirements
    8. Checklist: Features
    9. Tip: Naming a Process
    10. Tips: How to Spot the Static Modeling Elements from the System Use-Case Model
    11. Tips: Determining How Much Static Modeling to Do
    12. Tips: Managing Risk
      1. Tip: Risk Assessment Matrix
      2. Checklist: Risk Types
      3. Checklist: ITIL Risk Types
      4. Checklist: Other Risks the BA Should Be Aware Of
      5. Risk-Management Strategies
    13. Tips: Quality Assurance (QA)
      1. Tip: Testing Throughout the Life Cycle with the Service V-Model
      2. Checklist: Test Types
      3. Tips: Structured Testing Guidelines
    14. Checklist: Selecting Solution Providers
  11. 6. Templates
    1. Business Requirements Document (BRD) Template
      1. BRD Table of Contents
      2. Version Control
        1. RACI Chart
      3. External References
      4. Glossary
      5. Executive Summary
        1. Overview
        2. Background
        3. Objectives
        4. Requirements
        5. Proposed Strategy
      6. Product/Solution Scope
        1. Included in Scope
        2. Excluded from Scope
        3. Constraints
      7. Business Case
      8. Business Services and Processes
        1. Impact of Proposed Changes on Business Services and Processes
        2. Business Service and Process Overview Diagrams
        3. Business Process Workflow Requirements
        4. Business Service Level (Non-Functional) Requirements
      9. Actors
        1. Workers
        2. Business Actors
        3. Other Systems
        4. Role Map
      10. Business Rules
      11. State Diagrams
      12. IT Requirements
        1. User Requirements
          1. User Task Overview Diagram
          2. User Task Descriptions
        2. IT Service Level (Non-Functional) Requirements
        3. System State Requirements
          1. Testing State
          2. Disabled State
        4. Static Model
          1. Static Model: Diagrams
          2. Multiplicity Rules Table
          3. Entity Documentation
      13. Test Plan
        1. Quality Assurance Responsibilities
        2. QA Standards and Guidelines
        3. Review and Audit Plan
        4. Quality Records
        5. Tools, Techniques, and Methodologies
        6. Testing Activities
          1. Preparatory Activities
          2. White-Box Testing
          3. “Fit for Purpose” (Black-Box) Testing
          4. Non-Functional Testing
          5. User-Acceptance Testing
      14. Deployment Plan
        1. Training
        2. Conversion
        3. Scheduling of Jobs
        4. Rollout
      15. End-User Procedures
      16. Post-Implementation Follow-Up
      17. Other Issues
      18. Sign-Off
    2. Alternative Requirements Packaging
    3. Business Use-Case Description Template
    4. System Use-Case Description Template
    5. Service Level (Non-Functional) Requirements Template
      1. Service Level Type
      2. Overview
        1. Objective
        2. Scope
        3. Glossary
      3. System-Wide Capabilities
        1. Auditing and Reporting Requirements
        2. Activity Logging Requirements
        3. Licensing Requirements
        4. Security Requirements
        5. Dependencies and Rules of Precedence
        6. Concurrency Requirements
      4. Usability Requirements
        1. User-Friendliness
        2. User Interface Standards and Guidelines
        3. Accessibility Requirements
      5. Reliability Requirements
        1. Accuracy Requirements
        2. Precision Requirements
        3. Availability Requirements
        4. Redundancy
        5. Error-Handling
      6. Performance Requirements
        1. Stress Requirements
        2. Turnaround-Time Requirements
        3. Response-Time Requirements
        4. Throughput Requirements
        5. Startup and Shutdown Requirements
      7. Supportability Requirements
        1. Scalability
        2. Expected Changes
        3. Maintainability Requirements
        4. Configurability
        5. Localizability
        6. Installability
        7. Compatibility Requirements
      8. Testing Requirements
      9. Training Requirements
      10. Capacity Requirements
      11. Backup/Recovery Requirements
      12. Other Constraints
        1. Design Constraints
        2. Implementation Constraints
        3. Interface Constraints
        4. Physical Constraints
      13. Legal and Regulatory Requirements
    6. Risk Analysis Table Template
    7. Test Script Template
    8. Vision Document Template
      1. Positioning
        1. Problem Statement
      2. Key Stakeholder and User Needs
      3. Stakeholders and Interests
      4. Service/Product Overview
      5. Assumptions
      6. Dependencies
      7. Capabilities
        1. Features
        2. Business Service Briefs
        3. Constraints
        4. Service Level (Non-Functional) Requirements
    9. Requirements Work Plan Template
      1. Purpose
      2. Document Overview
      3. Organization
        1. Organizational Structure
        2. Requirements Roles and Responsibilities
        3. Requirements Schedule
        4. Requirements Resourcing
        5. Budget
        6. Tools, Techniques, and Methodologies
      4. Requirements Repository
        1. Requirements Artifacts
        2. Requirements Types
        3. Requirements Attributes
        4. Requirements Traceability
      5. Risk Management Plan
        1. Purpose
        2. Risk Management Strategy
        3. Responsibility and Accountability
        4. Risk List
      6. Requirements Acceptance Plan
        1. Purpose
        2. Requirements Acceptance Responsibilities
        3. Requirements Acceptance Criteria
        4. Requirements Acceptance Schedule
      7. Requirements Management Metrics Plan
        1. Purpose
        2. Requirements Management Goals
          1. Requirements Management KPIs
    10. Client Product Acceptance Plan Template
      1. Purpose
      2. Acceptance Responsibilities
      3. Change Acceptance Criteria
      4. Change Acceptance Schedule
      5. Acceptance Environment
      6. Product Acceptance Tools, Techniques, and Methodologies
  12. A. Glossary of BA Terms
  13. B. Acronyms
  14. C. Further Reading
    1. Books and Articles
    2. Web Sites