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My life as a Business Analyst - Presentation to IIBA Members

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1 My life as a Business Analyst - Presentation to IIBA Members
By: Scott A. Mackay

2 Purpose Introduce you to the typical things that I do in my work as a Business Analyst. Note that your experiences could be different.

3 Introduction My degree is in Industrial Engineering
I have worked in process improvement & best practices for over 30 years Most of my recent work has been in developing new or improving existing software applications

4 Most Recent Projects Health Assessment Tool
Maintenance Man Dispatching Tool Hotel Reservation Tool Catering & Banqueting Tool Vessel & Pipeline Reliability Predictor Tool Time & Attendance Tool(s) On-line Training Creation Tool(s) Truss & Wall Panel Estimating Tool Prescription Drug Data Publishing Tool Field Engineering Support Tool Tax Return Processing System Business Intelligence Dashboard

5 Current Project Process Surveillance & Analysis Tools Business Case
Business Requirements Document Minimal Master Data Management Tool Selection & Implementation (as RFP Lead) User Training Effectiveness Assessment

6 The Artifacts I Create These are the artifacts (deliverables) that I create for most projects. Sometimes I work alone, and sometimes the work is distributed across a team of BAs.

7 Develop a Business Case
Some projects require a Business Case prior to starting The Business Case presents: Clear statement of the problem to be solved Proposed solutions (with Context Diagrams) Cost benefits analysis (Tables & Graphs) Risk analysis Recommendation Project timeline (Gantt Chart)

8 Create the Project Statement of Work
Statement of Work (aka Business Requirements Document) should include: Goal of project Business/User needs to be satisfied Features to be added or improved Other tasks to be accomplished Assumptions & Constraints Time line goals

9 Model the Business Process
Create Process Maps Top level flows with swim lanes Create Process Activity Flows Lower level flows Hierarchical if needed Typically focused on the Future State Document the As-is if needed

10 Create Business Object Model
Build one or more diagrams showing: Business Objects Business Object Attributes Business Operations Relationships

11 Create the Use Case Model
Build one or more diagrams showing: Actors Use Case Titles Relationships

12 Create a Storyboard Build User Interface Mock-ups showing:
New screens and operations New fields and operations on existing screens Animation of screen flow (Behavior Model) Usually done in a workshop setting Faster & more effective if done using rapid visualization technique

13 Create the Use Cases Write User Stories for simple operations such as:
Open, save, delete, exit, cancel Write Use Case Narratives for complex operations such as: Creating a Business Object Viewing or Editing a Business Object

14 Create A Glossary Write a Dictionary of Unique Terms
Collect terms unique to the business process Define each term Get agreement of each definition

15 The Activities I Perform
These are the activities I perform most often for each project.

16 Conduct Stakeholder Workshops
I use these to: Examine a business problem Who are the actors in the business process? How do they do things today? What exactly is the problem to be solved? Brainstorm solutions to a business problem Agree on next steps Promote support for the project

17 Conduct Process Assessments
I use these to: Understand the current business process Collect current process metrics Document all significant inputs & outputs

18 Conduct Requirements Kick-off
I use these to: Transmit management’s endorsement Introduce everyone to the project goals Explain the activities that they will be involved in Explain the time commitments that are needed

19 Conduct Interviews I use these to: These can be done:
Flowchart the current process Identify activities affected by the project Develop process changes Storyboard the new process Promote ownership of the solution These can be done: 1 on 1 1 with many

20 Conduct Use Case Reviews
I use these to: Get final inputs Promote ownership Get concurrence on the solution

21 Conduct Development Kick-off
I use these to: Transmit management’s endorsement Introduce Developers and Testers to the project goals Explain the: Process Map Activity Flows Use Case Model Object Model Storyboard

22 Conduct Requirements Peer Reviews
I use these for each requirements document to: Get Stakeholder concurrence Get Developer concurrence Get Tester concurrence Might do many documents as a set ex: All User Stories & Storyboards for the next Sprint

23 Attend Design Peer Reviews
I try to assure: Proposed designs meet requirements Actors are comfortable with the designs Any proposed changes are desirable, acceptable, and followed up by changes to requirements if needed

24 Conduct Build Reviews I use these to: Get feedback
Assess completeness of the business solution Identify things missing Identify unexpected things Assure business requirements are being met Shake out bugs prior to formal testing

25 Conduct User Acceptance
I use these to: Get user concurrence with the solution Get feedback for future changes or new features

26 Conduct User Training I use this to prepare users for transition to the new business process: Explain the expected benefits of the new business process Introduce each change in the process Let each user try the new process in a training environment

27 Audit Results I use this to:
Validate that the business process changes worked as predicted Document productivity savings Assess user acceptance Collect feedback for future changes

28 Ancillary Activities I am occasionally asked to do more:
Project Estimates & Cost Accounting Project Planning & Control Lead Requests for Proposals Develop Test Plans & Scripts Facilitate Customer Acceptance Facilitate Daily Scrums

29 Assessing the Infrastructure
This is an activity that I often get involved with as a consultant coming into a new company

30 Assess current process
Assure the best practices are in place: Lean Development Methodology Project Management Process Change Control Process Configuration Management Process Quality Assurance Process Visual Modeling Capabilities Peer Review Process

31 Assess current process steps
Assure the key validation steps are in place: Statement of work peer review Requirements peer review Design peer review Developer’s testing User’s build review Quality control testing User training User acceptance

32 Assess current process steps
Assure the key management activities are in place: Status meetings Issues meetings Risk assessment updates Iteration planning meetings Iteration post mortem meetings

33 Assess current tools Assure the needed tools are in place:
& Appointment tool Shared document storage tool Document editing tool Presentation editing tool UI modeling tool UML modeling tool BPMN modeling tool

34 Assess Working Environment
Assure facilities are available: Conference Room PC Projector Speaker phone Quiet workspace

35 My Skills Set These are the skills that I use most often

36 My Skills Set is: Business process flow charting Storyboarding
Object & Use Case modeling Meeting facilitization Requirements elicitation Requirements writing Use Case writing

37 I also need: Imagination Motivation Visualization Spelling & grammar
Creativity Patience & listening Public speaking Ego control Attention to details Time management Motivation Spelling & grammar Math Leadership

38 My secrets to success Work fast Work cheaply Keep quality high
Affect the company’s bottom line Stay flexible to changes

39 Questions?

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