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Business Analysis Fundamentals

This course trains participants to help business clients articulate their needs and wants, and to document them clearly, concisely, and completely. The course trains on modeling techniques like Business Process, Use Case, Data, Interface Modeling, etc.

Duration: Classroom - 3 Days
Why to Take This Course:

Whether you are new to business analysis, or are experienced and want a more formal approach, it’s essential to know and practice the “fundamentals.”  This course trains participants to help business clients articulate their needs and wants, and to document them clearly, concisely, and completely.  By grasping this core Business Analyst (BA) skill, BAs can contribute significantly to successful projects and the products they create.

Through a realistic case study and interviews, participants discover and then practice writing “good” requirements.  The course also explores and lets attendees practice a simple process for validating and verifying requirements to ensure they are well-documented.  Also, attendees learn the importance of traceability and how to construct a traceability matrix.

For analyzing requirements, this course introduces people to the concept of “concurrent modeling,” using four standard types of models that provide the most benefits.  A key skill taught is how to best read models concurrently for a complete requirements “package.”  After models are presented, class participants find inconsistencies, interview the sponsor, and document and trace new requirements that are discovered.  These models are: Business Process, Use Case, Data, and Interface Modeling.  Specifics of how to construct each type of model are contained in separate courses.

The course concludes with considerations and techniques for organizing, prioritizing, and “packaging” requirements for maximum communication value.  Plus, attendees also learn a repeatable process for verifying that requirements are included in the final solution.

Learn How To:

The course will help you practically learn onthe following areas:

  • Document “good” requirements by writing them clearly, concisely, and completely
  • Use simple templates for writing good requirements of various types
  • Use standard, core models to quickly uncover requirements, then analyze them, document and trace those requirements, and present a complete “package” to the business for their approval
  • Increase project success by better defining requirements that meet business needs
  • Reduce rework by discovering requirements correctly the first time
  • Reduce gaps in understanding requirements by properly validating and verifying them
Contents:

Requirements Foundations

  • Business Requirements Defined
    • Business Problems and Opportunities
    • Projects, Products, and Processes
    • PM vs. BA role
    • Methodologies and Life Cycles
    • Requirements and Business Analysis
    • Exercises on core competencies and characteristics of an effective business analyst
  • Requirements Defined
  • Definition of a Requirement
  • Progressive elaboration of requirements
    • Business
    • Stakeholder
    • Functional
    • Non-Functional
    • Exercise
  • Requirements vs. Business Rules
  • Exercise to practice distinguishing different types of requirements
  • Requirements process
  • Waterfall (plan-driven)
  • Incremental
  • Agile (change-driven)
  • Requirements approaches

Stakeholders

  • Identifying and categorizing stakeholders
  • Exercise
  • Using RACI to clarify roles and responsibilities
  • Building trust
  • Introduction to case study: creating a RACI diagram

Eliciting requirements

  • Requirements context: business requirements (business problem, business objectives, project objectives)
  • Workshop eliciting and documenting business requirements
  • Elicitation techniques
    • Facilitated workshops
    • Interviews
    • Observation
    • Surveys
    • Focus groups
    • Group creativity techniques
    • Effective questioning
    • Challenges and pitfalls
    • Key questions to ask
    • Workshop: interviewing and documenting stakeholder requirements

Writing Good Requirements

  • Characteristics of “good” requirements
  • Common documentation challenges
  • Traceability
  • Types of requirements defects
  • Workshop: writing “good” requirements
  • Requirement formats
  • Templates for writing each category of requirement
    • Stakeholder
    • Functional
    • Non-functional
    • Business rule
  • Writing pitfalls
  • Workshop: writing requirements

Analyzing Requirements

  • What is Concurrent modeling?
  • How to Leverage Models to Elicit Requirements
  • Business Process Models
  • Workshop: eliciting, documenting, and tracing new requirements
  • Use Case Models
  • Workshop: eliciting, documenting, and tracing new requirements
  • Data Models
  • Workshop: eliciting, documenting, and tracing new requirements
  • Interface Models/Prototypes
  • Workshop: eliciting, documenting, and tracing new requirements
  • Organizing requirements
  • Prioritizing requirements
  • Workshop: organizing and prioritizing requirements

Packaging Requirements

  • Considerations for Packaging
    • Type of project and product
    • Stakeholders
    • Format and Venue
    • Permanence/Retention
  • Stakeholder preferences
  • Exercise: using color wheel “style” of stakeholders to prepare a package
  • Workshop: package outline
  • Validation and verification
  • Reviewing requirements package
  • Workshop: review package with business
  • Obtaining Requirements Signoff/Approval
  • Workshop on packaging requirements

Verifying Requirements with a Solution

  • Software Testing Overview
  • Mapping Requirements to Test Cases and Design Phases
  • Verifying Requirements from Test Cases
  • Updating Traceability Matrix
  • Software Package Selection Considerations

Workshop verifying and finalizing requirements

Format:

To help assimilate the tools and techniques learned, there is a mixture of individual and team exercises throughout the course. A lively role play and case study help reinforce concepts learned. Students will need to be prepared for a high level of participation. Each participant will receive a comprehensive student guide complete with examples and workshop solutions.

Who Should Attend:

People that have project experience working with a variety of roles (BA, QA, PM, sponsors) but have not had formal BA training. People moving into the BA role from the business, or from a different IT job (like developers or QA Analysts) that have had some training.  Experienced BAs and project managers who want a more formal and industry-standard business analysis approach will also benefit from this course.

Prerequisites: Participants should have worked at least one project
Knowledge Area:

BABOK®

PMBOK®

Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
Requirements Elicitation
Requirements Management and Communication
Enterprise Analysis
Requirements Analysis
Solution Assessment and Validation
Underlying Competencies

Project Scope Management
Project Human Resource Management

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