4-DAY PUBLIC SESSION  |  5-DAY VIRTUAL SESSION

Business Analyst Boot Camp

Business Analysis Training - Course Outline

I. The Business Analysis Profession

It's only in recent years that business analysis has begun to be recognized as a profession it its own right. While people have been performing the Business Analyst role in organizations for several decades, differing definitions of the role abound. We'll start the workshop by exploring some of them, as well as gaining a clear understanding of where the industry appears to be heading and some emerging standards for the profession.

  1. IIBA® and the BABOK®
  2. What is Business Analysis?
  3. Business and Solution Domains—how they relate
  4. Key roles in requirements development
  5. The competencies of the Business Analyst
  6. Distinguishing novice and expert Business Analysts
  7. Effective communication
  8. Six important BA skills

Practice sessions:

  • Business analysis definition
  • Competencies of a business analyst
  • First look: generating good questions

II. The Business Case for Good Requirements

IT projects have especially high failure rates, and evidence points to problems with defining requirements as one primary cause. This section presents an overview of the challenges inherent in projects in general, and specific problems typically encountered with IT project requirements. We also examine some common terms and concepts in requirements engineering.

  1. What is a good requirement?
  2. Requirements attributes—who needs them?
  3. Key practices that promote excellent requirements
  4. The cost of requirements errors
  5. Requirements engineering overview

Practice sessions:

  • Requirements definition
  • Characteristics of good requirements
  • Evaluate requirements for effectiveness
  • Factors to improve success

III. Foundations of Requirements Development

In order to increase project success, we need to implement a repeatable, scalable strategy for effective business analysis. In this section, we'll explore a framework in which good business analysis occurs and we'll discuss ways to maximize project success using this framework.

  1. Key terms in requirements development
  2. A strategy for analyzing systems
  3. Common requirement-classification schemes
  4. The three parts of a system
  5. Levels and types of requirements
  6. The importance of traceability
  7. Understanding the business context of projects

Practice sessions:

  • Define key terms
  • Use a framework to drive out requirements
  • Types of requirements
  • Classifying stakeholders' input
  • Evaluate a mythical but realistic organization for project alignment

IV. Project Initiation: Eliciting High-level and Mid-level Requirements

What most people think of as business analysis is central to project initiation. Because of the depth of skill these activities require, most Business Analysts demand separate training to develop true mastery. This course module therefore provides an overview and introduction to three crucial business analysis activities by demonstrating common tools for identifying and documenting project scope, for modeling current and desired states, and for stakeholder identification. And because effective initiation can lay the foundation for effective use case development, we'll introduce use cases and begin to identify them in this module, too.

  1. Understanding product vision and project scope
  2. Identifying and describing project stakeholders
  3. Modeling the business
  4. Identifying systems and actors
  5. Determining scope
  6. Understanding and identifying use cases
  7. Taking the Agile approach: writing user stories
  8. Identifying and defining data
  9. Documenting business rules
  10. Finding quality attributes

Practice sessions:

  • Modeling the business
  • Actor/goal identification
  • User stories
  • Context diagramming
  • Use case diagramming
  • Activity diagramming
  • High-level data definition
  • Writing business rules and quality attributes

V. Improving Requirements Quality

After we've elicited the high-level and mid-level requirements for our project, we want to check to be sure that what we have so far is a good description of the project's scope. Writing requirements is one thing—writing "good" or "effective" requirements is another matter. As we are hearing and documenting requirements from our stakeholders, we should be evaluating them for effectiveness and refining/rewriting those that are not. In this section, we'll learn to derive maximum benefit from reviews throughout the life cycle. We'll then take a closer look at the issue of requirements quality, focusing on writing effective requirements through analysis, refinement, and review. Finally, we'll discuss how to document the scope of the project to minimize rework and creep.

  1. Requirements quality
  2. Common problems with requirements
  3. Analyze for ambiguity
  4. Requirements inspection, analysis and improvement
  5. Defining and documenting the project scope

Practice sessions:

  • Analyze and rewrite requirements
  • Evaluate a Scope Definition Document

VI. Eliciting Detailed Requirements

Savvy business analysts and project team members have a variety of techniques for finding the detailed functional and non-functional requirements on their projects. This section introduces several of the most powerful and effective analysis techniques and discusses their use in requirements elicitation. As various techniques are covered, the workshop explores how to capture and document the requirements, including effective requirements analysis and traceability.

  1. Overview of requirements-elicitation techniques
  2. Decompose processes to lowest levels
  3. Document analysis
  4. Modeling processes to generate interview questions
  5. Interviewing the stakeholders
  6. Documenting the interview and resulting requirements
  7. Adding detail to requirements we already have
  8. Refine and rewrite for clarity

Practice sessions:

  • Elicitation techniques—advantages/disadvantages
  • Detailed process modeling
  • Generating good interview questions
  • Coping with challenging situations
  • Interview simulations
  • Writing new requirements and refining existing requirements
  • CRUD matrix and CRUD functional requirements

VII. Documenting Requirements with Use Cases

Developing use cases is fairly straightforward, but someone actually has to document the use cases and requirements discovered during the requirements elicitation process. This section of the workshop focuses on how to apply the knowledge you've gained so far to writing a use case. It also examines more complex aspects of uses cases, including sub-use cases and use-case linkages in larger systems.

  1. Use case basics
  2. Ways to identify use cases
  3. Use cases and requirements
  4. Usage narrative
  5. Anatomy of a fully dressed use case
  6. Writing effective use case narratives
  7. Understanding sub-use cases
  8. Linking use cases for larger or more complex systems
  9. Use case quality
  10. Avoiding common traps and pitfalls

Practice sessions:

  • Write a usage narrative
  • Write a fully dressed use case
  • Check use case quality

VIII. Packaging and Presenting Requirements

Once we've worked with stakeholders to define their functional and non-functional requirements and to document, refine, and organize the requirements, we have to package those requirements into a specification. In addition, most systems also possess a significant number of requirements that aren't necessarily associated with specific business functions. These types of non-functional requirements must also be captured and documented as part of the complete requirement specification. This portion of the Boot Camp covers how to package the requirements into a specification that can be used for system development and testing.

  1. Organizing and packaging requirements
  2. Presenting requirements for review
  3. Baselining the requirements
  4. Getting to consensus and approval
  5. Conduct formal and informal reviews
  6. Documenting requirements in a Requirements Specification

Practice sessions:

  • Examine and evaluate a sample Requirements Specification
  • Present requirements to stakeholders
  • Create personal action plan for success