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Business Analysis Fundamentals Workshop Overview

This vital course provides the foundations of business analysis and equips those performing business analysis with standardized tasks and techniques required to feel confident in supporting requirements engineering.  This course provides for lively conversation sprinkled into the short lecture segments, demonstration of techniques, then hands-on practice to galvanize your learning based on a fictional but realistic case study.


This  two day course appeals to those just starting their business analysis journey or seeking to better understand working with business analysts. Those starting their journey will gain a standardized business analysis process with elements of variation based on the complexion of the problems seeking to solve.  The benefits  you can expect to achieve by participating in this workshop include: 

  • Gain an understanding of the business analysis profession

  • Develop key communication skills for eliciting and documentation of business analysis information

  • Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills

  • Gain confidence and competence to improve project outcomes through effective requirements engineering


Business Analysis Fundamentals Workshop Outline

1.     Overview of Business Analysis - Business analysis as a profession is relatively new on the scene and the understanding of what a business analyst does varies widely among disciplines, organizations and industries.  Unlike many professions of the individual contributors, business analysis is only successful with stakeholder engagement; hence this profession may not be for everyone.  In this section you can expect a lively kick-off of conversations and hands-on exercises to:

  • Define business analysis

  • Overview of the Business Analysis certification models

  • Gain exposure to the perspectives business analyst may be asked to support

  • Understand the role of the business analyst

  • Identify “who” fits as a business analyst, including an assessment of your communication style and guidelines in working with other communication styles

  • Understand stakeholder engagement

2.     Foundations in Business Analysis - Organizations are expecting value from resources spent on initiatives, however a majority of these initiatives are missing the mark.   Much of the causes cited point to insufficient business analysis performance.  With establishment of guidelines for performing business analysis, we can feel more confident in delivering value to organizations through successful initiatives.  In this section, you  can expect to gain the following knowledge through lecture / hands-on exercises:

  • Business case for business analysis

  • Decomposition of the requirements to ensure the big picture is understood before jumping into the detail

  • Standardized business analysis tasks and underlying competencies (those oh so important soft-skills)

  • Definitions and guidelines for Elicitation, Collaboration and Facilitation

3.     Where to Start on an Initiative? - Working with a team, it is critical to ensure roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.  As a business analyst, we will want to ensure the business analysis responsibilities are clearly defined.  Along with roles and responsibilities, a clear understanding of the business need will keep everyone on the same page.  In this section, the participants can expect to:

  • Define roles and responsibilities in business analysis task amongst stakeholders

  • Define a clear and concise definition of the business need

4.    Scope the Initiative – It is human nature for our stakeholders to jump to a solution before clearly identifying the scope. In this section, you will utilize techniques to ensure the root cause of the business need is being addressed, then chunkify the solution to satisfy the business need.  In this section, you can expect to gain the following knowledge through lecture / hands-on exercises:

  • Understand the definition of scope as well as responsibilities of the business analyst and project manager in this scope definition

  • Delve into the root cause(s) of the business need through standardized root cause analysis techniques

  • Perform functional decomposition (to chunkify the solution)

  • Develop a "To-Be" Context Diagram to uncover important interfaces expected of the solution

  • Develop a high-level understanding of data, rules, and quality the solution must possess

  • Achieve consensus of a scope “anchor” to move forward

5.     Develop Requirements to be Consumed by Solution Providers—Gone are the days (and for good reason) that we can throw a scope definition over the cubicle wall (or across the ocean) and expect that IT will take it from there.  That scope anchor must be decomposed into requirements fit for solution design, construction and implementation providers needs as well as precise enough for validation by business (domain) subject matter experts.  In this section, you can expect to gain the following knowledge through lecture / hands-on exercises:

  • Introduce the process modeling technique and develop a process model to define functional requirements

  • Introduction to user story elaboration

  • Introduce the data dictionary technique and develop to define data requirements

  • Introduce best practices for writing effective business rules and non-functional requirement in textual fashion

  • Determination of how to corroborate requirements elicited

  • Understand best practices for packaging requirements for reviews, seeking requirement approval, and establishing a solution requirement baseline traced to the scope definition.

6.     Support Solution Stakeholders—The requirements and conceptual design should not overly constrain the solution’s physical design providing for the freedom of the solution providers to define the best solution.  With this freedom comes opportunities for discussion and driving out any details requiring the engagement of the business analyst.  In this section, you can expect to gain the following knowledge:

  • Supporting the allocation of requirements to solution components and iterations

  • Developing requirements for temporary capabilities needed to migrate from a current to future state

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