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Rita Mulcahy's Original Exam Prep ™

Business Analysis

Roles Defined: The Project Manager & The Business Analyst

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If your organization struggles with clearly delineating the differences between project managers and business analysts, download this IIBA® Peer Reviewed article which recommends an approach to defining roles based on requirement types.

RMC QuickGuide to Working with Introverts

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Experts estimate that 30 to 50% of the population have introverted personality characteristics. Introverts are quiet and don’t always express their thoughts and ideas, but you are missing valuable insights if you only hear from the extroverts. This QuickGuide provides some characteristics and suggestions for better integrating your introverted and extroverted team members.

Three Proven Ways Analysis Tools Prevent Scope Creep

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We all know what it is and what it can mean to our projects. Scope creep is often cited as a major reason for project failure. RMC Learning Solutions has a fresh take on preventing scope creep—by applying several essential analysis tools. View webinar to learn about these proven ways! View Webinar View our valuable Q & A from professionals attending RMC’s webinar Three Proven Ways Analysis Tools Prevent Scope Creep.

Top 10 Agile Techniques Every Team Should Know

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The agile methodology may not be as far from traditional project management practices as you might think.This article provides an overview of ten agile techniques, and illustrates how applying these techniques can increase team effectiveness and overall project success.

Business Analysis: The Best Way to Start a Project

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How do projects get started in your organization? If you’re thinking, “well, it depends,” you are not alone. Few organizations have a well-defined, consistent way of deciding when work becomes a project. However, a strong business analysis practice can save an organization significant time and money by weeding out low-value projects and prioritizing valuable ones based on business need and realistic, expected benefits.

Where Business Analysis Skills are Used

Who uses Business Analysis Skills and what is Business Analysis? IIBA® (International Institute of Business Analysis)™ defines the discipline of business analysis as “the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining business needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.” The definition describes work which could be performed by almost any employee in an organization. Anytime an employee puts an idea in the suggestion box, it is possible they analyzed a need and are recommending a solution.

The Procrastination Penalty

Analyze Why You Procrastinate

I generally don’t procrastinate― in fact, I often do things too early and end up reworking a bit when circumstances change. But when I do procrastinate, I become very frustrated with myself for letting something go that could have been done earlier under less time pressure. So why do we procrastinate? I have analyzed my delays and usually find when I dread doing a task (like paying bills or preparing taxes), I procrastinate. People also procrastinate when they are unsure about how to do a particular task. It is okay to procrastinate as long as you know why you delaying and have performed risk analysis.

DevOps may get BAs Requirements Management Tools!

BAs  love Requirements Management Tools!

I love requirements management tools and wish all business analysts had access to them. Requirements management tools allow you to create requirements in a structured, organized fashion, consistent with other projects which leads to better stakeholder communication, better analysis and better products.  More importantly, being able to reuse requirements increases productivity significantly. Unfortunately few analysts have access to these tools. They are expensive, fairly complex to learn, and don’t always easily integrate with other tools used in an organization. But that may be changing! DevOps is gaining acceptance and requires software development technology including requirements management tools which are integrated with other application life cycle management (ALM) tools because requirements are a critical part of the DevOps process.

Ask the Why Question – It Really Works!

I was recently asked by one of our customers to facilitate a requirements elicitation session on a change to an existing system. The software functionality is fairly simple so the group scheduled an hour session and just wanted an experienced facilitator to help lead the discussion. The session was already scheduled when I was asked to participate so I didn’t have much time to prepare but I did talk with a few of the stakeholders to get some background before the session. One of the business people wrote up a current state description which was very helpful in outlining the discussion. As I did some last minute preparations the night before and discussed the session with a colleague we realized that the customer had not really articulated why they had initiated this project.

What Good Are Certifications, Anyway?

It seems that certifications are under attack.  In the past several months I’ve heard that corporations are no longer interested in having their employees obtain any certifications.   This rant is not limited to the PMP®.  Indeed, it is said that companies are now solely interested in skills training. On one level this makes sense.  Why should a company care whether their employees are certified project managers, business analysts or Scrum Masters so long as they are able to perform those functions? What good are certifications, anyway?

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