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Business Analysis: The Best Way to Start a Project

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Start a Project with Business Analysis How do projects get started in your organization? 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. 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. Six Step Process for Evaluating Stakeholder Requests Having a consistent process assures stakeholders that every request will be considered equally. As titles and job responsibilities vary in organizations, any professional with strong business analysis skills can manage this pre-project work. Follow these six steps to develop a structure for evaluating stakeholder requests: Receive request for work Analyze the request Agree on a solution approach and develop a business case Prioritize against other projects Get approval and funding Assign a project manager and…

White Paper on PMI-PBA® Certification Now Available

Business analysis skills are no longer optional for a project team. Surveys continue to show that poor requirements management is the number one reason for project failures. Project managers either have to enhance their own business analysis skills or bring a business analyst onto their teams as a professional partner from the initiation of a project through closing.  Business analysis skills include critical thinking, elicitation, and requirements modeling. These skills and many more are now recognized with the PMI-PBA® Certification program, the PMI Professional in Business Analysis.

Changes to the PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® Exam

PMI-PBA Exam Changes I’ve been getting questions about the upcoming changes to the PMI-PBA exam. This is understandable, since PMI has announced an exam change for June 25, 2018 to harmonize the exam with The PMI Guide to Business Analysis released in 2017. Exam Changes For 2018, the only change to the PMI-PBA exam is a minor lexicon update to harmonize the terminology between the terms used in the exam questions with The PMI Guide to Business Analysis. This simply means that some questions might be reworded to better to reflect the terms used in the guide. The good news is if you are studying for the exam, the change is not significant, and you now have one more resource to use as a study tool. If you have taken the exam and did not pass on your first try, this new resource may explain business analysis is a style which is…

BBC Highlights: What Kind of Business Analyst are You?

I was fortunate to attend and present at the Building Business Capability Conference (BBC) last month in Orlando, Florida. Just like every past year, the best part of the conference for me is getting together with old friends and meeting new business analysis professionals who are enthusiastic about improving their organizations.  This conference has continued to grow every year with many new categories of track sessions. I attended some great sessions from the Fast Forward track, topics like robotics, artificial intelligence, and ideas for new organizational structures for the changing world. I also enjoyed modeling, elicitation, and analysis sessions picking up tips on improving basic business analysis tasks.

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.

Making the Most of Your Conference Attendance

I’m going to the BBC Conference (Building Business Capability) next week and am really looking forward to the sessions, the exhibit hall, and networking with other professionals.  I realize that I am fortunate to be able to attend several conferences each year, but I know many people are lucky if they get to go to one. If you are going the BBC or another conference, make the most of it. Here are some tips for preparing to attend a conference which will help you get the most value.

Cut the Costs of Regulations, Hire a Business Analyst!

In the United States (and I am sure other countries), we hear lots of complaints about the cost of regulations. This is especially true during a presidential election year. The paradox of regulatory complaints is that some candidates argue complying with regulations is too costly, while others argue that the cost of not having enough regulations risks the safety of our community. Regulatory costs (or the costs of lax regulation) are not just monetary but also environmental, societal and can result in a degradation of our values and way of life (e.g. lead in our water system). I would like to suggest that more analysis would help curb the costs of regulation.

PMI-PBA® Domain: Analysis

Elicitation and Analysis

The third in a series of posts about the creation of our PMI-PBA Exam Prep study guide.  You can also review the first domain on Needs Assessment or the second domain on Planning.  PMI calls the third domain Analysis, but it is more appropriately named Elicitation and Analysis because it includes both topics.

Elicitation is the asking of questions and research needed to discover requirements. Analysis means to break down a whole into its components for study. So this domain includes the communications necessary to learn about the business and its requirements, along with the analysis work needed to break down the requirements and really understand the needed solution. All aspects of business analysis are important, but if you had to name the core of it all, this is it: Elicitation and Analysis.

Yourdon – I hope his Death March was peaceful

Upon learning of the death of Ed Yourdon, I immediately went to my bookshelf and started reviewing his books. Mr. Yourdon didn’t know me, but I feel as if I knew him. Throughout my career, he always seemed to be there when I  needed some direction or a new approach to analysis. I recommend many of his books but one in particular was very important to me: Death March.

PMI-PBA Domain: Planning

This is the second in a series of posts about the creation of our PMI-PBA Exam Prep study guide. In my first post I talked about the Needs Assessment Domain and this post will highlight Business Analysis Planning. The PMI-PBA (Professional in Business Analysis) designation recognizes professionals who have experience and knowledge performing business analysis work. Business Analysis work is performed by people with many different titles and this is especially true in studying the Planning Domain. Project Managers recognize the critical importance of planning in project success. PMs have expertise in thinking ahead about how their projects will best be accomplished. They often consult with experts and known project team members to develop their plans and assess risks. This strategy of distributed planning is supported by the PMI-PBA Domain called Planning, and referred to as Business Analysis Planning in PMI’s Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice guide Studying for…

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