The documents available below for download represent some of the work I have done over the years. Some have been published and some have not. Each represents a different perspective on business analysis. You will notice some of the documents appear as appendices in Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success.
The Business Analyst Process
Is there a methodology or process for business analysts?
Is there an efficient, effective way to define the requirements?
The business analysts that I’ve talked to over the years have requested some form of guidelines or process they can follow to give them a better chance at producing a successful solution to the business problem. I have set up many such processes in organizations both large and small, in the United States and overseas. This document provides an outline of a composite of these processes.
Download: BA Process (PDF)
The Principles of the Business Analyst
Are there any overall guidelines that will assist business analysts in doing their job successfully?
As described in the book, there are a number of principles that business analysts can follow that will increase the chances of successful change. These principles have been gathered from practicing business analysts all over the world.
Download: The Principles (PDF)
Guidelines for Valid Requirements
How do I write the requirements so that everyone understands?
A valid requirement is one that contributes to solving the business problem and is understood the same way by all those who need to understand it – the business, the development team, and management. The guidelines listed in this document assist in creating a set of valid requirements and include lists of words to avoid when creating requirements so that they are less likely to be ambiguous or misunderstood.
Download: Guidelines for Valid Requirements (PDF)
The Business Analyst’s View of the SDLC Models
We’re using agile development (Extreme Programming). What is my role as a business analyst in this situation?
Business analysts ask me how they fit into the various new software development approaches that the solution teams are using. The day of the linear waterfall development approach has passed. So what are these new approaches? What does it mean to have incremental delivery, iterative development and product owners? And most importantly, what does it all mean to my job as a business analyst? Here is a document that may not explicitly define what will happen to you as a business analyst, but it will give you a good understanding of what software development methodologies are all about and what you can expect.
Download: BA View of SDLC Models (PDF)
Context-Free Problem Definition Questions
How do I know the right questions to ask?
Finding the right question to ask to gather the necessary information to define and then solve the problem has always been an issue with business analysts, especially those from the technical side of the spectrum. Here are a baker’s dozen questions that can be asked at any time to help define the business problem.
Download: Context Free Problem Definition Questions (PDF)
Comparison of the Roles of Business Analyst, Project Manager, and Systems Analyst
Since I’m doing all three roles, what is the difference between the project manager, the systems analyst and the business analyst?
Before you can do all the roles, or even one of the roles in collaboration with the others, you need to understand what each of the roles – the project manager, business analyst, and systems analyst or technical lead – does in any given solution development effort. This document contains a table and concise explanation of what each of the primary roles in the solution development life cycle does.
Download: Comparison of Roles (PDF)