SUMMARY This is what Business Analysts do in the real world when embarking on a new project: they analyse

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1 S yu want t be a Business Analyst? Analyst analyse thyself. SUMMARY This is what Business Analysts d in the real wrld when embarking n a new prject: they analyse Why? Why are we ding this prject - what is the business prblem/need and s what measures and targets fr thse measures will define what success is. These are knwn as bjectives. What? What needs t be dne (frm business/lgical perspective) in rder t affect the measures t the pint where the prject can be declared successful (i.e. it has gt the targets) these are knwn as requirements. Hw? Hw will the requirements be realised. What are the rules that will deliver the requirements. These take the frm f prcess mdels, prcess definitins, data mdels, data definitins and varius nnfunctinal requirement rules. S as any gd BA shuld d when undertaking a new prject analyse what are yur bjectives in wanting t mve t a new career as a Business Analyst. Put anther way, hw will yu knw (nce yu have dne it) that it was a gd mve t make? When yu knw yur bjectives, deduce the requirements necessary t affect things such that yu achieve yur target measures fr yur bjectives. Put anther way, what d yu need t d t be able t mve in t Business Analysis? When yu knw what yur requirements are, define the prcess yu will need t fllw t deliver yur requirements. Put anther way, what is the prcess yu will fllw t becme a Business Analyst? Hw will each step f each prcess execute? What data will yu need t prvide/will yu get at each stage f the prcess? Thrughut this analysis and yur prgress twards yur gal, define as they arise and refine as yu prgress: 1. csts t achieve yur bjectives (e.g. initially yu thught arund 5k t train as a Business Analyst actual qutes refine this t 3,840) 2. cnstraints that will curtail what yu are able t d (e.g. budget and timescales) 3. dependencies that affect the rder and timing in which things can be dne (e.g. can t get the ISEB Diplma in Business Analysis until yu have 4 ISEB Certificates in Business Analysis, yu can t get the IIBA CBAP until yu have 5 years experience) 4. issues that are utside f yur cntrl but are affecting yur prgress (e.g. availability f training curses) 5. risks t yur career mve that may (r may nt) arise frm the issues (yu may nt pass the ISEB Certificates r fail the Diplma) 6. assumptins yu are making in the absence f the facts that allws yu t make prgress (analysing the RISK that yur assumptin may be wrng!) (e.g. It is assumed that the ISEB Diplma in Business Page 1 f 5 Date: 3/5/2008

2 DETAIL Analysis is the mst relevant prfessinal qualificatin t get. If wrng, then a number f jbs requiring anther qualificatin culd be ruled ut). Defining Objectives Perhaps it cmes dwn t feelings. Yu are unhappy in yur current rle and yu aim t increase yur happiness by being a Business Analyst. Objective: Increase persnal happiness. Target value (measured in what units)? Perhaps it is als dwn t mney yu have reasn t believe that yu will earn mre as a Business Analyst. Objective: Increase persnal wealth. Target value?,???.?? per day/mnth/year/life? And then again, perhaps career plays a part: yu suspect that yu will have better prspects as a Business Analyst. Objective: Increase career prspects. Target value (measured in what units)? Mst likely it will be a cmbinatin f the abve and ther measures as well. Whatever yur bjectives are make sure yu define what they are and what value equates t success. Otherwise, hw d yu prve this prpsed career is a gd idea? Example Objective: Increase the reward (nt just salary, but als benefits such as pensin, car, healthcare etc) f Business Analyst jbs that I am eligible fr. Target: Jbs deliver salary and benefits ver $90k per annum. What abut bjectives that yu can t measure? Happiness might fall in t that categry. Status culd as well. If yu can t measure them, then they are in effect principles yu adhere t. Yur career mve will in principle be geared at increasing yur happiness but yu can t really measure that and prve that any increase in happiness is slely due t the career mve. Principles are fine where they are a supprting reasn fr undertaking the career f Business Analyst. Be aware thugh that any prject which nly intends t deliver principles can never prve success and having n measures cannt be used t ffset the cst f the prject. Define principles that really are principles but fcus n bjectives. Example Principle: increase my prfessinal status as a Business Analyst un-measurable Yu will need Objectives (and Principles t a much lesser extent) in rder t make the case fr the career mve t varius interested parties (stakehlders in Business Analysis parlance). Examples f these key stakehlders culd be - yurself - yur partner - yur emplyer - yur bank manager Basically anyne wh can stp yu directly r indirectly frm becming a Business Analyst will need cnvincing t an extent. These are yur key stakehlders r spnsrs peple (r rganisatins) that can kill yur prject t start a career in Business Analysis. Prving that this career mve is a gd idea shuld Page 2 f 5 Date: 3/5/2008

3 cnvince them if they are at all ratinal. The prf will be the quantified benefits f yur bjectives minus the quantified csts f the mve backed up by the reality f the prpsal as dcumented in cnstraints, dependencies, risks, issues and assumptins. Fr this reasn, SMART bjectives and nt principles shuld cnvince them: SMART bjectives: - Specific (clearly defined) - Measured (the target that defines that an bjective has been achieved) - Achievable (key stakehlders sense check) - Relevant (they are benefits nt just measures that will change e.g. yu will increase yur knwledge f Business Analysis, but as there is n inherent benefit in this it cntributes nly t becming a Business Analyst and it is the benefits f that which are f interest t yur key stakehlders) - T die fr (this is usually stated as timely r time-bund, but mre critical than that is whether yu and yur key stakehlders actually care abut this bjective: this measure matters t yu and yur key stakehlders. Yu and they will be pleased when the target is achieved. Cnversely and critically will yu simply declare the prject a failure if this bjective is nt achieved?) If the key stakehlder is nt ratinal (partner?!) flwers, chclates and flattery might help! Make n mistake this is where yur prpsed career mve will succeed r fail because 1. yu are defining what success actually is (bjectives and target values) 2. yu are assessing the feasibility f achieving yur bjectives (csts, cnstraints, dependencies, risks, issues and assumptins) Make a mistake in any f this and everything that fllws based n it will be based n a mistake. When yu have analysed yur bjectives, if all yur key stakehlders haven t yet agreed t them, make sure they d! If yu d nt then yu culd get sme way alng the path t being a Business Analyst and a stakehlder wh has nt agreed can pull the plug n the whle enterprise. E.g. yur partner can say I never agreed t yu spending that much n training t be a Business Analyst!!!. Deducing requirements S nw yu knw what success lks like, what capabilities d yu need in rder t achieve it? Fr each bjective cnsider what capabilities yu need in rder t hit that bjective s target(s). Example: Objective: Increase the rewards f Business Analyst jbs that I am eligible fr. Target: Jbs delivering salary and benefits ver 45k per annum. Principle: increase my prfessinal status as a Business Analyst un-measurable Requirements: 1. I need t be able t prve that I am qualified as a Business Analyst Page 3 f 5 Date: 3/5/2008

4 2. I need t be able t prve that I can d Business Analysis 3. I need t be able t apply fr relevant jbs 4. I need t be able t understand IT jargn What yu will find is that ne Objective will have many requirements assciated with it. And what is mre, ne requirement will typically cntribute t achieving mre than ne Objective. Thse requirements that cntribute t lts f Objectives are bviusly mre imprtant than thse that cntribute t just ne, but that desn t take away frm the fact that each and every requirement exists in rder t achieve yur agreed Objectives. Lse any f the requirements that d that and yu will fail (t an extent) t achieve ne r mre f yur Objectives. In ther wrds, yu can priritise yur requirements: MSCW Must have, Shuld have, Culd have, Wuld have (r Wish). Must have: requirements that cntribute t bjectives t the extent that failure t have them means the bjective will nt be achieved Shuld have: requirements that cntribute t Objectives but failure t have them will mean still achieving Objectives, but with a lwer scre Culd have: requirements that nly cntribute t Principles (nt at all t Objectives) Wuld have: requirements that d nt cntribute t any Objective r Principle but seeing as yu are ding wrk in this area, if yu can, d these. N-ne will care (in a measurement f success way) if yu d nt deliver them Example: Given the Objective and Principle abve - must have requirement t be able t apply fr relevant jbs if yu can t yu simply wn t be able t achieve the bjective - shuld have requirement be able t prve I am a qualified Business Analyst if nt all relevant jbs need this prf (assumptin check it ut and turn t a fact ASAP) then s lng as yu can apply fr sme relevant jbs yu will achieve the Objective just nt fr as many jbs as yu might have - culd have requirement be able t prve I can d Business Analysis as yu assume (check it ut and turn t fact ASAP) that the jb interviews yu are ging fr wn t need this in additin t a prfessinal qualificatin s it nly cntributes t the Principle f increase my prfessinal status as Business Analyst - wuld have (wish) requirement be able t understand IT jargn as it des nt directly cntribute t either the Objective r Principle but seeing as yu re in learning mde then it wuld be gd if yu pick this up as well Prcess rules S nw yu knw what yur requirements are that will deliver a successful mve t Business Analysis, what is the prcess fr satisfying each requirement? Page 4 f 5 Date: 3/5/2008

5 In many ways, this is the easiest part f yur analysis if and nly if yur requirements analysis (and therefre yur Objectives analysis) is crrect. Otherwise, yu a deriving a prcess t deliver the wrng requirements an expensive waste f time! Each requirement will have at least ne prcess fr achieving it. That prcess will dcument the rder that the prcess steps must be taken in, the lgic they will execute and the data required during the prcess. These are all rules that are required by the prcess in rder t deliver the requirement(s) it relates t. E.g. be able t prve I am a qualified Business Analyst. Prcess: 1. verify assumptins (the nly ne made during Objectives analysis that the ISEB Diplma is the mst relevant qualificatin) a. take a lk at jbs pstings and determine which prfessinal qualificatins they lk fr mst b. speak t recruiters t see what clients lk fr c. canvass Business Analysts (persnally and n frums) t find ut what they think d. calculate whether ISEB is the best qualificatin e. cmpare with ther qualificatins such as the IIBA CBAP but remember yu have t be a practicing Business Analyst fr 5 years befre yu can g fr this! 2. research ptins fr training a. search internet and cmpare ptins b. get recmmendatins frm Business Analysts (persnally and n frums) c. filter by budget and time cnstraints d. select training curse 3. bk n t training curse 4. undertake training 5. publish qualificatin a. Curriculum Vitae b. persnal website c. current emplyer Nw yu knw what prcess t g thrugh, yu can plan fr it, create a detailed budget and execute it. The key message here is what rute yu will take will depend n yur bjectives, requirements and cnstraints. Like any prject there is n substitute fr ding the analysis except wish-fulfillment guess wrk. D yu want t base yur future career n that fundatin r d yu want t stack the dds massively in yur favur? As I said, this is like any prject Page 5 f 5 Date: 3/5/2008

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