Course 103:
Roles, Responsibilities, and Processes
of the Business Analyst

(4 days)


Course Description

This course defines the activities of the Business Analyst from the identification of a business problem to be solved to the final implementation of the solution to that problem. The Business Analyst’s role is to define the problem, identify the solution, and manage the product through the System Development Life Cycle. The course emphasizes the primary responsibilities of the Business Analyst in defining the requirements for the product, while also addressing the important issues of communication, and ensuring a quality solution.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course, the participant will know:

  • The roles and responsibilities of the Business Analyst
  • The concept of requirements and their importance to the development of quality systems
  • The difference between gathering information and generating requirements
  • The importance of defining the problem first
  • A process for turning gathered information into quality requirements
  • How to communicate with the business and development communities, negotiate, and facilitate a successful project
  • The development processes for turning requirements into a solution
  • The factors that go into confirming that the delivered solution does solve the problem in a way that is acceptable to the stakeholders

Who Should Attend

Business Analysts, project managers, and anyone who is responsible for converting a business problem into a successful IT solution.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Overview

  • The Business Analyst (BA)
    • Roles and Responsibilities
    • Objectives
    • Relationship of IT to Business
  • Business Analyst Relationships
  • Role of an Intermediary
    • Communication Specialist
    • Facilitation
    • Mediation
    • Potential Problems
  • Define the Requirements to Solve the Problem
    • Definition of Terms
    • Purpose of Requirements
    • Requirements Process
  • The BA’s Role Throughout the System Development Life Cycle
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 2: Information Gathering Plan

  • Information Gathering Process
    • Six Stages of Information Gathering
    • Research Questions
    • What Information Is Needed
  • Where Is the Information Located?
    • Problem Domain
    • Stakeholders Defined
    • Users Defined
  • Methods of Information Gathering
    • Forms of One-On-One Information Gathering
    • Requirements Sessions
    • Brainstorming
    • Observation
    • Demonstration
  • Workshop: Building an Information Gathering Plan
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 3: The Product Scope

  • Defining the Problem
    • Components of the Problem
    • Basic Problem Definition
    • Identifying the Real Problem
    • Establishing the Product Vision
  • Workshop: Defining the Real Problem
  • Business Orientation
    • Justification
    • Impact Analysis
    • Risk and Product Constraints
    • ROI Analysis
    • Cost / Benefit Analysis
    • Tangible and Intangible Benefits
  • Establishing Product Scope
    • Functional Goals
  • Estimating: Round One
    • Estimating the Cost of the Product Scope
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 4: Information Gathering Techniques

  • Gathering Information
    • What Information to Gather
    • Iterative Information Acquisition
  • Interview Approaches
    • Management
    • Stakeholder
  • Interview Techniques to Get the Most Information
    • Five Stages of an Interview
    • Preparation
    • Using the Problem Definition
    • Establishing Rapport
    • Be Receptive
    • Inquire Skillfully
    • Getting the Most Information
    • Listen Loudly
    • Listen Actively
    • Other Interview Considerations
  • Information Gathering Tips and Techniques
    • Meetings
    • Brainstorming
    • Use Cases
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 5: Requirements Analysis

  • Analyzing Requirements
    • What to Do with the Information
    • Defining the Problem Environment
    • Using the Problem Definition
    • Classification
  • Modeling
    • Purpose of Modeling Requirements
    • Modeling Options
    • Modeling Results
  • Requirements Classification
    • Requirements Classification Summary Trade-Offs
    • Requirements Progression
    • Classes of Requirements—Overview
    • Tips on Classifying Requirements
    • Prioritizing Requirements
    • Quality Issues
  • Gap Analysis
    • Functional Goals
    • Deriving the Functional Requirements from the Gap
  • Workshop: Producing Requirements
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 6: Requirements Documentation

  • Requirements Document Contents
    • Organizing the Document
    • Document Structure
  • Requirements Representation
    • Documentation and Specification
    • Functional and Systems Requirements
    • Quality Requirements Definition
  • Requirements Documentation Guidelines
    • Writing Valid Requirements
    • The Structured Approach
    • Good Requirements Form
  • Workshop: Documenting Requirements
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 7: Requirements Communication and Approval

  • Communication
    • Requirements Confirmation Methods
    • Communication and Information
    • Presenting the Results
    • Facilitating the Confirmation Meeting
    • Confirmation Process
  • Validation
    • Inspection Overview
    • Inspection Process
  • The Purpose of Approval
  • Approval and Sign Off
    • Formal Approval
    • Alternatives
  • Negotiation
    • Negotiating with Customers/Users
    • Negotiating with Developers
    • Collaborative Negotiating
    • Handling Conflict
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 8: Managing Product Quality

  • Designing the Requirements
    • Development Integrity
    • Maintaining Quality
  • Traditional Life Cycle Approach
    • Requirements to Design
    • Designing the Requirements
    • Analysis and Design
    • Logical and Physical Design
    • Constraining the Design
    • Trade-Off Issues
    • Mapping Requirements to Design
  • Agile Just in Time Requirements
    • User Stories
    • Epics and Themes
    • Product Backlogs
    • Grooming and Managing
  • Requirements Management
    • The Problem
    • The Need for Requirements Management
    • Change Management
  • Tracing the Requirements
    • Requirements Traceability
    • The Traceability Matrix
    • Traceability Example
    • Multilevel Traceability
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 9: Confirming a Quality Product

  • Creating the Test Plans and Cases
    • Testing the Requirements
    • Writing Test Cases from Requirements
  • Test Stages
    • Unit Test Cases
    • Integration Test Procedures
    • System Test Scenarios
    • Acceptance Test Methods
  • Unit Summary and Best Practices

Unit 10: The Bottom Line

  • The Business Analyst Process
  • Where to Go for More Information

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