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Business Analysis Demonstrated

A complete experience for a Business Analyst during the life of a project
Instructor:
Cristian Fador
1,446 students enrolled
English
Understand the day to day life of a Business Analyst within a project
Identify and estimate the Business Analyst's specific tasks
Understand how to tackle the project from a Business Analysis perspective
Apprehend the importance of project definition and project scope
Develop an ability to elicit and document different type of requirements
Understand the challenges faced by the Business Analysts during a project
Decide whether Business Analysis is the right career choice for them

“I solve problems you don’t know you have, in ways
you can’t understand” (I am a Business Analyst).

The role of the Business Analyst is much more
complex than the people perceive it to be and sometimes it can be a challenge
to understand all its facets.

In the Business Analysis Essentials we went over
the theoretical concepts of Business Analysis. In this course, we are applying
the concepts in a simulated project environment, looking at the tasks and deliverables
that a Business Analyst has to produce during the life of a project.

Master the BA tasks and deliverables

  •  Estimating
    the project specific  tasks
  •  Understand
    the deliverables
  •  Apply the
    elicitation techniques
  •  Produce the
    business and process flows
  •  Face the
    project challenges
  •  Write
    effective and clear requirements
  •  Understand
    how to overcome the obstacles

     

    Most of the Business Analysis courses are teaching
    the theoretical concepts but they don’t provide enough understanding of what
    the Business Analysts do on a daily basis during the project.

    This course aims to overcome these shortcomings and
    walk you through a complete project from the Business Analyst’s point of view,
    starting with the project initiations, project planning, requirements
    elicitation, requirements communications, various traps that you may encounter
    on the way, all the way till you get your requirements signed off and you have
    to provide development and test support.

    Contents and Overview

    This course contains over 40 lectures and more than
    3 hours of contents. The course is designed for beginners to intermediate
    Business Analysts, but a bit of prior experience would help to understand better
    the project challenges. If you are new to the Business Analysis world, I
    recommend you take the Business Analysis Essentials course first in order to
    grasp the theoretical concepts, before seeing how they are being applied in
    practice.

    While Business Analysis Essentials is not a pre
    requisite for this course, it would help you to cement the concepts taught
    there through a combination of theory (Business Analysis Essentials) and
    practice (Business Analysis Demonstrated).

                               

    By the end of this course, you will have a complete
    understanding of how to use the Business Analysis techniques, what challenges
    you will be facing during a project, what documents you need to deliver, how to
    get the business buy in to sign off the requirements, what type of
    communication challenges the project may present and how to overcome them.


What are the requirements for this course?

  •  Your
    willingness to learn
  •  A basic
    understanding of the SDLC (refer to Business Analysis Essentials)

What am I going to get from this course?

  •  Over 40
    lectures and 3 hours of content
  •  Step by step
    instructions about what you need to do in a project as a Business Analyst
  •  You will be
    able to be more effective and successful in your job as a Business Analyst
  •  A complete
    picture of what the Business Analysts tasks are in projec

Who is the audience?

  •  Everyone who
    wants to gain more insight about Business Analysis
  •  Students who
    want to pursue a Business Analyst career
  •  Junior or
    Intermediate Business Analysts who want to become more effective
  •  Senior
    Business Analysts who need a refresher of the Business Analysis concepts

Introduction

1
Dream Café Project

In this lecture you will get an overview of what Dream Café Project is all about. As a new Business Analyst stepping in a new project, this is your first contact with the project’s world.

2
First sketches

The Business Analysis is considered an art by many scholars. As any artist that is painting a picture, you will have to start with some sketches. In this lecture we have a look at the various angles that you need to understand in order to get a better picture of the project you are working on. By the end of the lecture you will have a good understanding of which are the main facets of the project that you need to get more information about at this stage.

3
Discussing with PM

Now that we know the angles to be tackled, it is time to ask our PM to shed some lights on these angles, in order for our sketch to form a shape. By the end of the lecture, the student will have a better understanding of how the project came about and what problems the project is trying to solve.

4
Meeting summary

Good practices in a project environment require you to make notes of decisions and newly found information and confirm those with the appropriate players. In this lecture we will have a look at the options you have to summarize the newly found information.

5
Game plan

Once you understood what the project is all about, you need to come up with a plan for your Business Analysis tasks: what will you be doing in this project? This lecture focuses on the activities that are required from the Business Analyst in our Dream Café project.

6
Estimating the effort

One of the most challenging tasks that the Business Analysts are confronted with in a project is to provide estimates for all the activities they need to perform. In this lecture you will decide how much time is required for you to complete the project activities that are your responsibility.

7
Estimating considerations

As the estimates are constantly subject to close scrutiny from various project participants, in this lecture we will have a look at the potential challenges that you may face and the best practices to help you overcome these challenges.

Requirements elicitation preparation

1
Big picture

When starting to elicit requirements, it’s better if you approach the project from a bird’s eye view and drill down to the nitty gritty details in order to have an overall understanding of the project. In this lecture you will draw the project big picture.

2
“As is” Business process

The “as is” business process is always a good starting point for requirements elicitations. If such a process was never documented before, you may have to document it yourself and this is what you will be doing in this lecture.

3
Business Requirements Document

The information collecting from the business usually ends up in a Business Requirements Document (BRD). In this lecture we get an introduction to the BRD.

4
BRD template

There are many way in which a BRD document can be presented. In this lecture we’ll have a look at the template that you will be using for the Dream Café project, understanding its sections and what information needs to be elicited and documented.

Requirements elicitation

1
Producing the BRD

In this lecture you will start completing the Business Requirements Documents. We’ll have a look at the information known so far and the typical conventions used for documenting requirements in a BRD.

2
Objective and Background

Continuing our journey of documenting the business requirements, in this lecture we will focus on the Objective and Background sections of the BRD.

3
“To be” Business process

Once we understood the “as is” business process and the challenges faced by our company, it is time to think about the future state of the business process, or the “to be” business process. This lecture covers the potential areas of improvement of the existing business process.

4
Resolving the disputes

Disagreements are fairly common in a project environment; various stakeholders having different interests may challenge the proposed solution. In this lecture you will address the differences between various stakeholders that were raised in the Dream Café project, coming to a common understanding.

5
Project scope

A well-defined project scope is fundamental for the success of the project. You will spend some time in this lecture, defining the project scope and attempting to remove the possibility of the scope creep from the get go.

6
Project dependencies

Any project will face some assumptions and constraints as, at one point or another, some information is not known yet. This cannot stop the project from moving forward, but experienced BAs and PMs will insist on documenting these assumptions and constraints as they can change the project estimates drastically and eventually may lead to the entire project to fail. In this lecture you will document the Dream Café project dependencies.


7
BRD first draft

The BRD is a living document that will be updated while more information is being elicited. However, at some point enough information may be collected in order to come up with the first draft. At the end of this lecture you will get an understanding of the conventions used for reading a BRD document.

8
BRD version 0.1

In this lecture we’ll have a look at the first version of the BRD that you have produced, analyzing the various sections that were completed so far.

Requirements workshops

1
Refining the "to be" process

The moment you have a good understanding of the new business process, it is time to model and get the confirmation from the stakeholders that this is what is actually desired. This lecture covers the business process model for the future (“to be”) state of the Dream Café.

2
Defining the functional requirements

In order to achieve the future business process, some changes have to be implemented and they are expressed in the form of functional requirements. In this lecture you will identify these functional requirements necessary to solve the issues that the Dream Café is facing.

3
SMART Requirements

Writing good requirements is essential for the success of the project. In this lecture you will learn the best practices guidelines for writing clear requirements.

4
Requirements prioritization

An important step in requirements elicitation is the prioritization of requirements. Not all requirements are created equal and identifying the most important ones up front will increase the chances of the project being successful later on when hard decisions may have to be taken to reduce the scope of the project. In this lecture we’ll have a look at two methods of prioritizing the requirements.

5
Non Functional Requirements

In this lecture we will elicit the non-functional requirements for Dream Café project. Often misunderstood or mistook for functional requirements, the non-functional requirements add a different dimension to the project and identifying them early in the project may be key for the quality of the product delivered.


6
BRD second draft

When you have enough information to prepare the second draft of the BRD, you will update the Requirements Document emphasizing the new information collected and any updates made to the existing requirements. In this lecture we prepare the stage for the second draft of the BRD.

7
BRD version 0.2

In this lecture we’ll have a look at the second version of the BRD that you have produced, analyzing the various sections that were completed so far.

Requirements sign off

1
Peer review

Peer reviews ensure that your Requirements Document is written in a clear and concise manner and your document passes all the quality checks that your company or department may have in place. In this lecture we’ll have a look at the most typical ways the peer reviews are being performed in a project environment.

2
Requirements walkthrough

Requirements walkthrough is a simple and boring task but needs to be completed if you want to avoid a lot of back and forth during the sign off process of business requirements. This step will prepare the stakeholders for signing off the requirements, offering everyone the possibility to hash out any late details that have not been addressed before.

3
Walkthroughs traps

There are a lot of things that can go wrong during requirements walkthroughs. In this lecture we’ll have a look at some of them and the potential solutions that you have available to address the situations.

4
BRD sign off

This lecture addresses the requirements sign off process and what are the steps that you may encounter in the project when you have to complete this task.

5
BRD comments and sign off review

In this lecture we’ll have a look at the comments received during the sign off process and the final version of the BRD for our Dream Café project.

Requirements sign off

1
System Requirements Specification

Now that the BRD is completed, it is time to focus on SRS. At the end of this lecture you will have an understanding of the differences between the two Business Analysis requirements documents.

2
SRS template

In this lecture we will check the SRS template and its sections. By the end of the lecture you should be familiar with the SRS template.

3
Producing the SRS

The SRS is an enhancement of the BRD, tackling the requirements from a different angle, more technical in nature. In this lecture we will have a look at the information that can be brought forward from the BRD.

4
Digging deeper

In order to complete some sections of the SRS, we need to elicit more requirements. This lecture is covering this aspect of collecting more system requirements specifications from the stakeholders.

5
Deriving the specs

Based on the information elicited from the stakeholders, you will need to derive the requirements specifications and express them in a clear and concise manner. In this lecture we cover the specs derivation from the information collected.

6
Asking the right questions

While deriving the specs, you may identify new aspects that need to be addressed. In this lecture you will come up with a series of questions that require an answer in order to complete the system requirements specifications.

7
Getting the answers

Who else will be in a better position to answer your questions than the stakeholders? In this lecture you have a discussion with the stakeholders to elicit the information that is missing from the puzzle.


Refining the System Requirements

1
Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD)

An Entity Relationship Diagram is required for our project. In this lecture we will draw one for the Dream Café project.


2
Screen mockups

If your project requires you to build some screen mockups, you will have to exercise your design skills and come up with these screen designs. This lecture cover this aspect of screen mockups and design.

3
Report details

Eliciting requirements for reports is fairly a fairly common task in many projects. In this lecture we'll have a look at what information you need in order to provide the developers with sufficient details to build this report.

4
Wrapping up

It is time to put everything we elicited together. You have collected enough information to complete the SRS.

5
SRS version 0.2

Let's have a look at the new version of the SRS based on all the information you elicited. In this lecture we go through the SRS section by section, emphasizing the changes and the updated information.

6
Change control management


Change control management is an important component of the project. The Business Analysts are forerunners of this process, being the first line that can identify the scope creep. In this lecture we discuss how to effectively manage any changes introduced during the project development.


7
Final thoughts

This lecture performs a brief recap of what you have learned in this project.

Appendix

1
Downloadable materials
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