Business Analyst Fundamentals - Online
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PMI: 13.5 PDUs
NASBA: 12 CPEs
IIBA: 14 CDUs
This business analyst training course will teach you to master the essential skills to thrive as a Business Analyst!
This business analysis training course is aligned to IIBA® Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK® v2.0).
In this course, you will learn how to:
- Define the Business Analyst profession
- Understand requirements from the business perspective
- Bridge the communication gap between business stakeholders and technology solution providers
- Clearly document and communicate the scope of your projects
- Target your analysis and understand consequences of solutions
- Ask targeted questions to discover root causes, not just symptoms
- Capture and verify business requirements
- Negotiate with business stakeholders and developers
- Improve communication skills through hands-on practice
- Organize and categorize project requirements
- Understand activity decomposition and modeling with simple graphical methods
Analyze business problems and identify requirements for the correct solutions.
Delays, cancellations and defects in systems development projects stem in large part from our inability to understand project requirements and the environment in which they exist, as well as our inability to communicate those requirements clearly enough to enlist the collaboration and commitment of stakeholders. In Business Analyst Fundamentals, you will learn key communication skills, interaction techniques, and problem solving skills required to leverage your IT and business knowledge to effectively understand, document, and present the requirements that define a project's scope. This indispensable course solidifies the foundations of business analysis and equips business analysts with the critical thinking, analytical skills, and necessary people skills to thrive in their roles and add measurable value to every project.
Develop critical Business Analyst skills.
Business Analysts provide an essential function by assessing and analyzing the business environment, defining the scope of business problems, capturing project requirements, designing high-value solution approaches, and ensuring that the defined scope meets the customer's needs, goals, objectives, and expectations. This practical workshop will provide participants with fundamental analysis tools and techniques, including methods to understand the business environment, define a problem using a systematic approach, assess the project feasibility, and influence and inform project stakeholders at all levels. You will gain pragmatic solutions to sustain stakeholder engagement throughout the project lifecycle, including facilitation, questioning, listening, business need identification, problem solving, presentation, validation, and acceptance of the effective solution.
Practice real-world tools and techniques for immediate application.
This two-day business analyst training course will give you hands-on experience with proven techniques for discovering, understanding, and documenting the business environment; understanding and depicting project scope; identifying, documenting, and confirming business objectives; modeling current and desired business processes; and communicating all of these expertly to colleagues, sponsors, and business customers. Lively lectures combined with insightful demonstrations and realistic practice exercises provide you with the competence and confidence to improve project outcomes through better project scope and business requirements definition. You'll gain a thorough understanding of common analysis pitfalls and challenges, practical approaches for discovering and writing project requirements, and strategies for applying the systems development life cycle methodology throughout the project. If you play a role in defining project scope or capturing and writing requirements, you can't afford to miss this course!
In Class Workshops and Group Exercises:
A variety of demonstrations, large-group activities and small-group team exercises will refine and enhance your problem definition, communication and problem solving skills. Working in small groups, you and your peers will identify and discuss strategies and tactics that your organization should be using to better define project scope, and to discover, document, and communicate requirements. Specifically, you will :
- Evaluate the essential skills of a Business Analyst
- Explore and understand common differences in work and communication styles and how they affect interactions on a project
- Analyze the business environment in which your project occurs
- Practice project initiation techniques to clarify project scope
- Work as a team to document project scope using context diagramming
- Review requirements elicitation and discovery methods
- Understand activity decomposition and modeling with simple graphical methods
- Practice soliciting and validating information from project stakeholders
- Assess the feasibility of a project
- Hone your problem identification, definition, and solving capabilities
- Review documentation formats and presentation techniques
- Determine how best to present your findings to business stakeholders, and prepare for effective interactions
- Assess your individual and team communication effectiveness
- Improve and sustain stakeholder engagement
IMMEDIATELY useful benefits of attending this business analyst training course:
- Learn how to help your business customers to be clear about the current state of their business
- Understand and influence how business processes may be improved
- Analyze your business stakeholders to develop an understanding of their needs
- Gain exposure to proven tools and techniques for defining project scope
- Improve project initiation by clarifying discussions of scope, increasing stakeholder involvement, and identifying exclusions and constraints up front
- Explore the Systems Development Life Cycle phases and the work to be done in each phase
- Understand the deliverables that should be produced during each phase of the life cycle
- Improve your questioning, listening, and validation skills with all types of people
- Communicate effectively with project stakeholders at all levels
- Help to bridge the gap between business customers and designers, developers, and testers
- Understand the organizational environment in which you are working and in which your project exists
- Identify relevant business opportunities and assess project feasibility
- Use practical, real-world methods for initiating productive conversations with users to identify the business problem to be solved
- Discover the attributes of well-written requirements
- Overcome common pitfalls and traps encountered during the analysis process
- Enhance relationships with stakeholders throughout your organization and improve your ability to satisfy stakeholders from both the business and the IT organizations
- Help your organization understand and apply state-of-the-art methods for analyzing and solving business problems
- Discover tips and tricks that have helped other Business Analysts be successful with real-world projects
- Shorten project schedules by reducing errors that lead to revision cycles
- Reduce project costs and improve quality by helping to develop the right requirements the right way the first time, every time!
Who Should Attend Business Analysis Training
If you're involved at all with systems development projects, you must participate in this workshop.
This project management training course is perfect for you if you are a:
- Business customer, user or partner
- Business Analyst
- Business Systems Analyst
- Systems Analyst
- Project Manager
- Systems Architect or Designer
- Systems or Application Developer
- QA Professional
- Systems Tester
- Leader of Systems projects or teams
- Anyone wanting to enhance his/her business analysis skills
I. The Business Analysis Profession
It's only in recent years that business analysis has begun to be recognized as a profession in its own right. While people have been performing the Business Analyst role in organizations for several decades, differing definitions of the role abound. We'll start the workshop by exploring some of those definitions, as well as gaining a clear understanding of where the industry appears to be heading and some emerging common standards for the profession.
- Understanding the Business Analyst role and function
- The competencies of the Business Analyst
- The profession of business analysis
Because Business Analysts work with people throughout their organizations, it's imperative they have good teamwork and communication skills. We'll begin with a fun activity to explore differences in communication styles, and we'll also model a few techniques for laying a solid foundation for teamwork on any project.
II. Communication in the Business Analysis Context
Many tasks that are integral for successful business analysis involve significant communication. In this section of the workshop, you will hone your ability to connect with project stakeholders at all levels using effective verbal and nonverbal techniques. You'll also identify and practice overcoming sources of misunderstanding, which is vital for requirements validation.
- The three most important communication skills for business analysis
- The biggest challenges Business Analysts confront
- Eliciting information
- Clarifying information
- Communication and miscommunication
- Validating information
Working in small groups, you and your peers will practice choosing appropriate techniques to solicit information from stakeholders at various levels in an organization. Following a fun demonstration of how miscommunication occurs, you'll enhance your ability to connect with stakeholders and foster effective communication by clarifying stakeholders' contributions and validating information.
III. Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving
Projects often arise to solve specific business problems. Understanding the underlying problem, though sometimes overlooked, is key to being able to develop the correct requirements so that the best solution can be developed. During this section, you will explore and practice problem analysis and its application.
- Why problem solving is key to business analysis
- Analyzing symptoms and causes
dentifying and defining the problem
- Developing solutions
- Understanding the people side of problem solving
Guided by your instructor, you will work with a team to analyze the symptoms of a problem, define it, and determine root causes. You'll practice team problem-solving techniques and determine, based on your team's performance, ways to further enhance your communication and team collaboration skills.
IV. Interaction Skills for Business Analysis
It's not uncommon for Business Analysts to wonder why they need interaction skills. After all, most projects have a sponsor, a project manager, and at least one manager from the business. But managing interactions is a key Business Analyst role, one that's central to the effective understanding of business problems. This course module explores the importance of interaction, key interaction skills for Business Analysts, and the situational application of those skills in business analysis functions.
- Understanding interaction skills and why Business Analysts need them
- Facilitation and negotiation with stakeholders
- Leadership and influencing
Following review and discussion of interaction skills and their application to business analysis functions, you and your team will play a fun learning game that allows you to demonstrate, reinforce, and earn prizes for your knowledge of these vital skills.
V. Business and IT Knowledge
The role of a Business Analyst has often been compared to that of a bridge providing a connection between two points, in this case the Information Technology organization and the lines of business that comprise the project domain. We'll present a model that shows how the IT and business domains should be focused and leveraged throughout the project lifecycle.
- The business domain: what it is and what's relevant to business analysis
- The IT domain: what it is and what's relevant to business analysis
- The systems development lifecycle and the focus on IT and business domains
Working with your team, you'll quickly test and improve your understanding of how the business and IT domains integrate in the Business Analyst role and how they fit with the systems development lifecycle.
VI. Enterprise Analysis
One of the most overlooked functions of a Business Analysts is the enterprise assessment, which can also yield some of the most valuable findings of a project. Enterprise assessments are a key best practice in business analysis, and they can be surprisingly straightforward. During this portion of the workshop, we'll explore some practical techniques that produce keen, relevant, and useful insights for the business organization.
- Enterprise analysis defined
- The role of the Business Analyst in enterprise assessment
- Describing the business environment
- Describing the requirements scope
- Assessing feasibility
Your instructor will introduce a hypothetical but realistic case project company, and you and your team will put your analysis skills to the test as you conduct a guided assessment. You'll define and document the business environment, clearly describe the scope of the business, and perform a straightforward identification of business opportunities. Finally, you'll assess the feasibility of a set of projects and present recommendations on the project(s) of greatest value to the business.
VII. Project Initiation and Analysis
What most people think of as business analysis is central to project initiation and the analysis phase. Because of the depth of skill these activities require, most Business Analysts demand separate training to develop true mastery. This course module therefore provides an overview and introduction to three crucial business analysis activities by demonstrating common tools for identifying and documenting project scope, for modeling current and desired states, and for eliciting key requirements.
- Identifying project stakeholders
- Defining and documenting project scope
- Decomposing the application domain
- Analyzing and documenting key processes
- Eliciting functional requirements
- Modeling the desired state
After reviewing a project request for an identified business opportunity, you'll work with peers and your instructor to determine and document the project scope with a context diagram. You'll then review a current state model of one key business process, and, based on identified functional requirements, you will then work with your team to develop a model for a possible new process design.
VIII. Requirements Analysis
Once functional requirements have been discovered and documented, they have to be analyzed to determine their accuracy and completeness and refined where necessary. We'll examine the inherent analysis challenges and show you effective techniques to analyze and improve your requirements.
- Requirements analysis defined
- Structuring the requirements
- Refining and writing better requirements
Working with a set of identified functional requirements, you and your peers will analyze them against a set of criteria for effective requirements. You'll practice clarifying and rewriting requirements to improve their specificity and accuracy.
IX. Requirements Communication
After the requirements are analyzed and refined, they have to be validated with business customers, users and management. Communicating these requirements involves much more than information exchange; at its best, it's a process of negotiation, validation and consensus building. We'll examine the inherent communication challenges and help you confidently choose the best ways to achieve your communication goals and gain the stakeholder buy-in required for successful requirements management throughout the project lifecycle.
- Requirements communication defined
- Determining the appropriate requirements presentation format
- Creating the requirements package
- Presenting the requirements
- Conducting a formal requirements review
- Obtaining consensus and signoff of requirements
Working with a requirements from our case project, you and your peers will determine which communication approaches will best meet the needs of various stakeholders. You'll practice categorizing and organizing requirements for maximum value, and you'll explore how to develop and present clear, concise requirements documentation appropriate for your projects.
X. Solution Assessment and Validation
The most effective business analysis goes beyond defining project scope and specifying requirements—it includes an assessment of whether the specified solution meets the stakeholders' needs. In this final module of the course, you and your colleagues will have a chance to explore the concept of acceptance criteria and some of the validation activities that BAs can perform on projects. You'll review key task for solution assessment and validation, and you'll have an opportunity to practice some ways to validate solution effectiveness.
- Solution assessment and validation defined
- Key tasks of solution assessment
- Solution assessment and validation practice
Working with your small group, you will identify ways to assess the validity of a solution and to determine whether the solution meets the stakeholders' needs.
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