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Business Analysis Defined

Learn What BA Is, When To Do It in Agile and Waterfall SDM, and What Business Analysis Techniques Are in Use

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Author: Tom and Angela Hathaway
Pages: 80 (estimated)
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publication Date: March 01, 2014

Also available as an eCourse

What is this book about?

Business Analysis in the Real World

A Buddhist proverb warns, “Be mindful of intention. Intention is the seed that creates our future.” In a very real sense, this statement expresses the reason for business analysis. This discipline is really all about choosing and defining a desired future because without intention (expressed in business analysis terms, “requirements”), no future is more or less desirable than another.

In reality, every organization does some form of business analysis whether it uses the term or not. For many (especially larger organizations), it is an extremely structured, managed process while others thrive on change and only do business analysis when and as needed. The perception that business analysis is only needed to develop IT solutions is inaccurate. Actually, it is a critical component of any change initiative within an organization whether software is involved or not.

Current Business Analysis Techniques and Methods

The book defines how business analysis is currently practiced. The authors provide insight into this fast-growing field by distinguishing strategic, tactical, and operational business analysis. It provides surveys of what Business Analysts really do and what business analysis techniques people use most often when they are the one “wearing the BA hat”. You will learn what “requirements” really are and what different types of requirements exist. Because many requirements define future information technology (IT) solutions, the authors share their experience on how Waterfall, Iterative, Agile, and Experimental (aka “Chaotic”) Software Development methodologies impact the business analysis responsibility.

Who Needs Business Analysis Skills?

Although the field of Business Analysis offers great career opportunities for those seeking employment, some level of business analysis skill is essential for any adult in the business world today. Many of the techniques used in the field evolved from earlier lessons learned in systems analysis and have proven themselves to be useful in every walk of life. We have personally experienced how business analysis techniques help even in your private life.

We wrote this book for everyday people in the real world to give you a basic understanding of some core business analysis methods and concepts. If this course answers some of your questions, great. If it raises more questions than it answers (implying that it piqued your curiosity), even better. If it motivates you to learn more about this emerging and fascinating topic, it has served its purpose well.

Learn More Business Analysis Skills by:

  • Looking at our extensive course library for onsite or online instructor-led business analysis training.
  • Taking one or more of our virtual training courses (these primarily focus on the business analyst career development, but learning new skills has seldom hurt anyone).
  • Checking out relevant FREE KnowledgeKnuggets™ and explainer videos.

Meanwhile, please enjoy this book. We appreciate any comments, suggestions, recommended improvements, or complaints that you care to share with us. You can reach us via email at

Who will benefit from reading this book?

  • Product Owners
  • Business Analysts
  • Requirements Engineers
  • Business- and Customer-side Team Members
  • Agile Team Members
  • Subject Matter Experts (SME)
  • Project Leaders and Managers
  • Systems Analysts and Designers
  • AND “anyone wearing the business analysis hat”, meaning anyone responsible for defining a future IT solution

Table of Contents

  • Business Analysis Defined
    • Contents
    • Preface
    • About the Authors
  • What is Business Analysis?
    • Business Analysis – Definition
    • What Does Business Analysis Entail?
    • “Strategic”, “Tactical” and “Operational” Business Analysis
    • Other Resources
  • What are Requirements
    • Requirements Defined
    • Business Requirements
    • Stakeholder Requirements
    • Solution Requirements
    • Transition Requirements
    • Other Resources
  • Business Analysis Techniques
    • An Introduction to Techniques
    • What Tools Are Used?
    • What Techniques Are Used?
    • Other Resources
  • Business Analysis and SDM / SDLC
    • What Are SDM and SDLC?
    • What Flavors of SDM Do Organization Use?
    • The Beginnings of Structure
    • The Incremental Philosophy
    • An “Agile” Revolution
    • Business Analysis in Waterfall SDM
    • THE BA Role in Iterative SDM
    • Agile Projects and Business Analysis
    • Other Resources
  • Business Analysis and the Future
    • Existing Situation Analysis
    • Enhancing Business Analysis Skills
    • Core Competencies
    • From Niche Profession to Core Skillset
    • Reading, Writing, and Business Analysis?
    • Other Resources

Learn Lean / Agile Business Analysis Techniques

Book - Lean Agile User Stories and Features

Self-paced Course – Agile Business Analysis: Getting and Writing Lean Requirements

Lean Business Analysis for Lean Requirements: Techniques for Discovering and Writing User Stories, Acceptance Tests, Scenarios and Examples

Requirements Gathering with Use Cases for Business Analysts

Lean Use Cases to identify and write Use Case models and diagrams

Chatting with Humans: User Experience Design (UX) for Chatbots

Simple Conversational Design and Science-based Chatbot Copy that Engages People

Business Analysis: Data Flow Diagrams to Visualize Workflows

Data Flow Diagrams and Process Modeling - Simply Put

Business Analyst Skills Test

Evaluate Your Business Analysis Skills


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