Business Analysis Defined

Learn what BA is, when to do it in Agile and Waterfall SDM, and what techniques are in use
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  • Lectures 17
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 12/2014 English

Course Description

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.

The course 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.

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 created this course 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.

What are the requirements?

  • Interest in the field of business analysis
  • No technical background required
  • Desire to understand business analysis tools and techniques currently in use
  • Need to understand the impact that System Development Methods (SDM) have on business analysis activities
  • No additional materials are required

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Identify and categorize business analysis best practices
  • Identify the value of good requirements
  • Classify four requirement types
  • Identify the critical skills required by business analysts
  • Describe tools used in business analysis
  • Relate the evolving role of today’s business analyst
  • Discuss how SDMs like Waterfall, Iterative, and Agile affect business analysis activities

Who is the target audience?

  • Subject Matter Experts
  • Product Owners
  • Product and Project Managers
  • Business Process Users
  • Business Process Managers
  • Line Managers
  • Business Analysts
  • Anyone wearing the BA hat!

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: What Is Business Analysis?

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This lecture will provide you with answers to the following questions:

  • What defines business analysis?
  • How does business analysis impact an organization's structure, processes, technology, and capabilities.
  • What activities does business analysis encompass.

If you would like additional information on business analysis, browse through the following resources.


Due to the evolution of the external and internal environments of an organization, change is a fact of life. As a result, business analysis is an on-going activity and organizations use it at 3 major levels of detail.

  1. Strategic Business Analysis
  2. Tactical Business Analysis
  3. Operational Business Analysis
Section 2: What Are Requirements?

There are 4 different types of requirements and each type expresses a different level of detail. The highest level are Business Requirements and a typical project will address very few. Business requirements spawn stakeholder requirements spawn solution requirements. Solution requirements turn the focus of the stakeholder requirements towards the solution technology. Finally, transition requirements define components of the solution that only exist to replace the current solution, as it exists today.

To learn even more about requirements, browse through the links below.


Business requirements define high-level goals and objectives of an organization as a whole and address the question, "Why is this project needed?"


Stakeholder requirements express the needs and wants of one or more stakeholders and how they will interact with a solution.


Solution requirements describe specific characteristics of a solution that meet business and stakeholder requirements and come in two flavors.

Functional Solution Requirements define what the solution has to do or know.

Non-Functional Solution Requirements define characteristics that any solution must exhibit for it to be acceptable.


Transition Requirements describe capabilities needed to integrate the proposed solution into the existing environment.

Section 3: Business Analysis Techniques

This lecture will address the different business analysis techniques that are used in Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Business Analysis.


The Requirements Solutions Group (RSG) surveyed over 1700 individuals with many different job titles, all of whom wore the business analysis hat at some level of detail. They were asked to identify the tools they most commonly needed. Theses are the results.


How do you do business analysis? For an answer to that question, we offer first off a survey from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA®). The IIBA® is an organization dedicated to defining standards and practices for the business analyst community. A 2008 survey of around 1200 business analysts asked what specific techniques business analysts needed to do their job. This lecture contains the results.

Section 4: Business Analysis and Software Development Methods or Life Cycles (SDM/SDLC)

This lecture shows how current Software Development Methodologies (SDM) impact your business analysis activities.


This lecture defines business analysis within traditional waterfall (structured) system development approaches.


Defining business analysis within traditional iterative system development approaches such as RUP.


In the Agile development methodology, the person wearing the business analysis hat (whom we call THE BA, whether or not that individual has that job title) does business analysis strictly on an as-needed basis. This lecture explains how business analysis fits within Agile software development approaches such as SCRUM and SCRUM/XP hybrids.

Section 5: In Closing

Thank you for buying this course. We hope you enjoyed it.

BONUS LECTURE: Where Do You Go from Here?

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Instructor Biography

Tom and Angela Hathaway, BA-EXPERTS: Business Analysis for Anyone Wearing the BA Hat

Tom has been in business analysis since long before it was called business analysis. He has over 30 years experience in the fields of information technology, methodologies, and business analysis. In his writings and lectures he strives for enlightening while entertaining. As a facilitator, he achieves results through inclusion and synergistic group-building. He has taught thousands of students business and systems analysis skills since the '80's and has facilitated hundreds of requirements discovery sessions under a variety of acronyms (JAD, ASAP, JADr, JRP, etc).

Angela and Tom Hathaway (previously Hathaway & Associates, Inc. and Requirements Solutions Group, LLC) founded BA-EXPERTS in 2011. As a team, Angela and Tom have trained, consulted, mentored and coached thousands of business analysts around the world for organizations from small businesses to Fortune 100. Hundreds of current and past customers include TIAA-CREF (Financial), Cathay Pacific (Airline), Manitoba Telecom Services (Telecommunications), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Hospitality), government agencies, and a myriad of organizations spanning all sizes and industries. Our training, consulting, and mentoring efforts have saved our customers around the world millions and can help your organization improve its business analysis practices

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