“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
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?
What am I going to get from this course?
Who is the audience?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continuing our journey of documenting the business requirements, in this lecture we will focus on the Objective and Background sections of the BRD.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An Entity Relationship Diagram is required for our project. In this lecture we will draw one for the Dream Café project.
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.
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.
It is time to put everything we elicited together. You have collected enough information to complete the SRS.
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.
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.
This lecture performs a brief recap of what you have learned in this project.
I started to work as a Business Analyst in 2000, when the topic was somehow in its infancy. At the time I was developing a reinsurance application and played the role of developer, business analyst and tester. That was my first introduction in the art of business analysis.
Three years later I joined a Business Analysis department in a major financial corporation and never looked back. Initially I started as a junior Business Analyst and as the years progressed I moved up through the ranks until eventually becoming the leader of the department.
I have participated to close to 100 projects, their size varying from small projects (less than $50,000 budget) to very large (over 10 million $), many times acting as a project manager.
Five years ago, I have been asked by some of my friends to get involved in their community and teach some Business Analysis courses for newcomers that were trying to apply for a job. That was an amazing and gratifying experience. It was amazing to see them growing from absolute novice to successful Business Analysts and landing jobs in the field.
After a few years of teaching both Business Analysis and Quality Assurance courses, I started to receive requests to teach on line and looking for a method to efficiently do this, I came across Udemy and embarked in this new venture.
I am absolutely convinced that you will enjoy my courses as I spare no effort to continuously improve them and make sure that the message I deliver is clearly received and understood.