Business Analysis Techniques Used by the Tactical Business Analyst

Tom and Angela Hathaway
A free video tutorial from Tom and Angela Hathaway
BA-EXPERTS: Business Analysis for Anyone Wearing the BA Hat
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Three Emerging Careers in Digital Business Analysis

Current and Future Roles, Responsibilities, and Techniques for Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Business Analysts

42:17 of on-demand video • Updated September 2019

  • Define strategic, tactical, and operational business analysis audiences, techniques, and results
  • Recognize how to leverage the distinction to further your business analysis career
  • Discuss what it means for the future of the business analysis profession
  • Differentiate business analysis techniques required for each level of business analysis
English [Auto] Fellas talk about tactical business analysis remember tactical business analysis is where you have a project defined and now you try to go out and try to get the nitty gritty details about what the project is going to do what the application is going to do what the people with are going to be doing with the application. Things like that. This is where you're going to be talking to a thundering herd of stakeholders and you need to figure out who are all of the people that are going to be involved in the project. And what do you need to ask them in order to get their requirements. This is the core work that most people who have the title business analyst or junior business analyst actually start with you really looking at the project and you're trying to assess the time money value per perspectives so that there is a balance of the resources required. The money that's invested and the value that the company is going to be getting out of it. Your job now is to do hardcore analysis if you are thinking about the Konev and framework. This is where things in a complicated domain really fit well because you can do analysis you can break things apart look at the details and out of the details figure out what is it exactly that we need to do in order to satisfy the customer. And of course this is where we deal with change in the tactical business analysis level. Change is rampant and that's why we have philosophies such as agile and lean and methodologies like can ban and scrum in order to deal with ongoing change throughout the project. The outcome out of tactical business analysis is going to be stakeholder requirements if you're in a conventional project or features and or user stories if you're in a lean or agile project fundamentally given today's technology we'd maintain that user stories are a phenomenal tool a phenomenal structure for expressing stakeholder requirements regardless of what philosophy you're following whether it's waterfall agile or lean I think because the user story gives you the who the what and the why answers very early on. They're a phenomenal tool for analyzing or for looking at and expressing stakeholder requirements at any level of detail. So what kind of techniques do we use in tactical business analysis. Well our old friend problem analysis is still there. This time however we're looking at it at a lower level of detail looking at individual problems as opposed to the problems that affect the entire organization. And when you start talking to the people in the trenches people doing the real work you're going to find a lot of problems at the higher levels. Had not thought about didn't identify as problems because they are not involved with them at that level. You're also going to be using things like process modeling and analysis. You're going to draw pictures are going to draw diagrams of how the business process works how the flow is how you get from A to B and what information is exchanged between the individual steps and the process. Interviews in workshops or in the world of agile conversations. These are all three methods for interacting with the real people doing the real work and trying to get an understanding of what would help them do their job better faster cheaper data modeling and analysis. This is a technique for looking at the structure of data. And although it came out of the 70s in the 80s when we were talking about building huge databases in the world of big data this has taken a revival this has got become very important once again because trying to figure out what kind of information you want on a dashboard or how that information that you have coming out of 10 different sources is structured. What are the elements that they that are common even though they might have different names and different descriptions in each of the different sources. So data modeling business data modeling especially and data analysis are key to in today's world where we're talking much more about business analytics or data analytics in order to figure out where the organization is going. Decision tables or decision trees are two techniques for getting at the lowest level of detail. A better understanding of how the organization works of how the individuals within the organization do what they need to do in order to get their job done. If you start off with a decision table or decision tree you'll find that it guides the presentation or it guides the conversation all by itself. It forces you to ask specific questions about specific conditions and the outcomes of each combination of conditions your obviously requirements your features your users story decompositions are very key at this level of detail. The word decomposition always means tearing something apart. So if you're looking at a user story and you're decomposing it you're trying to find what are the different components that the application would have to have. What are the different actions that people would have to do in order for that user's story to be appropriately implemented getting back to the AT&T or acceptance test driven design and BTD business driven design your test strategy your test plan if you are following a true agile approach in an organization or even if you're following just a waterfall approach I highly recommend looking at except in test driven development because the scenario where if I give the developers the test that their program has to pass as opposed to giving them some vague user story or a vague solution requirement the developers are much more likely to deliver the content that I need. They're going to deliver the program that will pass the test. It is a step that has greatly improved our ability to deliver working software cheaply and quickly to the business community and it does what the business community wants it to do. Now there are a thundering herd more tools and techniques that you might be using in your tactical business analysis. Anything that you could think of at this point in time write it down keep track of it you might bring it up in the discussion board and see what other techniques other people are using. Share your techniques and see if they will share theirs so you can build a better repertoire of tools and techniques at your disposal in order to come up with a good set of techniques for doing tactical business analysis. So who are the players involved in tactical business analysis. Well at this level the common drivers of the process are the directors managers product managers product owners the people who have decision making authority within the organization kind of at the level that is operational meaning they are able to decide things that are going to be happening that are going to have a direct impact on the people who are doing the real jobs. He might also be involved with a business analysis center of excellence if you have one or that same organization and that type of an organization where you have a pool of trained business analysts disposal for any different project under any other name would be exactly the same people that are executing tactical business analysis are going to be business analyst at all levels and under any other name also are going to be product managers project leaders project managers subject matter experts your product owners on an agile team will definitely be involved in this as well as agile team members and agile implementations. What a lot of organizations have gone to is having what is called a customer side team which is going to be people that are trying to keep ahead of the agile developers by taking a look at the user stories that are coming up in the next scrum in order to choose me in the next sprint in order to be able to make sure that they are ready for the developers and the developers aren't sitting around twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do. There's a lot of different people that might be involved in tactical business analysis.