CONNECTING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS TO TECHNOLOGY
Project Manager Business Analyst Why Does a Project Need Them Both? New Course Facilitating Requirements
Charting the Course AutoZone
Book Review The World is Flat
Did You Know MS Project Tips
letter from the editors e are excited to be discussing the complementary roles of the Project Manager and Business Analyst in this issue of the bridge. While many companies are realizing the importance of incorporating more structured approaches to business analysis and having people trained in the techniques, some are utilizing the skills of their existing Project Managers to perform this role. Project Managers possess many of the skills necessary to perform business analysis, but they can find it challenging to manage the project while also gathering, analyzing, and documenting requirements. Our main article, Why Does a Project Need a Project Manager and Business Analyst?, discusses this issue in detail and provides some best practice ideas.
Additionally, Autozone, Inc. shares their experience with improving their project management procedures and some suggestions that can be incorporated into any organization. They believe that having a strong project management approach is a foundation upon which to build a strong business analysis approach. We are asked many times, “Who should develop the project scope?” or “Why are you teaching Business Analysts how to define the scope? Our Project Managers are responsible for the scope.” Our Vice President, Business Development, Angie Perris, discusses the different uses of the word ‘scope’ and gives examples of each in her column Lost in Translation. It highlights the differences between a Project Scope and the Business Area Scope. This fall is a busy time for the Business Analyst community. There are three targeted conferences this fall. The demand for these conferences recognizes an increased awareness and the need for knowledge and professional growth in this area. We have included an events calendar and information about each conference can be found inside this issue. We encourage you attend one of these conferences. Another indicator that the business analysis profession is growing is the increase in US Chapters of the IIBA. Read the IIBA Update which highlights the expansion of the chapters and gives a brief update of the IIBA. B2T Training continues to be very involved in the IIBA and is chairing the chapter and corporate sponsorship committees and working extensively on the Body of Knowledge development. We encourage you to continue to visit our website often to find new resources for your profession. If you wish to provide articles or materials that we can share with your peers, forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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PMBOK and PMP are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
the Fall/Winter 2005
volume 2 l issue 2
table of contents 3
Why Does a Project Need a Project Manager and a Business Analyst?
5 5 7
IIBA Update Certified Business Analysts Did You Know? MS Project Tips
Charting the Course: One Company’s Voyage to Software Excellence
PM & BA Brain Teaser
Lost in Translation Scoping Your Project – What is your perspective?
Ask the Experts New Project Assignments
Book Review The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
B2T Training New Course Facilitating Requirements
B2T Training Certified Core Courses B2T Training Additional Course Offerings
B2T Training • 11795 Northfall Lane, Suite 601 • Alpharetta, GA 30004 • 866-675-2125 B2T Training is a woman-owned small business based in Atlanta, GA. Our training focuses on proven skills and techniques to define and scope the business problem, gather and analyze requirements, document the requirements, model the requirements, and follow through with the development of business requirements test plans to ensure the project has met its defined objectives. Our training is offered nationally and on a limited international basis. Most of our classes are taught onsite and are tailored to the unique environments of each organization. Public classes are also available in various cities around the US. Executive VP, Sales/Marketing, CEO Tina Joseph
President Barbara A. Carkenord
VP, Business Development Angie Perris
©2005 B2T Training. All rights reserved.
the bridge l Fall/Winter 2005 2
Why Does a Project Need a Project Manager and a Business Analyst? BY BARBARA A. CARKENORD, PRESIDENT, B2T TRAINING,
• Is usually the first person assigned to the project.
he best way to guarantee success of any type of project is to have a strong, experienced Project Manager and a strong, experienced Business Analyst. These two individuals, working together from the beginning of the project, set the stage for success by accurately planning and clearly defining the expected outcomes. Both roles are necessary because they are each responsible for a different set of tasks and they each possess a set of skills that complement each other. The two roles are closely tied, but exactly what are the similarities and differences, and why does a project need both? In many organizations, one individual is being asked to play both roles. This article discusses the importance of assigning different individuals to each role to ensure project success.
• Is responsible for planning the project and ensuring the team follows the plan.
Why Does a Project Need a PM and a BA?
Similarities, differences and how they work together
The Project Manager
• Manages changes, handles problems and keeps the project moving. • Manages people, money and risk. • Is the chief communicator of good or bad news to the Business Stakeholders and IT Management.
The Business Analyst • Is usually assigned to the project after it has started. • Is responsible for bridging the gap between the business area and IT. • Learns the business inside and out. • Essentially serves as the architect of effective business systems. • Is viewed inconsistently across the industry in regard to job title, definition and responsibilities. 3 Fall/Winter 2005 l the bridge
Having both a Project Manager (PM) and a Business Analyst (BA) is critical to a project’s success. Each role provides specialized capabilities that make the difference between whether a project succeeds or struggles. PMs and BAs each have unique skills and knowledge areas that, when used together, produce a high quality product. They both want the project to be successful and want to satisfy their customer – the Executive Sponsor. They both understand the ultimate goal of the project – to meet the project objectives. They each work on their own tasks within the project to achieve these objectives. There are some areas of a project where the PM and BA work together or serve as a back-up for each other. There are many other areas where the two individuals diverge and do very different types of tasks. The PM is responsible for ensuring that
the product is delivered to the customer on time and within budget. The BA is responsible for ensuring that the product is built according to the requirements and is built correctly. This difference in focus is the reason that having both roles on the team is critical. The product will be built correctly, according to requirements, on time and within budget!
Working Together So how do the PM and BA work together to make the project a success? Fundamentally, the PM manages project resources (people, money) and the BA manages the business stakeholders. The BA reports to the PM on his or her progress on the tasks in the work breakdown structure (WBS) in relation to requirements. Usually at the beginning of the project the PM and BA work very closely together and often work on the same tasks. As the project gets going, they each focus on their respective responsibilities and talk frequently to share their progress. Excellent PMs and BAs will work hand-in-hand to make the most of each other’s strengths. It is the healthy tension between the PM and the BA—the PM pushing to move forward and the BA cautiously wanting to gather just one more detail before going forward—that makes the combination so successful. They are inter-dependent because their goals are in conflict. At the beginning of the project there are areas of overlapping responsibilities such as project scope definition, development of the project statement of purpose, project objectives and identification of business risks. A strong PM will utilize the analysis skills of the BA to make sure that the scope is feasible and well defined. See Lost in Translation on page 11 for more details. As requirements are gathered, analyzed and documented by the BA, the PM is
SKILLS COMPARISON - SIMILARITIES Project Manager
• Strong communication skills
• Strong communication skills
• Understanding of the SDLC
• Understanding of the SDLC
• Negotiation/consensus building
• Negotiation/consensus building
• Strong interpersonal and client management skills
• Strong interpersonal and client management skills
closely involved, reviewing the requirements and adjusting the plan as necessary. The PM also reviews the decisions made when the BA and technical architect design the solution. Typically the PM reviews all project deliverables at a high level looking for project adjustments and issues. The BA reviews project deliverables that are related to requirements, solution design and testing; looking in detail to make sure that the business needs are being addressed. During the project both the BA and the PM will maintain a relationship with their “customers.” The BA is the advocate for the business area and the PM will report project status and work to resolve issues. Both roles also have an ongoing dialogue with the technical team members: the BA working with the technical architects to design a solution, the PM watching the progress of the team and adjusting the plan as decisions are made.
neglecting the tasks of the role that you enjoy the least. If you prefer doing PM work, you may miss requirements. If you prefer doing BA work, you may allow the schedule to slip or forget to direct your team members. This situation is further complicated if you are also assigned to other project responsibilities (i.e., you are also the technical architect) or assigned to work on other projects. Your project schedule, budget and product quality may be affected. Be sure to plan for adequate time needed to do both jobs effectively. If you find yourself in this situation frequently in your organization, use your excellent communication skills to heighten awareness regarding the conflicting roles to your managers. Make management and your project team aware of your conflicting responsibilities and challenges associated with them. Seek help in managing the
Dynamic Duos When assigning PMs and BAs to a project, executive management should be aware of the importance of this dynamic duo. Their success depends on their respective experience, knowledge and skill sets. The results will vary depending on the individuals selected. If a strong PM is assigned to work with a weak (inexperienced, unskilled or insecure) BA, the requirements gathering and analysis tasks may be rushed and important requirements may be missed. The PM will be pushing for the project to progress and the BA will not be strong enough to convince the PM that complete, accurate requirements are critical to project success. This may result in rework late in the project when the missing requirements are identified. Rework may result in schedule and budget overruns. In the opposite situation, if a weak PM is assigned to work with a strong BA, too much time may be spent in requirements gathering and the project will fall behind schedule. BAs want to get every single detail 100% correct before moving forward and if the PM lets the BA try to accomplish this virtually impossible task, the schedule will be jeopardized. Also, if the PM does not
SKILLS COMPARISON - DIFFERENCES Project Manager
When One Person Performs Both Roles
• Ability to see the “big picture” for the project
There are many projects where one person is assigned to act as both the PM and the BA. This is common and probably appropriate on small projects or when the organization is short staffed. Unfortunately, it is also common in organizations where there is a lack of understanding of the BA role and where the expectation is that business analysis is just another task a PM performs. For the individual playing this dual role, the challenge is to be aware of the conflicting focus and to try to act in one role at a time. You may find you are having disagreements with yourself, and it may be helpful to have a fellow PM or BA listen to your internal debate to try and help you make decisions. Be aware that you probably have a preference for one role or the other and you may find yourself
• Directs the project team
• Listens to people (SMEs)
• Helps people (project team) get things done
• Helps SMEs describe how and why they perform tasks
• Ensures the product is delivered on time, within budget
• Ensures the product is built right according to the requirements
• Removes issue barriers
• Identifies business issues
• Manages project change control
• Manages requirements change requests
• Manages the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
• Performs requirements-related tasks in the WBS
• Possesses management skills
• Possesses investigative skills
schedule and help to gather and document the requirements. If possible, try to minimize involvement on other concurrent projects. We cannot always have the ideal situation so make the best of what you have and communicate the issues as clearly as possible.
strictly enforce the change control procedure, BAs may allow business people to add more and more requirements resulting in “scope creep” and project delays. Obviously, the worse case situation is a project with a weak PM and a weak BA. (Continued, See PM and BA on page 9) the bridge l Fall/Winter 2005 4
Upcoming Business Analyst Events • October 17–20, 2005 – Mid-Atlantic Project Summit & Business Analyst World – Washington, DC For more information visit: www.businessanalystworld.com/ma/
• October 24–27, 2005 – New England Project Summit & Business Analyst World – Boston, MA
Update Starting a New Chapter Local chapters are being started by individuals who are taking the initiative to organize an initial meeting to gauge the level of interest. The IIBA Chapter Chair will help by providing contact names, as
he International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) continues to grow internationally. There is significant growth in the US with the number of local chapters expanding. Chapter formation meetings have been held in Boston, Des Moines,
For more information visit: www.businessanalystworld.com/ne/
• October 23–26, 2005 – Telelogic Americas & Asia/Pacific User Group Conference – Hollywood, CA
For more information visit: www.iirusa.com/BAW/
We are pleased to be able to highlight the latest individuals who have earned the title of Certified Business Analyst since the last issue of the bridge. To date, we have more than 1,600 people in the program, with over 100 who have completed and received certification and an additional 240 individuals in the final stage of the process. Shawn Cartmell Shamim Choudhury Mark Erdrich Diane Estep Pam Folz Nidhi Jain Margie Johnson Susan Lamon Chevelle Lee Amy Luke Daphne McKinney Missy Morehart Dave Noll Erin Sammler Amber Stewart Suzanne Swan Jennifer J. Thompson Theresa Welch
5 Fall/Winter 2005 l the bridge
• November 15–18, 2005 – World Congress for Business Analyst – Orlando, FL –
New Certified Business Analysts
For more information visit: www.telelogic.com/news/usergroup/us2005/
Chapters in Progress Significant Interest
Minneapolis, and Atlanta. The response to these meetings has been very positive with high attendance and many meetings resulting in charters being completed. Additionally, in Charlotte, Columbus, Knoxville, Dallas, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, and St. Louis, groups have expressed interest in setting up local chapters and are working towards obtaining a charter for a chapter. There are six chapters in Canada and groups from Australia and India have expressed interests in starting new chapters. Local chapters advance the mission and objectives of the IIBA by promoting professional standards and practices at the local level. They also provide ongoing professional development through activities, meetings, and educational programs at the local level. Benefits of Chapter Membership • Networking with other Business Analysts • Contributing to the development of the BA Body of Knowledge • Mentoring opportunities • Informational speakers on relevant topics • Educational opportunities • Exposure to tools and techniques
available, and suggestions on how to reach other local Business Analysts. If you are interested in helping to form a Chapter, the initial steps required are listed below. 1. Contact the US Chapters Chair to receive a Chapter Start-up Kit 2. Hold an informational meeting 3. Complete and forward a petition for an IIBA Chapter • 15 IIBA members are required to start a chapter 4. Assign a temporary chairperson 5. Complete Chapter Bylaws, including establishing: • Frequency and location of meetings • Roles and responsibilities of officers • Membership dues 6. Receive approval from IIBA Executive Committee If you are interested in being involved in one of the chapters or helping to start a new one, please visit the website, www.iiba.com, for the chapter contact information or contact Tina Joseph, Chapter Chair, at USchapters@iiba.com. n
did you know?
1. Create a new project file 2. Set the project characteristics (see below) 3. Add resources 4. Set up resource calendars 5. Add tasks (without entering the Work field) 6. Add dependencies between tasks 7. Assign resources to tasks 8. Enter work (time estimates) 9. Review the resource allocation 10. Level resources as necessary 11. Review the schedule and adjust as necessary Set the Project Characteristics
Under the Tools menu select Options and use the following tabs to set up characteristics.
1. Under the General tab: • Select - Prompt for project info for new projects • Default a standard rate • Default overtime rate These selections ease project creation by having the system remind you to add project information and to track the project budget. If you click on the Set as Default button, these selections will be used for all future project plans. 2. Under the Calendar tab set: • Start time • End time • Hours per day • Hours per week
3. Under the Schedule tab set: • Increments that work is entered in, (e.g., hours, minutes, days, etc.) • A default task type, recommend setting Fixed Work. Setting the default task type to Fixed Work is the most important step in managing and tracking a project by actual time used. MS Project uses Duration as the default. Duration is the length of time between the start date and finish date of a task. Most tasks are completed over time, a few hours a day or week. For example, assigning a task using Duration as the task type that starts on a Monday 7 Fall/Winter 2005 l the bridge
4. Under the Calculation tab you can: • Select an automatic or manual update calculation • Instruct MS Project to update resource status when updating task status
5. To set up the project calendar, go to the Tools menu and choose Change Working Time. Then, choose the calendar most appropriate to your project. Note: The radio buttons and times on the right side of this window are for selected dates only. Each project plan has a project calendar defining dates and time in which the project will be worked. Each resource also has a calendar defining the dates and times that the resource is available to work on the project. The project calendar should be set up before any resources are added to the project. When resources are added, their calendars will default to the project calendar. MS Project offers three standard calendars: • Standard • 24-hour • Night shift 6. To change the working hours for the entire project, do this: 1.Click on the Options button at the bottom of the Change Working Time window 2.Enter your defaults 3. Select Options 4.Click Set as Default 5.Click OK Note: These are the hours used to calculate work regardless of resource calendars. n
and ends on a Friday, but takes only 6 hours, would show the task being worked on by the resource for the entire period between Monday and Friday, 40 hours. Using Fixed Work allows the number of hours to be spread across the length of the task to allow the resource to be allocated to other tasks.
id you know that MS Project makes basic assumptions about a project? These assumptions or defaults need to be modified before you begin building your plan. This article will show you how to set up the initial project characteristics and give you the recommended order to build a project plan.
MS Project Tips
Charting the Course: One Company’s Voyage to Software Excellence BY S U SA N B L AC K B U R N , P M P, IT P RO J E C T M A N AG E R , AUTO Z O N E
“AutoZoners always put customers first!”
his is sometimes difficult for the IT department because we don’t often meet the customer face to face. However, the development work produced by IT provides our business with products and support for over 3,500 stores, so we have a part in honoring that pledge. Our Journey Eight years ago, the IT department began researching the impact and benefit of project management disciplines. At the time, developers could work directly with the business users and create something that was quickly and easily implemented. Our leaders saw the rapid growth potential facing AutoZone in the coming years, and began looking at the internal processes that existed in IT. We performed analysis of the processes and work flow of the department. The results showed the inefficiencies and opportunities we had with the lack of adequate demand management, project management, and appropriate organizational structure. We examined the development work being requested by the business. At one point, approximately 600 projects were in progress in the department. IT implemented a role for Demand Managers, and assigned it to our Directors. All requests for technology were clearly communicated to both IT and the business and were manually funneled through the Director group. Place your Order, Please We developed and implemented an electronic work request system, requiring the business to formally define and request technology services. Workflow and approvals were automated in the request system. IT began estimating the requests and assigning an internal labor cost, along
with other costs inherent in delivering the solution. Prior to this, the IT budget was allocated and development work was never estimated on a per-project basis. Proving Value AutoZone executive management required business members to prove the value of any
project they planned to undertake by requiring the project to hurdle an internal rate of return (IRR) based on dollar savings. The number of project requests decreased to around 200 well-defined technology projects. These disciplines enabled IT and the business to make sound technology investment decisions, while maintaining our pledge of putting the customer first. Rock and Roll IT decided that project management disciplines were necessary to advance to the next level in our quest for quality software, efforts to put our customers first, and deliver projects within the IRR and budget. An internal analysis of processes and methods was launched. We performed research of industry best practices and other companies’ efforts in this area. As a
result, we created an internal project management methodology (PMM). The What? The PMM is a collective group of tools and techniques for managing AutoZone’s technology projects. It is comprised of lifecycle phases, standards, procedures, and associated templates. It provides a strong disciplined approach. Although there are certain deliverables required, as well as review and approvals at decision points throughout the PMM, Project Managers (PMs) are expected to use judgment and scale the PMM to their project needs. The PMM included concepts foreign to AutoZone at the time: roles and responsibilities, project scope, business requirements processes (up to this point, requirements and design were combined and we were fortunate if it was documented anywhere), testing methodologies and phase-gate decision points. Putting these processes in place, and getting buy-in from the team, was like turning an aircraft carrier— slow and deliberate. The PMM was implemented via indepth training sessions and mentoring, both in IT and the business. The audience for training included senior level development staff. Project Managers Multiple levels of the IT organization filled the role of Project Manager. This role was expected to execute and control the project, as well as define the business requirements and ensure the resulting product met or exceeded the business expectation. This resulted in some conflicting objectives— often at the sacrifice of sound business and functional requirements. Post Implementation After the PMM was implemented, it took over a year to start seeing the benefits and improvements from using the process. Over time, IT’s credibility and rapport the bridge l Fall/Winter 2005 8
with the business have increased. Since there is a focus on planning and evaluation of each project we undertake, there are now about 150 projects per year. There is rich documentation available for other project teams to draw from for their projects. Several of the missing ingredients became clear after about two years of PMM use. One of these was a project and portfolio management process and tool. IT spent about a year focusing on this. We became really good at our project financials, and even at project estimating, scheduling, and reporting. However, we still didn’t see the beneficial results we expected. The Next Phase Management began studying the PMM, understanding our quality processes and
methods, and initiating an analysis of the organization to find out where opportunities were being overlooked. Repeatedly, the discussion turned to requirements analysis, change management, and the need for focused quality processes. The need for requirements management became evident. Revolutionary Changes The PMM became a development lifecycle. The entire organization has access to the methodology. A new role emerged for Business Analysts, which means that PMs are no longer responsible for gathering and documenting requirements. This allows PMs to adequately plan, execute, and control projects. It enables the business to gain deeper trust in IT projects, when we
have a dedicated person working side by side with them to understand, document, and deliver the requirements for technology solutions. Code reviews have been implemented, along with a segregation of duties between new development and application maintenance and support. Configuration management is being implemented, and soon, full application change management will be in place. The Process Does not End We take seriously the fact that we are continuing to act on our pledge to “put the customer first.” As a disciplined, organized department, we are learning more than ever before and beginning to reap the benefits. Our aircraft carrier is completing the turn in the right direction. n
(PM and BA continued from page 4)
No matter how involved the subject matter experts are, and how good the technical team is, this project is guaranteed to fail without strong leadership and clear requirements. “Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project. Project management is comprised of five Project Management Process Groups – Initiating Processes, Planning Processes, Executing Processes, Monitoring and Controlling Processes, and Closing Processes – as well as nine Knowledge Areas. These nine Knowledge Areas center on management expertise in Project Integration Management, Project Scope Management, Project Time Management, Project Cost Management, Project Quality Management, Project Human Resources Management, Project Communications Management, Project Risk Management and Project Procurement Management.” A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), - Third Edition
9 Fall/Winter 2005 l the bridge
Therefore, the best case situation is a project with a strong PM and a strong BA. Assuming the rest of the project team is competent, this project will be well run and the end product will be of the highest quality. There is a great balance between thorough requirements gathering and project progress. The project will be on schedule and meet the expectations of the Executive Sponsor.
How to Achieve Specialized PM and BA Roles Professional organizations like the IIBA and PMI are working to promote the career progression of PM and BA roles. Companies should recognize the importance of each role by giving them appropriate job titles, job descriptions, evaluation criteria and making sure that individuals in each role have the appropriate skill set. Training and cross training is important because a successful BA understands what the PM does and an excellent PM understands the role of the BA. In summary, all projects need business analysis and project management skills. The PM and BA roles intersect and support each other. Some of the skills required by these two individuals are
similar but many are different. Cooperation results in project success. n
“Business Analysts are responsible for identifying business needs. The Business Analyst is responsible for requirements development and requirements management. Specifically, the Business Analyst elicits, analyzes, validates and documents business, organizational and/or operational requirements. Solutions are not predetermined by the Business Analyst, but are driven solely by the requirements of the business. Solutions often include a systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement or organizational change. The Business Analyst is a key facilitator within an organization, acting as a bridge between the client, stakeholders and the solution team. Business analysis is distinct from financial analysis, project management, quality assurance, organizational development, testing, training and documentation development.” IIBA.com
pm and ba brain teaser
ACROSS 1 Analysis performed to prove a solution is possible 6 First approved project plan 9 Analysis technique used to find holes 12 Project management chart that depicts critical path 13 Condition that governs the way work is done 14 Goals 15 Project management organization 16 Information 17 Requirements related to software & hardware 22 Effectiveness & efficiency of the final product deliverable 24 Material or a person needed on a project 27 Project boundaries 31 Balance of expenditures versus results 32 Process to manage Scope creep
34 A task that can be done after another task 35 Phases undertaken in sequential order: Project_________ 36 Activity 37 Indication of progress made on a task 38 Requirements that describe how software behaves 39 Look over for missing requirements DOWN 2 Business Analyst organization 3 Manager of the project 4 Potential problems 5 Project management chart listing tasks and timeline 6 Representative/advocate of the business area 7 A WBS with resources & timeframe 8 Person who controls the process of a meeting
10 Acronym for a list of tasks required to complete the project 11 A condition on a task 18 Business, functional & technical needs 19 An endeavor to produce a deliverable under constraints 20 Makes high-level decisions about project direction 21 A set of indicators against which to measure performance 23 Tracking requirements throughout a project 25 Financial plan 26 Task which has a successor task 28 Major event or deliverable 29 Future projections 30 WBS is composed of hundreds of these 33 Diagram depicting how work is performed Answers on page 11
the bridge l Fall/Winter 2005 10
lost in translation Scoping Your Project – What is your perspective? BY A N G I E P E R R I S, P M P,
Project Scope Components Business Analyst Responsibilities
n WBS n Budget n Schedule n Resources n Project Risks n Milestones n Data Flow Diagram n Use Case Diagram n Stakeholder Analysis n Business Risks n High Level Business Process
Submit an article to the bridge! Each issue of the bridge focuses on a particular area of interest within business analysis. Articles relevant to the topic area are preferred; however, any articles about best practices, project success stories, BA resources (books or tools) will also be considered. We will post submission deadlines for each issue so keep an eye on our website. To submit an article send an email to email@example.com.
11 Fall/Winter 2005 l the bridge
e often use the word “scope” or the phrase “scope creep” during our projects. Scope controls the work of the project team and scope creep causes negative repercussions to the project and its stakeholders. When discussing scope, the definition may vary depending on your perspective and the project. The Project Manager (PM) and Business Analyst (BA) are equally motivated to expedite an approved project scope because scope defines the most critical activities that each role performs. Each role has a separate, yet complementary, focus regarding scope. BAs and PMs working together achieve the best results. Why is defining the right scope such a big deal? A clear scope defines the boundaries of the project: what will and will not be in the project, keeping in only those things that are necessary to meet the project objectives. Key project stakeholders all agree to the boundaries of scope. Scope guides requirements gathering and analysis as well as the design of the solution selected. Scope drives the project activities, the schedule, and the costs of the project. An approved scope is the most significant early project milestone. It serves as a baseline and a primary reference for
Answers to Brain Teaser puzzle on page 10
measuring all future project changes and project performance. Since the PM and BA have different responsibilities on the project, they manage different aspects of the scope. Exhibit 1 is a graphical representation of the project scope components, including a subset of the BA’s responsibilities. Different tools and diagrams are used to document scope for stakeholder approval. PMs primarily use a work breakdown structure (WBS) to develop a comprehensive project plan, see Exhibit 2. A Context Level Dataflow Diagram may be used by a BA to define the Business Area Scope, see Exhibit 3. The BA is responsible for gathering and documenting business requirements and translating them into functional system design specifications that can be successfully implemented by IT development teams. The BA also facilitates the Design Area Scope prior to defining the functional requirements. A Use Case Diagram is one option for documenting this scope, see Exhibit 4. When you find yourself negotiating scope, whether you are the PM or BA, remember your perspective, and do not let your scope get “Lost in Translation.” n
Project Manager’s Perspective Project Scope The primary use of the project scope is to define the content of the project of which the Business Area Scope is one component. A WBS is a diagram used to illustrate the project plan or project scope. The project plan refers to all the work that is needed to deliver the product or service with the specified features and functions expected by the business; think in terms of project deliverables, milestone dates, resources, and costs. The project plan should answer who, what, when, and how, and describe the project scope from the PM’s perspective.
Business Analyst’s Perspective Business Area Scope
Design Area Scope - Use Case Diagram
The primary use of the Business Area Scope is to define the area to be analyzed. This scope drives the entire requirements process. A Context Level Data Flow Diagram is a model used to graphically illustrate the Business Area Scope and displays the project boundary, key information flows, and external agents.
Documenting this model gives the development team a clear picture of the solution scope. The solution scope includes all the features and functions that are to be included in the software product or service that must be delivered.
the bridge l Fall/Winter 2005 12
ask the experts New Project Assignments Question: Who is assigned to a new project first? The Project Manager or the Business Analyst? Answer: As with most of our expert answers, the answer begins with “it depends” — it depends on where and when the organization performs business analysis and business modeling. Some organizations assign BAs to work inside a business area; analyzing, understanding, and modeling the core business processes and data, independent of a “project.” In these organizations, the BA
may be the person to identify a project, when he or she sees an opportunity to improve the business workflow. The BA may also perform a cost benefit analysis to justify the new project. In this case the BA is assigned even before the project is initiated. In other organizations, BAs work inside the IT group and are assigned to a project after an executive sponsor has requested the project. In these situations, the PM is often the first person assigned to the project and then he or she requests a BA as one of the resources needed for the project. On these
projects, the business analysis, modeling, and requirements gathering are performed as project tasks at the beginning of the project. Regardless of when you are assigned to a project, an excellent BA always makes sure that he or she completely understands the business requirements and environment before a solution is designed. n Send your questions to Ask the Experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
book review The World is Flat: A brief history of the 21st century by Thomas Friedman R E V I E W E D BY BA R BA R A A . C A R K E N O R D, P R E S I D E N T, B 2 T T R A I N I N G ,
his month, instead of reviewing a book on requirements gathering or analysis, we have decided to suggest a book that PMs and BAs along with all working Americans should read. This book has been on the New York Times best seller list and has wide appeal for its intelligent discussion of economic globalization. Thomas Friedman clearly explains why globalization has gone into overdrive and explains the driving forces behind this radical change. Most of those reasons center on constantly improving technology and business process analysis! Thomas Friedman is a journalist for the New York Times and is a three time Pulitzer Prize winner. He is an expert on the Middle East, and has written extensively on US domestic politics and foreign policy, international economics, and the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat. In this book, he applies his research skills as a journalist and strong analytical skills to the topic of business globalization and its impact on the US. Although considered a “mainstream” publication, this is an
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extremely technical book. Friedman discusses topics such as opensourcing, outsourcing and work flow software. These topics now being considered mainstream tells us much about how the world has changed and how important the role of information technology is to our country’s future. Friedman’s premise – the world is flat – (which I do think he says a few too many times in the book) is that with the availability of high speed communications, people on the other side of the world are as available to your business as people who live down the street. If he is correct, every time a US employer searches for an employee, it has billions of people from which to choose. How’s that for competition? Friedman gives 10 forces that flattened the world and I found this the most
fascinating section of the book. To see work flow software as one of the forces shows how much business analysis work is changing our world. I was excited to read about companies trying radically new, innovative process implementations to remain competitive in the global economy. Friedman found that companies are being more creative with process design and are designing work in a manner that will enable the first step of a process to be done in Indiana, the second step in Bangalore, India, the third step in Manila, with the result being sent to the customer in Chicago. All of the steps in the process are connected by seamless interfaces using XML and high-speed transmissions. BAs know that the only way this type of process design is possible, is by analyzing and decomposing the business requirements so that each step is looked at as a discrete task. This need for work flow analysis and innovation is driving the expansion of the BA profession. n B2T RATING: HHHH (scale is 1-4; 4 is the best)
new course Facilitating Requirements
Intended Audience This course is designed for experienced, knowledgeable Business Analysts who understand process, data, and business rule requirements.
Prerequisites This course teaches students how to plan and conduct a facilitated session Students should have to gather project requirements. As projects involve more and more people attended B2T Training from various departments within an organization, the art of bringing people Courses: Detailing Business together to gather requirements and gain consensus on solutions becomes a Data Requirements and critical success factor for all Business Analysts. The number of students in Detailing Process and this class is limited to eight so that each student has the opportunity to Business Rules Requirements practice facilitating a requirements gathering session. Each student will also or have equivalent experience. have the opportunity to play each of the key roles in at least one session. The workshops in this course require the students to plan a requirements gathering session on a particular aspect of a project, develop the correct questions to ask of the group, and facilitate the group to a consensus on the requirements. Over 60% of the class time is spent on interactive, real-world business case study facilitated sessions.
Course Outline Introduction • Review facilitation with respect to requirements • Learn the history of facilitation techniques (i.e., JAD, FAST, JRP) • Review the description of the roles in the session • Learn guidelines for facilitators • Set session rules and manage the session • Workshop: Conduct a mini facilitated session Appropriate uses for facilitated sessions • Discuss phases in the project lifecycle where facilitation is most useful • Discuss types of projects where facilitation is most useful • Review the core requirements components • Learn when not to use facilitated sessions
Planning a facilitated session • Determine session feasibility - Determine need - Determine commitment level - Determine risks • Plan the session - Determine the number/length of the session(s) - Identify potential participants • Prepare for a session - Outline the goals and deliverables - Select session participants - Develop questions to gather requirements - Create a formal agenda for the session participants
- Create a detailed agenda for the facilitation team - Learn group-oriented facilitation techniques • Brainstorming • Consensus building • Flowcharting • Force field analysis • Nominal group • Storyboarding - Orient the facilitation team - Prepare the facilities • Workshop: Plan a facilitated session to develop project scope Conducting the session • Open the session • Learn the stages of group development/productivity • Facilitate decision making - working towards consensus • Learn reactive techniques to use during the session - Encourage participation - Manage group focus • Give feedback to participants Student Workshop • Plan and conduct a facilitated session • Receive feedback from instructor and fellow students Session follow-up • Produce the final document • Receive feedback from instructor and fellow students
For more information on this course visit www.b2ttraining.com the bridge l Fall/Winter 2005 14
certified core courses Essential Skills for the Business Analyst
This course covers the critical skills for the Business Analyst. Students will learn to define what is, and what is not included in the project, how to ask the right questions, when and how to hold interviews and facilitated sessions, how to write excellent requirements, how to verify that requirements are testable, how to conduct a requirements review, and have an overview of various application development methodologies. Additionally, students will be introduced to various documentation techniques and plan an approach for documentation.
3 Days Detailing Business Data Requirements The data portion of the business requirements is a critical component to defining complete requirements. Every process uses data and almost all business rules are enforced by data. Missing a critical piece of data or incorrectly defining a data element contributes to the majority of maintenance problems and results in systems that do not reflect the business needs. This course teaches students an in-depth approach to identify and define all necessary data components using both textual templates and an entity relationship diagram to create a data model.
4 Days Detailing Process and Business Rule Requirements
This course continues the development of the requirements package by defining the processes and business rules for the project. Students will learn to identify and define the processes from a business and functional perspective. Various techniques are taught including decomposition diagrams, templates, workflow models, and Use Case diagrams and descriptions. Additionally, this course teaches techniques to ensure that requirements have not been missed.
More detailed outlines are available on our website, www.b2ttraining.com
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additional course offerings Requirements Testing for the Business Analyst
This course provides an excellent foundation for Business Analysts to achieve best practices in software quality assurance (SQA). The course will improve the Business Analyst's development of requirements so that they can be used to build quality test cases. It will also enable the Business Analyst to create specific test cases from the requirements. The course includes a workshop case study that provides a cohesive learning experience.
Advanced Business Analysis Workshop
This course enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of Business Analysts by giving them additional techniques and strategies for gathering, documenting, and reviewing requirements. Techniques such as advanced data definition, traceability, and gap analysis help Business Analysts document more accurate and complete requirements. The course also presents the concept of requirements management and requirements reuse. Implementing a requirements management process into your organization can significantly reduce the time required to make software changes and develop software interfaces.
UML for the Business Analyst
This course is designed for the Business Analyst who needs a working knowledge of the diagrams within UML/OO development environments. Business Analysts can use the techniques taught in this course to capture, analyze, and document requirements to facilitate communication with their technology team members. If a Business Analyst can present requirements to the developers in a manner consistent with their design deliverables; software design and development time can be decreased and software quality increased. The techniques covered in this course are not the same as those in our three core Business Analyst Courses.
Overview of Business Analysis
4 Hour Seminar
This seminar presents the Business Analyst role to managers and others who lead and work with Business Analysts. In order for the Business Analyst to be successful, both the IT and business community must embrace the business analysis process. The seminar can be used as a working session to discuss how your organization will implement the business analysis process and approaches for documenting the requirements.
For more information on these courses visit www.b2ttraining.com
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2005-06 public class schedule Essential Skills for the Business Analyst - $1,980/per student • Oct 24 – Oct 27, 2005 Atlanta, GA • Jan 23 – Jan 26, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Feb 13 – Feb 16, 2006 Louisville, KY • Feb 27 – Mar 2, 2006 Chicago, IL • Mar 6 – Mar 9, 2006 Houston, TX • Mar 27 – Mar 30, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Apr 24 – Apr 27, 2006 New York, NY • May 1 – May 4, 2006 Seattle, WA • Jun 12 – Jun 15, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Jul 17 – Jul 20, 2006 Louisville, KY • Aug 7 – Aug 10, 2006 Chicago, IL • Sep 18 – Sep 21, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Nov 13 – Nov 16, 2006 New York, NY • Dec 4 – Dec 7, 2006 Atlanta, GA Detailing Business Data Requirements - $1,485/per student • Oct 17 – Oct 19, 2005 Louisville, KY • Dec 5 – Dec 7, 2005 Atlanta, GA • Feb 27 – Mar 1, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Mar 13 – Mar 15, 2006 Louisville, KY • Apr 3 – Apr 5, 2006 Chicago, IL • Apr 24 – Apr 26, 2006 Houston, TX • Jun 12 – Jun 14, 2006 New York, NY • Jul 24 – Jul 26, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Aug 14 – Aug 16, 2006 Seattle, WA • Sep 11 – Sep 13, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Sep 18 – Sep 20, 2006 Louisville, KY • Oct 23 – Oct 25, 2006 Chicago, IL
Detailing Process and Business Rule Requirements - $1,980/per student • Sep 26 – Sep 29, 2005 Seattle, WA • Sep 26 – Sep 29, 2005 Houston, TX • Nov 29 – Dec 2, 2005 Atlanta, GA • Dec 12 – Dec 15, 2005 Louisville, KY • Apr 3 – Apr 6, 2006 Atlanta, GA • May 15 – May 18, 2006 Louisville, KY • May 22 – May 25, 2006 Houston, TX • Jun 5 – Jun 8, 2006 Chicago, IL • Sep 25 – Sep 28, 2006 New York, NY • Oct 2 – Oct 5, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Nov 6 – Nov 9, 2006 Seattle, WA • Nov 13 – Nov 16, 2006 Louisville, KY • Dec 4 – Dec 7, 2006 Chicago, IL
Requirements Testing for the Business Analyst - $1,485 per student • Apr 24 – Apr 26, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Jun 12 – Jun 14, 2006 Louisville, KY • Aug 21 – Aug 23, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Dec 11 – Dec 13, 2006 Louisville, KY Facilitating Requirements - $1,485 per student • May 8 – May 10, 2006 Atlanta, GA UML for the Business Analyst - $1,485 per student • May 1 – May 3, 2006 Atlanta, GA
Advanced Business Analysis Workshop - $1,485 per student • Jan 17 – Jan 19, 2006 Louisville, KY • May 15 – May 17, 2006 Atlanta, GA • Oct 16 – Oct 18, 2006 Louisville, KY • Nov 6 – Nov 8, 2006 Atlanta, GA
Please check our website for additional public class offerings and to check availability and register – www.b2ttraining.com/business-analysis-training On-site classes are also available. Call 866-675-2125 or email us at sales@B2Ttraining.com
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