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Introduction to Business Analysis

Metaphor for ideas

This practical, hands-on course is designed to provide attendees with a foundational knowledge of Business Analysis, and as such no previous specific knowledge of BA practices or techniques is assumed.  A range of hands-on exercises are introduced throughout the course which enable delegates to practice using the techniques that are presented, and time is built in for questions and discussion.

Delegates will leave the course with an enhanced knowledge of a range of analysis techniques, and will be ready to start putting them into practice.  A copy of the course material will be provided that will act as a reminder when utilising the techniques in their own work setting.

Course Duration: 2 Days

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for those undertaking a business analysis role for the first time, as well as more experienced practitioners who are seeking to formalise their knowledge.  No previous experience of formal business analysis techniques is required.

Learning Outcomes

Attendees that successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • Understand what business analysis is, and why it is important
  • Identify and categorise relevant stakeholders for a project or initiative, and formulate ways of engaging them
  • Apply techniques to understand ‘root causes’, including defining a problem statement
  • Apply a range of common requirement elicitation techniques
  • Document requirements in a requirements catalogue and understand the basic format of a user story
  • Work with stakeholders to prioritise requirements

Understand how requirements can be managed within (and beyond) projects

Course Content

1. Introduction: The Importance of Business Analysis
The course starts with an introduction to the discipline of business analysis, focussing on what the discipline involves and why it is beneficial. Business analysis is presented as a discipline rather than a job title, and one that may be undertaken by a variety of different practitioners. Key terminology is introduced and explained: this will be built upon throughout the course. Topics include:

What is business analysis? Definition, scope and scale of business analysis
Why is analysis needed? Reasons and rationale for business analysis
Key terms: Introduction to key terminology, including:
– Business Analyst (anyone undertaking business analysis, whether or not it is their permanent role or job title)
– Stakeholder
– Requirement
– Solution
Introduction to requirement types: This will be elaborated on throughout the course
Delivery Approaches: Brief introduction to the difference between adaptive (e.g. agile) and predictive (e.g. waterfall) approaches, and the impact on business analysis activities
2. Stakeholder Identification and Management
Identifying stakeholders: Typical stakeholder roles, ways of identifying stakeholders
Categorising stakeholders: Classifying (‘mapping’) stakeholders on an influence/impact grid
Managing and engaging stakeholders: Approaches to adopt when a stakeholder isn’t as engaged or interested in a project as we would like
Handling conflict: Approaches for managing and handling conflict between stakeholders.
3. Understanding the problem
The importance of a problem focus: Rationale for understanding underlying problems and root-causes, and the danger of early ‘solutioneering’
Problem identification and definition techniques
– 5 Whys
– Problem Statement
– Fishbone diagram
Objectives and outcomes:
– Critical Success Factors/Key Performance Indicators
– Project-level ‘Balanced Scorecard’
– Business case: A brief overview of the contents of a typical business case
4. Eliciting requirements
Requirement Types: Elaborating on the different types of requirements that we encounter
Elicitation Techniques: A range of relevant techniques will be introduced, with the following techniques examined in more detail:
– Interviews
– Workshops
– Observation
– Prototyping (as an elicitation and documentation technique)
5. Requirements Analysis & Definition
Writing a “Spec”: Specifying (documenting) requirements as:
– A Requirements Catalogue
– User Stories (and acceptance criteria)
– Non-Functional Requirements (NFR): Approaches to handling non-functional requirements, including the importance of NFRs and the types of NFR.
Requirement verification: Qualities of a good requirement, peer reviewing.
6. Managing Requirements throughout the lifecycle
Traceability: The importance of traceability, how to trace requirements throughout a project
– Rationale for prioritisation
– MoSCoW prioritisation framework
Requirements Approval/Sign-Off
Requirements Maintenance
Assessing/Managing requirement changes
Requirements Maintenance: Maintaining requirements throughout (and beyond) projects, ensuring there is documentation for maintenance/enhancement purposes

Course Endorsement

This course is endorsed by IIBA®.

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Next Steps

Want to run the course for your team?

For more information and to book this course for your organisation please contact us: