“It’s not about the ability of those around you to lead. It’s about your ability to lead, despite what is happening around you.”

Business Analysts work on project teams and we sometimes find ourselves also performing the role of Project Manager or Project Lead.  Whatever roles we have, working effectively within a project team is a key skill and a valuable competency.

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Our work lives involve meetings.  Staff meetings, conference calls, project meetings, retreats, planning meetings, stand up meetings, virtual meetings. Whatever we call them, whatever their purpose, we spend time in meetings to discover and share information and to make decisions in order to move forward on a project or initiative. Facilitating effective meetings is a powerful skill set and very useful for any Business Analyst.

“A Business Analyst who is an expert facilitator does this in a manner that encourages participation and ownership and that maximizes the productivity of everyone involved in requirements definition and management”. 


Requirements are the cornerstone of a Business Analyst’s work. Requirements are elicited, defined, communicated, validated, documented, modeled, baselined, categorized, interpreted, analyzed, traced, managed and changed.  
Requirements are the “necessary and sufficient properties of a business system that will ensure the business goals and objectives are met”.  Getting It Right, Business Requirements Analysis Tools and Techniques provides an excellent overview of the process of requirements analysis and the tools and techniques to adequately analyze and manage requirements.  It is one of a volume of books in the Business Analysis Essential Library series.

Of all the Business Analysis related books I have read, Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis stands out as one of my favourites.

This book provides a clear understanding about the role and work of a Business Analyst and the value the role provides.  Divided into seven chapters, the book details the steps to mastering the skills of a Business Analyst while also providing practical insightful advice. The book outlines key knowledge areas, analysis techniques and strategies and applies them to real project scenarios.


You have been asked to provide a presentation to senior stakeholders about the status of a large project in which you are acting as the Business Analyst.  You open Powerpoint and create a new blank slide.  You start to think about how you want to depict the necessary information.  What template background is appropriate? Should I insert some images or just use bullet points? How many bullets is too many? How many slides are too many? You want to keep the content relevant and simple but not sure how best to accomplish this goal.  
You’ve seen many presentations over the course of your career, some memorable and some not so memorable. Thinking about the audience for your presentation, you wonder how to meet their needs without presenting too much information. 
Whether your preparing your first presentation or another of many presentations, you’ll gain lots of insight and find new inspiration by reading Presentation Zen.

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