The Business Analyst Coach Podcast Artwork

The Three Musketeers is a phrase which has come from a french novel – Les Trois Mousquetaires.This title was given to 3 inseparable friends who live by the motto, “One for all, and all for one”.

People, process and technology are the three musketeers of a business. Miss out or mistreat one of them you will surely upset the other two.

In this podcast, we take a microscopic look into the people musketeer with the lens of the BABOK and go over the very important task of stakeholder analysis with Mathew Leach.

Here is stakeholder analysis (BABOK 2.2) coming to life:

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The Business Analyst Coach Podcast Artwork

When I got my copy of ‘Discover to Deliver’, I opened the package like a 5-year old opens a christmas gift. It was a treat to my eyes when I held it and skimmed through it. It was unlike most analysis books that I have read.

Also, I had a bit of déjà vu about the design and the euphoric positive feeling you get when you are holding something that is made with so much care, love and hard work.

I had to find the source of this déjà vu somehow…

Flashback: A couple months ago I came across another book that made me feel “This is how all books should be written“. The book was Business Model Generation, which I read through on and off to get inspiration for my business and understand how business models work.

When I was reading the first few pages of ‘Discover to deliver’, guess what?

The Business Model Generation book was one of the inspirations for Ellen and Mary… This explained the déjà vu feelings of emphatic mental assertion that all authors should really care about their readers like how Ellen and Mary have done in this book. They have left no stone unturned to use an elegant and visually rich language to communicate with their readers. Kudos to them!

In this 3-way podcast between Ellen, Mary and myself, we explore their newest book, “Discover to Deliver – Agile Product Planning and Analysis“. You will learn about what inspired them to write the book, what pain points this book intends to solve, how to read this, and much more (see the episode sneak-peek to get complete overview).

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Moving Forward

In the Week 3 Blog I finished off with “Moving Forward” in getting the CBAP designation.  Now how do I tie this week’s theme in?

Enterprise Analysis, like sky-diving, is not something BA’s commonly do today.  The irony is that the IIBA has it highly valued as a Knowledge Area (KA) in the BABOK. Even more ironic is that most BA’s would describe the exercise of doing Enterprise Analysis as interesting, challenging, and even fun.  The BA’s take, I suspect for most, is that their enthusiasm for this KA stems from the possibility of doing something new.

BA’s may have all sorts of fears when it comes to applying for the CBAP, however when it comes to moving forward and taking on new challenges on the job they are among the most fearless – often embracing change,  being early adapters,  and champions for new ideas and approaches.

Or maybe we are just some of the more outspoken, opinionated people on a project?

Project Analysis to Enterprise Analysis – not a huge leap

BA’s may be some of the best placed people to understand how to define the “Business Need”.  They already work with the business at a project level to refine the definition of need (requirements).  So why is it so difficult for employers to translate that “up” and have BA’s at the Enterprise level?

As well, being the facilitators between Business and IT, BA’s are often in the best position to quickly assess capability gaps.  With firsthand experience at a granular level, they are able to quickly identify the high level warning signs suggesting potential roadblocks in addressing the identified business need.

More often than not, Business relies on the BA to use their experience to help determine the Solution Approach.  BA’s are typically asked to look or even demonstrate multiple solution alternatives and suggest which one bests suits the Business’s needs.

Then, given a set of constraints, like budget, or timelines, the BA helps define Solution Scope.  Once again their necessary / strong soft-skills allow them to reach across the project team to gain consensus on what capabilities will be delivered.  BA’s help to provide context for the solution being implemented; define what or who will be supported by the initiative; even help decide whether implementation should one-time or iterative. In many cases, the BA is in the best position to identify if the capabilities being addressed will be of benefit to other business areas and their capability development.

A Case for Business

With the BA’s involvement in all the other areas of project preparation, formally participating in Enterprise Analysis and creation of the Business Case just makes sense.  Typically the BA is consolidating the information for the business on the solution option comparisons – the value add to the business based on a deployed solution versus the cost to develop and operate it; benefits, costs, risk assessment, and results measurement (what KPI’s will be used to measure project success, estimating ROI).

So why aren’t more BA’s doing it?  I honestly can’t speak to that.  If you have the answer – publicize it. Please use the comment space below to share your thoughts and comments.

The Business Analyst Coach Podcast Artwork

So, you have an idea, an ambition or a project.

Interested in getting it done?

Then go ahead grab yourself a copy of “Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress-Free Productivity“, but before that listen to this podcast.

In this part 2 of a two-part series (you can listen to part 1 here), David shares with us how to navigate and apply the GTD system.  He also answers a few community questions at the end of the podcast.

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The Business Analyst Coach Podcast Artwork

“Few people even scratch the surface, much less exhaust the contemplation of their own experience. ”
          – Randolph Bourne

That quote was true, until I interviewed Alex Papworth. Interviewing independent BA consultants always brings out the in-depth knowledge and practical insights.  This episode with him is a classic example.

His insights are unique and are presented from a vantage point that is bound to leave you sitting still and doing nothing but listening and note taking. After a well deserved break, and recovery from the collarbone injury I am back with a brand new season of the podcast. Alex is a great guest to kick-start this season. He shares a lot of good advice and practical tips to help you with your business analysis work.

He has also been a long time friend and very active in the BA community with his blog (BA Mentor). He had absolutely no reservations in sharing all that he could for the benefit of the BA community.

So, let this season begin…. Here is the first episode of season 2 with Alex:

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