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Effective business analysis skills can be critical in helping organizations to achieve their business goals.

Effective business analysis skills are widely regarded in project management and product development circles as being critical in helping organizations to achieve their business goals.

Through analysis of the organization’s needs and the alignment of business projects to these needs, the business analyst’s role is to facilitate solutions to business problems. This may involve:

  • Strategic analysis, modelling strategic themes and drivers
  • Business capability modelling – modelling what the business does (conceptual activity models), as opposed to how it does it (physical process models)
  • Process and value stream (value chain) mapping
  • Skills and competency mapping
  • Process re-definition / re-engineering
  • Data definition and events identification
  • Liaison between different business and technical disciplines
  • Requirements engineering
  • Discovery and definition of cost-effective, valuable solutions to business needs

The world of project management has changed significantly over recent years. Previously dominated by traditional, sequential, “waterfall” approaches, the profession is now seeing increasing numbers of individuals and organisations turning to Agile approaches for their projects.

With this boom in popularity of Agile approaches, and the recognition of the value that effective business analysis brings to projects, there is a need for clear and helpful guidance to support business analysts, particularly those operating in an Agile environment.

The ways of working of an Agile business analyst are somewhat different from those of the more traditional business analyst. Agile business analysis is about increasing the speed and frequency of delivery of business value to the stakeholders of the project or product being developed. It also emphasises working with the right stakeholders to target the product to deliver maximum value. The Agile approach also values learning and an evolutionary approach to requirements specification and fulfilment.

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