Business Analysis Work Planning Mistakes

In this article the author investigates most common mistakes of a business analyst during product/project analysis phase

Main mistakes include:

  1. Lack of domain glossary needed for the project (half checkmark)
  2. Poor expectations management from analysis phase – not asking customer regarding what they expect to get as a result of analysis
  3. Not agree on templates/format in which analysis results are delivered (Checkmark)
  4. Not try to elicit and outline customer’s risks
  5. Don’t try to reuse past experience  – very challenging to do in reality
  6. Try to follow the process without understanding what to do
  7. Lack of clarity regarding what to do next (half checkmark). A lot of information was requested but it was not properly analyzed in fact

Conducting my first BA+UX workshop

The idea of the event was to investigate an internal process of business travel management and to identify existing pains and try to address them using

  • combination of business analysis and UX techniques
  • a lot of clever heads
  • prototype a possible solution

This is more of a followup to make sure the important items are not forgotten

What I did good:

  • game for group dynamics and to set the mood (marshmallow challenge with spaghetti)
  • eliciting expectations from everyone
  • getting everyone involved and active (I am particularly happy that some of the participants who I’ve not seen very active in the past felt involved and contributed)
  • got peopple interested – in the end a part of the group (3 people out of the original 6) were interested in further work and stayed after the expected closing time (6pm)
  • managed expectations more or less, 50-75% expectations were reached for a part of group (2 out of 3, 3 out of 4)
  • logistics (supplies, food, materials) – as there was a dedicated team member

What I did poorly:

  • i did not organize the knowledge exchange prior to the meeting
  • interviews were not monitored to ensure the questions were valid and to the point
  • facilitation during the training session was not quite there and there were a lot of distractions
  • managing scope of the event. the overall plan was too ambitious
  • defining the scope of responsibilities
    • there was a huge gap here as the other person who co-organized the event felt the overall idea has changed and everything should have been done differently
    • in practice very few of the original objectives have been reached need specifics here

general observations

  • this was not a workshop but more of an initiative/project ->format should have been different with the current team
    • one team doing everything end-to-end
    • many teams doing different projects
    • not one team working out using parts of the process
  • still, there are people who are interested in getting this done
  • i should have prepared better in terms of BA work
    • NOT all stakeholders have been identified
    • introduction on the matter should have been better
    • needed to focus on a smaller piece that could have been swallowed in one take
    • need to learn BPMN and EPC better to be able to quickly use those notation models
  • i need to build my team to do things like this better

Quick action list after Lviv IT Arena 2014

After the conference is over and I still remember the books/materials I should be reading soon, I’d better list them here

In terms of prioritizing the list, I think it would be as follows:

  • UML in 24h (Joseph Schmuller)
  • The mythical man month
  • The writer’s journey

then the rest

Plans for 2013

Big plans for 2013:

  • become eligible for CCBA examination with 3750 hours of real project experience and take the actual examination
  • complete three technical coursera courses (system design and need to define two more). I also need to make sure I complete Introduction to Databases this March and pass
  • take a soft skills course – communication related
  • Not really BA related but very important
  • get a driver’s license
  • put together the Eleks band thing this summer


Discovering people

As I’ve just found out, one of the chief developers in the project I work on, is quite into philosophy and even writes philosophy comics. Need to bookmark this link for future reference. This finding only makes me more certain that to be a comic, the person needs to have a highly-developed left brain hemisphere. Best jokes have impeccable logic behind them even though I love absurd jokes more. But the reason I do so is because absurd jokes appear to have a broken logic behind them and I just love things that are crooked and broken