Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List #16

Once a month, enjoy some of the best business analysis content carefully curated by Eric the BA.

Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List #16

Happy New Year! January isn’t over yet as I’m writing this, giving me the right to still express my best wishes for 2017 🙂  In my latest Reading List edition, I talked about how all my projects for the blog were stuck because I was missing time. However, I realized during the Christmas holidays that I was not really missing time for my projects, I was just not prioritizing them properly… so I did it as my first resolution for the new year.

As a result, I (finally!) launched the “Tales of a BA” series earlier this month. To my surprise, it generated a tremendous amount of traffic on the blog (making it the most popular post ever on the blog in just 3 weeks!) Clearly, there’s a need for real-life based templates. I’m currently working on the first episodes, so stay tuned for more content in the upcoming weeks.

Strangely, this edition of Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List contains interesting resources about scope management and prioritizing requirements. I should have written it earlier 🙂

Too busy to crawl the web for interesting Business Analysis content? Not interested by social networks noise? Once a month in a while, Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List brings you a review of some of the best Business Analysis articles and websites.

From Eric the BA.com

In case you missed them, here are the most recent and most popular posts since the last edition of Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List:

  1. Tales of a BA: bringing Business Analysis templates to life! new and amazingly popular!
  2. Revisiting the 12 Agile principles from a Business Analysis perspective new!
  3. The Amazing Business Analysis Resources page popular!

I also published a brand new About page, to put some emphasis on the direction I want the blog to take with the new Tales of a BA series.

From the Web

1 Have you ever thought that having a plan B for your projects makes you seem unmotivated for these projects? Or do you think it makes you look serious about getting things done? In a recent post, Adrian Reed demonstrates very clearly why contingency plans are not only useful, they are necessary even if no lives are at stake.

2 Managing project, iteration or solution scope is not an easy task, and doing it without a good understanding of the scope in itself can quickly become a nightmare. However, with the proper techniques, defining a scope can be easier than you think. In a recent series of posts, Karl Wieger highlights some key techniques to get it done right.

Related post:   The Busy BA Reading List, May 10th 2015 edition

In the end, I think it all comes back to considering the scope as a black box. You want to define why you should use the box (vision/scope), what will the box allow you to do (features and use cases), and how/when you will interact with the box (context diagram and events).

3 Prioritizing requirements is an essential step in managing your stakeholders’ expectations toward a solution. However, this exercise too often focuses on the features themselves instead of the outcomes they will generate for the stakeholders. In a post on ModernAnalyst.com, Adriana Beal explains why this is important (ie to allow value creation soon in the implementation of a solution), and suggests a 3-step approach to get the most of a prioritization exercise.

4 Use cases are one of the most popular techniques among BAs, and they are an expected output in most projects. However, creating good use cases is not so easy, and bad use cases can actually harm your project. In a not so recent post, Trividh Patel lists 10 common mistakes found in use cases and illustrates how to fix some of them. I found myself guilty of some of them 🙂

5 Although I don’t like dealing with politics when working on a project, it is a reality we have to deal with in organizations. In order to defuse political issues, I tend to address them using a very factual approach to depersonalize the debate. The Analyst Coach Teresa Bennett goes in the same direction and suggests 3 behaviors to adopt to better deal with organizational politics.

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