The business analysis digest #35 is here!
Hello there! Welcome to the Business Analysis Digest #35, with the best business analysis and related topics articles of the previous weeks.
Business Analysis Articles
I bet that at some point, you might have been ready to do almost everything to find one great piece to grab knowledge from on a specific topic. Well, it could be your lucky day, as I share a great article about product discovery today! Specifically, it contains various techniques with their description, pros, cons, and examples. It is a genuinely great material for those just diving into the topic and those searching for ways of enhancing their product discovery game.
In this adaptation from Karl’s latest book, Software Requirements Essentials: Core Practices for Successful Business Analysis, co-authored with Candase Hokanson, Karl provides us with the overview of 18 business analysis techniques that would help increase the value of our results. In my humble opinion, it is a brief but helpful overview, more of a taste of a book, which is excellent.
The article discusses the importance of data storytelling in challenging long-standing beliefs and persuading stakeholders. It highlights the power of combining data, narrative, and visualizations to communicate findings effectively. The article suggests applying data storytelling techniques in user research by forming a narrative around audience tension, visualizing key aspects and insights, and providing clear design recommendations or actionable next steps. It emphasizes the role of storytelling in influencing organizational beliefs and gaining support for implementing user research findings. For IT business analysts, this article is helpful as it provides practical strategies for using data storytelling to communicate research findings and influence decision-making in organizations.
Browser Dev Tools is a great help, even for business analysts! In this article, the author uses tricks that helped them immensely while debugging use cases. How would that help BA, you might ask? Tell me how many times you wanted to remove the annoying overlay while reverse-engineering some website? Did you ever make mockups out of existing elements in Dev Tools? Or have you wondered how your website would look on mobile? All these and more are described inside, so do not hesitate and jump in!
The article introduces the concept of checkpoint planning as a way to supplement agile planning processes, increasing transparency and predictability. Checkpoint planning involves breaking down a product roadmap into major checkpoints to be accomplished after each sprint, guiding the team. The article outlines ground rules for implementing checkpoint planning, such as consulting with the development team, aligning checkpoint scope with sprint length, and evolving checkpoints over time. It also discusses the benefits of implementing checkpoint planning, including fostering team self-organization and accountability and managing expectations. The article provides an example of implementing checkpoint planning for fictional product development, explaining how to draft the roadmap, define checkpoints, refine checkpoints, and capture the scope.
You know I have a soft spot for genuinely practical materials, right? Well, that’s the case, as I found another great article with the ten most popular (according to the author – and I could not disagree) UI & UX tips. I do hope that you enjoy reading this article and will be able to use these tips right away!
In this fantastic 2-hour lecture, Kyrylo Bieliavskyi walks us through the peculiar and complicated process of the project discovery phase. This phase is where essential information is gathered, requirements are understood, and a robust requirements management framework is established. Watching the record of this webinar will help you gain insights into the importance of project discovery and learn valuable techniques to ensure its effectiveness. Topics covered include:
- Understanding project discovery.
- Essential artifacts for business analysts.
- Preparation for project discovery.
- Plans for discovery workshops.
- Case reviews.
Not sure how much of a problem it was to you, but I cannot even count how many times I have encountered the team’s frustration toward users when they do something wrong. “How could they not see the right button?” or “Why would they click “Delete” instead of “Post” when they want to post something, when “Post” is a huge red button and “Delete” is a super tiny link???.” I mean, sometimes, even I was affected by these emotions, considering I had a pretty cold-blooded reaction in such cases. Unfortunately, that does not help, and we still need to handle user mistakes. And the best way to do that is to prevent users from making mistakes. This article is a great piece that teaches us to understand the nature of users’ errors, the effect of our ill reactions, and how to make our solutions mistake-proof—highly recommended to read!
As usual, Karl shared pearls of wisdom based on his experience. Today, the topic is risks and how to live with them. After a brief reminder about what the risk is, Karl elaborates on a few messages he took from his background. He shares risk identification strategies we can use in our work and which activities we should perform to process risks. To me, that was a great piece of experience right there to grasp, which I think you shall do as well)
Sticky menus are on hype nowadays; they are practically everywhere. But is it that any good users have a silver bullet in design? That’s the question Vitaly Friedman explores in his article. In real-life examples, the author shares ideas about when sticky menus are helpful, how accessible they are, and what the alternatives are. Whether you just started with mobile and web development or are a seasoned expert, this is a great piece where you will find helpful knowledge.
Risk-taking is not limited to individuals with innate talents or special abilities. It is a skill that can be developed through experience and practice. Many people fear the unknown and let fear control their actions, leading them to play it safe and avoid risks. However, embracing risks can advance a career and open doors to better opportunities. To start making informed decisions and increase your chances of success, you might begin with this great article from the talented Vinita Bansal. It specifically describes how essential it is to evaluate whether the risk is worth taking, consider the reversibility of the decision, think about how to stack the odds in your favor, focus on what is within your control, and develop a habit of taking risks.
I want to continue with another great article from Vinita Bansal on developing a strategic thinking mindset. This piece emphasizes the importance of challenging assumptions, observing, interacting, drawing connections, taking action, and crafting effective communication. The author suggests that strategic thinking involves:
- Continuously auditing one’s goals.
- Inquiring for outside perspectives.
- Adapting strategies based on past experiences and future demands.
Also, the article emphasizes that strategic thinking is a skill that can be developed through practice and repetition rather than solely relying on innovative ideas. Reading this article led me to a few valuable insights, so I suggest that you at least look through it as well 😉
Communication is a crucial component in business analysis. Effective communication implies that everybody should elaborate their ideas clearly, be polite, listen to each other, speak with argumentation, and much more. To me, that sounds like some fairy kingdom with unicorns and magic, as many of my meetings as a different variety of brilliant but individualistic people trying to reach the common goal but in their own better way. Probably that’s why humanity invented facilitation at some point, to overcome many of the blockers and critical which arise, especially in some steamy conversations—knowing that many of you share my pain here, I suggest you take a look at this article to grasp some of the insights by Obi Nwokedi, a talented business analyst who constantly shares their experience with the community.
I adore how much helpful information Paweł provide with his articles – take any of them, and you will get the thickest amount of content! This one is no different, as with just a few pages, you’ll find an extensive list of pricing strategies, descriptions, and real-life usage examples. Unfortunately, more helpful content is available only for premium users ofPaweł’ss blog. But who knows, might it be that you subscribe after reading?)
This article explores different types of user workshops and the benefits of including users in workshops during the design process. It goes through all these types, explains how to time and structure them, and provides practical tips on building agenda and engaging users. The author suggests conducting workshops with diverse user groups to gather diverse perspectives and uncover user needs and preferences.
Many experts, from entry to senior level, sometimes need help speaking up. There may be many reasons: not being sure of one’s expertise, fearing your boss or some high-level stakeholders, avoiding conflicts, etc. But here is a problem: business analysts are key communicators in teams, meaning if BA struggles to share their concerns or ideas, it could result poorly for the project. If you find yourself in such a position, this article will help you make your first steps toward understanding the nature of your fears, inverting your mindset, and asking questions.
Another tremendous technical article from Shasho Sastry for business analysis knowledge arsenal! This article focuses on the significance of resilience in IT systems and the steps required to achieve it. The author emphasizes the need for risk assessments to identify potential vulnerabilities and suggests implementing redundancy measures to enhance system reliability. Continuous monitoring, proactive maintenance, and robust incident response and disaster recovery plans are highlighted as essential components of a resilient IT infrastructure. By adhering to these guidelines, organizations can fortify their systems against disruptions and ensure the uninterrupted operation of critical business processes.
Upcoming business analysis events
🗓️ 11.07, 6 PM UTC+2. Webinar by IIBA: Design Workshops: Where Agile and Design Thinking Meet. In this interactive session, you will be able to explore the power of design workshops and how they serve as the nexus for Agile methodologies and Design Thinking principles.
🗓️ 12.07, 3 AM UTC+2. Backlog Management: Unveiling the Power of The Rock Crusher. A member-exclusive webinar related to the latest publications by IIBA. Time is not that convenient for Europe, but registering and getting the recording link afterward is worth it.
🗓️ 13.07, 8 PM UTC+2. Webinar: Essential Requirements Practices. If you did miss many of the previous presentations of “Essential Requirements Practices” – the latest book by Karl Wiegers – here is your chance to catch up.
🗓️ 17.08, 8 PM UTC+2. Webinar: Starting Over – To Business Analysis and Beyond. This webinar introduces you to a number of steps you can take to transition into a business analyst career or, when it becomes necessary or desirable, to transition into an entirely new career. It also will present some tips for acquiring that new career in the first place.
🗓️ 18-20.09. One of the most important events in the world of business analysis – Business Analysis Conference Europe, 18 – 20 September 2023, London – celebrates 15 years this year! Just take a look at the list of speakers – it’s huge! You still have a chance to participate!
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