The business analysis digest #36 is here!
Hello there! Welcome to the Business Analysis Digest #36, with the best business analysis and related topics articles of July 2023. This time, the digest is rich with case studies, practical advice, and lots of advanced materials. Enjoy!
Business Analysis Articles
As a business analyst, I always hear the same questions when someone asks me, “What is it to be a BA.” Either people want to know me better or want to switch to BA – it is all the same. So I am happy that someone did such a great job and answered all of them in one place. If you want to know how to become a BA, which skills you need, what to expect from the role, and more – this is an excellent place to begin.
Policies, like other non-functional requirements, are always a lot of pain. It is usual to need help with their analysis as you need to dive deep into the domain, which is being done by yourself, without SME, which is very complicated. But what if you can struggle less? Ronald G. Ross, an expert in policy interpretation, gives us a helping hand in this article by explaining which skills would be required to analyze policies efficiently.
I like it when someone shares their experience with this technique; as I always say, it needs to be more appreciated nowadays. In this article, the author goes through the process of creating a Use Case Diagram while explaining both the diagram’s content and the creation process. This piece will inspire those who always wanted to try this technique, as it shows how easy but helpful the diagram is.
This article discusses the importance of backlog health for successful product development and provides tips on optimizing it. The author recommends eliminating waste by keeping the backlog concise and relevant, using sprint goals for midterm planning, and treating epics as big stories with clear descriptions. The author suggests various techniques to enhance transparency, and tracking metrics like backlog refinement, obsolete items, and defects rate help ensure a healthy backlog.
It is essential to keep raising the Analysis Paralysis topic, as we humans are doubtful to overgrow this in the near future without help. It is in our nature to be unsure of ourselves, doubt, fear, be indecisive, and experience other emotions which paralyze us. Thanks to Vinita Bansal, we have another great article about the topic, with great advice on how to deal with the issue. Whether you are a seasoned expert or just starting your career, I highly recommend reviewing the article and remembering what to do next time you trap in analysis paralysis.
Meetings… Show me the person who never thought, “Why do I have to be there.”. Unfortunately, many experts hate to go there, as according to many people I talked to, meetings were considered a waste of time, a lot of stress, and no use. But it does not have to be like this, because everything is in our hands! This article by Simon Ash is dedicated to easing the pain, by teaching us how to plan and run meetings in a helpful, not stressful way. As business analysts and drivers of communication, we must know how to “meet” people efficiently, so I invite you to dive in and learn many important tips to follow!
UI / UX / CX / Accessibility
As business analysts, we have to widen our horizons and study what’s inside our profession and what is around it. That is why I always try to find something related to design, product, architecture, and more to help my readers with such a task. Today, I want to share another great guide by Nielsen Norman Group, an established user experience experts community. This guide focuses on teaching qualitative usability testing, walking readers through this sphere’s aspects: the method, participants, tasks, testing facilitation, and how to work with individuals/groups. Even if you are not a part of the team performing such an activity, you will grab a trick or two while going through this guide.
According to the research provided in the article (which was quite insightful for me), it is stated that there are many people over 60 on our planet. As these people also use products we build, we must include their needs in our requirements and work on accessibility, as they are quite different from younger people. I also have a dad who is 60+, so after countless times helping him with another inaccessible website, I know what I am talking about. Moreover, at some point, we will be in that group too, which means that from all perspectives, we need to work harder on accessibility right now when it is all in our hands.
Thankfully, someone is doing this already and sharing their experience – just like Dr. Michal Halperin Ben Zvi, who provided the article on the topic. In it, you will find lessons learned, tips, and tricks, as well as advice on how to make our products more accessible for this specific, gentle user group.
Almost all the time, when I talk to someone about design, we touch on the topics of UI and UX. But it is rare when we discuss another important issue, UI/UX, at length – CX or customer experience. Because of working outsourcing, my peers and I mainly do not engage with the end users afterward – it is all on the business side. But that could be something we could think about upfront, providing businesses with advice initially. Anyway, while it is a fresh thought for myself, I find the article on the topic quite interesting and recommend going through it if you work in the product or in-house development.
This article provides a comprehensive guide on accessibility testing for digital products, focusing on screen reader users. The article’s author walks us through accessibility testing and auditing processes, highlighting the importance of involving users with disabilities in the testing process. In a few examples, Slava Shestopalov explains the differences between usability and accessibility testing and emphasizes the value of testing for obtaining valuable insights and building empathy. He also advises on how to recruit participants, prepare for the testing sessions, and facilitate them.
Waiting in line is one of the most irritating things in life. You spend time figuring out when and whether you will get what you want and might get disappointed and frustrated. Unfortunately, this problem also migrated to digital products due to software and hardware limitations, and human nature remains the same in digital. We should have more control over the queues. In this excellent article by Kim Salazar, we can learn a handful of great practices to ease our users’ lives. Using examples of existing products, the author shows us how to solve common issues and make users and customers more happy.
Product Case Studies & Best Practices
Searching for innovation in a highly-competitive and established environment is a tough job. Why, if it works, is it worth it, does existing options cause any trouble? Robert Goesch from DUMBO design studio thinks that yes, and we must keep pushing the boundaries. In this case study, Robert explores the case their studio has been working on a few times, reworking the UX for flight search solutions. Robert explains how they tried to break the loop in the existing patterns and bring something new, reviewing their solution and comparing it to others in detail. Did they succeed? Well, it is you to take your look and decide. Spoiler: as for me, it looks absolutely incredible!
I have been following Rosie’s case studies for a while and am confident everyone is fantastic. The recent one about reducing subscription churn for a London-based company called Grind is an excellent confirmation of what I am talking about. In this article, Rosie explores which steps lead to great UX and results, such as transparent subscription cancellation, no “dark UX” solutions, how Grind works with cancellation reasons, and many more steps to keep customers and make them satisfied. Shoutout to Grind for being so cool and to Rosie for such a great piece!
Upcoming business analysis events
🗓️ 17.08, 8 PM CEST. Starting Over – To Business Analysis and Beyond. This webinar introduces participants to a number of steps they 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 how to acquire that new career in the first place.
🗓️18-20.09. Business Analysis Conference 2023 by IRM UK. You still have a chance to participate in one of this year’s most important business analysis events! Moreover, this time it’s not just a conference but a celebration of 15 years since IRM UK started it! Meaning the best experts around the globe will join it: AstraZeneca, BBC, Bank of England, Ericsson, McDonald’s UK & Ireland, Raiffeisen Bank International, and many more. And, as a cherry on top, there would be a possibility to party with fellow experts on the 19th (amount of tickets is limited). What do you wait for???
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