Get Out of the Rut. Make an Elicitation Plan.

I really love teaching. I guess that’s not surprising, given that I’m (at least) a fourth-generation teacher. This is a clip from the 1920 Wyoming Census. The first entry on this page, Gertrude Shaw, is my great-grandmother. Widowed at 29 with three children to...

4-Task Solution for Estimating and Defending Your Analysis Plan

How many times have you been told that you have two days to “get requirements done” when you know you need two weeks or even two months? Or maybe you’ve even been told that the analysis can be done “during the sprint” (or worse, not at all!) while the developers are...

Just Enough Doesn’t Mean None! The Agile Business Analyst Role

In an amazing turn of events, I have recently been teaching and consulting in organizations that have transitioned to an agile framework AND have decided, as part of that transition, that business analysts are no longer needed. In this blog post, I would like to note...

Business Value Framework and a Really Big, Strong Guy

I have two kids in college. Not surprisingly, our family has lots of conversations about money. There is only so much of it in the First National Bank of Claycomb, and we have to prioritize how it gets spent. In essence, my family is a lot like a business: we have to...

It Is Not All About You

A question most BAs get asked when assigned to a project is “how long will it take to complete requirements?”  Without going into ways to improve your estimating skills, I want to address a key point that is often missed when answering this question.  Our...

Stakeholders who change their mind

I presented a webinar for Catalyze ( on February 14th entitled Designing a Sure-Fire Stakeholder Strategy. The presentation touched on the importance of business analysis planning, specifically planning for stakeholder communications. We had 150...

Traceability must be planned

Traceability is a necessary component for complete and accurate requirements. Traceability is used in many aspects of requirements development and management. A simple definition is that “tracing requirements” means that we show relationships or links...

Getting Started Part II

As mentioned in last week’s “Getting Started Part I”, I start each project by making notes about what I already know about the project. These are some questions I like to answer about each project to document what I know before I can produce my...

Getting Started Part I – Scope or Stakeholders?

What should you do first? Would you define your requirements scope before you start to identify and analyze your stakeholders or vice versa? Would you receive the same answer if you asked 10 Business Analysts? I would bet not. Many might answer that they identify...
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