The Unofficial Guide to Process Flow Chart Symbols

The primary technique in Business Process Modeling (BPM) is the creation of flow charts and proper use of process flow chart symbols. But first, let me back up to the official definition of business process modeling and a few facts to level set the conversation....

What is a RACI?

I first heard the term RACI in the late 90’s. An Oil Company in town, gathered together all of the vendors (I worked for one of them at the time), and provided information of their new procedures and policies, and one of these was the RACI document. RACI stands for...

There Is No Such Thing As Best Practice

I get the opportunity to interact with a lot of people and teams trying to figure out the intersection of analysis and agile, and through the course of those interactions I get a lot of questions such as “who does what in agile?”, or “what does agile ‘say’ about...

Why Use Business Analysis Templates at All?

Templates are not the answer, but they are the question. What do I mean by this? They will not solve all your problems by themselves, but they will help you find the problems. Even if your organization has standard templates, there’s no law stating you cannot...

User Stories

As I hear more and more BAs talking about user stories I feel the need to begin a dialogue on our blog. User stories have been promoted by the iterative and agile software development approaches as a quick way to elicit and document user requirements. Some BAs are...

Another One for the Toolbox

I attended a Certified ScrumMaster training class this year delivered by Lithespeed.  The class was very valuable, and I want to share a tool, trade-off matrix, to help set customer and team expectations.  In my opinion this is a tool that should be used on all...

Communicate with the Right Technique

As a Business Analyst we are dependent on our communication skills and our experience with handy analysis techniques to elicit excellent requirements. A successful interaction with our business and IT stakeholders involves choosing the right technique to fit the...

Why number or name each requirement? One reason – CRUD

For those of you who have been writing requirements for years, this is a trivial question, but for newer BAs or people who work with BAs it may not be obvious. Requirements are related to other requirements. By their very nature they often do not stand alone. For...

Adding Processes to a Context Level Data Flow Diagram?

I have been using Yourdon’s context level data flow diagram for about 15 years. I still find it one of the best tools for scoping project boundaries and getting everyone on the team to see the project in the same way. The only complaint that I have received...

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