Building trust with your stakeholders

This is a guest post by Ben Brearley. He gives some great tips on communication techniques which improve stakeholder engagement based on his practical experience. We previously discussed this subject in this post.

As a consultant I am often put to work in projects with challenging constraints and difficult stakeholders. During my career …

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More requirement patterns: discovery

We live in the era of constant change, as we hear daily in technology news and business meetings. Businesses are trying to keep up with the pace of changes by improving and transforming themselves. More and more initiatives and projects have to be completed “yesterday” meaning that they have very tight deadlines and high urgency.

What …

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Build requirements faster with requirement patterns

While working on multiple projects over the last year, I noticed that they had similarities (evolutionary improvements were required) and as a result I applied similar sets of requirements to the solutions. In other words, patterns emerged.

Stephen Withall first introduced the idea of requirement patterns in his book “Software Requirement Patterns” (Microsoft Press, 2007). A requirement …

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A few quick tips to improve communication with stakeholders

There are many barriers impeding effective communication between the BA and stakeholders. Information overload, organisational “silos”, outsourcing and geographical separation across time zones all form a part of the obstacle course BAs navigate in their job. In some companies, ineffective management, internal politics and bureaucracy lead to poor staff engagement. People in such places aren’t …

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Prevent poor requirements – a major risk to project success

You have probably seen the scary statistics of failed projects. They often reveal that the major cause of project failures is poorly defined requirements.

I’ve talked about the effects of poor requirements before. They have a negative impact not only on the current project, but also on the business …

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Easily track the state of BA documents with this Kanban technique

While preparing for ITIL certification a while ago, I participated in practical games showing the importance of ITIL principles. The Service Desk team was the most stressed in those games, as it was trying to handle multiple incidents of different nature.

I started thinking about a way of putting some order into their chaotic activity. I …

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Streamline requirements prioritisation using a prioritisation matrix

I’ve recently been involved in a discussion on how to better prioritise requirements. It’s an important topic because the requirements prioritisation process can get rather lengthy,and it’s good to speed it up.

The discussion focused on the difficulties with getting business stakeholders to agree on the requirements priorities because all stakeholders “naturally” have different priorities.

Why is …

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Use cases: effective use in business analysis

There is a lot written about use cases and their application in business analysis. A good understanding of the business context is required to develop use cases which will deliver good value to a business customer.

This article discusses an approach to get the most of use cases and deliver the necessary solution to the …

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New product: Visual Communication for BAs

Do you wish it didn’t take so long to elicit requirements? Do you think you spend too many hours getting business users to identify business problems, confirm gathered requirements and provide feedback on the proposed solution options?

Do you and the stakeholders sometimes walk away from meetings frustrated about the lack of progress? Do you wish …

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The benefits of visual communication in business analysis

In the previous post we’ve established that the success of business analysis hinges on communication, and postulated that visual communication is the easiest way to improve productivity and the effectiveness of communication.

It is a cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words. The reality …

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