Friday, March 22, 2019

Entries for May 2010


You remember the game of telephone, right? The test of communication skills where one person whispers a message to his neighbor, and that message is translated multiple times from person to person until eventually, the last contestant repeats her interpreted message aloud. The goal is for the final person in the chain to correctly hear the original message, but invariably, there is laughter all around as the message is misconstrued.

When this happens in business however, it’s no laughing matter... There is a tendency to interpret information in very individualized ways, but as business analysts (BAs), we don’t want to allow for that. Rather, BAs strive for clear, concise and coherent articulation of requirements because it influences the outcome of solutions.

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The voluminous amounts of information that an analyst collects during the discovery and elicitation phases warrant a good deal of planning and organization in order to make business or user requirements into a usable, cohesive whole. As with any other organization process, the key element to requirements’ organization success is thorough preparation and planning.

According to BABOK 2.0, an analyst has two main objectives when organizing requirements: (1) to understand which models are appropriate to include based on the business need, and (2) to understand and clearly communicate the interdependencies and relationships between the various requirements.

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Excellent requirements prioritization is essential to any well-run project. It ensures that the project focuses on the most important elements first, and that everyone understands and agrees regarding what the project’s most important elements are. Good prioritization of requirements will also ensure that engineers, programmers and database analysts develop a project’s most critical elements in sync with the business needs.

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