BA Masterclass Series (On-Demand)
How It Works
The BA Masterclass Series was developed specifically to provide the skills, tools and techniques SDLC professionals require to deliver results and grow in their careers in the face of time pressure felt by today’s workers. The flexible and convenient, on-demand structure allows professionals to get the training they need without sacrificing quality and productivity.
- Access to 20, 3-hour courses to help you effortlessly implement advanced real-world Business Analysis tools, techniques and skills into your organization.
- Recorded sessions, giving you the ability to watch as many times as you like.
- Each title qualifies for PMI PDUs and IIBA CDUs for recertification – Please note, the certifying body may not accept these contact hours for applying for a new certification.
These recorded sessions captured the activity of the lab and the answers to the questions asked during the original live session. Click on a session title below to see the full details of each session.
BA Masterclass Sessions
Use a Variety of Testing Techniques to Validate Your Requirements
Testing the validity of captured requirements assures that misunderstood or missing requirements are identified before delivery of any solution. This session will make the connection between the various requirement types and the appropriate test to validate them. We will also go over several validation techniques, such as Given-When-Then and Specification by Example.
Organization Fundamentals for Busy BAs
Do you feel overwhelmed with the information you get as a business analyst? What is the best way to organize that information so you can access and use it when, and how, you need it? We will address these questions by looking at a few of the simple techniques of classification and prioritization that can help with organizing your information and prioritizing the tasks that you should focus on first. We will then evaluate tools that may already be available to you in your organization, or those that may be available to you at a low cost, in an effort to help you get–and stay–organized!
“How to” on Eliciting Requirements for Business Intelligence Projects
Business Intelligence projects require a unique approach to requirements management. Applications leverage the data to inform stakeholders for appropriate decision making. Requirements are more data focused with rules for data extraction, standardization and transformation are clearly identified to ensure the quality of the data. In this session we will focus on the approach to eliciting these requirements.
Understanding and Developing Business Rules
“Business rules are the foundation of any business, and standardizing their fundamentals–their definitions and relationships–is essential for supporting complex operations.” -Ellen Gottesdiener and Jim Bruce. In the role of a business analyst, we must elicit the requirements needed to build the solution, but business rules provide the means to make good and consistent operational decisions within that solution. We will gain a thorough understanding of what business rules are and the various types, how they must align to business policies and regulations, and their levels of enforcement. You will also learn techniques and tips for the best ways to elicit and document business rules.
Exploring Non-functional Requirements
In a perfect world every system would have no failures, be up 24/7, would respond before I was ready to do my next action, would never allow those into the system that don’t belong, etc. But these quality attributes of a system may not be attainable, or if they are, at an extreme cost. There must be a balance of these competing characteristics. So consider delivering the right functionality is not enough. We will explore beyond the functional requirements and address the various types of non-functional requirements (quality attributes, design constraints and external interfaces) that are often the “missed” requirements in a project.
Proper and Straight Forward BA Planning & Estimating
Business Analysis Planning is about determining the right approach to perform business analysis work depending on the characteristics of the initiative or project, as well as the standards in place for an organization. That approach will identify how and when tasks are performed, the deliverables to be produced, and the techniques that will be used. A starting work-breakdown-structure (WBS) will be provided. Estimating methods will be discussed and practiced, including methods such as the Delphi, three-point, and the parametric method. You will walk away with a sample work-breakdown structure for BA activities.
Use Various Prototypes for Requirement Elicitation and Validation
Prototypes provide a representation of a solution. There are various types, such as ones that have little depth and much breadth (Horizontal Prototype), or little breadth and much depth (Vertical Prototype). There are various levels of how close prototypes represent the solution (paper based to software simulations). In this session we will not only address the various types, but we will take a look at how each can be used within our requirements management approach.
How To Be More User-Focused
You can’t have a quality solution outcome without truly understanding who you are designing for. Having insight into the user of the solution is critical for success. In this session you will learn techniques that will help you and your team to become more user-focused from identifying users to applying various techniques. We will look at unique elicitation techniques, personas and metrics. We will also review hints and tips for user interface designs and prototypes.
“How to” on Allocating Requirements to Packaged Solutions
Often, we don’t build solutions from scratch. We look for various pre-packaged solutions that are offered by vendors or go to the cloud. But how does this affect our requirements management process? In this session we will address the several ways to approach the selection of a pre-packaged solution and how to address the challenges of customization to meet stakeholder needs.
Business Analysis in Agile Environments
What is the role of a business analyst in an Agile environment? A quick glance into Agile will be presented, but the focus will be the introduction of key recommended activities for the business analyst being part of an Agile team. It is the business analyst that must become the “value manager” and ensure that the value of each delivered sprint is realized. It is also the business analyst that must ensure alignments with strategies, other initiatives, enterprise architectures, releases, etc. Basically, it is up to you to be the “system thinker” and see the whole picture. Learn how critical it is for a business Analyst to fit correctly into an Agile organization.
Techniques for One-on-One Requirements Elicitation
Elicitation techniques are critical to probe stakeholders for requirements. In this program you will take an in-depth look at preparing for, and conducting, interviews and observations. Many times other techniques (such as modeling, simulations, storyboards, user task analysis, etc.) are introduced during interview and observation, depending on the scenario encountered. These various techniques will be introduced for further practice and discussion. Tools such as checklists, templates and sample questions will be provided.
Business Analysis for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
Many organizations are striving toward lowering the cost of maintaining computer software and reducing the time to market. SOA is an architectural concept to software design where there are specific standards to how business processes, structured as small business services, are supported. With the emphasis on reusing these designed components to help reduce maintenance costs and delivery timeframes. In this session we will not only learn about SOA, but how business analysis activities and techniques may vary for this type of an initiative.
“How To” on Conceptual Data Modeling
Data models are a visual way to show information needs of the system that are independent of the technical or storage platform. The conceptual data model is the highest level of a data model that helps us understand the different groups of data and how they relate to one another. As a business analyst, the conceptual data model is critical to uncover data requirements and structural business rules in addition to providing a basis for future physical database development or enhancements. We will cover how the conceptual data model can be used in business analysis activities and its value to various types of projects. Also, in this session you will learn the different notations and how to read/create simple versions of a conceptual data model.
“How To” on Use Cases from Elicitation Tools to Testing
In this program you won’t just get the basics of what a use case is–you will also gain a better understanding of how to apply use cases in multiple situations. How can you use them for eliciting requirements as an informal technique? How can you use them to document your functional requirements? How can you use them to help your quality assurance group create test cases? Don’t limit their application! See how different types of use cases can be applied various ways across an initiative’s life-cycle, regardless of the approach. You will be provided with sample templates!
“How To” on the Fundamentals of Business Process Modeling
Have you ever been in a meeting and wished that someone would get up and draw a picture for you so that you could better understand what the discussion was about? Pictures are worth a thousand words. Get a sense of the different types of drawings you can create to help communicate between the business and the technical stakeholders on your project. In addition, as a communication tool, models help uncover opportunities and missing or vague requirements. Make your meetings more engaging and effective by using these models! We will cover different types of models, identify what models are used for what purpose, and cover the various notations used in the industry today.
Applying IIBA’s Business Analysis Core Concepts Model™ (BACCM)
The BACCM is a conceptual framework with six core concepts: Change, Need, Solution, Stakeholder, Value and Context. The are used to consider the quality and completeness of the work that we do as business analysts. Each of these core concepts should be considered for our business analysis activities and continuously re-evaluated. But because it is conceptual, sometimes it is difficult to understand how it can be applied to our activities as they are being performed. In this session we will make that connection for you and show you examples.
“How To” on Questioning: The Key to Probing for Requirements
Do you ever find yourself stuck during a requirements elicitation interview where you don’t know what question to ask next, or how to pull out the “right” requirements you need from the stakeholder? Being good at asking questions will make your job as a business analyst less stressful. Know how the different types of questions can be applied in different ways. Not only will you learn how to come up with some of your own questions, but you will also be provided with some great examples that you can walk away with and start applying right away!
Leadership for the Business Analyst from Anywhere in the Organization
In this session you will discover that leadership is not easy and it can be a challenge, but there are many skills that a business analyst can adopt that can help them be more successful in their position regardless of where they are in the organization while increasing their value to the organization. You will learn about the five levels of leadership, how to lead-up, how to lead-across and how to lead-down.
“How To” on User Stories
A user story provides a brief description of what the user wants the ability to do, and the value clearly articulated. We will look at how to write user stories in initial short statements, organize user stories in themes and epics, prioritize user stories in a product backlog, split user stories for sprint planning, and elaborate user stories during sprint conversations with acceptance criteria. User stories create an environment of stakeholder ownership, while still providing the necessary information to build an iterative solution.
Understanding Business Architecture: Career Growth for BAs
The business architecture adds visibility into your enterprise for better decision making. Having a business architecture to leverage by business analysts and their stakeholders, provides a view of the enterprise so concerns can be addressed and decisions can be made for transforming the enterprise. We will provide you with an overview of the business architecture’s structure, its value from a business analyst point of view, and how important each of the business architecture’s elements are to business analysis.