Change Request

I want to finish up this Business Analysis technique series by discussing “change request”. Please note, there are many other BA techniques, many of which I will discuss on ad-hoc basis as my blog continues.

A change request is a document that outlines information pertaining to a change that must be made. Formal change requests are most often associated with the waterfall methodology, as agile methodologies have a more dynamic way to deal with project pivots.

Most often, change requests are made to improve something that is already in production. Formal change requests can be made after a project has begun and the scope of work has already been defined. Change requests can also be used to initiate project work.

Change requests usually require a round of analysis of all types, especially time and cost constraints. In my experience, change requests are either approved or disapproved based on whether or …

Continue Reading →

The Ethics of Transparency

A couple of days ago, I was in a meeting where we were discussing said group’s financials. At the initiation of the meeting, the group’s president said that they were interested in doing everything “on the up and up” and wanted nothing but “complete transparency”.

A man stands scratching his head, trying to decide if he should go in the direction of ethical or legal.
Ethical vs. Legal

Further into the discussion, facts were presented that were known by some, but not all present. (All facts are stated below. I did not engage in cherry picking.)

  • Said group’s president is also owner/CEO of the only company that is financially benefited by the group’s fundraising activities.
  • There is no SOW/contract in place between the group and that company. This one way financial relationship has existed for years.
    • Consequently, there is no way to justify expenses to any of the group’s current/future financial contributors.
  • The president of the group possesses a debit card linked to the group’s bank account.
  • The group’s mission

Continue Reading →

‘Going with your gut’ is not a ‘business strategy’.

Here’s a link to my latest article on LinkedIn. If you’d like to read the article in entirety here, look below the link.

‘Going with your gut’​ is not a ‘business strategy’​

So, two days a go I was scrolling through my IG feed and I saw this: I was instantly distressed. Let me tell you why.

My latest article on LinkedIn

So, two days a go I was scrolling through my IG feed and I saw this:

Text that says "Sometimes, simply going with your gut is the best business strategy there is."

I was instantly distressed. Let me tell you why.

First, ‘going with your gut’ is not a good thing in business. In your personal life, sometimes, sure. But in business, no. No, no, no- especially if you have investors or are looking to attract them. Investors are not going to like the idea of ‘gut’ decision making because

  • you can’t measure ‘gut’.
  • you can’t calculate ROI on ‘gut’
  • there’s no way to

Continue Reading →

Business Analyst = Product Owner, My Two Cents

A few days a go, a fellow BA, Anthony Arriagada, made the statement on LinkedIn that BAs are essentially product owners. The ensuing discussion was insightful.

Here’s my two cents- a BA can be a PO, but not every PO is a BA.

Here’s why.

To evaluate this statement carefully, I think we need to take a step back. We call ourselves Business Analysts (BA) primarily because we practice the art of business analysis. For the most part, we accept that the IIBA sets the parameters around the art we practice, including methodologies and techniques. Business Analysts can serve in various industries and be given various titles, but it is what we do, and how we do it, that allows us to collectively call ourselves Business Analysts.

The same can be said of a ‘product owner’. This title has been defined by a specific methodology, and has it’s own set …

Continue Reading →

Co-working spaces are popular and on the rise in Dallas

So, I love co-working spaces.

The funny thing is that I don’t need one. I have a home office. However, many of my clients do. If you need an office space and a business mailing address, and don’t want or need to pay for a traditional business space, this is your answer.

Co-working space with long table and mismatch chairs, side office with Super Mario mural and glass doors, storage cubbies on back wall, conference room with large window, and plants sharing space with the light fixture overhead.
A co-working space in Europe

The plans are various and flexible. Some spaces are geared toward specific demographics, like women. Some spaces even offer virtual desks, where your in office time is limited, but you are still provided the benefit of a business address.

I reside in Southern Dallas, and there are several really nice co-working spaces that have recently opened up in that area. The amenities are great, and some are quite economical.

Here’s a few articles that cover several new co-working space options.

Do you take advantage of a …

Continue Reading →

Business Rules, Business Schmules

The Business Analysis technique for today’s post is “business rules”.

So, business rules define or limit some aspect of the business. Business rules define business logic- not system logic. Business rules are truly important to understand, because without them, a feasible solution to a business problem cannot be developed. Business rules are large contributors to business policy, procedure, and strategy.

For example, let’s consider a deposit account. There are many rules that govern deposit accounts in this country alone. Consider business rules that different deposit account institutions create.

Credit unions offer deposit accounts, but only to individuals who are members. Additionally, a savings deposit account must be opened before any other deposit account can be opened. These rules limit who can own a deposit account at a credit union.

Chart showing business rules for shipping an order.
Business Rules Example

While most brick and mortar deposit account institutions create rules around charging ATM fees, many online …

Continue Reading →

Brainstorming- Get It Right

The Business Analysis technique for today’s post is “brainstorming”.

We’ve all heard of brainstorming. Most likely, we’ve all done it to some degree, for personal or professional reasons. In fact, thinking back on my many years of experience, I can’t recall a single instance where brainstorming did not come into play at some point when developing alternative solutions.

Brainstorming can be simply defined as a group session, where the aim is to generate ideas without critique, judgement, or evaluation.

Brainstorming is easy to do, useful, and important, but most people do it wrong. What I mean is that many times what you hear during a brainstorming session is something like

  • “We could- wait. No, that won’t work.”
  • “Maybe if we tried- on second thought, that won’t meet our needs.”
Today's accomplishments were yesterday's impossibilities. A split picture. On one side, yesterday, a boy holds a cactus while trying not to be pricked. On the other side, today, the same boy holds a shiny, gold trophy.

As you can see, the problem with this is that many possibilities are discarded and judged negatively before they are …

Continue Reading →

Want to know how it’s done?

The Business Analysis technique for today’s post is “business process model”.

A business process model is a representation of how a business task is completed. The previously discussed ‘as is process analysis’ can be completed with the help of a ‘as is business process model’.

A business process model is constructed to aid thorough analysis and to encourage stakeholder engagement. A business process model is usually some sort of visual representation of all of the steps that must be completed to accomplish a task or goal. Steps can be manual or systematic. Inputs and outputs are also included.

Fact: algorithm is a difficult sounding term used to describe a set of detailed instructions for accomplishing a task. Thus, a business process model is a type of algorithm.

Here’s a cute example of a business process model.

Algorithm showing how cars are counted as the enter a parking garage.
Car Park Algorithm

Continue Reading →