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Business Analysis

SFIA definition: the methodical investigation, analysis, review and documentation of all or part of a business in terms of business functions and processes, and the information they use. The definition of requirements for improving any aspect of the processes and systems. The creation of viable specifications in preparation for the construction of information and communication systems.

  • Strategic analysis and definition - business strategy and transformation actions
  • IT systems analysis - specifying the IT system requirement, e.g. data/process/function modelling
  • Business analysis - understanding business situation, supporting business benefits/change, holistic approach in terms of process, people, organizational context
    • investigate business systems, examination of organization structural elements, current processes, IT systems
    • identify actions required to improve business system operation
    • document business requirements for the IT system
    • depending on background specialty, strategy implementation, business process redesign, business case production, IT requirement specification
  • Behavioral skills - communication, relationship-building, influencing, teamwork, political/commercial awareness, analytical thinking, attention to detail, problem-solving, leadership, ego strength
  • Business knowledge - finance & economy, business case development, domain knowledge(technical language), subject matter expertise, IT principles(DSDM, agile, UML), organization structure, procurement(time, material, delivery, risk, reward)
  • Techniques - project management, strategy analysis, stakeholder management, investigation techniques, requirements, business systems/process/data modelling, change management, facilitation skills
  • Development of competencies - training, self-study, work experience
Strategy Analysis
  • Strategy: direction and scope of an organisation over the long term, which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of resources within a changing environment and to fulfil stakeholder expectations (Johnson and Scholes, 2001)
  • Strategy development - design, experience, entrepreneurial ideas
    • Power sources: dependency, financial resources, position, uniqueness, uncertainty
  • External environment - sociocultural, technological, legal, environmental issues
    • Porter's 5 forces model - rivalry among existing firms, threat of new entrants, threat of substitute products/services, bargaining power of suppliers & buyers
  • Internal environment
    • Mission: a statement declaring what business the organization is in and what it is intending to achieve
    • Objectives: the goals against which the organization's achievements can be measured
    • Strategy: approach to be taken by the organization to achieve objectives and mission
    • Tactics: detailed means by which strategy will be implemented
    • Tangible resources - physical(PPE), financial, human resources(expertise, adaptability, commitment
    • Intangible resources - know-how(patent, trademarks), reputation
    • BCG portfolio matrix - star, cash cow, wild cat/problem child, dog
    • SWOT analysis - matrix of internal/external & positive/negative aspects
  • Strategy implementation - time, scope, capability, readiness, strategic leadership
    • McKinsey 7S model - shared values, strategy, structure, systems, style, staff, skills
    • Balanced business scorecard - vision and strategy, internal business process, learning and growth, customer(reputation), financial(stakeholder view)
BA Process Model
  • Problem solving model: mess-finding --> data --> problem --> idea --> solution --> acceptance
  • Process model: investigate situation, consider perspectives, analyse needs, evaluate options, define requirements

Investigation techniques
  • interviews - initial contact with key stakeholders, build/develop rapport w/ different business users & managers, acquire information about business situation, find issues/features
  • workshops +broad view under investigation, increase speed & productivity, consensus view/ group agreement; -time-consuming, participants availability
  • observation +better understanding, devise workable solution; protocol analysis(observing user case), shadowing(following a user for a period)
  • scenarios +force user to include every step, prepare for test scripts, identify misuse; document scenarios in UML
  • prototyping +clarify uncertainty, open user to new requirements, show look & feel, validate requirements
  • quantitative approaches - questionnaires, special-purpose records, activity sampling, document analysis
Stakeholder Management
  • at project initiation - identify/analyze(influence vs. interest) stakeholders, devise/review/revise management strategies(constant active management for high power&interest, keep satisfied, keep informed for no power but interest, keep on side, watch no interest but high power, ignore)
  • categories - customers, partners, suppliers, regulators, employees, managers, owners, competitors

Business System Modelling
  • CATWOE: customer, actor, transformation(core business processes), Weltanschauung(individual's belief), owner, environment
  • activity models - planning, enabling, doing, monitoring, controlling; then identify dependencies
  • business events - external, internal decision, scheduled points in time
  • business rules - constraints, operational guidance

Business Process Modelling
  • development guidelines - multi-levelled, from outside in, performance-related, in an iterative manner,
  • end-to-end process modelling(UML) - overall layout, symbols, sequencing, naming the steps

Requirements Engineering
  • examine each requirement is SMART(specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-framed), clear meaning, not solution, nor duplicate
  • cross-reference - business activity, associated non-functional requirement, justification, related documents/requirements, resolution, change history

Business case - identifying options, assess feasibility, 
  • structure - introduction, management summary, situation description, considered options, analysis of costs & benefits, impact/risk assessment, recommendations, appendices
  • investment appraisal in terms of discounted cash flow model
  • presentation - keep it short, structure, appearances
  • change process - understand impact, plan/decide, execute, sustain
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March 3, 2013 Business object0-oriented modeling UML ch.1-4  
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