This book provides a how to approach to mastering business analysis work. It will help build the skill sets of new analysts and all those currently doing analysis work, from project managers to project team members such as system analysts, product managers and business development professionals, to the experienced business analyst. It also covers the tasks and knowledge areas for the new 2008 v.2 of The Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOKÂ®) and will help prepare business analysts for the IIBA CBAPÂ® certification exam.
Explains the business analysis fundamental concepts and terms for new analysts in language they can understand
Presents detailed explanations of business analysis strategies, tasks and recommended techniques, and includes examples of successful and less-than-successful project situations to enhance learning
Provides valuable insights for experienced business analysts and project team members performing analysis and critical thinking work in order to reach a higher level of success
Includes knowledge area keys throughout the text that map BABOK competencies to tasks or techniques discussed, in a manner that will help prepare the business analyst for the IIBA CBAP certification exam
WAV offers a free downloadable business analysis planning white paper and a series of template worksheets that can be customized to fit each organization's needs available from the Web Added Value Download Resource Center at jrosspub.com
Review By: Cathy Bell 06/28/2010Are you a business analyst in need of a mentor? Or have you wondered how it's possible that different business analysts who perform different duties may exist in the same organization? This book provides an answer to both questions. Author Barbara A. Carkenord does a great job of helping to define the skills of a professional business analyst and also helps to explain why a business analyst wears many hats throughout his career. Mixed in with these essential skills is sage advice including "case in point" snippets, real life examples that enforce the lesson at hand.
The International Institute of Business Analysis is a non-profit organization that is striving to develop standards for the business analyst profession. The organization wrote the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK), to which Carkenord says her book is an additional tool. She provides a chart in her book that shows what pages contain sections covering the BABOK. Yet Carkenord covers the knowledge areas from a different perspective by grouping together topics from the various BABOK areas to help teach the concepts of business analysis.
This book also serves as a mentor since the author tells us honestly how to advance in the ranks of this profession by asking to be assigned to different business units, different applications, and different software development teams. Doing so will expand the business analyst's experience in a way that will make one become more adaptable, agile, and flexible. For readers wondering if they could become good business analyst, the author provides a "suitability questionnaire" in the book. The questionnaire lists questions to which you answer either Agree or Disagree. Example questions include, "I am good at negotiating solutions between two other people." and "When I give a formal presentation, attendees understand my message." The author explains that although this is not a scientific assessment, it should help you decide to pursue—or not—a career in business analysis.
The book covers the basics and defines key terms so that readers build and work from a common foundation. Then Carkenord moves into the day-to-day activities of a business analyst and how we can hone our skills to improve the outcome of our projects and careers. The subject matter of this book is treated with an honesty that is refreshing, which is why I say this book could serve as a mentor for those who feel they are on their own. The author talks honestly about responsibilities, such as giving the sponsor bad news or no news at all. Other issues she tackles include how to handle the delicate situation of being on a project that is initiated to eliminate costs, which sometimes means eliminating someone’s job. And being able to see the overall impact our project will have on the entire organization instead of just how it will affect our small world.
Supplemental content is available on the publisher’s Web site. It contains templates for business analysis work plans, a list of deliverables to consider when planning a project, and a stakeholder analysis worksheet that could help you see clearly the role of the stakeholders in your project.
Overall, the book is easy to read, is a valuable tool for any organization, and should be add to your library.