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Business Analysis Techniques: 72 Essential Tools for Success


Author: James Cadle

Publisher: British Informatics Society Ltd


Publish Date: February 1, 2010

ISBN-10: 190612423X

Pages: 284

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

The idea for this book came from a talk given to the UK Chapter of the International Institute of Business Analysts in July 2007. The subject was ‘Business Analysis Techniques’, and, rather than just concentrating on one or two techniques, we decided to survey the whole field of them and suggest where each could be used. Between us we brainstormed some 80-odd techniques and then grouped them according to different aspects of the business analyst’s role. The talk was well received, and various people said afterwards how useful they’d found it. So we wondered whether there might not be a niche for a book that surveyed the wide range of techniques that can be used in business analysis work and gave advice on where and how each might be employed.

In many ways we believe that a business analyst (BA) is in a similar position to that of other skilled professionals. Take a surgeon, for example, who will have available a wide array of instruments during a procedure. Some of these (a scalpel, for instance) are used all the time; others have very specific uses. Skilled surgeons (i) have all of the instruments at their disposal, (ii) know how to use each, and (iii) know which one to select at each point in the procedure. Also, since each procedure is different, each will require its own specific combination of instruments to be used in a particular order. The business analyst, similarly, needs a full kit of tools and the skills and knowledge to be able to use each when and where it is needed.

This book is designed to complement Business Analysis, edited by Debra Paul and Donald Yeates and first published by BCS in 2006. Business Analysis is the first book specifically on this field, and provides an overall treatment of its subject, presenting the lifecycle of an assignment and reviewing the methods that can be used to carry it out. The book covers many techniques, but the limited space available did not permit the authors to go into a lot of detail. The present book therefore starts where Business Analysis leaves off, and ‘drills down’ into more detail on the various techniques that BAs may apply in their work. We have decided to adopt the process model presented in Chapter 4 of Business Analysis to provide a framework for this book, and we hope this will make it easier for readers to see how the two publications complement and support each other. So our first six chapters are called ‘Business strategy and objectives’, ‘Investigate situation’, ‘Consider perspectives’, ‘Analyse needs’, ‘Evaluate options’ and ‘Define requirements’. But we’ve also added a seventh chapter called ‘Manage change’, so that we can cover techniques such as benefits management and realisation, and some of the organisational and human issues associated with change management, more fully.

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