How should you approach learning business analysis tools & techniques?
Use this article as a guide and a starting point. Free resources included right where you need them!
1. Understand the goals of business analysis.
Why do we need business analysis? Why is it important for enterprise changes? What exactly do business analysts do?
2. Explore business analysis activities as part of business analysis process
How do we practice business analysis? Where do you start if you are assigned to a new project? Is there a logical sequence to business analysis activities?
3. Discover tools and techniques to use for each phase of business analysis.
You will need different techniques for discovery, analysis, synthesis, and validation. Start with the BA techniques everyone should know. Some techniques like asking the right questions are used throughout the whole cycle, but the style of the questions will differ.
Explore these techniques – anything you are already familiar with? Have done before?
4. Learn about specific techniques.
If you are unsure where to start, start with these:
When you practice business analysis, consider the needs of your stakeholders and choose a technique that suits a particular stakeholder best.
5. Practice business modelling.
Use these resources to get started, and practice as much as you can:
How to Create Business Use Case Diagrams (video)
6. Learn tools used for capturing requirements.
Requirements can be captured in a variety of formats – structured statements, user stories, models, matrices, catalogues of business rules, decision tables and more. Check out my book for the description, tips, and examples of requirements capturing and sharing techniques.
Here is a quick overview of the tools you might use. If any of these are new to you, explore and try them out.
7. Keep learning
We get better with practice. Keep using different techniques — practice, experiment, and learn from experience.
If you see someone use a technique you are not familiar with — ask, observe, analyze, and try it yourself.