How To Learn BA Tools & Techniques

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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?

What Is Business Analysis (article)

What Do Business Analysts Do All Day? (article)

What Is a Business Analyst? (video)

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?

Business Analysis Process in brief (post)

Understand Business Analysis Process (1-hour webinar recording)

Requirements Don’t Come From Business: They Come From Business Analysis (article)

Image by author — business analysis process

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:

Business Analysis Techniques – Immersion (video)

Business Analysis Techniques – Process Analysis (video)

Data Analysis in Business Analysis (article)

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.

Modelling skills will distinguish you and give you an edge, and will help resolve requirement conflicts, find gaps, and create a shared understanding of requirements.

Use these resources to get started, and practice as much as you can:

A Context Model in 5 Minutes (article and video) + bonus Context Model Example: Daycare (video)

How to Create Decision Trees (article and video)

How to Create a Conceptual Data Model (article and video)

How to Create Business Use Case Diagrams (video)

Remember business modelling best practices: clarity, consistency, and conciseness.

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.

BA Mindset Principle #12: Learn, adapt, and thrive!

Check out my online courses, books and corporate training options for business analysts and architects.

Please share your thoughts!

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