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BCS BUSINESS ANALYSIS BOOK

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The book used as the syllabus for the BCS Diploma. Covers a lot of ground including strategic analysis and business case development which can be found in. Business Analysis [James Cadle, Donald Yeates, James Cadle, Malcolm Eva, I bought this book to prepare for the BCS Business Analysis Foundation exam. Editorial Reviews. Review. From first edition: A wide-ranging text, which challenges those who I bought this book to prepare for the BCS Business Analysis Foundation exam, to fill gaps in my knowledge. I read the book twice over a period of.


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Business analysts must respond to the challenges of today's highly Business Analysis has been written and now fully updated by a team of. This book takes you through the creation and management of a BA service, from setting strategy to recruiting business analysts, to continuous improvement. Business Analysis - Third edition. by Donald Yeates, James Cadle, Debra Paul. Publisher: BCS Learning & Development Limited. Release Date: September.

Dates and Locations Special Notices Please note, this course does not include the exam in the cost. To book the exam and take it at the end of your course, please book on code BAPEX with one of our team. Overview Prerequisites Learning Outcomes Course Outline Business Analysts are increasingly required to extend themselves beyond their traditional role of developing and maintaining IT systems. They need the capability to understand the business strategy, use proven techniques to analyse the business area, and identify changes to business processes needed to meet internal and external challenges. This course develops the skills needed to work with senior business and IT staff to analyse and model business activities.

This is known as taking a holistic approach, which is essential for the business to obtain business benefits. A useful mnemonic to remember the four views of a business system is POPT.

The business analyst may be required to support the implementation of the business change. The holistic view offers an effective structure for identifying the range of areas to be considered when planning the implementation.

The core business analyst role definition: An internal consultancy role that has the responsibility for investigating business situations, identifying and evaluating options for improving business systems, defining requirements and ensuring the effective use of information systems in meeting the needs of the business.

Business Analysis Practice Training Course, Business Analyst Courses | TCC

In addition business analysts in a more senior or specialist role may be involved with: Strategy implementation Business case production Benefits realisation Specification of IT requirements.

Here we will define a competency as something a business analyst needs in order to perform his or her job effectively. The competencies are grouped: Behavioural skills and personal qualities, Business knowledge and Techniques. A useful mnemonic to remember these groupings is BBT. Behavioural skills and personal qualities: Communication Relationship building Influencing Team working Political awareness here we are thinking about internal politics, the ability to work out what is and is not politically acceptable in an organisation.

A first step is to understand the competencies required of a business analyst in your organisation, considering current and future requirements, then compare them to your own skills set.

There are three ways in which business analysts can develop their competencies: training, self study and work experience. Different levels of skill are defined for each category and are numbered: 1 2 3 4 5 6 follow assist apply enable ensure, advise initiate, influence SFIAplus provides more detail than SFIA and should be treated as a standard, whereas SFIA may be tailored to an organisations needs.

SFIAplus enables organisations to classify and benchmark their IT skills and to train and develop their teams to meet the defined skill requirements.

Recommended Business Analysis Books

The Foundation Certificate in Business Analysis which you are taking is one of the four certificates you will need to pass, and take an oral exam, to complete the Diploma. A popular definition is given by Johnson, Scholes and Whittington : Strategy is the 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.

We can identify several starting points: Strategy associated with an individual e. Ken Morrison of Morrison supermarkets, the founder of a business or a newly introduced manager e. Groups of manager may meet to determine strategy by reviewing the market and their own business progress. Strategies resulting from a formal planning process.

This is essential for some organisations; especially those for which strategy is truly long term e. The three different ways in which strategies come about are described by Johnson, Scholes and Whittington as seeing strategy development through three different lenses.

These lenses are: The design lens of formal planning sees strategy resulting from detailed and comprehensive analysis by top management, which is pushed down through the organisation. The experience lens intrapreneurial where the collective experience of the organisation and its culture operate on existing strategy to give it a new form. The ideas lens for entrepreneurial strategies which are the result of an innovative climate or the introduction of new thinkers.

We also have to recognise another force in the making of strategy: politics. Rather than strategy developed in a rational way, it is developed through the promotion of specific ideas of the most powerful groups.

Book analysis bcs business

This power comes from: Dependency departments are dependent on those departments that have control over the organisations resources e. Financial resources who controls the funds needed to invest in new ideas, products or services. Position where the individuals live in the organisational structure. Page 10 3 Strategy Analysis v1 3 Strategy Analysis Uniqueness no other part of the organisation can do what the powerful group does.

Uncertainty groups can cope with the unpredictable effects of the environment. Finally there is the garbage can model for strategy formulation, which is said to be most appropriate where there is collective uncertainty about what to do. The garbage can stores ideas, processes and solutions that were rejected as solutions to earlier problems.

When there is a need to do something a choice opportunity we look in the garbage can and find a collection of ideas and solutions that we can use now.

Whichever approach to strategy development we take, it is important to provide a written statement of our strategy because: It provides a focus for the organisation at all levels It provides a framework for the allocation of investment and other resources It provides a guide to innovation It enables appropriate performance measure to be put in place It tells the outside world, our stakeholders, about us.

It is essential that we monitor this environment and its effect on our strategy. This is an examination of the political, economic, sociocultural, technological, legal and environmental issues in the external business environment.

Having examined the external environment, we should now consider the competition our organisation faces. Michael Porters five forces model Porter is an analysis tool that helps to evaluate an industrys profitability and hence its attractiveness. Organisations seek to understand the nature of the competitive environment, and the interplay of the five forces, in order to develop strategies against the threat they pose.

There are some weaknesses to Porters framework. Most often mentioned is that government is not treated as a sixth force. Porters response is that the role of government is played out though each of the five forces legislation affects rivalry and new entrants - and so has not been ignored.

It is also difficult to apply this model to notfor-profit organisations. Having worked on our PESTLE and Porter analyses we have gathered useful data on the attractiveness of our business and the external conditions it may face.

As there will be a degree of uncertainty in trying to understand possible future impacts Scenarios may be used to look at medium and long-term future, and evaluate possible different futures.

Scenarios begin by identifying potential high-impact and high-uncertainty factors in the environment and evaluating their impact, our worst case scenario. Ideally four or more possible scenarios should be considered. The external environment creates opportunities and threats and can give an outside -in stimulus to the development of strategy.

To understand the organisations capabilities we will 3 Strategy Analysis v1 Page 12 3 Strategy Analysis look at two internal analyses: the Resource Audit and portfolio analysis using the Boston Matrix. But first we must understand the current business positioning and to do this we use the MOST analysis to examine the current mission, objectives, strategy and tactics, and consider whether they are clearly defined and supported within the organisation.

We can define the MOST terms as follows: Mission describes what business the organisation is in, and what it is intending to achieve Objectives - the goals against which the organisations achievements can be measured Strategy the approach that is going to taken to achieve the mission and objectives Tactics the detailed means by which the strategy will be implemented. Reflecting on core competences starts the strategy process from inside the organisation, and so is an inside-out approach based on the belief that competitiveness comes from the ability to create new products and services from a set of core competences.

The resource audit can help identify strengths and weaknesses of these competences by examining the tangible resources: The physical resources e. Portfolio analysis of a business helps organisations to achieve balance with a mixture of high-growth, profit-maximising, investment-needing and declining products and services. The strategic business units SBUs parts of an organisation for which there is a distinct and separate external market are identified and the relationship between each SBUs current or future revenue potential is modelled against the appropriate management of it using the Boston Box.

We need to consider the context for the strategy, the role of the strategic leader and tools to assist strategy implementation, the Balanced Business Scorecard BBS and the McKinsey 7-S Model.

First the context: Time how quickly does the new strategy need to be implemented? Scope how big is the change? Is it incremental or transformational? Readiness is the whole organisation, or part affected, ready for the change? Strategic leader is there a strategic leader?

The strategic leader has a key role in enabling the successful implementation of strategic change. The key characteristics seem to be that the strategic leader does the following: Challenges the status quo Establishes and communicates a clear vision of the direction to be taken Models the way Empowers people to deliver their parts of the strategic change Celebrates success The McKinsey 7-S model This model supposes that all organizations are made up of seven components.

Three are often describes as hard components strategy, structure and systems and four as soft- shared values, style, staff and skills. If there is a change in one component, others will be affected.

All seven levers therefore need attention if the implementation is to be successful. The Balanced Business Scorecard BBS This can be thought of as the strategic balance sheet for an organization since it captures both the financial and non-financial components of a strategy.

When 3 Strategy Analysis v1 Page 15 3 Strategy Analysis implementing strategy it is essential to identify critical success factors in both financial and non-financial components and use associated key performance indicators to monitor progress in each area towards achieving the strategy and vision. The framework enables the Business Analyst to determine the most appropriate tools and techniques for each situation, and incorporates the best practice principles of requirements engineering.

The model emphasise the need to investigate and analyse rather than leap to quick, possibly premature, solutions. Acceptance Finding When applied to business analysis the model may be used as follows: Mess finding understand the complexity of the problem situation, document with a rich picture or mind map Data finding analyse opinions, concerns, knowledge and ideas identify where supporting data will help quantify this information Problem finding using the work of the two previous stages uncover the heart of the problem 4 The Business Analysis Process Model v1 Page 17 4 The Business Analysis Process Model The first three stages are concerned with understanding the problem, the next two stages focus on developing solutions: Idea finding use creative problem solving techniques to generate a wide range of ideas e.

Solution finding evaluate the ideas that could provide solutions to the problem s The final stage is Acceptance finding, which is concerned with managing the implementation of the solution. Did you spot the picture of the dog and the mnemonic to help you remember the stages of this model? Some projects may require a detailed exploration of all the stages, other projects may focus on a subset of the model, possibly just one stage. The course will consider each of the stages, identifying the inputs to each stage, the techniques used in the stage and the outputs from the stage.

Briefly the stages are: Investigate situation- uncover issues and problems in the business Consider perspectives analyse stakeholders and consider their perspective of the situation, their view of what the business should be doing.

Analyse needs identify where improvements can be made to the business system by doing a gap analysis Evaluate options examine the potential improvements identified so far developing some business options, evaluate them for acceptability and feasibility and produce a Business Case Page 18 4 The Business Analysis Process Model v1 4 The Business Analysis Process Model Define requirements - gather and document the detailed requirements for changes to the business system recommended and signed off from the Business Case.

The business analyst will support others in the project team to deliver the changes. The qualitative approaches are: Interviews usually a one-toone meeting Observation o Formal observation watching a specific task being performed o Protocol analysis business staff perform a task and describe each step as they perform it o Shadowing following a business user for one or two days to find out what a job entails o Ethnographic study the analyst spends an extended period, possibly several months, in the target environment Workshops a structured meeting, ideally lead by an independent facilitator.

Scenarios the business user tells the story of a transaction from trigger to outcome, capture the happy-day scenario first Prototyping - creating a demonstration system to help clarify vague requirements, may be mock-ups on paper using flipchart sheets, pens and packs of Post-it notes.

We will consider the advantages and disadvantages of each technique during the course. These lenses are: The design lens of formal planning sees strategy resulting from detailed and comprehensive analysis by top management, which is pushed down through the organisation.

The experience lens intrapreneurial where the collective experience of the organisation and its culture operate on existing strategy to give it a new form.

The ideas lens for entrepreneurial strategies which are the result of an innovative climate or the introduction of new thinkers. We also have to recognise another force in the making of strategy: politics. Rather than strategy developed in a rational way, it is developed through the promotion of specific ideas of the most powerful groups. This power comes from: Dependency departments are dependent on those departments that have control over the organisations resources e.

Financial resources who controls the funds needed to invest in new ideas, products or services. Position where the individuals live in the organisational structure.

Page 10 3 Strategy Analysis v1 3 Strategy Analysis Uniqueness no other part of the organisation can do what the powerful group does.

Uncertainty groups can cope with the unpredictable effects of the environment. Finally there is the garbage can model for strategy formulation, which is said to be most appropriate where there is collective uncertainty about what to do. The garbage can stores ideas, processes and solutions that were rejected as solutions to earlier problems.

When there is a need to do something a choice opportunity we look in the garbage can and find a collection of ideas and solutions that we can use now.

Book analysis bcs business

Whichever approach to strategy development we take, it is important to provide a written statement of our strategy because: It provides a focus for the organisation at all levels It provides a framework for the allocation of investment and other resources It provides a guide to innovation It enables appropriate performance measure to be put in place It tells the outside world, our stakeholders, about us.

It is essential that we monitor this environment and its effect on our strategy. This is an examination of the political, economic, sociocultural, technological, legal and environmental issues in the external business environment.

Business Analyst

Having examined the external environment, we should now consider the competition our organisation faces. Michael Porters five forces model Porter is an analysis tool that helps to evaluate an industrys profitability and hence its attractiveness.

Organisations seek to understand the nature of the competitive environment, and the interplay of the five forces, in order to develop strategies against the threat they pose. There are some weaknesses to Porters framework. Most often mentioned is that government is not treated as a sixth force. Porters response is that the role of government is played out though each of the five forces legislation affects rivalry and new entrants - and so has not been ignored.

It is also difficult to apply this model to notfor-profit organisations. Having worked on our PESTLE and Porter analyses we have gathered useful data on the attractiveness of our business and the external conditions it may face.

As there will be a degree of uncertainty in trying to understand possible future impacts Scenarios may be used to look at medium and long-term future, and evaluate possible different futures. Scenarios begin by identifying potential high-impact and high-uncertainty factors in the environment and evaluating their impact, our worst case scenario. Ideally four or more possible scenarios should be considered. The external environment creates opportunities and threats and can give an outside -in stimulus to the development of strategy.

To understand the organisations capabilities we will 3 Strategy Analysis v1 Page 12 3 Strategy Analysis look at two internal analyses: the Resource Audit and portfolio analysis using the Boston Matrix. But first we must understand the current business positioning and to do this we use the MOST analysis to examine the current mission, objectives, strategy and tactics, and consider whether they are clearly defined and supported within the organisation.

We can define the MOST terms as follows: Mission describes what business the organisation is in, and what it is intending to achieve Objectives - the goals against which the organisations achievements can be measured Strategy the approach that is going to taken to achieve the mission and objectives Tactics the detailed means by which the strategy will be implemented.

Reflecting on core competences starts the strategy process from inside the organisation, and so is an inside-out approach based on the belief that competitiveness comes from the ability to create new products and services from a set of core competences. The resource audit can help identify strengths and weaknesses of these competences by examining the tangible resources: The physical resources e. Portfolio analysis of a business helps organisations to achieve balance with a mixture of high-growth, profit-maximising, investment-needing and declining products and services.

The strategic business units SBUs parts of an organisation for which there is a distinct and separate external market are identified and the relationship between each SBUs current or future revenue potential is modelled against the appropriate management of it using the Boston Box. We need to consider the context for the strategy, the role of the strategic leader and tools to assist strategy implementation, the Balanced Business Scorecard BBS and the McKinsey 7-S Model.

First the context: Time how quickly does the new strategy need to be implemented? Scope how big is the change? Is it incremental or transformational? Readiness is the whole organisation, or part affected, ready for the change? Strategic leader is there a strategic leader? The strategic leader has a key role in enabling the successful implementation of strategic change. The key characteristics seem to be that the strategic leader does the following: Challenges the status quo Establishes and communicates a clear vision of the direction to be taken Models the way Empowers people to deliver their parts of the strategic change Celebrates success The McKinsey 7-S model This model supposes that all organizations are made up of seven components.

Three are often describes as hard components strategy, structure and systems and four as soft- shared values, style, staff and skills. If there is a change in one component, others will be affected. All seven levers therefore need attention if the implementation is to be successful. The Balanced Business Scorecard BBS This can be thought of as the strategic balance sheet for an organization since it captures both the financial and non-financial components of a strategy.

When 3 Strategy Analysis v1 Page 15 3 Strategy Analysis implementing strategy it is essential to identify critical success factors in both financial and non-financial components and use associated key performance indicators to monitor progress in each area towards achieving the strategy and vision.

The framework enables the Business Analyst to determine the most appropriate tools and techniques for each situation, and incorporates the best practice principles of requirements engineering.

Book bcs business analysis

The model emphasise the need to investigate and analyse rather than leap to quick, possibly premature, solutions. Acceptance Finding When applied to business analysis the model may be used as follows: Mess finding understand the complexity of the problem situation, document with a rich picture or mind map Data finding analyse opinions, concerns, knowledge and ideas identify where supporting data will help quantify this information Problem finding using the work of the two previous stages uncover the heart of the problem 4 The Business Analysis Process Model v1 Page 17 4 The Business Analysis Process Model The first three stages are concerned with understanding the problem, the next two stages focus on developing solutions: Idea finding use creative problem solving techniques to generate a wide range of ideas e.

Solution finding evaluate the ideas that could provide solutions to the problem s The final stage is Acceptance finding, which is concerned with managing the implementation of the solution. Did you spot the picture of the dog and the mnemonic to help you remember the stages of this model? Some projects may require a detailed exploration of all the stages, other projects may focus on a subset of the model, possibly just one stage.

The course will consider each of the stages, identifying the inputs to each stage, the techniques used in the stage and the outputs from the stage. Briefly the stages are: Investigate situation- uncover issues and problems in the business Consider perspectives analyse stakeholders and consider their perspective of the situation, their view of what the business should be doing. Analyse needs identify where improvements can be made to the business system by doing a gap analysis Evaluate options examine the potential improvements identified so far developing some business options, evaluate them for acceptability and feasibility and produce a Business Case Page 18 4 The Business Analysis Process Model v1 4 The Business Analysis Process Model Define requirements - gather and document the detailed requirements for changes to the business system recommended and signed off from the Business Case.

The business analyst will support others in the project team to deliver the changes. The qualitative approaches are: Interviews usually a one-toone meeting Observation o Formal observation watching a specific task being performed o Protocol analysis business staff perform a task and describe each step as they perform it o Shadowing following a business user for one or two days to find out what a job entails o Ethnographic study the analyst spends an extended period, possibly several months, in the target environment Workshops a structured meeting, ideally lead by an independent facilitator.

Scenarios the business user tells the story of a transaction from trigger to outcome, capture the happy-day scenario first Prototyping - creating a demonstration system to help clarify vague requirements, may be mock-ups on paper using flipchart sheets, pens and packs of Post-it notes.

We will consider the advantages and disadvantages of each technique during the course. A variety of discovery and documentation techniques may be used in a workshop. Discovery techniques include: Round robin Brainstorming Brainwriting Post-it exercise Stepwise refinement 5 Investigation techniques v1 Page 20 5 Investigation Techniques Documentation could be by: Process models Rich pictures Mind maps Context diagrams Use case diagrams Task scenarios Focus groups are a type of workshop which tends to be concerned with business and market research.

The quantitative approaches are: Questionnaires useful for a limited amount of information from a large audience, particularly if they are geographically dispersed. Special purpose records business users make a record about a specific issue or task, could be as simple as a five bar gate tally.

Activity sampling a quantitative form of observation, where the amount of time taken on a range of activities is recorded by the business analyst Document analysis reviewing completed forms, screen layouts and reports to uncover detailed information about an organisation, process or system.

Meeting reports will be produced for each interview and workshop. In addition there are diagrammatical techniques that are also useful in documenting the investigation and analysing the situation: Rich pictures a free format representation of the entire business situation Mind maps a tool for summarising a lot of information visually, showing connections between ideas and topics Business process models to understand how a process is carried out a swim-lane diagram or an activity diagram may be drawn Spaghetti maps show the movements and interactions of stakeholders when performing particular tasks and processes Fishbone diagrams also known as Ishikawa diagrams.

The technique is known as root cause analysis. The main responsibility for stakeholder management rests with the project manager, but all project team members have a role to play in identifying stakeholders, helping to understand their needs, managing their expectations and monitoring any changes during the project lifecycle.

When does stakeholder management take place? Throughout the project lifecycle.

Generic stakeholder categories that apply to many projects are: Partners Suppliers Regulators Employees Managers Owners Competitors Customers To ensure that the identification of the stakeholders is as complete as possible a workshop may be held with people who are knowledgeable about the organisation and the proposed project. They require constant active management. Therefore stakeholder analysis must be a continuing activity throughout the project, and even afterwards to find out what the stakeholders thought of the final outcome.

Once stakeholders initial positions have been plotted, a plan should be drawn up for what to do with each of them. Plotting stakeholders attitudes may be helpful. We may classify attitude as: Champion: actively works for the success of the project Supporter : in favour of the project, but not very active in promoting it Neutral : neither for or against the project Critic : not in favour of the project but not actively opposed to it Opponent : works actively to disrupt, impede or derail the project Blocker : obstructs progress, maybe for reasons outside the project itself The plan could be recorded on a spreadsheet: Extract from Debra Paul, Donald Yeates and James Cadle , Business Analysis 2nd Edition , BCS.

Before going on to model the business processes, we need to be clear about the values and beliefs of stakeholders. We can use this understanding to develop models of desired future business systems, which we can then assess against current real-world situations.

This soft systems model is proposed as an alternative to the hard systems thinking approach, which assumes the goals and objectives of business systems are clear. Checkland and others recognised that business situations are rarely clear-cut, are often messier and that the softer human aspects i. SSM begins with an investigation into a real world situation of concern and Checkland proposed we use rich picture to document it.