The Importance of Well-Planned Analysis Handoffs

Business analysts have a potentially long list of responsibilities and deliverables. Finding the time within a project to include all of the best practices can often be a challenge, and some important techniques, deliverables, and responsibilities are often neglected or ignored simply because there isn’t enough time available. This includes such things as requirements traceability, stakeholder analysis, reports analysis, impact assessments, and handoffs to other project team members. These are often sacrificed for the sake of creating the perfect requirements document, use cases, or diagrams and models. I’d like to focus this article on one of these often neglected work items – handoffs to other project team members.

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A BA by any Other Name…

The role Business Analysts play, and the titles they receive, vary from organization to organization and from project to project. They have a whole realm of responsibilities covering enterprise analysis, planning and monitoring, elicitation, requirements analysis, requirements management and communication, and solution assessment and validation.

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The Importance of Requirements Traceability

The term “requirements traceability” refers to the ability to map requirements back to business goals and objectives, and also to map requirements forward to test cases, business processes, software, training materials, and more. The concept is quite simple, really – it’s a way to tie everything together from start to finish, and make sure that end products align with originating goals and objectives.

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The Motivation of Loss vs. Gain

Looking back across my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different and unique businesses, operating in various industries. I’ve also worked on a wide variety of projects, from new application development, to solution selection, to solution integration and implementation. One thing that I’ve learned during that time is that for all the differences and uniqueness, most businesses and projects have much more in common than most people expect. Sure, the culture of a business or industry might be different, and work being performed might be completely unique, but many of the underlying needs, attitudes, approaches, personalities, and behaviours that you encounter from one project or business to another are fundamentally the same.

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To Teach is to Learn

I come from a long line of un-athletic and immensely uncoordinated people. I'm not sure if it is despite this or because of this that Karate-do fits so well with me. I began practicing Karate-do when I was a long-haired incredibly awkward 13-year-old. I was built more for math and logic than sports. What I had going for me were fierce determination and role models from TV: Ninja Turtles, Jean Claude Van Damme, and countless cheeky 80's ninja movies.

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