Yes, the mistake was made!!!

oopsHow many times it happens when you commit a mistake and try to hide it to the maximum possible time and also from the maximum possible people? I believe it’s natural in all of us that apart from accepting the mistakes, we either try to hide it or try to blame someone else. It’s human tendency and can be seen even in the leaders and professionals. This nature of not accepting the mistakes basically arises due to the fact that in our personal lives, professional environment and social gatherings the mistake is always viewed as “bad”.

In our kindergarten our teachers used to say, “we learn from our mistakes” but as we grow up this teaching gets faded and instead of taking risks of mistakes, we follow the set path.



Before moving further, let’s check the meaning of mistake from the world of dictionary. It is defined as, “an unfortunate, unwise and incorrect act or decision result of a bad judgement, ignorance or inattention.” It is widely separated from error which is defined as a piece of incorrect work. A mistake can be a typo, reading wrong signboards while travelling on highway, pressing foot on accelerator instead of brakes in traffic, mentioning wrong dates on cheque leaves (most of the times happen with year part) and many more which happens in our daily routine. Such kinds of mistakes which happen unintentionally and unknowingly are also termed as strong habit intrusion under which the person who has committed the mistake was in his full senses and the mistake just happened. Thus it is accepted widely that there are different kinds of mistakes and each kind should be handled in its own way. A solution which is acceptable for one mistake may or may not help for others and thus it is recommended to think and discuss before implementing any solution against any mistake. There are certain cultures in the world which are not so true and may be against other cultures but the follower of the same accept it and love them in any manner which sometimes results in bad and non-acceptable results.

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Knowledge Areas of BA

Business Analysis is all about tasks and techniques followed to qualify the business needs and finding the business solution. The solution may include the system development, process development or improvement and change in the organizational structure. It is about the process to complete the tasks with quality and those who follow these processes are known as business analysts. In some organizations, these business analysts are referred as system analysts, SME (subject matter experts), business process analysts, business system analysts and many more.

The tasks followed by business analyst require specific knowledge areas and a business analyst should focus on them while performing the activities. Many writers have defined these knowledge areas by different names and in different formats. BABOK (Business analysis body of Knowledge) has also defined these knowledge areas which group together related tasks and techniques.

Knowledge areas define the set of techniques which a BA should understand and try to practise during the routine activities. There is no arrangement for these knowledge areas and the tasks from all these knowledge areas can be performed in rapid succession depending on the pertinent inputs from the business owners.

As per BABOK, the list of these knowledge areas (KA) is as below:

  1. Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
  2. Requirements Elicitation
  3. Requirements Management and Communication
  4. Enterprise Analysis
  5. Requirements Analysis
  6. Solution Assessment and Validation
  7. Underlying Competencies

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Roles and Responsibilities of a BA

Over the last few decades the role of Business analysts has been evolved from just eliciting, managing or documenting the requirements to gap analysis, risk analysis, strategy and enterprise analysis and many more. The BA is now more prominent and has developed himself in certain other areas where he can utilize his skills in several other fields which are important for the successful completion of the project and to avoid any zany decisions which may lead to the delay in the completion of the project.

The roles and responsibilities of a BA is quite wide and scattered. A BA has to work with different teams and act as a liaison among different stakeholders to mitigate any ambiguity in the requirements. On one hand a BA works with the business owners to pull out exact requirements and on the other he helps the development team to grasp the requirement completely.

The area of BA’s work is vast and challenging. Depending on the organization, the responsibilities can be varied. In some organizations a business analyst is more inclined towards technical details and has very less business knowledge, on the other hand there are some organizations which hire Business analysts with very strong hold on business understanding. I believe a successful business analyst is one who can not only see “the larger picture” of the business scope but also able to understand the technical and architectural catalysts.

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Seven Habits of a Successful BA

In the current working culture and a cut-throat competition everyone is putting hard to be a out-performer  There is a vast difference between the task performed by a professional rather than an amateur. This difference in quality of work comes with the experience and the process followed by an expert. As they say, “I don’t know the reason of success, but certainly failed becauseseven-habits of pleasing everyone”. A professional believes in his way of working and each time gets recognized among the peers and subordinates and also at the senior levels.

There is no hidden magic behind being a successful BA but because of the highly valued skills and competence level separates a successful rather star BA from the crowd. There are many qualities a BA should possess as his responsibility is quite distinguished and vary at different levels of the work performed and among different hierarchy levels. But I believe that these qualities to be a successful BA can be developed if s/he follows certain habits. I can think of 7 such habits which a successful BA should possess.

1)     Believe in eliciting rather gathering:

Requirement gathering is the foremost quality of any business analyst, but the important aspect is how smartly the work is done so that there is no ambiguity in the final version of the requirement details. Hence it is always recommended that a BA should think of certain different methods to collect the information from different stakeholders. The detail of requirement gathering is well explained in BABOK but I think eliciting the requirement is rather more important in this aspect. A successful BA always believes in eliciting the requirements using certain tactics like prototyping, brainstorming, interviewing etc. The elicitation always moors the BA from getting wrong information. Continue reading

Do you enjoy the tedious tasks

BA: Your team-mates enjoy the repeated tasks?

tedious-tasksThis is certainly a big question for everyone involved in a project and for the people sitting at management level, this becomes even more important to make the work environment enjoyable and make the team-mates enjoy their routine activities including the tedious tasks. The role of a business analyst (BA) is also important and he also comes under the same umbrella when the delegation of the tasks come into the picture.

As a BA, you should always keep in mind that you are the one who is on the driver seat and have to drive the projects. A BA is a critical link between IT team members and key individuals involved with a project to ensure its timely and successful completion. Being on this position, a BA has to drive many things from the start of the requirement elicitation till the project goes to the maintenance mode. And I believe if s/he is having such an important role, s/he should be able to make her/his team-mates comfortable working on the project on daily basis.

There are many tasks in the project life-cycle which are tedious and sometimes become tiresome that the team doesn’t find it productive and lack interests in doing the same, e.g. testing the existing functionality after implementing the new one to check the impact of later on the former, if any. And when the development is in full swing; the frequency of such testing increases and then it really becomes important to hold the testers to perform their work with same excitement and zeal. Continue reading