The Busy BA Reading List, February 16th 2015 edition

It’s winter up there in Canada, with temperatures around -35ºC in the morning, which means we have a lot of time to spend inside.  Luckily, I have a conference presentation to prepare for next April (for graduate students at HEC Montréal), and many articles harvested in the last weeks to read.  This edition of the Busy (and frozen) BA reading list is therefore full of interesting content, from some effective techniques such as the premortem or the Six Thinking Hats, and a refreshing parallel between the Agile and the Waterfall BA.

Too busy to crawl the web for interesting Business Analysis content? Not interested by social networks noise? At least once a month, the Busy BA Reading List brings you my own review of the best Business Analysis articles and websites published recently.

From Eric the Business Analyst

In case you missed them, these posts were published since the last edition of the Busy BA Reading List:

You don’t need to choose between Agile & Waterfall techniques

I came across a post published on, making a nice parallel between some Agile and Waterfall BA techniques. While both methodologies have their pros and cons, they share similar techniques that any BA could use to perform his work: business process analysis, functional decomposition or feature prioritization all have to be done in any project.

Although they won’t be performed in the same way (waterfall techniques usually calling for more details), you can use your learnings with one methodology to apply them to the other one.

How to act like a successful Business Analyst

Have you ever be in a position where people around you were acting like they had no respect for your work? While the quality of your work should speak by itslef, first impressions are often a deal-breaker. In a post on her blog, Teresa Bennett highlights 3 behaviors that should help you make a good first impression as a BA: using the right body language, asking questions and focus on facts & details in your documents.

Help us to increase the value of the Business Analyst role: follow these rules starting today 🙂

Prevent failures with the Pre-Mortem technique

Every successful (or failed) project usually ends with a post-mortem session, where everyone tries to identify what went well, and what didn’t. This is a great opportunity to learn about your own work, but you can only see the results in your next project. In an interesting post on, Adriana Beal proposes an adaptation of this technique, the pre-mortem, which should help you identify what could go wrong in your BA activities before they actually occur.

Give yourself the chance not to be a leader

As Business Analysts, we are often leaders on our projects, acting as scope keepers and requirements managers. However, there are situations where you might prefer to be a follower.  In a recent post on Teresa Bennett’s blog, you will find 6 excellent reasons not to be a leader on your next project. This could give you a much needed break, but could also boost your skills and leadership qualities to the eyes of your colleagues.

The Six Thinking Hats in a nutshell

In one of her latest blog posts, the always interesting Stephanie Famuyide explains in a clear and concise way the principles behind the popular Six Thinking Hats technique. This technique will help you go through complex decision-making processes, get a multi-dimensional view on a problem, and also identify in which “mood” your stakeholders are. In the end, it will help you go through a worksession knowing that most aspects of a problem have been addressed.

I’m usually wearing a white (factual) or yellow (optimistic) hat; which one is yours? 🙂

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By Eric Provost

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Eric Provost

Making sense out of chaos as a BA & UX specialist

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