Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List #15

It’s already the end of the year, and many of my amazing projects for the blog are stuck in a parallel dimension, waiting for some free time opportunities in my schedule (which are desperately missing).  My motivation level is still high, new ideas are still piling up, and new opportunities are still available to improve our community of Business Analysts… which I guess is a good sign despite the lack of time to bring all of these to life.

However, it doesn’t mean I don’t have time to write very good posts for my readers. In the last few weeks, I also had the opportunity to assist to interesting events (from my local IIBA chapter, as well as other larger conferences), and to complete some home improvement projects. Which made me think to many new post ideas. Which increases the problem stated above.

Does anyone have some free time to sell? 🙂

While I wait for your offers, let’s jump into the 15th edition of Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List!

Too busy to crawl the web for interesting Business Analysis content? Not interested by social networks noise? Once a month in a while, Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List brings you a review of some of the best Business Analysis articles and websites.

From Eric the

In case you missed them, here are the most recent and most popular posts since the last edition of Eric’s Business Analysis Reading List:

  1. 4 ways Business Analysts can save big corporations
  2. Bringing Agile to Business Analysis: takeaways from the Montreal Agile Tour 2016
  3. The Junior Business Analyst Manifesto

For my French-speaking readers, I also recently published a first guest post on Métier | B.A., a new Business Analysis blog (in French, obviously).  The post is about the requirements nazis out there, and how you can calm yourself down if you happen to be one of them (hint: I’m one of them).

From the Web

1 The latest edition of the BABoK emphasizes the importance of perspectives when talking about Business Analysis. This is an important new concept, since Business Analysts have been traditionally seen as IT people (which is not 100% true).  In a recent post, Laura Brandenburg goes in the same direction and highlights the various ways the traditional IT Business Analyst role can be extended to more of these perspectives.

2 Facilitating workshops requires a minimum set of skills, but the problem is that most of them are soft skills that are best learnt through practice. Since you don’t facilitate workshops everyday, it can be hard to improve yourself look this side. In a post on BA Mentor, Alison Coward highlights 4 soft skills that will help you facilitating workshops, and suggests many ways you can improve them outside of workshops.

3 While the right soft skills will help you facilitate workshops, you also need to follow basic guidelines to get the most of these workshops. Stephanie Famuyide gives us 5 critical elements to take care of to get the most of them, from using the right Business Analysis techniques to managing the human factor in these workshops.

4 The way you close an elicitation session can make or break the following interactions with your stakeholders. In order to make the most of your soft and hard skills in facilitating these workshops, you can follow some of the closing tips brought by Stephanie Famuyide. I personally find that properly managing the action points can make a big difference in how stakeholders will perceive you. (2017-01-11: the previous link was broken, but I found out an archived page 🙂 )

5 If you never find enough time to complete the action points from an elicitation session (or any kind of meeting actually), it may be time to consider a new approach to dealing with action items. In a great Harvard Business Review post, Katie Smith Milway suggests that instead of using meetings to accumulate action items to complete after the said meetings, it might be a good idea to use these meetings to do the actions. While it might not always be possible, I agree that it could make meetings more useful for involved stakeholders.

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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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