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A professional blog dedicated to business analysis and project requirements.
Updated: 4 hours 44 min ago

The Robotic Jockey

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:18
In the March 1945 issue of “Radio-Craft”, a bold vision was laid out for the future of horse racing: human jockeys should be replaced by motorized, radio-controlled “Robotic Jockeys”.   Taken from the same article, the author describes how these new jockeys would work: “The “jockey” would consist of a modern radio receiver, with outputs […]
Categories: Requirements

Don’t Begin UAT Until…

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 12:20
As projects run long and budgets get tight, the first thing that gets squeezed is testing. Even with the best of intentions, the planning, design, and development phases often go longer than expected. In order to meet that precious target rollout date, testing can get rushed. However, it is really important that testing is done […]
Categories: Requirements

Business Analytics: Requirements for Data Transformation

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 12:29
There is a major change happening in the IT industry — the use of big data and analytics to guide how businesses are run. Many companies are embracing analytics as part of their core strategies. Unfortunately, some of those companies think that they can just purchase an analytics solution, implement it, load and collect data, […]
Categories: Requirements

Long Distance Agile – How Good Requirements Documentation Overcomes the Problems of Distance and Disconnected Agile Teams

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 12:31
In the last three months or so, I have been approached by a number of analysts and developers struggling with the problems of working on geographically dispersed Agile teams.  In a majority of the situations, the team members are scattered in countries on different sides of the globe with a minimum of 6 hours or […]
Categories: Requirements

Product Management in Small, Medium, and Large Companies

Tue, 06/17/2014 - 12:49
While at Product Camp Silicon Valley, there was a presenter who had a great idea of discussing the differences within Product Management at small, medium, and large companies. This discussion was slightly sidetracked by a few people who had clear opinions and agendas instead of wanting an open discussion forum, valuing each person’s experience as […]
Categories: Requirements

An Exercise in Documenting Current State: Reddit and the Decision Tree

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 12:27
An exercise in documenting current state: reddit and the decision tree In an earlier post I detailed how you can use RML models to document the current state of your systems and processes by using a Business Data Diagram to illustrate the hierarchy and relationship of objects on the popular content website In this […]
Categories: Requirements

Amazon Dash: Nifty New Technology or Great Product Management?

Wed, 06/11/2014 - 12:48
This weekend I learned about a cool new gadget made by Amazon: the Amazon Dash. This device pairs with your AmazonFresh account (an account for local delivery of groceries- available only in certain locations) and allows you to stock your online grocery list by speaking your food’s name or by scanning the barcodes you have […]
Categories: Requirements

Managing Complexity

Tue, 06/10/2014 - 12:38
“Complexity” is characterized by lots of different interconnected parts, physical or otherwise. The human body is complex; a single-celled organism is not (well, not as complex, anyway). The problem with complexity is that in any system, each component is potentially affected by each other component. That means adding any single component to a system exponentially […]
Categories: Requirements

How Can IT Success be Measured Independent of Project Success?

Mon, 06/09/2014 - 12:24
I am on the opinion that there is a clear difference between overall project success and the performance of the IT team associated with the project.  You can find my detailed discussion on this viewpoint here. Given that there is a fundamental dichotomy in the outcomes between the related and symbiotic efforts of the Business […]
Categories: Requirements

True Requirements Detectives

Thu, 06/05/2014 - 12:45
When facilitating elicitation sessions with stakeholders, the business analyst really must play the role of detective to extract their underlying problems, objectives, and needs. Rust Cohle, one of two protagonists in HBO’s critically-acclaimed series True Detectives, exhibits some of the qualities that business analysts should seek when attempting to elicit requirements from stakeholders. Below are […]
Categories: Requirements

I love your face. Seriously, let’s speak face-to-face.

Wed, 06/04/2014 - 12:32
I love your face, and I promise you that I’m not a creep. I’m just a product manager who values direct, efficient communication. For the same reasons that dating sites require profile photos, I want to see your face. Again, I assure you that I’m not a creep. Call me traditional, but I just want […]

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Categories: Requirements

Business Analysts need to ask “Why”?

Tue, 06/03/2014 - 12:21
I attended BA World – Atlanta a few weeks back, and attended a wonderful presentation by Paul Mulvey, “Why Should a Business Analyst Care About Essential Processes?“  Paul started off his session with a story about his daughter, and how she asked for a new iPhone.  His first question was “why?”  Why did she need […]

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Categories: Requirements

Tips for Newbie Business Analysts – Part I

Mon, 06/02/2014 - 12:40
One of the pillars of employee development here at Seilevel is a robust mentorship program. Everyone at the company is assigned a mentor within a few weeks of starting. Your mentor is tasked with ensuring that you are getting the opportunities you need to grow as an employee, solicits feedback from your peers and project […]

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Categories: Requirements

Business Analyst Tip: Template Usability

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 12:50
Many of us produce document templates using Microsoft Word. In addition to the heavy lifting–the content–you should consider the usability of the templates. My basic approach with templates is that they should take care of the bells and whistles once so each user doesn’t have to. Applying the tips below really doesn’t take that long, […]

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Categories: Requirements

Join Us in IIBA Heartland June 24th!

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 13:48
Hey BAs in Omaha, NE! Join us for the IIBA Heartland chapter event on June 24th for a discussion on Business Requirement Techniques for Delivering Value While Controlling Scope. Organizations launch projects with the assumption that the new or improved solution will provide worthwhile benefits for stakeholders and a suitable return on investment. Understanding your business […]

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Categories: Requirements

BA 101: An Intro to Organizational Strategy, Portfolios, and Programs

Thu, 05/08/2014 - 13:02
I am your typical Business Analyst – in other words, I went to school for something COMPLETELY unrelated, and somehow found my way into writing requirements for software development. My background is in chemical engineering and, although I have always had an interest in business and marketing, I have no formal education in business at […]

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Categories: Requirements

Tips for Remote Presenting

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 12:37
As consultants with clients around Austin and in different cities around the country, we here at Seilevel are often required to hold and run online meetings. We have found that desktop sharing applications are an invaluable tool for remote collaboration and can make the difference between a ho-hum meeting and one that is truly productive. […]

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Categories: Requirements

Product Camp LA – Success!

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 12:34
On Saturday, March 1st Los Angeles had its first Product Camp. Photos and video from the event can be found on the website here: For being the first PCamp for LA and Silicon Beach, it was a HUGE success with over 200 people in attendance, great sessions, great location, and an amazing volunteer organization. Like […]

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Categories: Requirements

The Four Attributes of High-Quality Requirements

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 12:55
Here at Seilevel, we are often asked what actually constitutes “good” requirements. If you gathered a group of project team members and started making a list of all the qualities that would define a “good” requirement, you would quickly become overwhelmed. We have narrowed the massive requirement wish-list down to the four essential qualities that […]

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Categories: Requirements

Nobody’s Perfect

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 12:24
I have claustrophobia. I don’t like being in windowless rooms, crowded elevators, or cubicles. My worst recurring nightmare is being trapped in a never ending shopping mall. It’s not a big problem, but I do notice that if I’m in a windowless conference room for an hour, I start to feel a little jumpy and […]

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Categories: Requirements