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113 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

What does the "Underlying Competencies" knowledge area describe?

The behaviors, characteristics, knowledge, and personal qualities that support the practice of business analysis.

What are the six underlying competencies identified in the BABOK?

- Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving

- Behavioral Characteristics

- Business Knowledge

- Communication Skills

- Interaction Skills

- Software Applications

True or False: the underlying competencies described in the BABOK are unique to the professional of business analysis.
What are the types of Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving?
Creative thinking, decision making, learning, problem solving, and systems thinking
What is the purpose of "Creative Thinking"?
To effectively generate new ideas for approaches to problem solving and generating alternative solutions
Usage of creative thinking should be ___ and ___ to the situation.
Innovative and appropriate
How can a BA promote creative thinking in others?
By asking questions and challenging assumptions
What are the effectiveness measures of creative thinking?

- Successful generation and productive consideration of new ideas

- Application of new ideas to resolve existing problems

- Willingness of stakeholders to accept new approaches

What is the purpose of decision making?
To be effective in understanding the criteria involved in making a decision, in making decisions, and in assisting to make better decisions.
What is the definition of "decision making"?
Gathering relevant information, breaking down the information, making comparison and tradeoffs, and choosing the most desirable option.
What are some of the traps that can impede successful decision-making?

- tendency to accept the initial framing of a problem

- sunk cost fallacy

- tendency to place greater weight on evidence that confirms existing impressions

What are the effectiveness measures of decision making?

- Confidence of the participants that a decision is correct

- New info or options causing a decision to be revisited are genuinely new and not simply overlooked

- Decisions are effective in addressing the underlying problem

- Impact of uncertainty and new info can be effectively addressed

What is the purpose of learning?
To learn about business domains and how they function, and then translate that into an understanding of how to benefit an organization
What is "learning"?
The process of gaining knowledge or skills
What must a business analyst be able to do with information to identify opportunities to creation new solutions or evaluate solutions to ensure they are effective?
What are the stages of learning?

- Initial acquisition of raw facts

- Comprehension of their meaning

- Applying knowledge in day-to-day work

- Analysis, synthesis, and evaluation

What are the effectiveness measures of learning?

- Agreement that analysis models effectively and completely describe the domain

- Identification of related problems or issues from multiple areas in the domain

- Rapid absorption of new information or new domains

What is the purpose of "problem solving"?
To ensure that the real, underlying problem is understood and that solutions actually address that problem.
What are the effectiveness measures of "Problem Solving"?

- Confidence in the process that a selected solution is correct

- New solution options can be evaluated effectively with the problem solving framework

- The process avoids making decisions based on preconceived notions, policies, or other traps

What are some problems that may cause a suboptimal solution to be selected?
Preconceived notions, policies, or other traps
What is the purpose of "Systems Thinking"?
Understanding how people, processes, and technology within an organization interact in relationships and patterns to create a system as a whole
What is "systems thinking"?
It suggests that the system as a whole will have properties, behaviors and characteristics that emerge from the interaction of components, which are not predictable from an understanding of the components alone.
True or False: a system is always an IT system.
False. It is much broader; may include people, interactions between them, external force, and all other relevant elements and factors
What are the effective measures of "systems thinking"?

- Understanding of how a change to a component affects the system as a whole

- Identification of reinforcing and compensating feedback loops

- Understanding of how systems adapt to external pressures and changes

What are the behavioral characteristics needed by BAs, as listed in the BABOK?
Ethics, Personal Organization, and Trustworthiness
What is the purpose of "Ethics" in business analysis?
Must be able to behave ethically in order to earn the trust and respect of stakeholders, and be able to recognize when a proposed solution or requirement present ethical difficulties.
True or False: fair treatment requires that the outcome be beneficial to a particular stakeholder group
False, but it does require the affected stakeholders understand the reasons for the decision
Why must a BA be able to identify when an ethical dilemma occurs?
To understand how such dilemmas may be resolved
What are the effectiveness measures of ethical behavior?

- Decisions are made with due consideration to the interests of all stakeholders

- Reasons for a decision are clearly articulated and understood

- Prompt and full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest

- Honesty regarding one's abilities, performance of one's work, and accepting responsibility for failures or errors

What is the purpose of a BA having personal organization?
To assist the BA in effectively managing tasks and information
What is personal organization?
Ability to readily find file or information, timeliness, management of outstanding tasks, and appropriate handling of priorities.
What does effective time management require?
Effective prioritization, elimination of procrastination, and clarity of goals and expectations.
What are some standard techniques for applying personal organization?
Action plans, to-do lists, priority setting
What are the effectiveness measures of personal organization?

- Ability to find information

- Regular on-time completion of tasks

- Efficiency in the completion of work

- Ability to easily identify all outstanding work and that status of that work item

What is the purpose of trustworthiness in a BA?
To earn the trust of key stakeholders to ensure that the BA is able to elicit requirements around sensitive issues and ensure that recommendations are properly evaluated
What does "trustworthiness" require of a BA?
That they engage with the stakeholder's needs, not desires, and that they honestly address issues when they occur
What are the types of "Business Knowledge" a BA should be aware of?

- Business Principles and Practices

- Industry Knowledge

- Organization Knowledge

- Solution Knowledge

What is the purpose of a BA knowing about business principles and practices?
To ensure that they are incorporated into and supported by solution
What are business principles?
Characteristics that are common to all organizations with a similar purpose and structure (regardless of industry)
What are some common sets of functional areas of organizations?
HR, Finance, IT, Supply Chain Management
What are the effectiveness measures of "business principles and practices"?

Understanding of:

- Business environments, operations, process and practices

- Relevant regulatory, compliance, and government frameworks

- Auditing and security issues

What is the purpose of a BA having industry knowledge?

Understanding new challenges that may be posed by competitive moves, and which solutions have proven effective elsewhere

What is "industry knowledge"?
Understanding of the competitive forces that shape an industry
What does industry knowledge require that a BA understand?

- Various customer segments that an industry services

- Demographic or other characteristics common to that segment

- Major trends impacting the industry

- Competitors and their actions

What industry knowledge must a BA know?

Knowledge of:

- Major competitors and partners of the organization

- Major customer segments

- Common products and product types

- Sources of industry information, including trade magazines/journals

What industry knowledge must a BA understand?

- Industry-related material; what's going on in the industry

- How to identify key trends shaping the industry

- Industry-specific resources and process documents

- Industry standard processes and methodologies

- Industry regulatory environment

What is the purpose of a BA having organization knowledge?
Assists in understanding of the organization for which business analysis is being performed
What is "organizational knowledge"?
An understanding of the business architecture of the organization that is being analyzed
What does understanding organization knowledge include?

- Business models

- Organizational structure

- Relationships between business units

- People who occupy key stakeholder positions

Understanding of an organization requires understanding of information __ of ___ and __ that usually exist in parallel with formal ones.
Lines of communication, authority
Besides lines of communication, the BA must also understand what?
The internal politics that govern or influence decision-making
What are the effectiveness measures of organizational knowledge?

- Understanding of terminology or jargon

- Understanding of the products or services offered

- Ability to identify SMEs in the organization

- Organizational relationships and politics

What is the purpose of Solution Knowledge for a BA?
Used to identify the most effective means of implementing a change
What is the definition of "Solution Knowledge"?
Familiarity with the range of solutions or suppliers can assist with the identification of possible alternatives
What are the effectiveness measures of solution knowledge?

- Reduced time or cost to implement

- Shortened time on requirements analysis and/or solutions design

- Understanding when a larger change is justified based on business benefit

- Understanding how additional capabilities present, but not current used, in a solution can be deployed to provide business value

What are the types of "communication skills" a BA should have?

- Oral communications

- Teaching

- Written communications

What is the purpose of oral communication?
To enable business analysts to effectively express ideas in ways that are appropriate to the target audience
What is "oral communication"?
Ability to verbally express ideas, information, or other matters
Oral communication is a __ communication channel.
True or False: Oral communication includes both emotional and non-verbal cues
What are two communication skills required for effective oral communication?

- Ability to make oneself understand

- Active listening skills to ensure statements of others are understood

In order communication, the BA must understand the __ of communication, and how it can positively or negatively influence the listener.
When is oral communication the most effective?
When the information being communicated will be used in the short term
What are the effectively measures of oral communication?

- Effectively paraphrasing statements

- Effectively facilitating sessions, ensuring success through prep-work and coordination

- Developing and delivering powerful presentations

- Can communicate criticality or urgency in a calm, rational manner

What is the purpose of teaching for a BA?
Ensures that BAs can effectively communicate issues and requirements and that the information is understood and retained
What is "teaching"?
Educating others about the context that a solution will be implemented in
What are the different learning styles that a BA should be aware of?
Visual, auditory, kinesthetic
BAs must understand teaching methods and what else?
How to confirm the student has learned and can apply that learning
What are the effectiveness measures of teaching?

- Verification that learners have acquired information that has been imparted to them

- Ability of learners to use new skills or demonstrate new knowledge

What is the purpose of written communication for a BA?
For BAs to document elicitation results, requirements, and other information for which medium-to-long term records are required
True or False: Oral communication is most effective when in the long-term
False. This is best for short-term.
When is written communication typically required?
For medium-to-long term recording
Written communication involves the use of __ to communicate information.
What are the effectiveness measures of written communication?

- Ability to adjust style of writing to audience

- Proper use of grammar and style

- Appropriate choice of words

- Ability of reader to paraphrase and describe the written content

What are the interaction skills needed by a BA?

- Facilitation and negotiation

- Leadership and influencing

- Teamwork

What is the purpose of facilitation and negotiation for a BA?
To facilitate interactions between stakeholders to help them resolve disagreements regarding the priority and nature of requirements
What is "facilitation"?
The skill of moderating discussions among a group
What must the BA be able to identify when facilitating?

- Underlying interests of the parties

- Distinguish those interests from their stated positions

- Help parties to identify solutions that satisfy underlying interests

What are some of the effectiveness measures of facilitation and negotiation?

- Ensure participants correct understand one another's positions

- Use of management skills and tools

- Preventing discussions from being side-tracked

- Identifying common areas of agreement

- Etc... (See BABOK 8.5.1 for more)

What is the purpose of leadership and influencing?

To guide others investigating requirements and to help encourage stakeholder support for a necessary change

What is the definition of leadership?
Involves motivating people to act in ways that enable them to work together to achieve shared goals and objectives
What does effective leadership require of a BA?
Ability to develop a vision of a desired future state that people can be motivated to work towards, and the interpersonal skills to encourage them to do so
What are the effective measures of leadership and influencing?

- Reduced resistance to necessary change

- Team members and stakeholders demonstrating a willingness to set aside personal objectives when necessary

- Articulation of a clear and inspiring visions of a desired future state

What is the purpose of teamwork?

To work closely with other team members to effectively support their work so that solutions can be successfully implemented

True or False: Team conflict is quite common
What are the types of conflict?
Cognitive and emotional
Emotional conflicts focus on what?
Personal interactions
Cognitive conflicts stem from what?
Disagreements on matters of substantive value or impact on the project or organization
True or False: Conflicts are either cognitive or emotional, but not both
False. Many conflict situations encompass both elements.
What can result from working through problems as a team?
Strengthening the foundation of the analysis of the solution
What are the effectiveness measures of teamwork?

- Fostering a collaborative work environment

- Effective resolution of conflicts

- Developing trust among team members

- Support among the team for shared high standards of achievement

- Shared sense of ownership of team goals

What are the types of software applications a BA should have knowledge of?

- General-purpose applications

- Specialized applications

What is the purpose of general-purpose applications for a BA?
To document and track requirements using office productivity applications
What are the main types of general-purpose applications?
Word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation software, collaboration/knowledge management, communication tools
What are word processors used for?
To develop and maintain requirements document
What are the pros of word processors?
Allow a great deal of control over formatting; standard templates are widely available in this format
What are the cons of word processors?
Limited capability for tracking changes/comments; not designed for collaborative authoring
How are spreadsheet applications used in business analysis?
To maintain lists; basic mathematical manipulation; support decision analysis; summarizing complex scenarios
How is Presentation software used in business analysis?
To support training or introduce topics for discussion
What is the primary purpose of presentation software?
To support the structuring and delivery of verbal information
What does collaboration software support?
Sharing/storing documents in a multiple-user environment in a collaborative way
What forms may collaboration software take?
Document repositories, wikis, discussion forums, etc.
What are some common communication tools?
E Mail, Instant messaging
What is the primary purpose of communication tools?
To facilitate communication over time or distance
What are the effectiveness measures of general-purpose applications?

- Ability to apply an understanding of one tool to other similar tools

- Ability to identify major tools in the marketplace and describe how they are used

- Understands and is able to use most of the major features of the tool

- Able to use tools to complete requirements-related activities more rapidly than without them

- Able to track changes to requirements made through the tools

What is the purpose of specialized applications in business analysis?
To support the development of formal models
What are some types of specialized applications?
Diagramming tools, modeling tools, requirements management tools
What are diagramming tools used for in business analysis?
To support the rapid drawing and documentation of a model
What re modeling tools used for in business analysis?
To facilitate the conversion of the model into an executable form; may also verify notation compliance
What are requirements management tools used for?
To support change control, traceability, and configuration management of requirements and artifacts.
What are requirements managements tools designed for?
To ensure that a reason is recorded for any changes to the requirements and to help rapidly identify any impacts from those changes
Requirements management tools are most often used by what types of organizations?
Large and/or geographically dispersed teams
What are the effectiveness measures of specialized applications?

The same effectiveness measures as on general-purpose applications