Month: May 2007

Planning a Successful Review Meeting, Part I

Holding requirement specification reviews is an activity that is critical to ensuring the quality of your deliverables. Review meetings aren’t typically “fun”, but they can be run smoothly and efficiently. They can also be excruciating if the the organizer and/or the attendees are not sufficiently prepared ahead of time. I plan to post a few things over the next few days that I have found work well for me in terms of preparing for formal review of a deliverable. Some of them may seem obvious, but it is astounding how many people – even among the executive rung – that just don’t prepare adequately for meetings. This first installment will cover prep-work that should be done within at least 3-5 days of the review meeting. Provide reviewers adequate time to review materials prior to the meeting. Remember that members of the project team have as much going on as you do, and their time is at a premium. In my shop we allow, as a rule, 3 full business days between the time we initially distribute a first-draft document and the time of the review. Obviously, the amount of time will differ from shop to shop based on a number of factors, but the principle in play is simply to provide ample lead time. There is nothing that will take the wind out of your sails faster than finding...

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It's Good to be a Business Analyst

The Business Analyst role is a good one – if you’re interested in climbing the rungs of the organizational ladder. At least that’s the tack that Barbara over at the Business Analyst Blog has taken: In the next few years I think we are going to see more and more Business Analysts move into executive level positions in both business and IT organizations. Many individuals holding these positions currently have strong business analysis backgrounds (whether or not they ever had that job title). The progression of a Business Analyst into executive management is very logical and smart from a CEO’s perspective. BAs understand the core business and understand how to solve business problems. We are very good at looking at business areas from a strategic perspective and recommending forward thinking solutions. Because we understand what technology can do, we can see possibilities for future growth in our organizations and can see a path to get there. I agree that Business Analyst is logically a good growth position. Analysts often find themselves working with senior-level stakeholders which doesn’t hurt for visibility – for better or for worse. BA’s often get a unique, cross divisional/departmental view of how the business works, and how technology ties in to the core business. In addition to the technical and business aptitudes, Business Analysts are well-positioned for growth within an organization due to the fact...

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