I recently read and highly recommend Barbara Carkenord’s book, Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis, and must admit it has quickly approached the top of my list of favorite business analysis resources. It covers the basics needed to help get new analysts off to a productive start, but is also a nice handbook for the seasoned analyst looking to review the fundamentals or improve upon his/her skills.
In chapter 4, she covers processes (business activities that turn inputs into outputs) and some of the subtle differences between use cases and processes. As supporting material, she provides a helpful sample process template, which I recently modified and used to catalog some processes that were being considered for movement to a different technical platform as part of a recent project.
I chose to use the template to catalog the processes because I wanted to capture the most important details about the processes, but I wanted to do it in way that was modular – by that I mean that I wanted to be able to hand someone a single document for a process and be able to tell them, “here’s what you need to know about this one” and have it be sufficient to stand alone. I also wanted the brief document to be thorough, but not lengthy. Using this template for each process worked nicely for capturing the level of completeness and modularity I was looking for.
Having found the template so useful, I asked Barb’s permission to share my adaptation of it here for you folks to look at and download if you like, which she graciously granted.
I’d encourage you to take a look at it to see if it might be of use. Tweak it as needed to suit your situation. See if it might be as useful to you as it was for me. I won’t use the template for every project, but it serves as a nice, new addition to my figurative “toolbox” of business analysis tools and techniques I can pull from as needed.
Again, I highly recommend “Seven Steps” for business analysts of any experience level, and if your interested in seeing more from Barb, she’s not hard to find. She blogs occasionally at B2T’s Business Analyst blog. She was also a recent guest on the Requirements.net podcast, and hosted a recent IIBA webinar.
Hopefully you’ll find the template useful. If you do, remember to thank Barb!
I tried to download your template & get a .zip file. When I open it, there's are a lot of .html files,but nothing that looks like the template to me. Can you please let me know how I use this? Thanks
Ginny, I'm not sure what is causing that. Several others have been able to download just fine. Tell you what, if you'd like to send me an e-mail via my contact form (there's a link to it at the top of this page), I'll send the template to you directly.
Hello JB, Great blog you have here.. !! I am not looking anywhere else other than here for all my analysis needs.. Thanks for all the documents too.. However, I was wondering where the question of "How much of historical data would you like to capture, or is this data only going to be available from the Go live date going forward.. ?" going to fit in; or is this not the right place to ask this at all.. ? Thanks so much! Rachana.
Thanks for the kind words! It's always good to hear of people getting some use out of the content I post here. Regarding your question on availability of data, I think that depends on the process and the situation you find yourself in. I can certainly see the historical data consideration potentially showing up as an item in the "additional notes" section, or even as a rule in the rules section.. If it is a common enough question for all of your processes, you might even add it in its own little space on the template.
Depending on circumstance, you might even add a column to the data table to indicate whether you needed historical data and how many months, etc.
Hope that helped. If not, let me know. Always glad to help when I can!
Sure, of course, your site is so thorough and meticulous.. ! And I like the idea of adding it to the template above, because in our Datawarehousing projects, I have frequently encountered the need to capture historical data. I will do that.. Thanks much!
The links to the template are no longer valid (404 error).
Can you repost them?
Sorry about that, James. Try again and let me know if you have any trouble. It should work now.
Works perfectly now, Jonathan, thank you!
Thank you Jonathan.
This is exactly what I was looking for. I think modular, and as a business professional my time is spent on people, process and technology. This modular framework does for me what the balance sheet does for financial analysts.
Glad you found this beneficial, Dr. Charles! And welcome to Practical Analyst!