Business Analysis foundations


In-person classes – 3 days


Whether you are new to business analysis, or are experienced and want a more formal approach, it’s essential to know and practice the “fundamentals.”  This course trains participants to help business clients articulate their needs and wants, and to document them clearly, concisely, and completely.  By grasping this core Business Analyst (BA) skill, BAs can contribute significantly to successful projects and the products they create.

Through a realistic case study and interviews, participants discover and then practice writing “good” requirements.  The course also explores and lets attendees practice a simple process for validating and verifying requirements to ensure they are well-documented.  Also, attendees learn the importance of traceability and how to construct a traceability matrix.

For analyzing requirements, this course introduces people to the concept of “concurrent modeling,” using four standard types of models that provide the most benefits.  A key skill taught is how to best read models concurrently for a complete requirements “package.”  After models are presented, class participants find inconsistencies, interview the sponsor, and document and trace new requirements that are discovered.  These models are: Business Process, Use Case, Data, and Interface Modeling.  Specifics of how to construct each type of model are contained in separate courses.

The course concludes with considerations and techniques for creating a “requirements package” for maximum communication value, reviewing and managing requirements.  Plus, attendees also learn a repeatable process for verifying that requirements are included in the final solution.

Pre-requisites: Participants should have worked at least one project

Skill Level: Basic


People that have project experience working with a variety of roles (BA, QA, PM, sponsors) but have not had formal BA training. New business analysts (transferred from the business, or from a different IT job) and have had some formal BA training will also benefit. Experienced BAs and project managers who want a more formal and industry-standard business analysis approach will gain new skills and methods from this course.


To help assimilate the tools and techniques learned, there is a mixture of individual and team exercises throughout the course. A lively role play and case study help reinforce concepts learned. Students will need to be prepared for a high level of participation. Each participant will receive a comprehensive student guide complete with examples and workshop solutions.



Requirements Foundations

  • Business Analysis Overview

    • Business Analysis defined

    • BA competencies

    • Exercise: Key activities and artifacts of a BA

    • BA Body of Knowledge model

    • Simplified requirements process model

    • Exercise: Art versus science

  • Requirements Defined

    • Requirements defined

    • Requirements classifications

      • Business

      • Stakeholder

      • Functional

      • Non-Functional

      • Transition

      • Analysis vs. design

      • Exercise: Practice distinguishing different types of requirements

  • Business Rules

    • Business rules defined

    • Business rule checklist

    • Business rule categories

      • Structural assertions

      • Derivations

      • Constraints

    • Requirement vs business rule

    • Exercise: Identify business rules in your organization

  • COTS Considerations

  • Requirements approaches

    • Waterfall (plan-driven)

    • Agile (change-driven)

Define the Business Need

  • Understanding the business need

  • Defining business requirements

    • Business requirements

    • Business goals vs objectives

    • Writing good business goals

    • Writing SMARTER business objectives

    • Identify problem or opportunity

    • Example business problem & opportunity statement

    • Business requirements questions

    • Case Study Workshop: Elicit and identify business requirements

Plan for Requirements

  • BA planning activities

  • Understanding project context

    • Context for requirements

    • Important of understanding project context

    • Understand project background

    • Questions to ask

    • Where to start

    • Anatomy of project objectives, actions and deliverables

    • Case Study Workshop: Identify and understand project context

  • Define solution scope

    • Defining solution scope

    • Process scope diagram

    • Context diagram

    • Use case diagram

    • Case Study Workshop: Create a scope diagram for the solution

  • Identifying stakeholders

    • Roles and responsibilities

    • Stakeholder onion

    • Techniques to identify stakeholders

    • Selecting stakeholder representatives

    • Case Study Workshop: Identify key stakeholders

  • Communicating with Stakeholders

    • Communication considerations

    • What to communicate

    • Communication tips

    • Exercise: Insights color energy communication

Eliciting requirements

  • Elicitation defined

  • Common elicitation challenges

  • Prepare for elicitation

    • Elicitation prep checklist

    • Elicitation techniques

    • Exercise: When to use or not use each technique

    • Prepare questions

    • Case Study Workshop: Prepare for eliciting requirements and business rules

  • Conduct elicitation and document results

    • Conduct

    • Document results

    • Confirm elicitation results

    • Case Study Workshop: Conduct requirements interviews and document results

Document and Analyze Requirements

  • Requirements analysis tasks

  • Documenting requirements

    • Quality characteristics of “good” requirements

    • Exercise: Analyzing requirements

    • Requirement formats (templates for writing each category of requirement):

    • Stakeholder

    • Functional

    • Non-functional

    • Business rules

    • Writing guidelines

    • Case Study Workshop: Writing “good” requirements & business rules

  • Define assumptions & constraints

    • Case Study Workshop: Identify assumptions & constraints

  • Organize & trace requirements

    • Traceability

    • Benefits

    • Traceability alignment

    • Organization components

    • Types of relationships

    • Traceability / organization matrix

    • Case Study Workshop: Create traceability matrix

  • Prioritizing requirements

    • Benefits of prioritization

    • Prioritization challenges

    • Basis for prioritization & techniques

    • Case Study Workshop: Prioritize requirements

  • Validate & verify requirements

    • Validation vs verification

    • Validation checklist

    • Verification checklist

    • Tools

    • Case Study Workshop: Validate and verify requirements

Model Requirements

  • What is a model?

  • Benefits of modeling

  • Modeling guidelines

  • Current solution modeling

  • Business Process Models

    • Case Study Workshop: Eliciting, documenting, and tracing new requirements

  • Data Models

    • Case Study Workshop: Eliciting, documenting, and tracing new requirements

  • Use Case Models

    • Case Study Workshop: Eliciting, documenting, and tracing new requirements

  • Interface Models/Prototypes

    • Case Study Workshop: Eliciting, documenting, and tracing new requirements

Manage & Communicate Requirements

  • Requirements management & communication tasks

  • Creating a requirements package

    • Package process

    • Considerations for packaging

    • Communication channels

    • Common package components

    • Case Study Workshop: Requirements Package outline

  • Requirements reviews

    • Why conduct reviews

    • Effective review planning

    • Requirements reviews

    • Review approaches

    • Effective requirement review tips

    • Case Study Workshop: Conduct a requirements review session

  • Managing requirements

    • Manage requirements documentation and approvals

    • Maintain requirements for reuse

    • Manage change requests

    • Case Study Workshop: Manage a new change request


  • Appendix A; Sample Exercise Answers

  • Appendix B: Elicitation Prep List & Technique Comparison

  • Appendix C: Sample Data, Process and Use Case Questions

  • Appendix D: Sample Requirements Package


  • Non-functional Requirements Checklist

  • Case Study Mini Charter & Scope Statement

  • 101 Eliciting Requirements Questions

  • Case Study Workshop Models

  • Solution Requirements Modeling Diagram

 This outline is subject to change.