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Business Analysis FAQ

What is the role of a Business Analyst?

At a high level, a Business Analyst acts as a liaison between business people who have  business problems and technology people who know how to create automated solutions. A Business Analyst serves the mission-critical function of understanding specific business needs, determining and documenting accurate requirements from business units and presenting those requirements in a manner that is agreeable, measurable and flexible enough to meet project and stakeholder needs. The Business Analyst is an integral member of a project team who must possess a collection of essential people and technical skills to be successful.

Specifically, what are the responsibilities of a Business Analyst?

A true Business Analyst is responsible for effectively and efficiently:

  • Defining and scoping a project;
  • Gathering requirements from business units;
  • Documenting business and technical requirements accurately;
  • Communicating requirements to sponsors, stakeholders and project team members;
  • Verifying that the implemented solution meets the requirements;
  • Testing the solution to validate project objectives.

What are the essential skills needed for a Business Analyst?

Knowing how to document accurate user requirements, modeling a process and ensuring completion through testing are just a few key skills necessary. Besides the obvious technical knowledge and skills required, a Business Analysts must also be proficient at:

  • Building a business case;
  • Gaining consensus at all levels within an organization;
  • Facilitation;
  • Interviewing;
  • Oral and written communications;
  • Active listening;
  • Running effective meetings;
  • Conducting presentations.

Why are soft skills important to being a great Business Analyst?

The common thread running through all the essential skills needed to be a great Business Analyst is working with people. Whether it be intervening, communicating, facilitating meetings or presenting information, the more comfortable Business Analysts are with interacting with people, the more successful they will be in their role.

Why do organizations need business analysis training?

The most important reasons are expressed with cold, hard facts (per 2003 Standish Report):

  • Completed projects had only 52% of proposed functionality
  • 82% of projects had time overruns
  • Average cost of overruns – 43% over budget
  • Project failure is typically due to inadequate upfront work, including poor requirements, poor documentation, poor communication and inflexibility.

Effective and efficient, highly trained Business Analysts will ensure project success and help organizations exceed stakeholder expectations.

What does a company gain by employing highly trained certified Business Analysts?

Certified personnel can set your company apart. When your employees have a solid business analysis knowledge foundation, you can be sure they possess the necessary approach that can be readily applied in the workplace. That’s a powerful “plus” that can have a very positive, and measurable, impact on the way your company does business. Business Analyst certification implies true professionalism in a mission-critical corporate function. More and more corporate leaders with an eye on execution and productivity are seeing the value of certification for their business analysis practitioners. They know that a broad base of certified practitioners gives their companies a competitive edge by having:

  • Knowledgeable practitioners with a shared understanding of the lexicon and processes required to plan and execute the business analysis process;
  • A built-in base of mentors to work with and teach others;
  • The capacity to standardize organizational business analysis processes and procedures;
  • A staff of practitioners that are required to continue their education in order to maintain their credentials;
  • The ability to achieve better project results.

Why should I choose Systemation for business analysis training?

As an innovative business transformation organization, Systemation actually pioneered the Business Analysis Certificate Program, and began specializing in business analysis training many years ahead of our competition. In business since 1959 and with a rich history rooted in proven client results, our solutions have generated measurable results for many Global 2000 companies worldwide. And to best serve our clients, we have forged a strong relationship with the renowned Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Denver for our formal Business Analysis Certificate Programs.

What is the source of content for Systemation’s Business Analysis programs?

Systemation training is based on best practice application development methodologies and real world experiences garnered over a long period of time working with world-class organizations. In addition, Systemation is a Gold Corporate Sponsor member of the International Institute for Business Analysis (IIBA). We are actively involved in helping the Institute establish standards and a process for certifying Business Analysts. We have developed 19 competencies that Business Analysts need in order to be proficient in their discipline. From these competencies and best practices we have created the content for our Business Analyst training workshops.

What is the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)?

The IIBA (www.theiiba.org) is an international not-for-profit professional association for business analysis professionals, similar to the Project Management Institute (PMI) for project management professionals. The IIBA vision is to be the leading worldwide professional association that develops and maintains standards for the practice of business analysis and for the certification of practitioners. IIBA will achieve that goal by:

  • Creating and developing awareness and recognition of the value and contribution of the Business Analyst;
  • Defining the Body of Knowledge;
  • Providing a forum for knowledge sharing and contribution to the Body of Knowledge;
  • Identifying the required skills and competencies of a qualified Business Analyst;
  • Defining training and professional development standards;
  • Publicly recognizing and certifying qualified Business Analysts.

Are the processes and templates used in the workshops easily integrated into my organization?

Yes. The main objective of our learning programs is to make sure the content of our workshops is applicable and easily transferred into the participant’s day-to-day world. Specifically, students not only learn the content, tools, templates and techniques required for success, but they are also able to apply what was learned immediately in the workplace environment.

Can the content be customized to our organization?

Yes. Systemation realizes that each organization has unique processes and forms, reflective of their business and approach. We typically integrate these seamlessly into our workshops without disrupting the context and flow of the workshop. In addition, if some topics are more important to your organization than others, we can modify the flow of the workshop to accommodate those areas of emphasis. Systemation has a long history of success personalizing the learning experience to the specific organization to increase relevancy.

Does Systemation Provide a suite of Assessment tools?

Yes. Systemation provides 4 levels of Assessment:

  • Knowledge – Individual and Group
  • Behavioral
  • Organizational
  • Workshop Specific – Pre and Post

Assessments are Web-based and accessed through our Client Portal. Extensive reporting is provided.

Does Systemation offer post workshop support?

Yes. All participants of Systemation workshops have access to our Client Portal. This is an anytime, on-demand, Web-based environment that provides increased timeliness, flexibility and accessibility to project-based learning and performance improvement. It contains a vast reservoir of tools, training materials and templates that have been developed and refined by Systemation over its 48-year history. This invaluable stable of resources helps build project management and business analysis competencies, raise proficiency levels and boost everyday workplace performance

In addition, workshop participants receive “Email Boosters” for a period of 8-10 weeks after the workshop reminding them of key concepts covered in the workshop.

Within the Client Portal participants can access:

  • List of workshops in their program
  • Knowledge Assessments
  • Electronic workshop materials / Templates
  • Reference Center
  • ELearning
  • Personal Transcripts
  • Completed workshop certificates
  • PM KnowHow Methodology

Is Systemation training for IT professionals only?

No. At Systemation we see all work as projects. And because projects are everywhere and affect all aspects of a company’s business, many organizations are recognizing the tremendous value that comes with developing and enhancing the disciplines that directly contribute to greater project success. These include the all-important skills of project management and business analysis. In fact, the majority of Systemation workshop participants in the last few years are not project managers or business analysts by title, but are functional PM’s and BA’s by job role. That is, their work is made up of projects and they need the skills, tools and techniques of effective business analysis to deliver consistent results.

What core workshops are required in order to receive a Practitioner Certificate in Business Analysis?

There are 3 essential workshops, total of 8 days, required to earn a Practitioner Certificate in Business Analysis, in relationship with the University of Colorado Denver:

  • Fast Start® in Business Analysis (FSIBA) – 3 Days
  • Survival Skills for Analysts (SSA) – 2 Days
  • Mastering the Requirements Process (MRP) – 3 Days

In addition, participants take an online test after each workshop via our client portal. Participants need a score of 80 percent or better to receive a passing grade. Certificates for each successfully completed workshop are then awarded to the participant. After a completion of the 3 workshops and satisfactory completion of all tests, the participant receives the official certificate from the University of Colorado Denver.

Systemation has the most efficient (8 days total) Practitioner Certificate in Business Analysis program on the market and more graduates than any BA program in existence today!

In addition, Systemation offers an Advanced Certificate in Business Analysis consisting of 3 workshops, total of 7 days, in relationship with the University of Colorado Denver:

  • Advanced Business Analysis (ADBA) – 3 Days
  • Bringing Business Solutions to Life (BBSL) – 2 Days
  • Business Analysis Simulation (BASIM) – 2 Days

Outlines for all Programs and Workshops are available on Systemation’s website.

What is the duration of the Business Analysis certificate programs?

Participants have up to two years to complete the program, but in order to reap the most benefit from the training we recommend no more than eight weeks between workshops. This allows the participant time to practice the new learning from one workshop and to link the outcomes into the new content while the tools, templates and techniques are still top-of-mind.

Can a client build their own custom certification program?

Yes. The majority of Systemation clients tailor either the workshop or the series of workshops to build their own company specific certification. Ask a Program Consultant how easily this can be done for your company!

Does Systemation have a recommended curriculum for BA job roles?

Yes. Systemation has developed the “Banding Approach” to provide just the right amount of training necessary by job role to achieve desired results. The Systemation “Banding Approach” gives clients a roadmap for success by defining the specific number and type of courses needed by individuals located within each band. It’s extremely customizable allowing us to address a widely diverse set of needs within an organization, and is based on many years of successful training experience. This ensures the true needs of each and every client are met, saving students a lot of time and the organization a lot of money. What’s more, the “Banding Approach” accounts for future growth by mapping out a clear path that accommodates each individual as they mature in their respective disciplines. No other method offers such a high return on a client’s training investment.

Can our employees receive academic credit, CEU’s and PDU’s for attending your workshops?

Yes, this option is available for individual workshops as well as the Business Analysis Certificate Programs.

What is the difference between a workshop and a program?

Programs are a series of seamlessly integrated workshops that build upon one another to produce a highly proficient practitioner. Although workshops can provide a significant amount of awareness for a targeted topic, Systemation programs are more effective in changing workplace behaviors as they focus on performance improvement. Because workshops within a Systemation program are designed to reinforce and build upon previous learning while integrating real-life applications, they have immediate applicability in the workplace. In addition, completion of a program earns a Certificate providing credibility and professionalism for the individual and the organization.

What are the credentials of your business analysis trainers?

All Systemation facilitators are experts in the practice of business analysis, having successfully performed as Business Analysts for a minimum of 10 years. Their performance is measured in a number of different categories, and minimum standards must be maintained on a continual basis. Many trainers are also consultants with expertise in a variety of vertical markets.

Can Systemation provide in-house marketing support for workshops?

Yes. Systemation offers a number of ways to help our client’s market in-house workshops to individuals or work groups. Specifically we can customize workshop Boosters or email Posters for delivery to targeted audiences, provide keynote Executive Overviews, or deliver onsite symposiums depending on the need and the audience. Ask a Program Consultant for some specific examples.

What other training and consulting services does Systemation offer?

Systemation provides an entire project management and business analysis curriculum for the novice, advanced or expert practitioner as well as project team members, project stakeholders and project sponsors. In addition, other available programs include:

  • Practitioner Certificate in Project Management Program
  • Advanced Certificate in Project Management Program
  • Rapid Project Management Certificate Program
  • Accelerated Project Management Proficiency Certificate Program
  • Project Management Boot Camp Certificate Program
  • Methodology Development and Implementation
  • Project Management Maturity Assessment
  • Individual assessments for Project Managers and Business Analysts
  • Project Management Coaching
  • eLearning / Electronic Performance Support

What does Systemation do to maximize the effectiveness of adult learning in the
classroom?

At Systemation, while we believe that tools and technology are important in project management and business analysis, they are only as effective as the people that use them. Unlike most other training companies that give tools and process a priority (heavy classroom lecture!), we put people, process and technology on equal footing. Strengthening competencies, stimulating productivity, improving employee interaction and sustaining expertise are emphasized throughout the Systemation approach. To be successful, people must learn how to work in teams and collaborate with one another, not just use a tool. In a Systemation workshop, you will work 80% of the time discovering all of the wonders of successful project management. When we lecture 20% of the time, it will be focused on the practical aspects of project management…you will gain knowledge and techniques that are immediately useable when you return to your desk. Systemation workshops are renowned for their enjoyable interactivity, lively collaboration and enhanced knowledge transfer, a truly performance enhancing experience!

Can I integrate business analysis training into my project management curriculum?

Yes. More and more Systemation clients are customizing a certificate program specific to their organizations. At a bare minimum, our “Mastering the Requirements Process” is ideal for integration into a project management curriculum.

How does my organization get started with a business analysis learning solution?

For almost half a century, Systemation has been improving the business performance of many Fortune 2000 companies as well as city, state and federal agencies. The process always starts with a thorough understanding of your environment and what you are trying to accomplish with a learning solution in project management or business analysis. We call this Discovery. Only after we become familiar with your needs, do we recommend a customized path for your company, always easy to implement and always cost effective. We call this our Value Proposition. The solution we offer will be practical and your interaction with Systemation will always be no-pressure and enjoyable.

In keeping with this successful approach, we seek clients who want to partner with us to improve performance, and we gravitate towards those companies that openly share information, ideas and business objectives so the outcomes become more predictable. Bottom line – at Systemation, we make it a people business! Working with Systemation is a risk-free, highly practical, relationship-oriented, performance improving and enjoyable experience…you are always welcome to validate this through any of our references.

I’d like further information on your Business Analysis programs. Whom do I contact?

Speak with a Systemation Program Consultant by calling 800-747-9783, or contact us by email at systemation@systemation.com

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