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The Top Ten Skills

your Mother forgot to tell you that you needed to be a Business Analyst
A founding member of the

Who is Kathleen Barret?

1 Senior Business Consultant, Requirements Management / Business Analysis Centre of Competency Lead, BMO Financial Group 2 President, International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)

Who is BMO FinancialGroup?


in 1817 as Canadas first chartered bank, BMO Financial Group is one the largest financial services providers in North America

Assets $256 billion Employees 34,000

Information Technology 3,500



BMO Bank of Montreal - Personal & Commercial Banking (Canadian) BMO Nesbitt Burns - Investment & W ealth Management (Canadian) Harris Bank Financial Services (Mid-W est US) Harris Nesbitt Investment Bank (US)


you want to be a Business Analyst

What is a Business Analyst

Business Analysts are responsible for identifying the business needs of their clients and stakeholders to help determine solutions to business problems. The Business Analyst is responsible for requirements development and requirements management. Specifically, the Business Analyst elicits, analyzes, validates and documents business, organizational and/or operational requirements. Solutions are not predetermined by the Business Analyst, but are driven solely by the requirements of the business. Solutions often include a systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement or organizational change. The Business Analyst is a key facilitator within an organization, acting as a bridge between the client, stakeholders and the solution team. Business analysis is distinct from financial analysis, project management, quality assurance, organizational development, testing, training and documentation development. However, depending on an organization, an individual Business Analyst may perform some or all of these related functions.

The 10 Skills
Analyst Facilitator Negotiator Artist

/ Architect Planner Communicator Diplomat Expert / Consultant Strategist Revolutionary

Describe each role Identify the skill or activity required Provide an example of the type of training available to support its development

The Analyst

determine solutions to business problems The ultimate problem solver

The Analyst
Analytical & Systems Thinking

& make judgments about a situation by breaking it apart into smaller pieces or by tracing the implications of a situation in a step-by-step way

Organize the problem, opportunity or situation in a systematic way Set priorities Identify causal or If-Then relationships Synthesize the component parts in the context of a whole system

Problem Solving & Decision Making

participants with the skills and tools they need to determine root issues and plan for success
Identify and find solutions to problems Apply creative thinking skills, resulting in improved solutions Apply decision-making methodology Anticipate & plan for problems before they occur Use a process tool to analyze situations, separate concerns, establish priorities & initiate appropriate action

The Facilitator

facilitator within an organization Elicits requirements Ensures positive, continuous discussion & progress

The Facilitator
Facilitation / Requirements Elicitation

Create a positive and constructive group environment Maintain the group focus Lead the discussion toward stated goals Use questioning techniques and other tools to discover process and data from a group of users or stakeholders


Facilitating Client Requirements

the methodology and skills needed to discover client requirements in a meeting environment

Elicit business & system requirements from stakeholders using a variety of meeting management techniques bases on the types of meeting (e.g., modeling, kick-off, status, etc.) Use group management methods to ensure an productive requirements gathering session

The Negotiator

as a bridge between the client, stakeholders & solution team Maintain balance between potentially conflicting needs of various stakeholders

The Negotiator
Consensus & Agreement Building

others reach agreement around a project or a set of ideas Take on contentious issues or entrenched interests to bring about a beneficial resolution

Negotiation: Ensuring win-win solutions when two parties start from different positions Consensus and Agreement Building: W orking together, assisting others, to reach a common understanding and commitment Conflict Management: Bringing disagreements into the open to help diffuse them

Power Communications

effectively with team members, manage client expectations to reach consensus & to ensure successful project outcomes

Utilize influence and communication skills to manage client and peer relationships Manage difficult conversations & more effectively deal with conflict Practice negotiation skills that result in consensus with your client and stakeholders Handle objections effectively Understand Emotional Intelligence and how it applies to self management and effective communication

The Artist / Architect


often include a systems development component but may also consist of process improvement or organizational change The BA contributes to the successful solution of the problem

The Artist / Architect



Develop an accurate representation of the business information needs



Develop an accurate representation of the business processes


/ User-Centered Design

Demonstrate and apply knowledge of usability factors and techniques Profile targeted user groups to understand who will be using the product

Business Process Modeling

the various methods of modeling business processes Create business process models based on case study examples Analyze the process models for gaps, process improvements, and strategic significance

User Centered Design

user-centered design Explain the eight steps to web-design & the rules for good design Define effective web navigation and page layout Describe web accessibility List the key elements of usability testing

Data Modeling

data modeling & when to use it Identify different data modeling deliverables & how they fit into the process Define high-level data definition & detail data specification

The Planner
Or Requirements Manager The BA is the project manager of the requirements activities The BA needs to plan & manage his/her activities to ensure a successful outcome within the identified project constraints

The Planner
Requirements Planning & Management

the clients requirements for products or systems are accurately identified, captured, and tracked throughout the project life cycle

Define, organize and schedule requirements management activities in a way that is consistent with the organizations culture and standards Execute planned requirements management activities while remaining flexible to changing requirements and project deadlines


Project Management Fundamentals

requirements scope & objectives Describe tasks & activities required to meet the objectives Estimate resources required to complete tasks Schedule tasks & activities Monitor & modify plan as required

The Communicator
Or Translator The BA draws out the needs of the various stakeholders, captures them in the form of a document & feeds it back for validation & agreement

The Communicator
Verbal & Written Communications


Use discussion, conversations and interviews to further understanding Speak clearly Actively listen



Create clear, complete and useable documentation to support the requirements management process and to report findings to other stakeholders

A few courses contribute to the development of this role Writing Effective Use Cases

Describe the process, methods, steps & questions to use when employing a Use-Case driven approach to gathering and defining requirements Describe how to decompose the features & functions from the High Level Requirements Document into a Detailed Requirements Specification

Writing Detail Requirements Specifications

The Diplomat

of other


Negotiator Planner Artist / Architect


BA ensures the client is satisfied with the solution

The Diplomat
Client Relationship Management

& maintain a positive working relationship with the client

Consider or anticipate the needs of the client throughout the requirements process Have insight and appreciation of client needs, priorities, goals & competitive advantage


synthesis of the training provided for the other roles contributes to the development of this skill

Client Requirements Power Communications Project Management Modeling


role develops with maturity

The Expert / Consultant


help determine solutions to business problems The BA needs to understand the:

Business Industry Competition

The Expert / Consultant

Professional Knowledge

key business fundamentals, industry levers & the drivers of the financial health and viability Demonstrate working knowledge of the business/organization & of software and application development best practices

This role develops with experience, maturity & an increased understanding of the industry Formalized training would be industry specific

The Strategist
Think outside of the box See both the forest & the trees

The Strategist
Strategic Business Planning

link and communicate long-range visions, goals or plans to support achievement of business goals Translate visions & strategies into tactical plans

Align Current Actions with organizations strategic goals Think in future-oriented terms Understand external impact on internal strategy Plan actions to fit strategy & handle external events

As with the Consultant or Expert role, the Strategist develops with experience, maturity & an increased understanding of the industry


contributing to a solution, the BA introduces change The BA helps manage the impact of the change

The Revolutionary
Organizational Change Management

& define areas for change Conduct impact analyses


champion the cause for change

Organizational Change Management

an understanding of organizational change management within system project lifecycle by

Building an understanding of the change process Examining the factors critical to successful implementation of the change Identifying historical barriers that may impact this change Identifying the resistance to change & determine the causes of the resistance Developing an effective strategy to deal with resistance

The BMO Financial Group Curriculum

Orientation to Requirements Management Specifying Client Requirements Eliciting Client Requirements (webbased) Facilitating Client Requirements Data Gathering Techniques (web-based) Power Communications Problem Solving and Decision Making Understanding Information Security Detailed Requirements Specification Data Modeling Process Modeling User Centered Design (web-based) Writing Effective Use Cases Organizational Change Management

Level 1
Class room Simulation Process Assessment

Level 2
Knowledge Assessment

Level 3
Simulation Accreditation

So remember what your Mother said

Analyst Facilitator Negotiator Artist

/ Architect Planner Communicator Diplomat Expert / Consultant Strategist Revolutionary