BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7

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BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7
Networking is a good way to learn how to connect with others and initiate conversations…

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BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7

BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7

All Students Posts – 265 Pages

Business Analyst Skills – Week 1 All Students Posts – 35 Pages

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Search the open job listings on the web, identify and post one new open position that requires business analyst skills. Describe and discuss some required business analyst skills.

What tools do we have when communicating with our employees?  How does one go about developing the interpersonal skills one needs to do this job well?  What are some good traits for interviewing?

Often during panel interviews, they’ll pose a question like “Tell me about a time you dealt with conflict”. They want you to tell a story and they want to gauge how well you do that. They measure your communication skills. Describe the situation – this exemplifies how well you can recognize and define root causes. Then they want to see how you outlined your approach to addressing the situation. Next they want to know what action you took. Lastly they want to know the end result. There are a number of attributes they look for when they ask this question.

How well do you communicate? Does it makes sense or is this candidate making it up as he or she goes along? Is it believable / realistic? Employers take offense to someone wasting their time. At their discretion, they can literally cut the interview short on the spot. The overall analysis has to do with the approach you took, or methodology. They can get a glimpse into your decision making capabilities. Are you a diplomatic objective leader? To what extent are you capable of making decisions based on imperfect information? How well do you delegate -or- would you be prone to bias in your decision making? How well will this person adapt to the current culture?…

BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Planning and Monitoring – Week 2 All Students Posts – 35 Pages

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Online operations have become a mainstay of America business. Is planning and monitoring a business analysis project different for an e-operation than it is for brick and mortar? If so, why? If not, why not? What are the differences and similarities?

Ask any Mom & Pop shop owner what the bane of their existence is and they will probably say online shopping generally and Amazon specifically.

As you consider your response to this question think about that small business owner, how does he/she level the battlefield?  Are there better types of products for a local Mom and Pop shop to choose to better compete with online?  If so, what would those products be?

All the marketing in the world can’t make you better at dealing with customers on a day-to-day basis. This can be a tough challenge.

“Customer service can be defined as the degree of assistance and courtesy granted those who patronize the organization” as defined by NBRI. I think some organizations do a better job at this than others.

The real world experiences can be very different. Recently, I went to BestBuy and called Amazon.com regarding several different products. My customer experience was very different at each of these.  At BestBuy, they were just rushing folks through the line, custodians simply pointed customers to the area where the product they were looking for were located at. They did not walk anyone to the product and helped them out.

As for Amazon.com, I called with a question pertaining to the shipping charges which ended up being higher than I expected them to be. The customer help representative explained the situation to me. When she noticed that I did not like the shipping charges, she looked into it and was able to provide me with a “coupon” to cover the shipping charges and thus securing my business. I thought she went the extra mile for me.

I found it was interesting that Amazon operates solely online.

Do you think BestBuy’s attitudes toward the customer can spill over into its business endeavors? Does Amazon’s handling of customer service affect its overall business?  How does operating exclusively in an online world impact things?  Can a Business Analyst help in any of this?…

BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Elicitation Techniques – Week 3 All Students Posts – 38 Pages

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What plan would you put into place before starting requirements elicitation activities? Explain each component of your plan.  Education, knowledge engineering, linguistics, management, philosophy, psychology, or other fields to gather knowledge or information from people. Class, thoughts?  How would you provide a record of the Brainstorming session?

Often the road less traveled is the best path to take. It may seem from a distance, like a journey that leads to nowhere, but upon closer inspection, it’s exactly what takes you directly to a solution. Lots of business processes involve trial and error and over time changes along the way could morph into long term solutions which themselves emanated from happenstance. Funny how that works sometimes.

With that in mind, how can you incorporate those ideas into your mix?  Can advisory boards help in the planning for elicitation?…

BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Evaluating Solutions – Week 4 All Students Posts – 40 Pages

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You are conducting a business analysis project for a large athletic apparel retail operation. How would you go about determining potential solutions to a business situation and evaluating their impact?  Evaluating solutions is a large part of our jobs as business analysts. This question will challenge you to stretch your thinking on this issue.

You wrote, “Business analysis is all about problem solving and finding solutions to issues when necessary.”  What happens if you are assigned a project and in the end, there didn’t appear to be a viable solution to the problem?  “Some solutions that I would use would be to determine the correct degree and definition of the issue.”

What are some examples of degree?  What resources do you need at your disposal to accomplish all of this?

You wrote, “How I would go about determining potential solutions to a business situation and evaluating their impact is specify the underlying cause, state the problem specifically.  Next I would generate some alternatives solutions that are consistent with the company’s goals.”  What sorts of alternatives would you be look for?

They say that the only truly constant in life is change and its no different in the life of a company.

There seems to be resistance to change whether the change will be good or bad. Why do people resist change?  When evaluating solutions should this factor into your evaluation? Why or why not?…

Enterprise Analysis – Week 5 All Students Posts – 37 Pages

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Think about a business project on which you have worked. How would you apply an enterprise analysis framework to this project?

As I was reviewing the question above, I came across this website stating that Enterprise Analysis has been replaced by Strategy Analysis by BABOK v3. They share some common goals and objectives but the new strategic analysis ups the game with Strategic Vision, Incremental Change Strategy and Gating/Pre-project Usage. The article even provides a Strategy Analysis Checklist.

A business analyst must possess certain core competencies in order to effectively lead enterprise analysis projects. These include (but are not necessarily limited to) the abilities to:

  • Create and maintain business architecture. To perform this, an analyst must be able to research and discern where a business is (baseline architecture) and where it should be (target business architecture). According to BABOK, business architecture “defines an organizations current and future state, including its strategy, its goals and objectives.”[9]
  • Conduct feasibility studies. A feasibility study looks at the options that are proposed and examines whether they are technically possible within the organization and whether they will meet the organization’s goals.
  • Perform opportunity identification and analysis. This is the practice of identifying and analyzing “new business opportunities to perform organizational performance[10]. This is typically done in consultation with subject matter experts.
  • Prepare and maintain the business case. For this competency, an analyst must be able to identify the cost in time, money and resources that the proposed solution will consume and weighs that against the tangible benefits that the solution will offer.
  • Understand and perform risk management. For this skill, an analyst must understand the risks (technical, financial, business, and so on) of implementing the proposed solution and weigh those against the risk of not implementing the solution.

Have you ever had to apply any of these items to a job you are doing?…

BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7

Solution Assessment – Week 6 All Students Posts – 42 Pages

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Once you have developed a set of solutions for a business problem or challenge how do you go about assessing each on its merits to arrive at the best choice?

You wrote, “he data collected will allow to measure the solutions performance using the most appropriate method. The measurements are analyzed to verify whether the solution meets the requirements established by the business needs.”  Who or what determines what measurements to use?  What is the difference between solution assessment and validation?  What other issues (other than capital) should be take into consideration when addressing solutions?  How do you go about identifying what resources you need?

Each solution will be evaluated against the requirements that were established during the requirements analysis and design definition stage. Solution evaluation can take place during any of the development stages; prototypes, pilots, or operation releases. The data collected will allow to measure the solutions performance using the most appropriate method. The measurements are analyzed to verify whether the solution meets the requirements established by the business needs. Limitations in performance can either be issues that are within scope of the project or are limitations from within the business. These limitations are keeping the solution from reaching is full potential. The final step is identify solutions to correct the limitations and repeat the process until the desired results are met…

Conflict Management – Week 7 All Students Posts – 38 Pages

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Conflict management is a highly coveted skill in business today. Since more and more companies are working as teams, this is a critical skill, especially as a business analyst working primarily in team environments. Describe a conflict management process you might use that could fit with any project management team. Share why your model would be effective.

When dealing with a team, conflicts are bound to happen.  Everyone thinks their opinion is the best and that it should dictate what happens.  A good leader will employee conflict management skills to enable healthy dialogue between team members ad encourage constructive communication.  The best tool to use in a project management setting to manage conflict is to have a collaborative setting.  This allows the freedom of ideas to be discussed without members feeling afraid to share with the group.  Collaboration seeks to break issues and attain a win-win scenario.  This type of conflict management can be an effective tool for complex situations needing innovative solutions. This can be accomplished be re-framing the issues to create space for ideas from every member of the group.  With all conflict management tools, collaboration does have its downside.  It requires that all team members reach a consensus and have trust in each other to come to a relevant conclusion.  This can take a lot of effort and time to get team members to agree to the same idea….

BUSN350 Course Discussions Week 1-7