A Flowchart shows the complete flow of system through symbols and diagrams. It is important because it makes the system easy to understand for developers and as well nontechnical stakeholders.

Use case model shows a sequence of events and stream of actions regarding any process performed by an actor.

It stands for Unified Modeling Language.

As the name implies, an activity diagram is all about system activities. The main purpose of activity diagram is to show various events taking place in an organization in different departments.

The two diagrams are Use Case Diagram and Collaboration Diagram

It is the alternative solution or activity in a use case that should be followed in case of any failure in the system.

These are the unexpected situations or results in an application.

Extends is a relationship that is shown by dotted line. It is usually used to specify optional behavior which has no independent meaning. Example: Help on “Sign on” extends use case “Sign on”

The two documents are FRD (Functional Requirement Document) and SDD (System Design Document).

Business Analysis is the process performed by the Business Analyst.

There are many, but I mostly use, Rational Tools, MS Visio, MS Word, MS Excel, PowerPoint, MS Project.

I have worked on, Functional Specification Documents, Technical Specification Documents, Business Requirements Documents, Use Case Diagram, etc

INVEST means Independent, Negotiable, Valuable, Estimable, Sized Appropriately, Testable. It can assist project managers and technical team to deliver quality products/services.

SaaS means Software as a Service. It is related to cloud computing. It is different from other software bundles as you don’t need this type of software to be installed on your machine. All you need is an Internet connection and a Web Browser to use it.

You have to perform, Market Analysis, Competitor Analysis, SWOT Analysis, Personas, Strategic Vision and Feature Set, Prioritize Features, Use Cases, SDLC, Storyboards, Test Cases, Monitoring, Scalability.

It all depends on the type and scope of the project. Also, a life cycle model is selected on the basis of organizational culture and various other scenarios to develop the system.

It all depends on the end users. In such scenario, we develop the system with a user’s point of view. Who are the end users, what they require etc. Personas are helpful in this process.

Personas are used instead of real users that assist developers and technical team in judging the user behavior in different scenarios. Personas are social roles, performed by any actor or character. It is derived from a Latin word meaning “character”. In marketing terminology, it represents a group of customers/end users.

Application usability is the quality of the system that makes the system useful for its end users. System’s usability is good if it is capable of achieving users’ goals.

It is a business framework that is mainly being adopted by firms and organizations for the betterment of their business. Its key factors are Strategy, People, Process, Technology.

When we perform any activity in a database, such as addition, deletion, modification, searching, etc. is said to be a database transaction.

OLTP stands for On-Line Transaction Processing. Such systems are capable of performing database transactions and are meant to provide good speed for database transactions. These systems are mainly used for data entry and retrieving data from the database.

Pugh Matrix is used to decide about the most optimal and alternate solutions. This technique is now a standard part of Six Sigma technique. It is also known as a problem or design matrix.

It means Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. It is a failure analysis, that is used mainly in product development, system engineering, and operations management. This analysis is performed to figure out various failure modes and their severity in any system.

This method is used to assign priority to different steps in a process. Each group member is supposed to assign points to different steps. In the end, all the points for each step are calculated. The step having the highest points has the highest priority.

A business analyst works as a bridge between different stakeholders in an organization. He connects with the different stakeholders of an organization to clarify and finalize the requirements, helps the project team in project planning, designing and finally validating the developed components. He is the person who possesses adequate domain knowledge and can sort the business needs amongst the stakeholders who belong to different domains.

Following are some of the common documents that a business analyst use to handle:

  • Project vision document
  • Use cases
  • Requirement Management Plan
  • User stories
  • Requirement Traceability Matrix (RTM)
  • Business Requirement Document
  • System Requirement Specification (SRS)/ System Requirement Document (SRD)
  • Test case
  • Functional Requirement Specification (FRS)/ Functional Specification Document (FSD)

A System Requirements Specification (SRS) or a Software Requirements Specification is a document or set of documents that describe the features of a system or software application. It includes a variety of elements which define the intended functionality required by the stakeholders and customer to satisfy the end users.

In addition to that, an SRS provides a high-level idea of the system and its behavior, the main supported business processes, the assumptions and the key performance parameters for the system. The key elements of an SRS are:

  • Scope of Work
  • Functional Requirements
  • Non-Functional Requirements
  • Dependencies
  • Data Model
  • Assumptions
  • Constraints
  • Acceptance Criteria

A requirement is a targeted solution to achieve specific business goals or objectives. It is an input to various stages of SDLC. This is a basis of a project which must be validated by the stakeholders and business users before implementation. Besides that, every requirement needs to be properly documented for future reference purpose.

A use case is a diagrammatic representation of a system which describes how a user uses a system to accomplish a goal. It is an integral part of software engineering and software modelling technique which defines the targeted features and the resolution of any possible errors which a user may encounter.

The steps in designing use cases are:

  • Identify the users of the system
  • Creating a user profile for each category of users. This includes all roles that the users may play and relevant to the system.
  • Identify essential goals associated with each role. Also, identifying the significant roles.
  • Creating use cases for every goal associated for a use case template. This also includes maintaining the same abstraction level for the entire use case. Higher level use case steps are considered as goals for the lower level.
  • Structuring the use cases

Scope creep, or requirement creep is a term that relates to the uncontrolled changes or deviation in the project’s scope within the same resource range for example within same schedule and budget of the project. It’s an indication of poor project management and a viable risk to a project. Some of the possible causes of scope creep are:

  • Poor communication between the project’s stakeholders
  • Improper documentation of the project’s requirements

Scope creep could be avoided by:

  • Clear documentation about the project scope
  • Following proper change management
  • Prior intimation about the effects of the changes to the associated parties
  • Proper documentation of the new requirements in the project log
  • Refrain from Gold Plating which means adding extra features to the existing functionalities

A Business Requirements Document (BRD) is a formal contract between the customer and the organization for a product.

The difference between BRD and SRS are as follows:

                          BRD                             SRS
It is a high-level functional specification of the software. It is a high level functional and technical specification of the software
It is a formal document to describe the requirement provided by the client (written, verbal) It describes the functional and non-functional requirements of the software to be developed
The Business Analyst creates it after their direct interaction with the clients The System Architect creates it as it needs technical expertise. Though sometimes Bas too can create it.
It is derived based on the requirements and client interaction It is derived from the BRS

Gap Analysis is a technique to analyze the gap between the existing system and functionalities, and the targeted system. Here gap means the amount of task or change that may be required to get the intended result. It’s a performance level comparison between the present and the proposed functionalities.

Requirements prioritization is the process to allocate requirements based on the business urgency to different phases, schedule, cost, etc.

There are various techniques which are used for requirements prioritization:

  • MoSCoW Technique
  • Requirements Ranking Method
  • 100-dollar method
  • Kano Analysis & More
  • Five Whys

Requirement elicitation is the process of requirement gathering from stakeholders, users, and customers by conducting meetings, questionnaires, interviews, brainstorming prototyping, sessions, etc.

It is a term derived from use-case. Unlike use case, a mis-use case is something that shows -what kind of malicious activities can be performed by an actor that may result in system failure.

SQUARE stands for Security Quality Requirements Engineering. It is one of the software engineering steps that mainly focus on documenting the security requirements of the system.

Pareto Analysis is a decision-making technique, also known as 80/20 rule. It is used for quality control and Defectresolution. It explains few factors that can be responsible for big problems. It is named as 80/20 rule, because as per this rule, 80 % effects in the system, arises from 20 % causes.

Agile Manifesto is a guide for software developers about the Agile development principles to ensure iterative solutions.

BPMN is Business Process Model and Notation. It is a graphical representation of business processes.

BPMN Gateway is a processing modeling component that is used to control the flow of interaction, the sequence of processes.

They are Flow Objects, Data, Connecting Objects, Swimlanes, and Artifacts.

Yes, I have used Kano Analysis in one of my previous jobs. Kano Analysis is used to analyze a system in terms of its requirements to identify its impact on customers’ satisfaction.

Kano Analysis has three key areas -namely:  Unexpected Delighters, Performance Attributes and Must Have Attributes.

The pair-Choice Technique is used to give priority to various items in a process. It is mainly used when distinctive stakeholders are involved in the project. This technique asks the group to compare each item with the other and select the one having the highest priority.

Yes, I would suggest making two separate diagrams. One serves as a use-case, and the other serves as an actor diagram. So that we can highlight all the possible activities in a use case & in actor diagram and then we can merge both the diagrams to get an effective use-case diagram.

Two types of actors can be depicted in a Use case, viz. primary and secondary actors. Primary actors start the process, and secondary actors assist them. Moreover, actors can be of four types such as Human, System, Hardware, and Timer.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix is developed to analyze several of business processes and new product offerings from companies. It is a useful tool that can be used in portfolio analysis, strategic management, product management, and brand marketing.

A swimlane is related to group activities on an activity diagram while a pool is dedicated activity to a single person.

Fish model is comparatively very costly and time-consuming, while, V model requires less time and cost. Moreover, the Fish model is used when there were no ambiguities in the customers’ requirements. Otherwise, V model is preferred.

As a business analyst, I would develop a document stating clearly that no change will be accepted after a certain period of time and get it signed by the user.

Use Case points are used to evaluate the cost of work done to develop the system.

It means Political, Economic, Social, and Technological. It is used to analyze business environment, in which it has to be operated.

They are Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.

Benchmarking is about measuring the performance of an organization to compete in the industry. In this process, a company may measure its policies, performance, rules and other measures.

It means Software Engineering Body of Knowledge.

It is a process of comparing and determining the difference between two things or processes.

Agile is a technique that uses several light-weight methodologies such as Rapid Application Development (RAD), Extreme Programming (XP) and SCRUM. All these methodologies focus on the development of iterative solutions.

It is one of the agile methods, used to develop iterative information systems. In this method, a small team works on the assigned tasks for a time period of 30 days usually.

 

It means Joint Application Development.

 

Needs are high-level definitions of the future goals of a business. Whereas, Requirements are the representation of the detailed description of that business needs.

Non-functional requirements represent the performance level characteristics like how fast it can respond, how smooth is a user interface, security, etc. of the application under development (AUD).
No functional requirements are captured in the SRS document in its designated section.

We can broadly categorize the skills of a business analyst in three types:

  • Fundamental skills
  • Technical skills
  • Business Analysis skills

For each of the above categories a business analyst should possess some skills as mentioned below:

                  Skill category      Skills
Fundamental skills
  • Problem Solving 
  • Communication
  • Management skills
  • Research 
Technical skills
  • IT skills like MS Office, Operating systems, Programming languages, Knowledge of database, SDLC knowledge, Domain knowledge
Business Analysis skills
  • Requirement Elicitation
  • Documentation 
  • Decision making
  • Creativity 
  • Analytical skills

We can measure the quality of a requirement using SMART rule. As per this rule, a good quality requirement should be:
Specific: The requirement should be specific and could be documented properly
Measurable: Different parameters can measure the success criteria of the requirement
Attainable: The requirement should be feasible within the scope of the given resources
Relevant: The requirement must be in line with the project’s business case
Timely: The requirement should be communicated early in the project lifecycle

There are two documents that are used to capture non-functional requirements, and they are:

  • SDD (System Design Document)
  • FRD (Functional Requirement Document)

It is an alternative solution or activity in a use case that should be followed in case of any failure in the system.

Personas represents User-Centered Design methodologies. To enable an application capable of performing on a demographic basis, fictional characters are conceptualized by the business analysts and based on their possible demographic specific behavior scenarios are created during design.

An activity diagram is a visual representation of the workflow of a business use case. This diagram shows various activities that take place in an organization in different departments like HR, Sales, Accounts, etc. The activity diagram highlights the differences in the departments.
The important elements in Activity diagram are initial nodes, activities, control flows, decisions, a fork, guard conditions, join and end nodes.

UML stands for Unified Modelling Language. It is a standard that the industry uses for documenting, constructing and visualizing various components of a system. This modelling standard is primarily used for software development. However, it is also used for describing job roles, organizational functions, and business processes. Some of the important diagrams that BAs use as part of UML are the class diagram, state diagrams and use cases.

Some of the best practices to write a use case are as follows:

  • To become a valid use case, the use case must provide some value back to the actor or stakeholder.
  • The functional and non-functional requirements must be captured appropriately in the use case.
  • The use case must have one or more alternate flow along with the main flow.
  • The use case should only describe what the system does and not how it is done which means it will not describe the design. It will act as a black box from the viewpoint of an actor.
  • The use case should not have any, i.e. it should be stand alone.

Alternate flow are the alternative actions that can be performed apart for the main flow and can be considered as an optional flow.
Exception flow is the path traversed in case of any exception or error.

Yes. Because a business analyst understands the overall system requirements and challenges associated with it very well. Hence, he can be instrumental during the testing phase to run it appropriately and resolve any system related query.

INVEST stands for –

  • Independent
  • Negotiable
  • Valuable
  • Estimable
  • Sized Appropriately
  • Testable

It can assist project managers and technical team to deliver quality products/services.