Monthly Archives: January 2020

PESTLE

The strategic analysis technique called PESTLE evaluates external factors that could impact business performance. The acronym stands for six elements affecting business: political, economic, technological, environmental, legal, and sociological.

PESTLE analysis assesses the possible factors within each category, as well as their potential impact, duration of effect, type of impact (i.e., negative or positive), and level of importance.

This type of business analysis helps stakeholders manage risk, strategically plan and review business goals and performance, and potentially gain an advantage over competitors.

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As citizen developers we will probably not be too involved at this level of analysis for most projects but it never hurts to understand how all these areas affect what the business is asking to be done.

This information is provided from the following resources:

https://www.whizlabs.com/blog/best-business-analysis-techniques/

https://www.lucidchart.com/blog/business-analysis-models

The 5 Whys

This deceptively simple technique can help you uncover a whole host of information and help you get at the actual problem the business is needing to be addressed. The process is simple to use. You simply ask why to every statement the business stakeholder is making regarding the issue at hand. Although the name is ‘5 whys’ it may take you less than 5 or many more than 5 to get at the heart of the problem.

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When to Use a 5 Whys Analysis

This technique can be used for troubleshooting, quality improvement, and problem solving, but it is most effective when used to resolve simple or moderately difficult problems.  If your problem is complex, this may not be the best technique to use because it does take you down a single or limited number of paths when you may need to consider multiple areas to solve the problem.

5 Whys does, however, partner well with other analysis techniques and is often used at the beginning of the analysis journey to help focus on where additional deep dives are needed.

 

Resources

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_5W.htm

Analysis Overview

Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. Analysis can be strategic or tactical in nature.  Strategic analysis is focused on the big picture while tactical analysis is focused on solving a specific problem or opportunity.

In this post we will be touch upon a variety of analysis techniques to help us understand what the need or problem is so that we can then determine the best way to solve it.  What is listed is by no means all possible analysis techniques but only those I have found useful in some way.

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The foremost priority for any business analyst will be to try understanding following things

  • Understand what business does and how it does
  • Determine how to improve existing business processes
  • Identify the steps or tasks to support the implementation of new features
  • Design the new features to implement
  • Analyze the impact of implementing new features
  • Implement the new features

The mechanism to accomplishes these activities is through analysis techniques.  These techniques can be grouped as either strategic or tactical. Below is a breakdown of the two categories. The techniques lists are by no means an exhaustive list.

Business report

Strategic Techniques

Strategic Analysis defines opportunities, and develops business cases to initiate work.  From an Agile point of view this level of analysis defines problems and opportunities in terms of themes and business epics.   Performing business analysis at a strategic level requires a broad set of tools and techniques to ensure that work initiated from the defined business cases support the organization’s business goals and objectives.

This level of analysis really has nothing to do with software development so, as citizen developers, we are usually not involved in this level of analysis. Not being directly involved doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least be aware of some of the techniques that can be used for this level of analysis.

Some of the most popular techniques are:

  • PESTLE
  • MOST
  • SWOT
  • Product Roadmaps
  • CATWOE
  • Brainstorming

 

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Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Tactical Business Analysis

The primary focus of tactical business analysis is to clarify the business epics or business cases that were defined through strategic business analysis.  This form of analysis is to elicit stakeholder requirements based on the business case.  In agile methodology the analyst decomposes business epics into features which are further decomposed into user stories.  It is at this level of analysis the citizen developer is mostly involved.

Just as there are many ways to design a solution to a problem, there are many ways to learn about a problem.  Different ways or techniques will provide you with a different way to see the problem.  Sometimes it may take several techniques to understand the problem.

Some of the most popular techniques are:

  • The 5 Whys
  • Mind Mapping
  • Business Process Modelling
  • Entity Relationship Diagram
  • Non-Functional Requirements Analysis
  • Wireframes

Citizen Developers Wear Many Hats

As a citizen developer I may be called upon to wear many hats – analyst, designer, developer, tester, trainer.  Each hat requires its own set of skills and tools. In future posts we will explore each area in depth so you will have the tools you need to be a successful citizen developer.

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Analyst Hat

When wearing this hat, citizen developers work closely with business

partners and stakeholders to understand what the business needs to meet its goals and support its vision.  We also work closely with our technology partners in converting high level business initiatives into clear requirements that can be design, developed and implemented.

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Designer Hat

When wearing this hat, citizen developers help determine the shape of the solution that will be developed and implemented.

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Developer Hat

When wearing this hat, citizen developers along with technology partners develop the solution.

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Tester Hat

When wearing this hat, citizen developers test what has been

developed to be sure everything is working properly and meets the business’s needs.

 

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Trainer Hat

When wearing this hat, citizen developers provide training to their users on all the standard and custom functionality available.