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September 8, 2016 In this edition:
Business Analysis has been a hot topic for a few years now, but based on the questions we get, there is still a lot of fuzziness around the role and what it means? When should the BA be involved in the project? All of it! What aspects of the project can the BA contribute to? All of them! What things should the BA be responsible for? All the things! -- Well, not exactly. Sorry PMs; the hand-off isn't quite that easy. ;)

This week featured columnist Alan Koch went into detail on the ways business analysts can help with User Acceptance Testing -- a phase that is frequently overlooked or given mere lip service. It got us thinking about other places that business analysis tasks can contribute to a project, even when the PM is the one filling the role. Plus, Alan Zucker has tips for finding more time for your project, and Randy Englund is here to help you think like a sponsor.
» Featured Article
» Business Analysis for Beginners
» In the Blogs
» Corporate Subscriptions

Featured Article
Role of the Business Analyst in User Acceptance Testing
by Alan S. Koch

Alan S. Koch User Acceptance Testing (UAT) provides an important check to be sure that the business needs have been fully and correctly met, and that they have been met in a way that is acceptable to the business and the users. Participation in UAT provides the BA with a significant opportunity to ensure that the solution provides precisely what the business needs.

Testing isn't over when your QC team signs off on defects, it's just getting started. Learn more »

User Acceptance Test Plan - An annotated outline for the UAT phase of your project.

Customer Acceptance Checklist - Similar to UAT testing a checklist like this one ensures your project's customer is truly able to use their new solution.

Testing Is NOT Quality Assurance - Don't be fooled into thinking testing is enough to guarantee a quality product.

Business Analysis for Beginners
What Exactly Does a BA Do?
While a business analyst must possess the skills to handle a broad variety of projects -- long, short, complex, or simple -- there's really no need to re-invent the wheel for each new project. This table format helps explain how the role fits. (Much of it will look familiar to long-time project managers.)

Four Steps to Avoiding a BA Overlap
The Business Analyst role can overlap several others in your organization, but this simple approach will minimize conflicts over responsibilities.

Requirements Walkthrough Checklist – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until September 22, 2016
Whether you're a titled BA or a PM filling the role, this checklist will help you organize productive, efficient walkthroughs, so your team members can move forward with confidence. (More on Requirements Management »)

Benefits Realization Plan – PREMIUM
You built a great product, but did it do any good? That's where business analysis comes in. A Benefits Realization Plan documents the expected benefits of the project, details how they will be measured, and captures those measurements for later assessment and use in lessons learned. (More project analysis resources »)

Want more Business Analysis resources? Check out our detailed Business Analysis Fast Track. It discusses the general outlines of the role, the key duties and expectations, and the flow of the work, and includes links to tools and how-tos designed to get you up to speed fast.

In the Blogs
Time: Conserving the Precious Resource, by Alan Zucker
Time is the dominant constraint on all projects. There is a constant race against the clock. Many projects have fixed completion dates determined by external forces. Projects that fall behind schedule, struggle to catch up. I have never met a project manager who said there was too much time. Since we can’t buy or create time, here are five ways to conserve and reclaim this precious resource. Read the rest »

How an IT Team Broke Free From the Requirements Morass - That feeling when your team is six months into a 9-month project, and you're still gathering requirements.

Are You Ready for Speed? - Before speeding up your project work, make sure the team and the environment can sustain a faster pace.

When a more detailed schedule was NOT going to help a project go faster! - What do you do when the team is not meeting their tight deadlines and the boss reacts by asking for even more schedule detail as a way to "get things back on track"? Here's how this PM handled things.

Think Like a Sponsor, by Randy Englund
One step in becoming a [more] complete project manager is to assess your sponsor. You may or may not have choice in the matter of who the sponsor is, but you have choices for how you work with that person. Project sponsors are crucial for project success. Knowing the sponsor helps to determine what actions are needed at your level. So the advice is: think like a sponsor. Practice mind reading. Does your sponsor think like Sponsor A or B?

How to Interview the Project Sponsor - Never, ever accept someone else's interpretation of what the sponsor is looking for. Get it straight from the horse's mouth.

Negotiating with My Sponsor - Learn how to speak Sponsor-ese.

Project Sponsor - The Project Sponsor champions executive approval for the project. Here's what that means.

Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing
Want your team members to have their own access to templates and how-to resources for their project work? Need to share documents and deliverables beyond your project team? We make it easier with affordable corporate subscriptions and licensing. Detailed information regarding corporate options is available online. Give your whole team, or even the entire organization, cost-effective access to our comprehensive online library of resources. You already know how helpful it's been for you. Now it's time to share with everyone else. Find out more »

Not sure if corporate terms apply to you? Check out our licensing terms at the top of our Terms of Service page, in refreshingly ordinary, everyday English.

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