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Business Analysis Training How to choose BA Courses

Where to start when selecting Business Analysis Training?

Lots of people have asked me, which courses are good business analysis training courses to get them started with business analysis?

This seems to be a common question among new business analysts or experienced business analysts who haven’t done a lot of formal training before. It is a very good question because it is not obvious.
There are many Business Analysis training courses out in the market but only few courses covers the overall foundation concepts of business analysis. If you are looking for a good solid foundations course in business analysis, I would suggest you look at the course content before signing up.


The Foundation Business Analysis Training Course

The course content of a good Business Analysis Training foundation course should include the following types of topics:

  • Problem Analysis – the Soft Systems Methodology is a foundation methodology for being able to recognize a business need or problem. It guides you to break it into ‘root cause’ statements and builds a structured problem to take to your next stage of your analysis.
  • Stakeholder Analysis – The business analysis training course content must also cover stakeholder analysis techniques. Ideally it will cover how to identify and manage your stakeholders.
  • Business essentials such as learning how to define a mission statement, goals and key performance indicators. This is key to any business analyst to understand because this sets context for any future analysis work you will do. Other business tools you will learn about includes SWOT Analysis.
  • Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) – This often forms the backbone of a foundation business analysis course. It  is the framework for explaining not only the SDLC itself but how business analysis fits into this life cycle.

Business Analysis TrainingSo you may notice that a good foundation course in Business Analysis doesn’t necessarily include much about requirements or modeling techniques yet! It may well include some of that (such as data modeling or basic process diagrams) but it should not be the focus of a good foundation Business Analysis course. It is great start to develop your Business Analysis Skills.


The Requirements Engineering Course

Business Analysis TrainingOther good Business Analysis Training courses to start with includes Requirements Engineering courses. These courses will teach you about requirements gathering techniques such asworkshop facilitation, requirement interviews and observation. It will teach you about writing good requirements and managing all your requirements. It also includes requirements traceability and managing change to requirements. It is a great type of course to attend after you’ve done the foundation business analysis course.


Modeling Courses – When do they become useful?

Unified Modeling Language (UML)

A good place to start these days for a modelling based Business Analyst courses are at the Unified Modeling Language or more widely known as UML focused courses. It is important that this is not a methodology but a standard for using a ‘language’! The great thing about UML is that you can choose what you learn about first. There are some very good business focussed models to start with when you learn UML such as Use Case Diagrams and Activity Diagrams. In general experience as a Business Analyst those are probably the two most important UML diagrams. They are created to be used from a business analysis perspective to help you when dealing with your non-technical audience. The fantastic thing is that your more technically minded architects and developers all understand UML really well and can translate your diagrams into their technical models seamlessly. Other good UML modeling to understand is the object or Class Model and the Sequence Diagram.


Business Process Modeling Courses (BPMN)

BPMN based Business Analysis Training courses are good to do if you are planning to work on large business process transformation programs. It is also great if you would like to specialize and become a Business Process Analyst. This is the industry standard and an accepted business process methodology to follow. Lots of companies uses this standard and therefore it is great business analysis training course to put on your resume.

Specialised Courses

Agile Courses, the absolute hot topic!

You may be shouting – but what about Agile? Yes, Agile. That is a great specialization to consider when you develop your skills as a Business Analyst. Agile Business Analysis Training courses are in high demand and lots of people are very interested to develop their skills in this. That is absolutely fantastic and should be pursued. Something to keep in mind though is that at the moment (and this might change in future) there are two camps of projects: Those who are Agile (or aspiring to be) and those who are more traditionally waterfall based. If you like to work at a highly interactive and shorter bursts of activity on a project or program, go with Agile! It essentially uses the Systems Development Life Cycle but manages the cycles in a highly controlled but really short and sharply fashion which allows very good response times with business requirement change. People who go onto true Agile projects, will not easily return to other more traditional ones. There are however still a huge market for more traditional project which has lots of other highly rewarding attributes.


Last but by no means least…

Soft skills business analysis training courses for business analysts

As business analysts we really must remember to include soft skill business analysis training courses into our development plans. We depend heavily on our relationship building skills to perform our jobs and the better we can get our interpersonal communication skills, the more rewarding our outcome will be. Consider doing a Presentation Skills course, a rapport building course and Conflict Management course as part of your suite of Business Analyst Courses you are planning for your professional development.

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