1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Business analysis

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bakedgoods, 19 Apr 2010.

  1. Bakedgoods

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Dec 2003

    Posts: 5,172

    Location: Barrow-In-Furness

    Evening folks,

    Can you recommend any good general business analysis or technique related books?

    Thanks,
     
  2. sigma

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Nov 2006

    Posts: 18,883

    Do you mean like Porter's 5 forces, Pestel Analysis and SWOT etc?
     
  3. NickK

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Jan 2003

    Posts: 19,127

    In what way?
    * Creating business processes within an organisation for service product/solutions?
    * Achitecting the companies IT functions?
    * Competitive analysis?
    * Financial analysis?
     
  4. Bakedgoods

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Dec 2003

    Posts: 5,172

    Location: Barrow-In-Furness

    Sigma - Yes :)

    NickK - Mainly the top two, but I don't mind reading about all generally.
     
  5. Demontec

    Gangster

    Joined: 3 Feb 2003

    Posts: 435

    In all honesty if you want a general book that would teach you about the items Sigma listed then a BPP study book for the ACCA P3 exam would be a good start. Also cheap of the bay.

    edit - also a good website for different models and one that helped me pass my exams is: http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2010
  6. sigma

    Capodecina

    Joined: 13 Nov 2006

    Posts: 18,883

    Not sure what level you're learning/wanting it but Management, An introduction to, by David Boddy is alright, not amazing but readable although I guess it's more about management than business analysis (funnily enough lol). I'd have thought most business books would be quite similar.

    Edit - ACCA P3 would be better.
     
  7. decmatt

    Mobster

    Joined: 10 May 2004

    Posts: 3,727

    Location: East Yorkshire, UK

    I am doing this in university atm, one of the books we are using is

    Contemporary Strategy Analysis - Robert Grant
     
  8. Bakedgoods

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Dec 2003

    Posts: 5,172

    Location: Barrow-In-Furness

    Thanks i'll take a look :)

    Is there anything equivalent to say PRINCE2/ITIL etc for business analysis? (preferably with an IT focus if possible.
     
  9. [DOD]Asprilla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Nov 2003

    Posts: 14,034

    Location: Surrey, by the river

    ICEB courses are the closest thing, but most folks I know who are qualified says it's a bit pointless.

    Also look at UML.
     
  10. Bakedgoods

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Dec 2003

    Posts: 5,172

    Location: Barrow-In-Furness

    I was just looking at the ISEB stuff but it's not something i've ever heard of some i'm unsure how much value there is to it.

    I just think having something like that to aim for would give me a structured way to learn
     
  11. [DOD]Asprilla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Nov 2003

    Posts: 14,034

    Location: Surrey, by the river

    What's the context? Are you currently a BA or looking to get into it, or what?

    Prince2 Foundation and ITIL Foundation are always useful for BAs, as are any Agile courses.
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2010
  12. Bakedgoods

    Capodecina

    Joined: 31 Dec 2003

    Posts: 5,172

    Location: Barrow-In-Furness

    Potentially looking at a move into it in the future, so looking to move into it I guess (and i'm a bit sad and just want to expand my knowledge!).

    I've got some PRINCE2 material but I was going to look at BA first.
     
  13. Phate

    Caporegime

    Joined: 1 Nov 2003

    Posts: 35,684

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    The thing about being a BA is you get paid to point out the bleeding obvious :p
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2010
  14. [DOD]Asprilla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Nov 2003

    Posts: 14,034

    Location: Surrey, by the river

    I think the ISEB is the only BA specific course that I know that anyone has done. Most of the BAs I know (myself included) either did BA focussed degrees or simply started a BAing at a junior level and expanded their knowledge though doing.

    And very lucrative it is too, thank you. ;)
     
  15. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,833

    Location: Hampshire

    Just finished an OU postgrad course "Software Requirements for Business Systems". The set book, "Mastering the Requirements Process" (Robertson & Robertson) is fantastic; in fact I'd say that it's probably the best text book I've come across in 18 years of study. Crucially, unlike many books on practices, it doesn't just spout theory at you but also gives some practical guidance on how to resolve issues if their guidelines aren't working or applicable in your situation.

    Of course, as with many books proposing techniques or ways of working, to get the most out of it you need to be in a position to implement changes across the team, something most of us aren't able to do. The irony is many of the people making the decisions are traditionally the least qualified (in a technical sense) to do so!

    Personally from what I've seen I think something generic like PRINCE2 is more desirable to employers than ISEB BA. Likewise I've got OU M865 "Project Management" (recognised by BCS as equivalent to ISEB PM) but recruiters will always be looking for PRINCE2 or similar (when talking qualifications, ignoring experience etc).
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2010
  16. Pneumonic

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Oct 2007

    Posts: 3,246

    Location: Suffolk

    If you looking into Business Analysis in relation to software development then learning about some common development methodologies would be a good start, so agile, waterfall, etc...

    An understanding of product life-cycle and deployment will also be beneficial you might want to look into various PM methodologies such as Prince 2, Agile Project Management, TSP, etc...

    Finally you need to have the right mind set and personality.. You need to be able to understand and qualify requirement, really be able to think of and ask the right questions, make sure that you are interrupting requirement correctly and then be able to present it in a manor that the end-user and the developers can understand and not mis-interrupt ...
     
  17. Pneumonic

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Oct 2007

    Posts: 3,246

    Location: Suffolk

    Indeed but those technically qualified aren't normally the best qualified to make strategic / business decisions... Good management is ofc about recognising ones own weakness and using the resource available to come to the 'right' decision

    Which always seems odd to me... although Prince 2 offers a foundation it shouldn't be the be all and end all... the number of PM's that can't think outside the box or use some common sense really does surprise!
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2010
  18. [DOD]Asprilla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 10 Nov 2003

    Posts: 14,034

    Location: Surrey, by the river

    Interpret.
     
  19. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,833

    Location: Hampshire

    I'm not sure if he might possibly have his tongue in cheek with that last sentence.... "present it in a manor", lol :)
     
  20. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 25 Oct 2002

    Posts: 28,833

    Location: Hampshire

    That rarely happens though in my experience. Where I work decisions that have widespread impact (adopting new tools, methodologies, internal projects etc) are taken without consulting people with expertise in those fields. Although, the times may be a-changing as a lot of the people concerned have been given the boot in recent months :)

    In my experience the best managers are technically adept in addition to possessing all the traditional management skills. I just like working for those type of people who have it all rather than just one set of skills.

    The thing is even if an organisation isn't going to follow a strict methodology like PRINCE2 (something that is becoming less and less common in the private sector at least), I think employers feel a sense of security in hiring people who are certified to that level. If nothing else they should be capable of learning and adapting to a new methodology.