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Systems Analysis for Business Analysts 

3 Days

This is a basic course to help business analysts understand the basics of systems analysis. This course is ideal for people who are just learning about the importance of user requirements, or for those who need a defined process for requirements management and system design.

This is a practical interactive seminar that uses team exercises to reinforce the process taught in the class. Your instructor will be a certified instructor in the software engineering field. You will learn the terminology, process, and challenges of requirements management and systems analysis in the real world. As a result of attending this seminar, you should have a good working knowledge of user requirements, system modeling and what it takes to gather, design, test and manage a complete set of user requirements for a project.

Systems Analysis for Business Analysts will help you become more comfortable and confident in performing requirements gathering and documentation processes, as well as modeling to understand and describe system behavior. 

You will emerge from this workshop knowing how to define the right problem, talk to the right people, document the right needs, build the right system, and test the system using a defined baseline of requirements as the target. 

Return on Investment

  • Learn how to define and solve the right problem and avoid spending tons of money building the wrong system.
  • Learn how to find problems in requirements before they ripple through the rest of the project, where they are much more costly to fix.
  • Understand the key issues in gathering and defining user requirements. 
    Learn how to design tests that adequately cover requirements and business events. 
  • Get the most out of your existing investment in user requirements and use cases and how to leverage that investment. 
  • Advance your career by reinforcing your software engineering expertise. 

Who Will Benefit

  • Business analysts

The program requires only basic IT knowledge or experience. Technical documentation knowledge or experience is not a pre-requisite.

Program Information

This course is presented on an in-house basis only unless offered as a special public course. Contact us for information about how to bring this course into your organization.

Content and Structure


Module 1 - CMM Overview

  • The CMM explained
  • Application of the CMM
  • Benefits and motivations for applying the CMM
  • Current status of the CMM - CMMI

Module 2 - Terminology

  • Process
  • Capability
  • Requirements
  • High-level design
  • Low-level design
  • Configuration and configuration management
  • Measurability, measurements and metrics
  • Value
  • Actors
  • Use cases
  • Requirements
  • Specifications
  • Verification
  • Validation

Module 3 - Exploring Requirements

  • What is Development?
  • What is the Requirements Process?
  • What Is A Requirement?
  • What a Requirement Isn’t
  • What is Requirements Management?
  • The Overall Objective
  • Why We Aren’t Very Good At Requirements
  • Problems With Requirements
  • Why Are Requirements Important?
  • Where Defects Originate
  • Where Testing Resources are Used
  • The Relative Cost of Fixing Defects
  • Case Study – Defining A Simple Requirement
  • Assessing the Requirements Process in Your Organization
  • Making Sense of Your Score

Module 4 - Problem Analysis

  • Five Step Process
    • Step 1 - Define the Problem to be Solved
    • Step 2 - Understand the Root Causes
      • Root Cause Analysis
      • Fishbone Chart
      • How to Describe the Root Causes of a Problem
      • Context-free Questions
      • How Can Context-free Questions be Used?
      • The Sources of False Assumptions
    • Step 3 - Identify the Affected People
    • Step 4 - Define the Scope of the Solution
    • Step 5 - Identify Solution Constraints
      • Modeling Techniques
        • Business Modeling
        • UML
        • System Modeling
        • E-R Diagrams
        • Process Flows
        • Data Models

Module 5 - Techniques for Getting the User Perspective

  • Getting the Right People
  • Interview Techniques
  • Defining Needs and Features
    • Guidelines on Scope and Abstraction
  • Preparing for the Workshop
    • Marketing the meeting
    • Responsibilities of the Facilitator
    • Sample Agenda
    • Conducting the Session - Things to Pay Attention To
  • Brainstorming Process
  • Exercise - Brainstorming a Requirement Definition 
  • Storyboards
    • Tools for Storyboarding
    • Helpful Hints for Storyboarding
  • Use Cases
    • Use Case Components
    • Use Case Model
    • Sample Use Case
  • JAD Sessions
  • Role Playing
    • How to Role Play
  • Prototyping
    • Types of Prototypes
    • The Prototyping Cycle
  • Dealing With Conflicts
  • Exercise - Role Playing to Develop a Requirement Definition

Module 6 - Documenting Requirements

  • IEEE/ANSI SRS Standard Document
  • Major Topics that Should be Addressed in Requirements
  • Desirable Attributes of Requirements
  • Categories of Specification Statements
  • Sizing of Requirements
  • Testable requirements
  • Readability of Requirements
  • Common Problems with Requirements
  • Techniques Used for Defining Requirements
  • Defining the Problem to be Solved
    • Statement of Work
    • Constraints
    • Risk Analysis
    • Types of Prototypes
    • Use Cases
      • Use Case Components
      • Four Phases of Use Cases
      • Process for Writing Use Cases
    • Business Rule Catalog
      • Five Types of Business Rules
  • Technical Methods for Defining Requirements
    • Decision Trees
    • Flowcharts
    • Entity-Relationship (E-R) Diagrams
    • Object-oriented models
    • Data Flow diagrams (DFDs)
    • Finite-state Machines
    • State-Transition Diagram
  • Tools for Documenting Requirements
  • Books that Discuss Modeling and Requirements

Module 7 - Requirements Management

  • Scope Management
    • Managing Expectations - Understanding Tradeoffs
    • Tips for Managing Expectations
    • Nine Steps to Conflict Resolution
    • Refinement of Requirements
  • Requirements vs. Design
  • Change Control
    • Where Does Change Come From?
    • Three Ways to Deal With Change
    • How to Control Change
    • Change Control Process
    • Tools for Change Control and Requirements Management
  • Case Study - Changing a Requirement

Module 8 - Testing Requirements

  • Ten Quality Measures
  • Verification Methods
  • Ambiguity Walkthroughs and Reviews
  • Technical Reviews
  • Why perform early verification?
  • Exercise - Perform an Ambiguity Review
  • Developing Test Cases from Requirements
    • Requirements-Based Test Conditions
    • Adding Traceability
    • Tools for Test Case Design from Requirements
  • Exercise – Define Test Cases from a Requirement

Module 9 - Dealing With Problems in the Requirements Process

  • Scope Creep Solutions
  • Excessive Change Solutions
  • How to Get Cultural Acceptance of Requirements
  • How to Start
  • How to Start Earlier
  • When to Stop

Module 10 - Systems Analysis

  • Types of systems analysis
    • Congruency
    • Domain
    • Gap
    • Critical path analysis
    • Workflow analysis
  • How to perform systems analysis
    • Value driven
    • Application (system), agent and process
  • Inputs
    • Source data
    • Business specs
  • Outputs
    • Business requirements
    • Error conditions
    • Business rules
  • Deliverables and templates (discussion of each deliverable and template to the traceabillity matrix)
  • Measures and metrics for systems analysis
  • Exercise for performing systems analysis

Module 11 - System Design

  • High level design considerations
    • Application
    • System
    • Process
    • Data
    • Value
    • Traceability
  • Exercise – creating high-level design artifacts
  • Low level design considerations
    • Application
    • System
    • Process
    • Data
    • Value
    • Traceability
  • Logical modeling
  • Role of team members
  • Exercise – creating low-level design artifacts

Module 12 - Testing

  • UML
  • Test cases from use cases
  • Process flows and transactional testing
  • Black box tests
  • White box tests
  • Analysis of critical paths

Module 13 - Testing the Quality of Software Performance

  • CARAT (Capacity, Accuracy, Response Time, Availability, Through Put)
  • Key concerns
  • The challenge
  • Hitting the performance wall
  • Performance testing terminology
  • Prerequisites
  • Load levels
  • Load levels with response
  • Type of technology
  • Web load testing – connection speed makes a difference
  • Web load testing – audience location makes a difference
  • An e-commerce schematic
  • Client/server load testing
  • Mainframe load testing
  • Manual vs. Automated tools
    • Which tools are applicable?
    • How can tools help?
  • Common problems and pitfalls
  • Building and controlling the performance test environment
  • Hardware
  • Tools
  • Data

Module 14 - Implementation

  • Conventions for support and warranty
  • Smooth transition
  • Rough transitions
  • Phased implementation

Module 15 - Course Summary

  • Top 10 seminar points
  • Final questions and answers


  • Checklists and Templates
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography


  • Course notebook with slides, worksheets, checklists, complete examples and supporting text
  • You will have the basic information needed to plan and execute an effective test of a software application.

All materials on this site copyright 1996 - 2009, Rice Consulting Services, Inc.

Rice Consulting Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 892003
Oklahoma City, OK  73189

"Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile." -- Vince Lombardi

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