Celent Says

Improving Business Analysis from the Bottom Up

Mike Fitzgerald
Insurance Experts' Forum, March 4, 2011

As part of research effort into building business analysis skills, I was talking with a manager of a business analyst department in a major U.S. bank this week. He described their approach to improving requirements collection. It struck me as an effective and practical method that I want to pass along. 

Many of the models for building business analysis skills are top-down initiatives, planned and executed as part of a wider improvement program. These are often driven from a learning and development department or a special training area within the IT organization (see the Celent report "Building a Better Business Analyst – Transforming the Enterprise").

This bank’s approach was more “bottom-up” and grew out of a focus on their software testing process.  They improved the rigor of their business requirements documentation through automating their test scripting, planning and test case development process.

As part of their revised methodology, it is now necessary for business analysts to gather requirements in a structured manner that can be automatically uploaded into their test automation software. These then generate test scripts, plans and cases. This yields increased consistency, control and structure to what previously was a very ad hoc process. 

This practical development approach is valuable in that it delivers skill and process enhancements as part of the day-to-day activities of software development. For those looking for a different strategy for improving requirements gathering, getting there through automated testing may help. For those that have also taken this same approach, I would be interested in knowing what the results have been.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Celent.

Mike Fitzgerald is a senior analyst in Celent's insurance practice, and can be reached at mfitzgerald@celent.com.

Readers are encouraged to respond to Mike using the “Add Your Comments” box below.

The opinions posted in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of Insurance Networking News or SourceMedia.

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add Your Comments...

Already Registered?

If you have already registered to Insurance Networking News, please use the form below to login. When completed you will immeditely be directed to post a comment.

Forgot your password?

Not Registered?

You must be registered to post a comment. Click here to register.

Blog Archive

Smarter Tablet Use Could Transform Insurance

By reducing administrative tasks and automating paperwork, tablets can increase agentsí selling time and help them respond to customers in seconds, not hours.

Insurance Wake-Up Call: Embrace the Shared Economy Opportunities

SMA believes that insurers must embrace a "shared economy," crowdsourcing and open innovation to get ahead in the new marketplace.

Silicon Valley Ventures

A trip to area hotbed of technological innovation calls into question the potential viability of insurers' legacy systems, operations and processes.

The Lion and the Mouse: Start-ups Pitch to Top Insurer

Insurers should be on the lookout for innovative partnership arrangements that produce unique and valuable solutions.

Open Source Continues its March into the Enterprise

Insurers have a range of open-source options for running their businesses.

Sometimes The Best Way to Speed Up is to Slow Down

Insurers across all lines of business increasingly recognize that their core systems are not able to properly position them to deal with imminent competitive threats.