Tuesday, 13 November 2012 04:37

B-A-elzebub’s Glossary

Written by

Ferrer FeatureArticle Nov13(Thanks to Paula Tarvin and James P Bell and, of course, Ambrose Bierce):

This month we offer a little inside humor for BAs - no QA Managers, PMs, or non-BA Stakeholders allowed.  Enter at your own risk, and share your thoughts in comments so that more shall be revealed :-) 

Analysis:  Thought.

Business Analysis:  Somehow different from analysis.

C:  The letter C, as in the acronym CDCTCX.  Also used in the acronyms CZSG and CSZG, among others.

Domain SME:  The box we need to “think out of”, as long as the BA is responsible.

Elicitation:  Interrogation.  Often used where threats and espionage have failed.

Functional Requirements:  Necessary and feasible solution behaviors, based on sound knowledge of existing processes and a reasonable degree of consensus on business changes to come.  “Necessary” means any behavior required for the success of the solution.   Functional requirements are typically characterized as “externally visible” in actor and system actions.  Non-functional requirements (see below) such as performance are those which would not be apparent to the user, and most users would agree that they don’t see performance by their systems.  Functional requirements are usually ignored in favor of features hallucinated on a golf course (see MBA).

Glossary:  An attempt to explain words and acronyms that nobody understands by using words and acronyms that nobody understands.  This project risk is mitigated by the fact that no one will ever read, or even be able to find, the glossary.  Example:  “I put the glossary on the share drive.”

Heck:  A prioritization technique, as in “What the heck”.  Often used in place of birth control at the last possible moment.

Ity-Bili Requirements:  See “non-functional requirements.”  Examples: Usability, Reliability, Performability, Response-ability.

JAD:  Acronymystic technique, best used when other acronyms have failed.

Knowledge Area: Approximately  0.45 square meter (references:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadsheet and    http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/104013/chapters/Meet-Your-Amazing-Brain.aspx. )

Liaison:  A word that looks wrong even after spell checking. 

MBA: “Monkey business” analysis, often practiced on golf courses.

Non-Functional Requirements:  Requirements ignored in the belief that they do not impact functionality.  (See “Ity Bili Requirements”).

O: 0. Or is it?

Project:  To predict the future, with the usual result; To impose one’s own time and money reality onto factual requirements leading to 65% failure rates; An individual or collaborative enterprise planned and designed to achieve an aim, as in “Fire, Ready, Aim!”

Quality Analyst:  Testiest of all.  See Tester.

Requirement:  Sez who?

Stakeholder:  Anyone with time to meddle in a project.

Tester:  Scapegoat. 

User:  General term that might apply to almost any stakeholder.  Example:  “The system has End Users and End Abusers.”

Vision:  See MBA.

Why:  First salvo of an intensely probing question.  “Why” is extremely useful when you are tired of your current BA job.  Examples of use include but are not limited to: “Why wouldn’t you want the accounting reports to be more accurate and complete?” and “Why am I even talking to you?”

Xylophone:  Oh, like you know another “X” word?

Yes:  No.

Zachman Framework:  A business modeling technique using a high level matrix while depending heavily on unshared spreadsheets plus a shared understanding of domain terminology.  See Glossary.

Copyright 2012 Marcos Ferrer,

Don't forget to leave your comments below.

Marcos Ferrer

Marcos Ferrer, CBAP has over 20 years experience in the practice of business analysis and the application of Information Technology for process improvement. Following graduation in 1983 from the University of Chicago, Mr. Ferrer joined IBM in Chicago, where he worked on requirements and systems implementations in diverse industries. His recent projects include working requirements for the Veteran's Administration, introducing BA practices at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and creating bowling industry models for NRG Bowl LLC. In November 2006, Marcos Ferrer is one of the first CBAPs certified by the IIBA. He has served as an elected member of the DC-Metro chapter of the IIBA, most recently as President, and assisted in the writing of the BOK 2.0 test.

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