What Happens After User Stories? 

OK, so you’ve had some great sessions with users and stakeholders. What they want the system to do is neatly captured in a number of user stories. Now what? While user stories do a great job of expressing functional (and often non-functional) requirements in words that business users can understand, that’s not the case for […]

Use Case Fragments 

A previous IRM article Event Based Analysis and Modelling described how business functionality in a requirements package can be broken down into a table with column headings – Event, Trigger, Initiator, Use Case name, etc. Each business function is a separate event and has a unique number. A typical business function might contain several unique events […]

There’s More to Modelling than Runways and Catwalks 

How often have you seen a TV clip from a fashion show – Milan, London, New York – and thought to yourself “What on earth are the models wearing?!”.  Business analysts can be guilty of something similar. Sure it’s a model, but what does it mean, what’s it trying to say? In the fashion industry, […]

Data Modelling & Object Oriented Development 

At some stage in their working life, every business analyst will have some involvement with data modelling. They may need to model how data is (or will be) used or – if they only deal with requirements investigation – then someone else in the team will need to verify that the data to support new […]

How to Write Use Cases 

A previous IRM paper – How to use Use Cases – highlighted the need for clear and logical thinking when documenting the primary and alternate flows of a use case. A use case diagram is all well and good for communicating the scope of a particular event but to explain what’s happening inside the use case […]

Event-Based Analysis & Modelling 

Many business analysts mix structured techniques with UML and use events as the entry point to their analysis activity. An event can be any activity, action or business process where the system under investigation needs to respond. In this approach to business analysis, once the scope of the system has been identified, the first deliverable […]

How To of Essential Modelling 

Also called abstract or business modelling, essential modelling can be an extremely valuable tool for the business analyst. Instead of modelling how things are done (the current system), or how they might be done (a proposed system), we model what is done, or what might be done. For example the purpose of a Customer Service […]

UML – Business Context 

“Where does UML fit?” is a common question among new (and not so new!) business analysts. We all know that the M stands for modelling but beyond this, perceptions start to differ. In its current form (V2.0) UML consists of 13 diagram types all of which provide a different view of a system. In the […]

How to use Use Cases 

Many business analysts and business users get frustrated at the perceived lack of information in a use case diagram. “It’s all very well drawing a picture” they say but what about the details – what’s actually going on? When producing project documentation, use case diagrams are rarely used on their own. They will generally be […]