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Author Marc Talbot

Can Machine Learning Be a Tool for Business Analysts?

In an earlier blog post, I suggested that Machine Learning might be an interesting alternative to rigorous facilitation for the discovery of business rules.  Today I’d like to talk about how we might identify domains where we might consider Machine Learning. Broadly speaking, there are two large classes of Machine …

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First, break all the requirements

What? In 1999, Buckingham and Coffman authored First, Break All the Rules. They used Gallop data from manager interviews to identify how good managers drive employee satisfaction. Internally at Seilevel, we use the methodology described in the book for gauging employee satisfaction. People who join us are sometimes surprised by our …

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From analysis to delivery: BPM tools as accelerators

I recently had the opportunity to work with a company that had a long sales and construction process.  In their industry it generally took three months to complete the process, but with this company they knew it was taking much longer.  They were challenged to even measure what their cycle …

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Using Machine Learning to Derive Business Rules

Very nearly every project that we work on as analysts has business rules.  Business rules aren’t functional requirements – they are modifiers to functional requirements.  For example, we may have functional requirements that relate to adjudicating a credit application, and the functional requirement is to take the application in, and …

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When ROI isn’t enough

When we work with IT teams, one area that we emphasize is the importance of understanding the business value of what we’re working on, whether that is at the feature, product, or portfolio level. We typically do this using a collection of models that we use to focus on business …

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Business Data Diagrams – the LISP of requirements models?

It’s been argued in programming communities that all programming languages can ultimately be abstracted back to LISP.  As a software developer, you may not care that we can ultimately abstract Java into LISP, but the fact that you can tells us some fundamental truths relating to the nature of programming. …

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Design Patterns in Software Requirements

Ok.  I said it.  The dreaded “D-word”.  Design.  We’re not supposed to do that.  Let the designers do the designing, and let the business analysts define the requirements.  Actually, I’m not suggesting that design be included as part of software requirements.  I did, however, want to talk about the relationship …

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The Importance of the Org Chart Model

When we train people in the use of different requirements models, we typically mention three models as being distinct by virtue of the fact that you can know they are complete:  the org chart, a system context diagram, and business data diagrams. Org charts are generally easily available, since every organization …

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Swimlane diagrams – systems or actors or both?

We’ve been having some internal debate about the appropriate use of swimlane diagrams.  Everyone agrees that swimlane diagrams are a helpful model.  They allow you to create a process flow that does not require you to identify the system or actor involved in each process step, as this can be inferred …

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