Business Analysis Techniques*

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As business analysts, both the input and output from us are information. We don’t create any physical thing such as machinery or gadget or software, but rather we provide the roadmap for the creation in the form of recommended solution. Business analysis techniques are methods or approaches to identify, sort, analyse and present information, which is consumed both by the business analysts and stakeholders. So the first thing what we need to understand here is techniques enable us to think in a particular direction and gives us orientation to process the given information. For example, take SWOT analysis, it helps us to think about the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the organisation and present this information in a two-by-two matrix for a quick glance and decision-making. Hence techniques are not the automated tools that will constantly churn out information in your business analysis projects, rather it will enable you to think in a particular way. The saying garbage-in and garbage-out fits very well here. If the business analyst is not skilful in collecting the right information and analyse it in the right way these techniques doesn’t serve any great purpose.

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I would like to present an analogy here. Think you are a skilled archer walking into a forest with a bow and bunch of arrows on your backpack. You are coming across small and big problems in the form of a large snake and a wild animal. I hope you will not use the same arrow to address these problems. Here the archer is the business analyst, snake and wild animal are business problems and the arrows are techniques. As a business analyst, it is you who will decide what techniques to use, when to use and how to use. Through experience, you will learn to select the most appropriate technique for the given situation. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to various business analysis techniques at a very high level. Mastering these 210 business analysis techniques will help you to achieve better results in business analysis projects. Please follow this blog to learn practical insights about these business analysis techniques. And wherever you want to explore more, further reading is recommended.

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  1. 5 Why's
  2. 5s
  3. A3 problem solving
  4. Abstraction
  5. Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria
  6. Activity Sampling
  7. Adizes Corporate Life cycle
  8. ADL Matrix
  9. Analogy
  10. Andon
  11. ANOVA
  12. Ansoff's matrix
  13. ARCI matrix
  14. Axiomatic design
  15. Background research
  16. Backlog Management
  17. Baker's 4 Strategies of Influence
  18. Balanced Scorecard
  19. BCG Matrix
  20. Benchmarking and Market Analysis
  21. Benefit-cost-analysis (BCA)
  22. Benefits Management
  23. Blue Ocean Strategy
  24. Bottleneck Analysis
  25. Bowman's Strategy Clock
  26. Brainstorming
  27. Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop
  28. Business Activity Model (BAM)
  29. Business Capability Analysis
  30. Business Case
  31. Business Model Canvas
  32. Business process mapping
  33. Business Rules Analysis
  34. CAGE distance framework
  35. CATWOE
  36. Cause and effect diagram
  37. Class modelling
  38. Collaborative Games
  39. Concept Modelling
  40. Conscious competence model
  41. Context Diagram
  42. Continuous flow
  43. Control Chart
  44. Core competencies analysis
  45. Critical success factors
  46. Crosby's 14 steps for Improvement
  47. CRUD matrix
  48. CTQ Tree
  49. Cultural Analysis
  50. Customer Experience Mapping
  51. Data Dictionary
  52. Data Flow Diagrams
  53. Data Mining
  54. Data Modelling
  55. Decision Analysis
  56. Decision Modelling
  57. Deming's Five diseases of Management
  58. Design of Experiments
  59. Disruptive technologies
  60. Divide and Conquer
  61. DMADV
  62. DMAIC
  63. Document Analysis
  64. Entity relationship diagram
  65. EPRG model
  66. Estimation
  67. Feasibility analysis
  68. Financial Analysis
  69. Focus Groups
  70. Force-field analysis
  71. Four-view model
  72. Functional Decomposition
  73. Gap analysis
  74. Garvin's 8 dimensions of Quality
  75. Gemba (The Real Place)
  76. GE-Mckinsey Matrix
  77. Glossary
  78. Greiner Curve
  79. GROW Model
  80. Hedgehog concept
  81. Heijunka (Level Scheduling)
  82. Heptalysis
  83. Histogram
  84. Hive Mind
  85. Hoshin Kanri (Policy Deployment)
  86. Hoshin Planning system
  87. Hothousing
  88. House of Quality
  89. Hypothesis testing
  90. Impact analysis
  91. Innovation Circle
  92. Interface Analysis
  93. Interviews
  94. Intuition
  95. Item Tracking
  96. Jidoka (Autonomation)
  97. Joint Application Development Workshops (IBM)
  98. Just-In-Time (JIT)
  99. Kaizen (Continuous Improvement)
  100. Kanban (Pull System)

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101. Kapferer's brand identity Prism
102. Kay's Distinctive Capabilities framework
103. Keller's brand equity model
104. Kolb cycle
105. Kotler and Keller's Five product Levels
106. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
107. Kraljic portfolio Purchasing Model
108. Kurt Lewin's model of organisational change
109. Lateral thinking
110. Lessons Learned
111. Mckinsey's 3 Horizons of Growth
112. McKinsey's 7-S
113. McKinseys Seven degrees of Freedom for Growth
114. Means-ends Analysis
115. Method of focal objects
116. Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
117. Miles and Snow's Organisational Strategies
118. Mind mapping
119. Mind Maps
120. Mintzberg 5Ps of Strategy
121. Morphological Analysis
122. MoSCoW prioritisation
123. Muda (Waste)
124. Mullins Seven Domains Model
125. Net promoter Score
126. Non-Functional Requirements Analysis
127. Observation
128. OGSM Frameworks
129. Ohmae's 3C model
130. OODA
131. Organizational Modelling
132. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
133. P/I grid
134. Pareto chart
135. PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act)
136. PESTLE analysis
137. Poka-Yoke (Error Proofing)
138. POOGI-Process of On-Going Improvement
139. Porter's Five Forces framework
140. Principled negotiation
141. Prioritization
142. Process Analysis
143. Process Modelling
144. Product diffusion curve
145. Product-Process Matrix
146. Prototyping
147. Pyramid of Purpose
148. Quality function Deployment
149. RATER Model
150. Reduction
151. Regression analysis
152. Requirements traceability matrix
153. Requirements validation
154. Research
155. Resource audit
156. Reviews
157. RFM segmentation
158. Rich Picture
159. Risk Analysis and Management
160. Roles and Permissions Matrix
161. Rolled throughput yield
162. Root Cause Analysis
163. Root Cause Analysis
164. RPR problem diagnosis
165. SARAH model
166. Scatter diagram
167. Scenario Analysis
168. Scenarios
169. Scope Modelling
170. Sequence Diagrams
171. Simonson and Rosen's Influence Mix
172. Single-Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)
173. SIPOC Analysis
174. Six Big Losses
175. Six thinking hats
176. SMART Goals
177. SOAR analysis
178. Stakeholder List, Map, or Personas
179. Stakeholder wheel
180. Standardized Work
181. State Machine Diagram
182. State Modelling
183. Storyboarding
184. Stratification
185. Survey or Questionnaire
186. Swimlane diagrams
187. SWOT Analysis
188. System Dynamics
189. System event analysis
190. Taguchi Loss function
191. Takt Time
192. Teece's Win-Lose Innovation Model
193. Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument
194. Timeboxing
195. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
196. Triple Bottom Line
197. TRIZ
198. Use Cases diagrams
199. User Stories
200. Value chain analysis
201. Value disciplines model
202. Value Net model
203. Value proposition analysis
204. Value Stream Mapping
205. Vendor Assessment
206. VMOST analysis
207. VPEC-T
208. VRIO analysis
209. Weisboard's Six-Box Model
210. Workshops

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Written by Venkadesh Narayanan

Venkadesh is a Mechanical Engineer and an MBA with 30 years of experience in the domains of supply chain management, business analysis, new product development, business plan and standard operating procedures. He is currently working as Principal Consultant at Fhyzics Business Consultants. He is also serving as President, PDMA-India (an Indian affiliate of PDMA, USA) and Recognised Instructor of APICS, USA and CIPS, UK. He is a former member of Indian Civil Services (IRAS). Fhyzics offers consulting, certification, and executive development programs in the domains of supply chain management, business analysis and new product development.

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