To be characterized by quickness, lightness, and ease of movement. It also means to be mentally quick or alert - Free Dictionary. See What Business Analysts Can Learn from Agile Thinking & Logistics.

Analysis Paralysis

Analysis Paralysis is an anti-pattern in which a person overanalyzes or overthinks a situation in a bid to arrive at the perfect solution. It impedes one's ability to make decisions in the face of numerous options. See Managing Analysis Paralysis.



A baseline of requirements is a snapshot of requirements at a certain point in time. Once requirements have been approved, they should be baselined, meaning that future changes are tracked and recorded. Subsequent change requests would require approval by the right authority; a change control board is usually set up to investigate and approve changes to requirements.


Evaluating the best practices and processes of competing organizations and peers to identify potential business improvement opportunities and provide a comparable level of service within the industry. See Making a Business Case for Technology: Reaping the Benefits of IT in Your Organization.

Big Data

Big Data is seen as both a paradigm shift and a phenomenon that will change conventional ways of thinking, working and organizing. It empowers businesses to make connections between customer behaviour patterns through predictive algorithms. See Big Data & The Business Analyst.


Any process that receives input from another process constitutes a potential for bottleneck. If a process cannot continue because you are waiting for the output of another, you have a bottleneck. If you cannot execute an action because you are waiting for an approval, you have a bottleneck. See When Processes Become Problematic: 3 Ways to Correct Bottlenecks.

Business Analysis

According to IIBA, Business analysis is the set of tasks and techniques used to work as a liaison among stakeholders to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization achieve its goals. See What is Business Analysis & What Does a Business Analyst Do?

Business Case

Business cases are developed to confirm the feasibility and viability of proposed projects before they are launched. They are designed to convey the relevant information needed for key business stakeholders and sponsors to make go/no-go decisions on recommendations. See 20 Tips for a Winning Business Case.

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a technique that can be used to describe how an organization creates, delivers and captures value for and from its customers. The model can be used to highlight key activities, partnerships, resources, customer relationships, channels, customer segments, cost structure and revenue streams. This description can be reflected on a canvas to serve as a framework for developing business strategy.

Business Process Management

AIIM defines Business Process Management as a means to study, identify, change, and monitor business processes. See 7 Reasons Why BPM Projects Fail and 10 Benefits of Business Process Management.


Creative Thinking

Creative Thinking is about coming up with innovative solutions through the adoption of an unrestricted, unstructured and relaxed approach to thinking that involves:

  • Looking for multiple approaches to solving a problem or exploiting an opportunity without considering the merit/feasibility of the approaches at the idea generation stage

  • Letting go of conventional norms and embracing as many ideas as possible.

See Soft Skills for Business Analysts: Creative Thinking.

Current State Analysis

Same as as-is analysis. The main purpose of the analysis is to present the "As-is" state: the existing business context, background, business functions, business processes, and stakeholders involved in these business processes - Sergey Korban, Aotea Studios. See As-is Analysis: Why Bother?


Desired Outcome

The desired outcome describes the benefits obtained from the fulfilment of the business need that was identified at the onset of the project. Examples of desired outcomes include increased customer satisfaction, increased revenue, etc. See What is Business Analysis & What Does a Business Analyst Do?


A domain is the area of human endeavour undergoing analysis. See How to Improve Your Domain Knowledge.



The feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else's feelings - Merriam Webster. See A Whole New Mind For Business Analysts.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is about identifying and understanding other people's emotions with the objective of channelling these emotions towards a positive outcome. A person with high emotional intelligence is able to decipher his emotions as well as that of others to help him form healthy working relationships. See Emotional Intelligence & The Business Analyst.


Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is a report that documents decisions concluding in a choice of one from two or more alternatives. It establishes possibilities, evaluates economics, and forces reflections on the perceptions of a decision – Dr. Patrick Logan. See Project Feasibility: What Should You Assess?



Hawthorne Effect

The Hawthorne Effect is a fallout of an experiment carried out in the 80s at a company known as Hawthorne Works, Chicago. Worker productivity improved regardless of the changes made during observation. It refers to the tendency for a person's actions to change when they are being observed. See Three Inherent Risks Of The Observation Technique.



Think of innovation as creativity on wheels – You not only generate an idea, you also see it through till it is implemented. See Creativity, Innovation & The Business Analyst.




Kaizen is a Japanese word for “change for better”. It is a set of practices, a philosophy or a mindset that focuses on teamwork, employee involvement, waste identification and process improvement. See 4 Process Improvement Methods That Work & When To Apply Them.




A methodology can be described as a way of thinking and acting that guides the decisions we make.  A methodology can also be described more formally as a theoretical lens or a set of principles for understanding which techniques, methods or best practices to apply to a project. See The Essence of Business Analysis Methodology




Pattern Thinking

Pattern thinking is about connecting the dots (like you would when solving a crossword puzzle) – an important quality in generating insightful ideas and building innovative solutions that solve business problems. Pattern thinking is central to human thinking – it allows the brain to function as a pattern recogniser.


Pilots involve a trial of the solution in the normal working environment. The scope of the pilot may be limited by the number of users that can access the system, the processes affected by the solution or some other desired constraint, depending on the domain. See On POCs, Pilots & Projects.

Post-Implementation Review

Post-Implementation Review is about gaining insight from asking this key question: “How are we doing?” One should never assume that the benefits the project team set out to achieve at the beginning were actually achieved without some investigation.


Business procedures are the detailed steps required to perform an activity within a process. A procedure defines “how” to complete a task. Procedures are often documented in operations & user manuals and provide a deeper understanding of what should happen in each step of the process. See What You Should Know About Documenting Business Procedures


A process is a series of actions that bring about a specific result. For example, the series of actions (process) involved in applying for a job could result in securing employment (result). See Business Processes & Procedures - Can You Spot The Difference?

Proof of Concept

Some use the term “Model Office” or “Prototypes” to describe POCs. They provide users with an environment that can be used to refine the design and implementation of a new solution before its actual implementation. POCs can be done with as many different software vendors as required during technology and supplier selection. See On POCs, Pilots & Projects.


I find prototypes extremely useful in guiding the thinking process during requirements elicitation and analysis. With prototypes, stakeholders can easily get a feel for what is required and what is superfluous. Prototypes also allow analysts to express in pictures their understanding of users' requirements, which they can in turn validate. See What Prototyping Entails.



Requirements Package

A requirements package is a set of documented requirements that have been structured in a way that is understandable and useable to different stakeholder groups. It is typically presented at the appropriate level of detail for each stakeholder. See 10 Tips for Effective Requirements Management.

Requirements Review Sessions

Requirements reviews also known as Structured Walkthroughs and are designed to communicate, check and confirm requirements with stakeholders. During these sessions, participants are expected to ask and respond to questions, proffer suggestions and provide comments on the solution that is about to be implemented. See Organizing Effective Requirements Review Sessions: Before, During & After.

Requirements Sign-off

Signing off on requirements indicates that requirements are complete, agreed and represent the desires of stakeholders. Requirements are usually "baselined" after sign-off (approval) and subsequent changes may only be done through a formal change management process. See The 5Ws of Requirements Sign-off.

Requirements Versioning

Requirements Versioning involves maintaining a history of changes to requirements so that their evolution and the reasoning behind that evolution is tracked. Versioning ensures that teams always work on the same version of requirements, especially when they operate from geographically dispersed locations.


A risk is an event or condition that may or may not happen. If we fail to manage or identify risks before they happen – they can become serious problems. A risk can be negative or positive. When a risk has positive effects, it's called an opportunity. See Risk Analysis: Why Bother? and Risk Analysis Technique.


Scope Models

Scope models can be used to define the boundaries of a change initiative, solution, control or need. They can be used to define:

  • Elements of the solution or need. For example, a functional decomposition diagram can be used to show what is in scope

  • Elements that are out of scope can for example, be shown with a context diagram

Scope models can be represented using a combination of text, diagrams and models. Scope models are particularly useful for defining contractual obligations, assessing the completeness of solutions and estimating project effort.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma aims to reduce variability in the end results of manufacturing and business processes by identifying where errors are most likely to come from and reducing the chances of those errors occurring. It relies heavily on statistics and measurements. See 4 Process Improvement Methods That Work & When To Apply Them.


Imagine Company X is suffering from a terrible loss of revenue. You are brought in as a BA to salvage the situation. To do this, you need to propose a solution.

A solution can be designed to meet a business need, solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. Solutions are diverse. As a BA, you could propose the implementation of technology, process reform, outsourcing, a revised organizational structure or a combination of these.

The main job of a BA is to recommend solutions after assessing the constraints faced by the organization. What is Business Analysis & What Does a Business Analyst Do?


A specification is a precise, unambiguous and complete statement of the requirements of a system (or program or process), written in such a way that it can be used to predict how the system will behave - Helios Hud. See Requirements Specification Documents: The Thin Line Between Analysis and Design



The Timeboxing technique is based on the premise that it is better to have a working system with limited functionality than to wait for years to have a complete system. Timeboxing is considered a technique for delivering prioritized requirements based on the work the project team can deliver within a set period. See What is Timeboxing?

Total Quality Management

TQM cuts across different functions of the business and is one form of continuous improvement that embodies practices such as process management, customer and employee involvement, information and feedback, strategic planning, committed leadership, training and supplier quality management. See 4 Process Improvement Methods That Work & When To Apply Them.


User-Acceptance Tests

User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is a phase in the software development life cycle where the intended users of a system participate in validating that the solution meets their needs. See The Role of Business Analysts in UAT Sessions.

User Interface

The User Interface (UI) establishes the dialogue between users and computers. See The Role of BAs in User Interface Design.


Value-Added Activity

A Value-added activity refers to any activity the customer is willing to pay for. See Lean Principles & Business Process Improvement


Waterfall Methodology

This methodology strictly follows a linear process in which separate goals are set for each phase and project team members are unable to move forward without completing the activities in the preceding phase. See Agile, Waterfall & Somewhere In Between.