Top 20 Business Analyst Interview questions

Business analyst interview questions

1. Can you define a Business Analyst?

In simple terms, a Business Analyst is a facilitator between top-level management and Developers / Testers.

This means a BA will gather requirements from clients or stakeholders and understand those requirements, document those requirements in detail steps, and prepares Functional requirement specification (FRS) documents.

Then those documents will be given to the Developer team to start writing the coding and Testing team to test the coded application.

2. What are the different Requirements Elicitation Strategy used by a Business Analyst?

Brain storming,

The elicitation strategy depends on the type of the project.

One can take advantage of direct collaboration with client, and have facilitated workshops, interviews and observe the end users. In conjunction, we can use techniques that can provide us with more precise information like prototype and scenario building.

Some of the techniques used are:

Focus group discussion – A focus group discussion (FGD) is a good way to gather together people from similar backgrounds or experiences to discuss a specific topic of interest.

The group of participants is guided by a moderator (or group facilitator) who introduces topics for discussion and helps the group to participate in a lively and natural discussion amongst themselves.

Brainstorming – It is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members.

Joint Application Development (JAD) – Iterative development requires that further analysis be done on user requirements to support each incremental release.

This requirement is addressed by having JAD-like sessions (focus groups) that build on the results of the requirements sessions. The purpose of these focus groups is to drill down the requirements into a high-level design solution. These focus groups are made up of the technical project team and business subject matter experts.

JAD/Iterative Approach Roles and Responsibilities:

In addition to the project team roles and responsibilities, the JAD workshop requires defined roles and responsibilities to provide effective requirements sessions. The roles involved are:

JAD Facilitator. The workshop facilitator is an impartial guide. The job of the JAD facilitator is to structure the workshop so participants can describe their business, guide them through the agenda, and ensure that all parties are heard.

The facilitator’s role is to facilitate the decision-making process by asking questions, seeking out ideas from all of the participants, ensuring that the discussion is focused and capturing sufficient amounts of information for documentation and review. The goal is to make sure that the participants are satisfied that they have reached wise decisions and have consensus.

Documentor. During the JAD sessions, the documentors are impartial assistants to the JAD Facilitator. The job of the documentor is to capture notes about the discussion and design. The documentors use personal computers to capture this information in an orderly fashion. They document only what the group decides.

When using development tools, consider using one documentor for notes and updating the prototypes and another to drive the development tool.

Business Experts. All user participants are responsible for describing their business, as it should be in the future. User participants are the key contributors in the workshop. They ensure success or failure. The appropriate business people can design a high-quality system. There is no rank in the workshop.

Technical Support. Technical support participants are responsible for the technical design of the system. In the workshop the MIS participants should make sure that all appropriate questions are asked and answered completely. They should present new technology and capabilities of systems.

Project Manager. The project manager is responsible for delivering the system design. In addition, the project manager may make suggestions to assist the users or provide alternatives if cost considerations arise.

Executive Sponsor. The executive sponsor is usually the manager of the business area for which the system is being designed. The executive sponsor is the person who has set the purpose, scope, objectives and constraints that bound the project. The executive sponsor usually has the final word when policy decisions are to be made.

Observers. Observers are those interested in the JAD process or in the specific project. IT project team members should try to observe a JAD session before attending the JAD training. Observers will listen and watch but will not participate in the discussion.

3. What do you know about scope creep?

Scope creep, also known as requirements creep, is a term that denotes uncontrolled changes/deviations in the project’s scope without an increase in the other resources (schedule, budget, cost) of the project.

Scope creep is a risk the project and is usually caused by poor project management, improper documentation of the project’s requirements and poor communication between the project stakeholders.

4. What is the importance of a flow chart?

Flow chart explains the flow of a process, through symbols and text. It is important because it:

  • It displays information graphically which is both clear and easy to grasp.
  • Helps in process documentation.
  • It helps programmers to write logic.
  • Aid testing and troubleshooting.

5. What is UML Modelling?

UML (Unified Modelling Language) is a general purpose modelling language, which is designed to provide a standard way to visualize the design of a system.

It is any artificial language that can be used to express information or knowledge or systems in a structure that is defined by a consistent set of rules. The rules are used for interpretation of the meaning of components in the structure.

6. Why do BA’s use Activity Diagram?

It is a graphical depiction/flowchart of actions, representing a stepwise listing of activities. We use activity diagram for description of those business processes e that describe the functionality of the business system.

7. What are some common tools that a BA uses?

MS Visio, Enterprise Architect, Rational Requisite Pro, MS Power Point, MS Word, MS Excel, DOORS, Balsamiq, Moqups.

8. What are some documents created/delivered by a Business Analyst?

  • Use Case Documents
  • Process/ Business flow documents.
  • Requirements Traceability Matrix (RTM) document
  • Functionality Matrix (FM)
  • Systems Requirement Specification (SRS) Document
  • Functional Requirements Specification (FRS) Document
  • Business Requirements Document (BRD)
  • Activity/sequence diagrams.

9. What are some non-functional requirements gathered by the BA?

Non-functional requirements or ‘qualities’ of a system are the requirements that are used to judge the operations of a system. These requirements define how a system is supposed to ‘be’.

E.g.: throughput, usability, reliability, scalability and security.

10. What documents are used for use case diagrams?

FRD (Functional Requirements Document).

SDD (Systems Design Document) also sometimes called as TRS (technical requirements specifications).

11. What is use case diagram used for?

The use case diagram defines the roles of each actor that is associated to a particular role or system. A use case diagram is also a behavioural diagram and a part of UML.

An example: In “Order Management” system as the main function, in such a case the person that is given the order is an actor.

12. What is the difference between a Business Analyst and a Systems Analyst?

A Business Analysts acts as a liaison between business people who have business problems and technology people who know how to create automated solutions.

A systems analyst works under a Business Analyst and is generally involved in understanding a particular system/technology.

13. What is Pareto Analysis?

It is a technique which is used to identify the issue that are causing the most number of defects. The issues and the number of defects are plotted in a bar graph, and the issue which is causing the highest amount of defect is addressed defect.

It is considered as a creative way of looking at causes of problems as it organizes data into logical segments for better analysis, comprehension and communication.

14. What do you know about the term ‘force-field’ analysis?

This aids in making decisions by identifying the factors for and against a proposed change to the system. The ‘for’ and ‘against’ factors are tabulated and then analyzed, discussed and evaluated for their impact on the change.

15. What is a 110-point method?

It is a prioritization method that can be used to prioritize items in a group environment. Each person within the group is given 100 points which they can distribute as votes across the available items.

16. What do you know about 8-omega?

8 omega is a business change framework to improve the existing business processes. Based on this name, this framework consists of 8 lifecycle phases namely: Discover, Analyze, Design, integrate, Implement, Manage, Control and Improve. Also, it addresses 4 key perspectives of business i.e. Strategy, People, Process and technology.

17.  What is FMEW and why is it used?

FMEW stands for ‘Failure Mode and Effect Analysis’ and it is used for failure analysis, risk analysis and quality engineering.

It involves reviewing components, systems and sub-systems on parameters like functional, design and process to identify failure models. The resulting data is then used for risk management and mitigation.

18. What is a use case?

A use case is a methodology used in requirement analysis to identify, organize and document the requirements. Following are the main characteristics of a use case:

  • It contains both functional and non-functional requirements.
  • Describes the flow of events/scenarios
  • Defines the actors involved in the scenarios.
  • It contains the main flow, alternative flow, and exceptional flow.
  • Contains business rules and associated diagram.

Use cases can be used at various stages of the project and its audiences are both technologists and business.

19. What all diagrams are used to visualize a use case?

Use case diagram, Activity Diagram, Sequence Diagram, Communication Diagram and State Machine Diagram.

20. Explain Kano Analysis

It is a quality measurement process aimed at categorizing and prioritizing the customer requirements in an effort to increase the customer’s satisfaction.

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