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Diagrams and UML

Business analysts use diagrams to visually depict process flows, relationships between concepts, or to
model systems or project scope. There are a variety of diagrams techniques and new business analysts
should minimally be able to create basic work-flow diagrams to visuals a process or a system interaction.
Unified Modeling Language is a specific modeling language used to express the requirements
and design of software systems. There are several types of UML diagrams. Most often a BA will
be asked to complete domain diagrams, use case diagrams, and occasionally sequence diagrams
to accompany a use case. The necessity of UML knowledge will be highly dependent on the
particular business analyst position and it is by no means a common job requirement, especially for an
entry-level role. You should be generally aware of what it is and how it can be used.
If a job requires or prefers it, you might want to train yourself in a bit more detail prior to an interview.
Otherwise, this is a skill to pick up once you have some BA experience. UML diagrams, applied
appropriately, can help you guide a team through some of the more gnarly complexities a project faces.

User Interface Specifications


User interface specifications detail the rules for a specific screen or page within a system. They help you
analyze the rules behind a screen and ensure that all the required functionality has a home within the
new system. A UI specification may or may not be a BA task, as this is often thought of as an element of
design, not requirements, but Ive found them tremendously helpful in sorting out potential
requirements issues and communicating requirements where the work-flow of the application and the
look and feel are important to the business stakeholders.

Traceability Matrices
Part of the analysis process is to ensure that every business requirement is fulfilled by a functional
requirement and that every functional requirement links back to a business requirement. As you move
into deeper details about a project, a traceability matrix helps keep requirements at different levels
organized. Some organizations also trace requirements to elements of the design or test cases that
validate the requirement was implemented correctly.
Traceability can happen in a formal way using a requirements management tool or in an informal way by
doing iterative passes through various documents to make sure everything is covered.