Good Books

Good Books


Requirements and Business Analysis

Software Requirements, 3rd Ed. by Karl Wiegers and Joy Beatty is a highly practical, comprehensive, and readable guide with dozens of "good practices" for improving your requirements processes. Topics include the customer-development partnership, business rules, business requirements, role of the business analyst, writing good requirements, prioritization, change management, and requirements for agile projects. more information Karl Wiegers's More About Software Requirements addresses many thorny issues that BAs confront. Topics include: how detailed requirements should be, elements of requirements style, use cases, elicitation questions, the business value of better requirements, when to baseline requirements, reviewing requirements, and getting good value from requirements management tools. more information
Visual Models for Software Requirements by Joy Beatty and Anthony Chen describes many types of diagrams useful for representing requirements information visually. Each chapter describes the notations used for a specific type of model, presents a template and an example, and provides guidance about how to create one. The Quest for Software Requirements by Roxanne E. Miller is devoted to quality attribute requirements. For 14 types of quality attributes, Roxanne provides thorough definitions, numerous examples, and a wealth of questions that a BA can use to understand customers' often-unstated expectations about usability, security, reliability, and many other characteristics.
User Stories Applied Mike Cohn is the expert on applying user stories as a lightweight approach to requirements on agile projects. User Stories Applied is a sensible and pragmatic treatment of this widely used technique. Use Cases: Requirements in Context, 2nd Edition by Daryl Kulak and Eamonn Guiney presents an iterative approach to developing use cases, a powerful requirements technique. It contains many useful examples of use cases and use case models and lots of good suggestions about how to write use cases. It's the most pragmatic book available on this topic.
A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge This third edition of A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK) represents an established standard of practice for business analysts. It goes beyond software requirements topics to cover many other activities that BAs perform in organizations. It also serves as the foundation for the CBAP certification from the IIBA. Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis Barbara Carkenord's Seven Steps to Mastering Business Analysis is one of the most popular books in the BA space. It maps the techniques discussed to competencies described in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge.
How to Start a Business Analyst Career Laura Brandenburg has done a lot to help people transition into the business analysis profession. In How to Start a Business Analyst Career she can help you bridge that gap, with extensive information about the BA role, what the job is really like, career planning, and how you can get there from here. Business Analyst's Mentor Book Business Analyst's Mentor Book by Emrah Yayici covers numerous topics in software requirements as well as several activities related to—but not necessarily a part of—business analysis, including usability testing, user interface design, and conflict management.
Software Requirements Memory Jogger Ellen Gottesdiener's compact pocket guide, The Software Requirements Memory Jogger, packs a wealth of information into a small format. It covers a wide variety of techniques that are useful throughout the requirements development and management domains, with many examples and recommendations for how to apply the practices. Requirements by Collaboration: Workshops for Defining Needs by Ellen Gottesdiener provides a comprehensive and practical approach to holding effective requirements workshops with users, with many useful tips on workshop facilitation. She also has much information on representing requirements in various forms. I like her "collaboration patterns," which describe ways for teams to work together effectively.
The Business Analyst's Handbook In The Business Analyst's Handbook Howard Podeswa provides a comprehensive reference manual for the working BA. It presents a variety of tools, checklists, templates, and other aids to assist the BA in performing this complex and challenging role. Business Analysis Techniques Business Analysis Techniques summarizes 99 techniques that can be useful for business analysts in various project situations. At an average of 3 pages per technique, they aren't presented in great detail, but the book provides a useful resource of tools BAs should add to their tool box.
Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success In Business Analysis: Best Practices for Success, Steven Blais describes the myriad roles a BA might perform in an organization and how BAs add value through defining business problems, assessing the business case, determining solutions, and confirming the business problem has been solved. Business Analysis For Dummies Business Analysis For Dummies emphasizes understanding what the business really needs to make sure that the development team delivers the right solution. It presents an overview of how to do business analysis, as well as the methods and tools the BA needs to know about.
Mastering the Requirements Process The third edition of Mastering the Requirements Process by James and Suzanne Robertson is a comprehensive text that covers the gamut of requirements topics. Centered around the Volere process for developing and specifying requirements, this book provides extensive useful guidance for any practicing analyst. Software Requirement Patterns by Stephen Withall communicates a wealth of wisdom for writing excellent requirements of many types. The requirement patterns encompass comprehensive, structured knowledge about different types of requirements and they are broadly applicable to nearly any project. This book contains hundreds of practical tips for specifying better requirements.

Other Topics

Peer Reviews in Software: A Practical Guide by Karl E. Wiegers presents clear and pragmatic descriptions of both the technical and cultural aspects of the inspection process and other types of peer reviews. It also addresses inspection metrics and the practicalities of implementing a peer review program. more information Practical Project Initiation: A Handbook with Tools by Karl E. Wiegers describes many actions that lay the foundation for a successful project. Topics include defining success and release criteria, chartering, risk management, retrospectives, and metrics. Chapters include practice activities to help you apply the techniques. A companion website provides templates, spreadsheet tools, and other work aids. more information
Creating a Software Engineering Culture by Karl E. Wiegers includes principles and practices on effective leadership, requirements, process improvement, software quality, measurement, and other topics that can help you build a healthy culture in your software development group. more information Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art by Steve McConnell is the definitive book on one of the most difficult aspects of software development.In his usual highly readable and practical style, this book presents a wealth of techniques that can help both practitioners and project managers do a better -- although of course never perfect -- job of estimating the size, effort, and time needed for their next chunk of work.
Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews by Norman L. Kerth is an excellent guide for anyone who wishes to gather insights from a past project. The book is very easy to read and is loaded with practical techniques for these essential project activities. Retrospectives are a great way to improve the success of future projects. In Going It Alone: Essential Tips for the Independent Consultant Karl Wiegers offers an abundance of pragmatic pointers from his 20+ years of experience as a consultant, trainer, and author. If you have questions about setting prices, negotiating agreements, dealing with difficult clients, writing for publication, or generating revenue while you sleep, Going It Alone has answers. more information
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