Allegient Blog

Less Confusion – More Accuracy: Collaboration and RM

Posted by Kelli Ellis | September 2, 2014

I’ve been researching lately about requirements management tools (see previous blog here) and one cannot help but notice the emphasis that has been placed on collaboration over the last few years. Not only is this a newer technology that has begun to soar in corporations, but I now see the strong advantage of utilizing collaboration with requirements management.

It’s difficult to sit in a conference room with someone you’ve never met and talk to them about a system they use every single day while truly capturing what they think and how they feel about the system. A Business Analyst may listen, but hear something that doesn’t exactly match what the person was trying to convey. With collaboration, requirements can be read and then discussed online for everyone to see. As the discussion takes place, the requirement can be updated and massaged until it accurately reflects the need.

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Remove Dynamics CRM 2013 Business Process Flow

Posted by Jeremiah Theurer | August 26, 2014

Recently, a client asked us to perform a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 On Premises to CRM 2013 On Premises upgrade.  After reading through pages of upgrade guides and how to articles, I felt our team was very prepared for the upgrade. We conducted the upgrade in a test environment without any trouble, but as we were investigating our newly upgraded system, we noticed some of the entities had the new Business Process Flows enabled and these flows were appearing at the top of the entity forms.  For most clients who are upgrading to CRM 2013, this is a huge plus as it is added functionality and can help members of the sales team conduct their sales in a standardized manor. This client, however, did not want to add the Business Process Flows feature to the system.  Our team was then tasked with removing this feature from the upgraded system.

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SQL Saturday 2014: Indianapolis

Posted by Warren Sifre | August 21, 2014

Going into SQL Saturday Indianapolis, I was a little nervous about delivering a presentation on a topic that had been heard many many times in the last four to five years. My approach was to give it a little twist by not just going over the basics, but also providing some advanced techniques for managing some of the common situations DBAs (Database Administrators) find themselves in.

The session was titled 'DBA Monitoring and Maintenance Fundamentals'. Having close to 30 attendees in the session, it seems the gamble paid off and the session was well received. Comments recieved were positive and constructive. Highlights of the constructive comments were "Don't move so much when delivering the content," and "Reduce the time you spend on introductions." It was great to understand people's reception of the content. So I'd like to say thank you to all who left comments on the evaluation sheets.

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Knowledge and Information Are Not Equal: The Case For Consultants

Posted by Khurram Chaudhry | August 19, 2014

Let’s begin with a game. How focused are you? If you have taken this test before or in case you have seen this video earlier, you can proceed forward. But for the rest of you, please and I repeat please do not proceed forward without seeing the video bleow. The rest of the blog is going to be based on how well or how did you perform in the test.

See if you can count the number of times the white team passes the ball to another player.

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The Wonderland Called Technology: A Competitive Advantage

Posted by Khurram Chaudhry | August 11, 2014

One of my favorite dialogues from Alice in the wonderland is:

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?' she asked.

'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat.

'I don't know,' Alice answered.

'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

In order for any decision to be made it is very important that we know where we want to go. Setting these strategic goals is the most important thing for any enterprise. Once you have set these strategic landmarks explicitly, the decision making process becomes a lot easier. Strategy as pointed out by Vijay Govindarajan used to be about protecting competitive advantage, but not anymore. Today it is about finding the next advantage.

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Business Analysis and Relationships

Posted by Kelli Ellis | August 7, 2014

 

I am a Business Analyst, with experience in various industries (Software, Healthcare, and Finance).  I’ve recently switched positions to begin working as a consultant.  I am discovering that the consultant aspect appeals to me for many reasons – not the least of which is the importance of developing relationships.  By the time I arrive on a scene, my company (www.allegient.com) has already established a relationship with our client.  Business Development may start the relationship, but it is the project team’s turn to continue the cycle.  We are placed on site as specialists who can get a specific job done, and how well we perform that job determines the relationship.  And yet there is a bit more to it than even that - we have to do our job well, but we also have to be pleasant to work with, trustworthy, flexible, honest, etc.

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Five Thoughts Regarding Formal Requirements Management

Posted by Kelli Ellis | August 4, 2014

"Traceability is the ability to verify the history, location, or application of an item by means of documented recorded identification." - Wikipedia.org

Traceability is a best practice in the world of business analysis. However, how many companies truly utilize this fully as best practice would encourage? Very few in my experience. Nonetheless, the wisdom of utilizing this best practice is evident when one begins to delve into the why and how.

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Knowing Success Factors Yields Success

Posted by Jimmy Burkhart | July 28, 2014

It is inevitable in today’s business environment that you have had some involvement or been impacted by a technology related project at your company.  And most likely you know of technology projects that have spent countless amounts of time, material and resources that were abandoned.  How can you ensure that your project will succeed and be seen as value add? 

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Visio 2013: Top 10 Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know (Part 2 of 2)

Posted by Lindsey LaBerge | July 24, 2014

This is the second part in a two part series titled "Visio 2013: Top 10 Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know". The first part can be found here

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Visio 2013: Top 10 Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Lindsey LaBerge | July 21, 2014

As the Marketing Manager at Allegient, my experience as a Business Analyst isn’t the typical career path. In a previous job, I helped model processes for revenue management at a major airline. At that time our business process modeling consisted of hand drawn notes, sent offshore to be transformed into diagrams in Powerpoint. Imagine our confusion when these slides were provided with no key and no definitions for the shapes being used. I knew there was some serious room for improvement.

A year after joining Allegient, I sat down with our Business Solutions Manager, Louise Hughes to develop a marketing piece. We reviewed my projects that reflected some experience in the realm of process modeling. Like many at Allegient, my skills for this service area were discovered somewhat accidentally, but utilized for the benefit of our client. This discovery led to three months of business analysis work with her group.

Throughout that experience, I had the pleasure of working with Jason DePasquale, a Senior Business Analyst here at Allegient. He provided the oversight that helped align our diagrams with the approved standards within BPMN 2.0.  BPMN 2.0 is a standard process modeling notation that everyone can understand. From this experience, I have come away with 10 Tips & Tricks for Visio that may prove valuable for the new learner as well as the experienced Visio pro. 

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