The Business Analyst's Handbook 1st Edition
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Because this is an encyclopedia of techniques and terms, it isn't the most user-friendly book. It has lots of stuff, but most of it is listed alphabetically, not by situation, so you have to know what you are looking for to find it.
And then, two beefs with his approach to this work that may not bother others.
First, he assumes that Business Analysts will be part of software implementation. I understand that his approach has to account for that, but a large, large portion of my work and people who have done this work for and with me has stopped short of a software implementation. Just process work. Just understanding the problem. Etc. He doesn't offer disclaimer enough for my taste that a Business Analyst may put his/her time to good use serving ends other than software development or implementation.
Second, he assumes that decisions happen in meetings. He includes lots of great meeting design templates and checklists. My experience says that meetings are not where real conversations take place. If you wait until that point to look for consensus, you are asking for trouble. The meeting will either make official what has been decided elsewhere or (God help you!) give lip service to the proposal until the REAL discussion happens in the hallway. So a Business Analyst may do all that Podeswa says to set up good meetings--and still not get the commitment to a decision he/she needs.
Still, this is a useful addition to your library--for now.
I found the writing to be very clear, explanations well thought out and concise, and the overall composition to be structured in a professional manner. The structure follows the BA's modus operandi making it extremely easy to know which section of the book to turn to for a quick reference.For CBAPs and practitioners you would understand that it follows the BABOK structure. To the layman, consider that part of the title identifies it as a "Handbook".
This is a paperback but, physically, it is a big book weighing several pounds. The text is a medium font. I wear reading glasses normally, but they are not necessary with this text. The pages are a non-glossy off white making it easy to read in natural or artificial lighting. I can read this book for several hours with only a minimal amount of eye strain.
The Business Analyst's Handbook is a reference. No, it is an Excellent reference. It is detailed with numerous charts, models, and definitions. I am enjoying reading it. But, then, one of my degrees is in Economics and I thouroughly enjoyed reading all of my textbooks in that discipline.
Every BA, PMP, and aspiring practioner should have a copy of The Business Analyst's Handbook on their shelf for a quick refresher.
The templates are the most important things.
Waste of money.