Business Analysts’ interview is different from that of project managers or technical programmers. They typically face scenario based or conceptual questions.
We have launched this series, where we would be presenting typical questions and answers asked during the Business Analyst interviews. This series is based on multiple sources. Some of these sources are as follows:
a) Questions asked and collected from Quora
b) Questions sent by our own students of AGILE BA, ECBA, CCBA/CBAP and BARM programs, based on their interviews.
In this post, we are going to list down some scenario based and logical questions and over the next few posts, will provide the answers to those questions.
In this post, let’s discuss the first question:
Are you familiar with Process Modeling? If your customer is not familiar with either DFD or UML diagrams, will you still use process modeling? What would be your approach?
Process modeling is the technique of visually representing the system processes. A top level diagram shows high level processes and it is further detailed out in next few levels. Typically 3 levels of detailing is good enough for every project. Process modeling helps in analyzing the processes better and also helps in optimizing it, if needed.
Data Flow diagrams (DFD) and UML diagrams are more powerful modeling techniques but requires learning curve to understand it. In case, the customer or technical team is not familiar with these two techniques, we can use flow charts which is probably one of the simplest techniques. It’s simple to understand.
Purpose of this question is to test to your ability to react to a situation and find a simple solution to a problem rather than sticking to a standard process & technique.
I will provide answers to other questions in the subsequent posts.
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Objective of this question is to gauge your experience and ability on process modeling. Process modeling is one of the most important skills for a business analyst.
So one can answer this question as follows (However it will greatly depend on the technique you used in your projects):
I have used process modeling in couple of my projects, I have been involved with as a business analyst. Even though I know UML and DFD modeling techniques, we used simple flow charts to model the processes as our customer wanted it that way. (You can, of course, choose to replace this answer with the techniques you are most comfortable with)
So, in the first project, which was a Loan application and approval system, we started by creating the top level context diagram (a DFD terminology) to showcase the modules of the system and the interactions amongst them. Next to that, we decomposed the modules to identify the key processes and modeled them using the flow charts. In this case, some of the steps at this level, needed further decomposition and hence we went to the next level of decomposition and at that level, we found it to be good enough to proceed to data modeling.
In case, the interviewer would like to dig deeper he/she may ask you to draw one of these diagrams and you should be in a position to do so.
If you would like to know more about Process modeling, you can watch this video to know more about it (It’s a recording of the webinar on Requirements modeling using UML)
You are contracted to develop a software system involving multiple divisions of an organization. Each division is a stakeholder in the organization and there are approximately 25 divisions. How will you go about requirements gathering?
Question Objective: This is a scenario based question and is asked to check your understanding of processes and the ability to customize approach based on situations.
In this case, I would like to create a small team for each division by choosing members from the customer teams themselves. Each team will be led by process champion. Each divisional team will be responsible for interacting with divisional stakeholders to gather requirements and document it. It will require some training for the process champions and that can be done in an consolidated manner.
Once the process champions, complete their work, my team (of business analysts ) will sit with the process champions and their respective team for further discussion, interviews etc to elicit & to consolidate the requirements.