Business Analyst Interview Questions

1. What is a Statement of Work?
A Statement of Work (SOW) is a document routinely employed in the field of project management. It defines project-specific activities, deliverables and timelines for a vendor providing services to the client.

2. What is a use case?
The Use Case Model describes the proposed functionality of the new system. A Use Case represents a discrete unit of interaction between a user (human or machine) and the system. A Use Case is a single unit of meaningful work; for example login to system, register with system and create order are all Use Cases. Each Use Case has a description which describes the functionality that will be built in the proposed system. A Use Case may ‘include’ another Use Case’s functionality or ‘extend’ another Use Case with its own behavior

3. Who is an actor?
An Actor is a user of the system. This includes both human users and other computer systems. An Actor uses a Use Case to perform some piece of work which is of value to the business. The set of Use Cases an actor has access to defines their overall role in the system and the scope of their action.

4.Tell us the difference between an alternate flow and an exception flow of a use case?

Alternate flow are the alternative actions that can be performed apart for the basic flow and might be considered as an optional flow whereas Exception flow is the path traversed in case of the error or an exception being thrown. For e.g. on a logic page the ‘Forgot password’ is the alternate flow and system showing ‘404 error’ when correct username and password are entered is exception flow.

5.What is a Business Requirement Document?

A Business Requirement Document is created to describe the business requirements of a product/process and the intended end result that is expected from the product/process. It is one of the most widely accepted project requirement document and is referred throughout the development life-cycle for any project.
A BRD mainly focuses on answering ‘what is the business solution’ as opposed to ‘how to achieve the business solution’ and thus it’s mainly centered around the business requirements. A BRD is created with the help of the project team (BA, client, subject matter exerts, business partners) and is also used as a communication tool for other stakeholders/external service providers.

The Business Requirement Document contains:
– Project Background
– Business goals and objectives
– Stakeholders
– Requirement scope
– Functional requirements
– Data requirements
– Non-functional requirements
– Interface requirements
– Business glossary/Definitions
– Dependencies of existing systems
– Assumptions

6.What BPMN stands for?

It is Business Process Model and Notation. It is a graphical representation of business processes.

7.Explain Change Management Process Flow.

Step Description
Generate CR A submitter completes a Change Request (CR) Form and sends the completed form to the Change Manager / Business Analyst
Log CR Status The Change Manager / Business Analyst enters the CR into the CR Log. The CR’s status is updated throughout the CR process as needed.
Evaluate CR Project personnel review the CR and provide an estimated level of effort to process, and develop a proposed solution for the suggested change
Authorize Approval to move forward with incorporating the suggested change into the project/product
Implement If approved, make the necessary adjustments to carry out the requested change and communicate CR status to the submitter and other stakeholders

 8.What do you know about scope creep?

Scope creep, also known as requirement creep is a term that denotes uncontrolled changes/deviation in the project’s scope without an increase in the other resources (schedule, budget) of the project.

Scope creep is a risk to the project and is usually caused by poor project management, improper documentation of project’s requirements and poor communication between the project’s stakeholders.

9.How do you avoid scope creep?

Scope creep is a hindrance to the project’s success and could be avoided by:

  • Clearly document the scope of the project.
  • Following proper change management.
  • Informing the effects of change to the affected parties before making a change.
  • Documenting the new requirements in the project log.
  • Refrain from adding additional features to the existing functionalities (also called Gold Plating)

 10.What is a Requirement traceability matrix (RTM)
A Requirement traceability matrix is used to record and track the relationship of the project requirements to the design, documentation, development, testing and release of the project/product. This is done by maintaining an excel sheet which lists the complete user and system requirements for the system (in form of use cases) which are in-turn mapped to the respective documents like Functional Requirement, Design Document, Software Module, Test Case Number, etc.A RTM is maintained throughout the lifecycle of the various releases in a project and it’s a vital document to track project scope, requirements and changes in any project.

Techniques for Requirement Elicitation

11.What are Interviews? How are they used to understand requirements?

An interview is a systematic way to get information out of a person/group of people through a formal or informal conversation.

The interviewer asks direct or indirect questions from the participant to elicit information and mold the questions as open or close ended to get the information he wants. In case of many participants, all of them should be interviewed to get all the details. He then documents and catalogs the information in a structured format.This technique is widely used throughout the project life cycle and primarily in initiating, requirement gathering and monitoring and controlling phases.

12.What are workshops?

A Facilitated workshop is a conversation among the carefully selected stakeholders and subject matter experts and is led by an experienced and neutral facilitator.

These workshops aids in requirement gathering, helps generate new ideas and reach an agreement about a discussion element/solution.This technique is used in requirement gathering and planning phase.

13.What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a group/individual technique aimed at finding a solution to a specific problem by gathering ideas from different people/sources.

Brainstorming is an informal and creative technique and the ideas generated through this technique are later reviewed and prioritized for implementation.This technique is used in planning and executing phase.

14.What is Observation technique?

Observation involves closely monitoring and assessing a process or an individual.

This technique is useful when there is a modification of the existing process and the observer watches the way of work closely. The observation might be active or passive and the observer documents. Additionally, the observer might himself perform some hands on activity to get a better understanding of the process.This technique is used in initiating and requirement gathering phase.

15.What is Prototype?

A prototype or mockup is an initial version of a product and gives a visual depiction of the end product.

Prototype are gradually iterated and helps the stakeholders visualize and ‘see’ the product. They also contribute in user interaction and getting feedback about the system. Prototypes are widely used to depict data/process navigation, requirements validation and scenario depictions.This technique is used in requirement gathering, executing and testing phase.

16.What is a test case?

Although Business analysts are not explicitly asked to create test cases but they must understand what they constitute and how to create one, as they sometimes have to test functionalities by referring to the test cases.
A test case is a document, which has a set of test data, preconditions, variables and expected results created to verify and validate whether a particular piece of functionality is behaving as intended (or as documented in the requirement documentation). Thus, a test case becomes a standardized document which should be referred every time a requirement has to undergo testing.

The components of a test case are:
– Test Case ID
– Test Scenario
– Prerequisite
– Test Data
– Test Steps
– Expected Results
– Actual Result
– Status
– Remarks
– Test Environment

17.What is Root Cause Analysis?

Root cause analysis involves finding out the underlying source of the problem.Root cause analysis is done to correct the main cause of a problem and prevent is re-occurrence, rather than simply treating the problem’s symptoms. The methods to find the root causes are fish-bone diagram (or cause and effect diagram).

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