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How To Build The Perfect CV

5 Tips to Create a CV

Before you get to dazzle recruiters and potential employers at an interview, the first step is to ‘wow’ them with your CV.

The idea is to build a resumé that stands out from the rest and catches the eye within minutes. Highlighting all your career goals within a quick scan is not a hefty ask. With a few tricks, you can build the ideal CV that will invite you through the interview doors.

The ideal CV should run two to three pages. Remember, recruiters have received hundreds of applications and really don’t have the time to read five pages. Most will scan the first page, so the idea is to get all the important information – that is also relevant to the job – on the very first page. The rule of thumb is to include your latest position right on top, which means your first job would be on the last job.

Keep the following in mind when compiling your CV:

1. Be clear and concise

As mentioned before, recruiters don’t have time to read an entire essay. Present your information in a clear and readable layout. Bullet points with one sentence are scannable and is a dream when reading. Titles should also be very clear, so bold type font works well. Avoid bright colours and unusual colours. When in doubt, an Arial font in black should suffice.

2. Contact details should be visible

While this is an obvious step, most candidates use the footer of the page to present their contact details. Your cell phone number should be visible. Include it in a text box or below your name. Again, bold type if possible and in a clear font.

3. Remove unnecessary information

While being the lead in the school play is a great achievement, it’s not going to be much help when applying for a job in the financial department. This could be a good anecdote during the interview (if such a question arrives) but because we’re tight on space, it may be better to remove it to make way for your other achievements. Being a prefect could convey that you’re good in a leadership position or the fact that you are the treasury for the community carnival could highlight your ability to be financially responsible.  

4. Experience is best

Your CV should highlight why you’re the best candidate for the job and your experience is key. Showcase the experience that is relevant to the job. A trick? Use the job description to help you out. Match what they need to what you have done in the past to grasp the attention of the recruiter. Also, be sure to highlight any relevant training and short course completions that may help boost your knowledge of the position.

5. Personalise

Adapt the document according to the job you’re applying for. If it’s a marketing position, you can be a little creative. A standard word document doesn’t work anymore but the good news is that the Word templates include CV samples, which can be helpful.

In closing

Once you’ve created your CV, always review everything before sending it off into the world. Make sure the grammar is correct, references are contactable, and the format is legible. Also, always be honest on your CV. If it’s too embellished, the word may spread around. Remember that a well-written letter of motivation that highlights your skills and strengths goes a long way.
If you’re looking to give your CV that extra boost, browse our short courses to help you gain practical information.

What is a good business analyst career path?

Not all career paths look the same, but there are generally similar points where the journey begins. The path of a business analyst career is no different.

What is a business analyst?

Business Analysis – along with systems analysis – refers to all activity related to the set of systems conducted by a business. This includes communication between clients and stakeholders in order to provide the ideal service as well as fulfilling the objectives the company sets out to achieve.

A business analyst is a person charged with the duties of business analysis and usually has a dynamic role which offers solutions for faulty or suboptimal systems with the intention of providing the most efficient processes, saving the employees time and the business money.

As you learn more about the world of Business and Systems Analysis, you’ll find that the position is broad and allows a range of exciting career development.

Business systems analyst careers

When it comes to a career path, one of the important things to remember is that there is always a position to work towards. Forwarding your career can happen in several ways and the path can look different to each business analyst.

Business analysis has a strong focus on working with software systems in order to make certain processes within a company automated. As a result, business analysis and information and technology (IT) are often connected as career options, since the two are closely linked. This is coupled with the fact that business analysis is dynamic and meaning the defined role can be multi-faceted.

The general careers, with differing levels of executive management, of business analyst include:

Business analyst

A general business analyst concentrates on the business side of systems analysis. This means liaising with stakeholders, ensuring systems are operating smoothly, and evaluating the running of the company to certify that deadlines are being met and goods and services are being provided with both the correct quality and quantity.

Business researcher and specialist

A researcher is tasked with conducting an investigation into how the company’s product or service is performing and how that performance can be improved. This includes analysing competitor’s strategies and systems to see what is working well for them and implementing the best-suited set of systems into the business. The researcher might also be responsible for monitoring new systems in place to gauge the level of efficiency over time.

Systems analyst

This position is closely linked with IT as it is a role of software analysis. The systems analyst takes the research done by the business specialist and implements systems in a way that works best for the company and team members. A newly implemented system should not hinder workflow, and operations should run smoothly during the transition.

Business advisors

Business consultants are often freelance or externally hired individuals who are experts in their industries. The consultant can be tasked with different duties, but usually this consists of finding and implementing refined systems into the company in order to achieve certain goals laid out.

Moving your business analyst career forward

While there are different paths you can take to move up in business ranks, there are several important traits which every successful business analyst needs. These are:

Hard-working

A business analyst should be able to tackle tasks with fervor so that the business can drive forward and grow with the right protocols in place. Hard-work is a key characteristic of a successful individual, and it goes a long way in progressing your career forward.

Always learning

In order to find out the best systems for the company, the business analyst should be constantly learning on the job. Updating the knowledge-bank is an essential part of the analysis.

This could also include taking a short course in management or analysis with the intention of developing new skills in a theoretical way so that they can be practically executed with excellence.

Constantly listening and adjusting

A good leader knows that listening to the feedback of their employees is crucial to their work experience. Similarly, a good analyst knows that considering the opinions of the stakeholders is vital to business relationships. Adjusting the processes in place when necessary shows that feedback isn’t falling on deaf ears.

Focused on improving

The purpose of business analysis is to improve the systems of a company. This means that the business analyst should also be focused on improvement; whether self-development, work relationships or the processes used in the company. Aiming to be the best brings you one step closer to becoming the best.

Entrepreneurship vs Working For A Company

entrepreneurship vs working

Is it better to work for yourself or work for a company? It’s a lively debate had at many dinner tables, with no concrete answer. There are great benefits when it comes to working for yourself and better rewards when working for a company. Let’s take a look at the advantages for both cases to help you decide on which works best.

Making a case for the entrepreneur

The unemployment rate in South Africa sits at 26.6%. While this is not the most favourable number for our economy, the number has improved steadily – due in part to the steady entrepreneurship activity.

Entrepreneurs are ‘jack of all trades’. If they’re working by themselves – especially starting out – they’ll need to be experts in finance, project management, and really know how to build a network. Some love entrepreneurship because it offers:

Independence

How many times have you sat at your desk and thought about how different you would approach a project? Entrepreneurs live for this type of freedom because they have the chance to build something the way they want to and have their own direction. An entrepreneur gets to decide if they want to work solo or if they want to hire a small team.

Building your own business also means building your own company culture. You get to decide on the work environment that is most comfortable for you. If you do decide to start hiring, you can employ people who are comfortable with your company culture.

Flexibility

Some people work better in the morning while others feel more productive during the evening. As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to decide for yourself. If you feel like sleeping in during the day, maybe go for a run, and work the ‘night shift’ – then that’s perfect! Some entrepreneurs like to get an early start and unwind during the afternoons. This is especially ideal if you have a family.

With the right resources, you can have optimum flexibility that some workplaces won’t allow. If you’re in need of a rest day – to avoid burnout and proper work/life balance – you’re allowed to do so without any hassle.

Growth

Being an entrepreneur means that you’re involved in all facets of your business – marketing, finance, HR, etc. This allows you to develop your skills professionally and personally. The entrepreneurial journey is a continuous learning curve and it’s skills that you won’t necessarily get to learn in any other position within an organisation.

Making a case for the employee

The 9-5 lifestyle has been getting a lot of hate but with more companies offering flexible hours, people are enjoying heading to work in the morning. The workforce is getting younger, which means employers are more aware that they need to tend to their employees’ wellbeing, in order to boost productivity.

The ‘9-5 employment’ environment has the following advantages:

Work/life balance

As mentioned before, employers are more aware that employees’ wellbeing should be at the forefront. You work a set of 8 hours during the day and thereafter, you get to go home and enjoy the rest of your day until the next morning. Unlike most entrepreneurs, weekends are for family time, which allows you to switch off for a few days until you have to pick it up again on Monday.

Stable income and benefits

You know your monthly income – it stays the same. You’re never left guessing if this month you’ll have a decrease compared to the previous month. With a stable income, it’s easy to set a budget and savings. Most companies also offer benefits (medical aid, pension, petrol allowance, etc.) which doesn’t take too much out of your income.

Camaraderie

You’re spending eight hours with a group of people who come from different walks of life. This type of exposure in the work environment is great and helps you grow as a person. In fact, some of your best friends are made in the workplace. They’ve been in the trenches with you and celebrate all your wins. A work friendship is often the best because these people will encourage you on an off day.

While entrepreneurship is often glorified, the working environment is also changing. What you choose is entirely dependent on your personality. Either way, you have the chance to develop a professional skill-set.

What are the stages of a systems development life cycle?

Stages of systems development

Systems development life cycle: The different stages

In business, any systems which are implemented into the operations must go through several processes before they are fully integrated into the company infrastructure. The seven stages of systems development (commonly known as the SDLC) refers to the process of taking a theoretical model of a business system and making it a fully functional protocol in a company which is used practically in business runnings.

The importance of the stages of systems development in business analysis

One of the fundamental aspects of business systems analysis is to consider the value and the efficiency of the systems within a company. This means it is important to evaluate the life cycle of the different systems in the business and analyse whether the systems are worthwhile implementing. Before any of the stages of SDLC are run in a company, it is crucial to first evaluate the benefits of the system. From there, the business systems analyst can look into conducting the first stage of the systems life cycle.

What are the 7 stages of the systems development life cycle?

The systems development life cycle, once a five-stage process, is now made up of seven different stages of development. These stages in order are:

1. Planning

Anyone who is involved in any stage of development will tell you that the most important systems start out with a good plan. Without a planning phase, it is difficult to have an idea of what needs to happen and when it needs to happen.

In the planning phase in systems development, the systems analyst should focus on what the system is aiming to achieve and use that information to find a way to achieve that goal. Evaluating the systems already in place is also important in this phase as there might be a pre-existing system which might offer a cheaper solution with some improvement.

The business systems analyst should also look at what resources are needed while remembering what is available, and how it can be used.

2. Requirements analysis

Before looking to launch a new system, it is important to first understand what is needed to develop the system successfully. The business systems analyst should have a good idea of what the company requires from a particular system while considering what the client needs from the company. The point of a good system is to marry the two needs at the most efficient and cost-effective manner. In the requirement analysis phase, the analyst should draw up a list of everything needed from the company to develop the best system, all the while bearing in mind what resources are actually available.

3. Designing

Once all planning and requirements are in place, the plans are handed over to the systems architect who can then start working on the design of the systems. Often the systems to be designed are based on software or IT infrastructure. This means that the systems development designers will likely be IT specialists or software developers.

4. Development

Once the fresh designs are ready, the relevant team members can start working on the development of the systems. In this phase, the blueprint of the system moves from model to practical as the developers flesh out a fully functional system.

5. Testing

At the end of the development phase, the systems might look fully operational, but it is important that they are first tested before going live. This irons out any kinks in the systems to make sure that it is working as perfectly as it should be. In the testing phase, the system should undergo critical scrutiny in different scenarios. If any bugs or issues are found, the team should set to resolve them without upsetting the rest of the system.

6. Integration and execution

The integration phase sees the first launch of the system. In the ideal situation, execution is so smooth that no effort is required when the integration happens. If it is possible, integrating a new system into a company should be automatic and streamline.

7. Operations and maintenance

Even though testing should have resolved any issues that might arise, it is still important to monitor the new system to ensure it is operating correctly. It is also important that the system undergoes frequent maintenance so that can continue to run smoothly.

From a research standpoint, it is crucial to monitor the system to gain an understanding of whether it is benefitting the business as expected and how the performance is influencing workflow. For the first few months after launching a new system, the business systems analyst should report on how it is running and the difference it is making.

Interview Tips To Land Your Dream Job

How to get through your Interview

The interview process is exciting but quite daunting. It’s a scary prospect considering that this is your chance to impress the recruiter or potential employer. How do you overcome these nerves that plague you on the day? By preparing yourself.

Boost your confidence

Now that you’ve landed the interview, it’s time to start the prep. While confidence is key, there is a fine line between self-assurance and arrogance. We want to avoid the latter. You can stay positive before the interview by doing the following:

Positive affirmations

Verbally manifesting something over and over again will trick your brain into believing it and your self-assurance will improve. Start off by telling yourself “this job was made for me” or “I’m the right person for this job”. Repeating these phrases to yourself will inspire you and will motivate you. You’re speaking truths about how you see yourself and with that self-assurance, you’re bound to attract positivity.

Practice

Interview Tips To Land Your Dream Job

It’s a step most candidates don’t practice because they’re afraid they’ll look silly, but practicing in the mirror could provide you with information on your facial expressions, eye contact, and body language while you’re speaking.

Practice your answers

If you’ve been on many interviews, you’ll know that recruiters tend to ask similar questions like “tell us about yourself?” or “where do you see yourself in five years time?”. By going over these questions, you’ll be confident in your answers.

Research the company

Besides researching what they do, their locations, and how many employees there are in the office, the company research will also provide you with a ‘first-look’ at the company culture. The social profiles should give you an overview of what the day-to-day activities are like.

General vs Job specific questions

In most cases, candidates are likely to attend two rounds of interviews: general and job specific.

General Interview

During the general interview, you’ll be sitting with the recruiter or whoever handled the application process. This is where they’ll get to know you to determine if you’re a good fit for the company. Sometimes, these interviews will be behaviour-based.

Questions in this style are asked to determine your behaviour in certain scenarios. They’ll assess things like how you handle conflict in the workplace, managing your workload, and time-management.

The job description should give you a good idea about how to answer these types of questions. Normally, they’ll provide the skills needed to perform the job. This could include “being an effective communicator” or “works well under pressure”. Answer the questions honestly, and provide answers where possible to help elevate your experience.

Job Specific Interview

Job specific interviews would include the head of the department you’re applying for. This interview could be the second one after a successful first round or sometimes, or it could happen during the first interview – the recruiter would step out and hand over the reins to the head of the department.

Job specific interviews are designed to ensure that you meet the criteria needed to perform well in the position. While prepping, always look at the job description – study it if you need to. Review the list and match your skill set to what is required. During the interview, try and provide an example of how you used a skill to improve a task – be careful not to sound too boastful. The aim is to show the employers that you’re the right candidate for the job.

Mastering the interview process is all about how much you prepare. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be once you enter the room. Once you get the job, add further value to the employers by boosting your skill set.

Why some of us don’t have just one true calling

Career coach Emily Wapnick explains

While most of you have your careers mapped out for the next 5 years there are a few of us that don’t. There are plenty of us that get bored and want to try something different every few years or even months.

What’s right for you.

For those few, online short courses are perfect. They are great career enhancers. It allows you the time to work while building on your knowledge and skills in your new venture. Whether you are looking for that quick win when you approach your manager and go; “I want to start assisting the company project manager. Here is my certificate and this is what I’ve learnt.” Or just feel like a career change needs to happen soon, taking an online short course is one way of doing that.
It is rarely a waste of time to pursue something you’re drawn to, even if you end up quitting. You might apply that knowledge in a different field entirely, in a way that you couldn’t have anticipated. 

Be Inspired & Challenged

The below TED Talk by Emilie Wapnick has been viewed over 6 million times. It delves into those individuals that have multiple interests and creative pursuits. She’s even provided us with a name for them, multipotentialites.

Emilie explains three multipotentialite super powers.

  • Idea Synthesis – Combining two or more fields and creating something new at the intersection.
  • Rapid Learning – Multipotentialites are less afraid of trying new things and are always used to being beginners. Many of their skills are also transferable across disciplines.
  • Adaptability – The ability to morph into whatever you need to be.

Who is Emilie Wapnick?

Emilie Wapnick is an award-winning author, artist, career coach and community builder. Her work with multipotentialites has resulted in her published book Renaissance Business.  She is the founder and creative director at Puttylike.com, where she helps people with many passions and creative pursuits integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling, and fruitful careers and lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University.

She’s been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Forbes, The Huffington Post, BBC, and Lifehacker. Her book How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up was published by HarperCollins in 2017 and won a Nautilus Book Award.

What is the role of a business analyst?

Business Analyst

Making sure a company’s systems are at their peak performance is one of the most important components in business analysis.

The business systems analyst (also referred to as a BSA) is responsible for optimising systems and protocols within a company. This means making sure that all systems are improved to run at their maximum efficiency.

Although the BSA is involved in all processes of a business, the focus is usually on information technology (IT) systems. The purpose of conducting a systems analysis is to identify what is working successfully and what is hindering progress for the business. A good BSA is able to find and upgrade or remove any outdated systems as well as developing new systems to improve the company’s functions.

The main role of a business systems analyst

The most important role of the business systems analyst is to promote efficiency through the systems used in a company. This is broken into two components:

  • Improving and optimising current systems in the business; and
  • Creating new systems to support the company’s strategies.

Although it might sound like a simple process, business systems analysis is in-depth and requires time and research to achieve the best results. The BSA should be able to conduct an investigation into what processes are inefficient and explore ways to better or replace the problematic system.

The business systems analyst should also keep a keen focus on what is externally expected of a business, and should find ways to align the systems with the needs of the public while ensuring the company’s work performance remains productive.

What is the role of a business analyst?

The business component of business systems analysis is personal with a strong focus on human resources and building relations between stakeholders or clients and the business. The result of this is that the business analyst is able to gather information from the stakeholders in order to make sure the right systems are correctly in place as well as liaising with clients and providing information of how practical aspects of the business are going.

What is the role of a systems analyst?

The systems component of business systems analysis puts a spotlight on the systems, protocols and process of the business. This is where the optimisation and improvement of systems, such as software, human and manufacturing, is developed.

There can be different roles for these two components and often the business analyst in a company works very closely with the systems analyst. An individual can be tasked with both roles; for example in the case of a small company or for a large company focused where the business systems analysis can focus solely on one department.

You receive the fundamentals in both business and systems analysis through our 12-week long Business and Systems Analysis short course, where you will learn how to use innovation to drive company growth as well as understanding how to tackle issues in a creative way.

Business systems analyst jobs requirements

Like most career paths, business and systems analysis can be considered a trade in itself or it can vary depending on the company, the experience and the skill set of the analyst. This means that business analyst careers could have different requirements or duties linked to the work. That being said, there are general responsibilities that every BSA should set out to accomplish.

The job requirements of a business and systems analyst can be broken down into the following capabilities:

What are the skills required for a business systems analyst?

  • The ability to collect any necessary information in order to analyse the protocols and functions of a business.
  • The understanding to consider the aims of the company and ensure that the systems put in place are aligned.
  • Capabilities to design software and computing systems to aid in the workings of the business, such that maximum efficiency can be ensured.
  • Insight to identify any problems in the company’s methods and find suitable solutions.
  • Evaluation progress skills to regularly analyse information with the intention of defining what systems work well and which ones need improvement.
  • The understanding to liaise with stakeholders and clients and make sure what is expected is clear.

Everything you need to know about Business and Systems Analysis

As the name implies, business systems analysis is the surveying and evaluation of different processes and systems in a business. The focus of the work is usually on the automation in the mechanisms of the systems, which means that it is often closely linked with Information Technology (IT) systems. Through analysis of a business’ tools, infrastructure, systems, and even the work that the team does, the analyst can explore ways to improve the business by optimisation.

Owing to the nature of the position, the business systems analyst (BSA) often works closely with individuals managing different departments in a business, as well as any line managers, project managers, or operations managers in the field.

Business analyst job description

The business systems analyst in a company is accountable for the assessment and improvement of systems in the business. Basically, the BSA is responsible to make processes in a business work in the most efficient way. This happens through research, strategic testing, planning and implementation of new, optimised systems.

The BSA must consider how the trajectory of the company’s functions affect the future of the company, and should explore ways of putting plans in place to cater for future needs and growth.

One of the key components in business systems analysis is how the Systems Development Life Cycle can influence the success of a business. The BSA should look for ways to implement the right system at the right time in order to move the business forward in the direction of excellence.

What is the role of a business system analyst?

A successful BSA has several responsibilities that they juggle on a daily basis. The role requires working with both systems and people in a way that promotes productivity. This means that the business systems analyst:

  • Looks to identify issues in current systems to ensure fruitful business growth.
  • Focuses on functions of the business to improve important systems.
  • Works closely with organisation structure designers to develop and implement new processes.

On a relational and human resourcing front, the BSA offers a unique perspective because they are looking at the business from a critical point of view. This means that they can empathise with customers or stakeholders who are hoping to expect the best from a company. The result is that the BSA:
– Liaises with customers and stakeholders to understand what they want.

– Communicates with field experts and researchers to find the best way to offer the required processes.

– Interacts with different department managers to ensure the systems are running correctly.

With “analysis” in the title, it is unsurprising that research is a crucial component in the business systems analysis field. Investigating better ways for a company to perform tasks is possibly one of the most important parts of being a BSA. Therefore, the analyst:

– Analyses the needs and requirements of the employees, the business, the customers and stakeholders.

– Looks for problems in the business and finds ways to solve the issues.

– Investigates designs and new technologies to apply to the business model.

What does a business analyst do?

A BSA analyses all of the working systems, protocols and processes in an organisation, evaluating aspects of the business with regards to what works well and what systems should be changed or removed. The business systems analyst looks at the practical workings of the business with the intention of improving methods and making systems more efficient.

The BSA of a company also considers what clients and stakeholders want and need from the business and look for productive, creative ways to provide what is required.

The different types of business systems analyst jobs

Since business systems analysis is connected so closely with IT, the two career paths often cross and link up. The role itself is dynamic and multifaceted, with a focus on different aspects related to the systematic approach of the business.

Although becoming a general business systems analyst is a career option, there are also branches in the field ranging from entry-level to top-end professionals.

Business analyst

This is both a general career for a BSA and an encompassing term for the field. The business analyst is responsible for the optimisation of systems by focusing on the structures within the company. This involved evaluating the state of the business and conducting constructive criticisms for the unhelpful or inefficient protocols and providing solutions to improve them. The key focus for a business analyst is on the business systems more so than the technology.

Marketing researcher and specialist

Although this might sound like a marketing role, it still has a key attention in the field of analysis. A marketing specialist works with product reviewers and other marketing researchers in order to discover what systematic strategies of sales work best. From there, the marketing research might use competitor products to analyse the performance of the business from a sales point of view.

Systems analyst

While business analysts concentrate on the operations in and related to the business, the systems analyst has to pay close attention to the technology behind the company. This role, in particular, is linked to IT and software systems. The systems analyst is responsible for considering and converting the high-levels of a business’ needs into operational workflow and applicable programs that developers can engineer into software for the business.

Business consultants

A business consultant is specialised in specific industries and is focused on providing their experience and expertise to a business. The consultant looks to implement new systems – based on their industry knowledge – into the company’s processes to target particular objectives.

What skills are needed for business and systems analysis?

A successful BSA usually has a broad position with specific focuses. Because of the dynamic role, they are able to tackle the variety of tasks through a honed set of skills. While work experience helps to develop the necessary expertise, aiming to sharpen the skills necessary for the career is recommended. The characteristics required to be a great business analyst are:

Adaptive

In business, things go wrong despite the amount of time spent planning. Unexpected issues arise and that’s okay. However, it requires the person developing the systems imperative to the workflow to be able to work around the obstacles, rather than getting stuck by them. A BSA needs to be able to adapt to changes in a business in order to perform to the best of their ability.

Good at communication

In any field, it’s crucial to be able to communicate a message clearly. In business systems analysis, this is double as important. Whether to a team member, a manager, or a stakeholder, a BSA must be able to explain exactly what they mean. If not, important instructions with regards to the systems of business could be confused, which might lead to an excessive inefficiency in time and money.

Relational

It is important for a business systems analyst to be able to interact well with customers and stakeholders. Since these business relationships are critical to growth and potential investment and revenue, the BSA needs to be skilled at conducting meaningful exchanges with individuals. The analyst should be able to get along with people in order to build and develop good relations between on behalf of the business.

Good with time management

A BSA is tasked with developing systems which make work run as smoothly – and as timeously – as possible. It, therefore, should be in their nature to be efficient and understand the importance of good time management. In any successful business, work happens on time and any successful  BSA knows this and ensures that the right systems are put in place to make sure it does.

Creative thinking

“Analysis” might not sound appealing to the imaginative individuals, but there’s an element of creativity involved in looking for new ways to improve old tasks. In order to develop simple ways to optimise complicated systems, there’s a reasonable amount of out-the-box thinking which needs to happen.

Business systems analysis using the 5W and 1H approach

Since one of the fundamental purposes of business systems analysis is to improve processes in a company, it is important to consider what problems exist in the systems in order to solve them.

Using the 5W’s and 1H technique, the BSA can identify, define and find issues. This approach is taught in detail in our Business and Systems Analysis short course.

The 5Ws and 1H:

  • What is the problem that needs fixing?
  • Why is it important to fix?
  • Who is involved? Is the customer affected or is it an internal issue that needs resolving?
  • When was the issue discovered and when did it start?
  • Where is the issue?
  • How can it be fixed?

What are the stages of systems development life cycle?

The systems development life cycle, commonly referred to as the SDLC, is the process of turning a theoretical model of business systems into a functional and practical one and involved the implementation thereof.

The SDLC was once a five-step process but has been revised to a cycle with seven phases of development. These stages are:

  1. Planning
  2. Requirements analysis
  3. Designing
  4. Development
  5. Testing – and integration
  6. Execution
  7. Operations and maintenance

Planning

In order to start, you need to have a plan. In the planning phase, the BSA considers the scope of the project with regard to a number of points, such as how many things need to change, what exactly can be implemented, how long a systems overhaul might take, and the budget required compared to the budget available for a project. Planning thoroughly looks at the resources and how they can be used.

Requirements analysis

Where planning has a focus on what needs exist from the business side, requirements analysis looks at what is required from the stakeholders and customers. In this phase, a list defining the necessary tasks ideal for both the business and the customers and stakeholders is created.

Designing

Following the planning and requirements analysis phase, the systems architecture team can start work on designing the protocols which will be developed and implemented into the business. These designs work to start putting the correct infrastructure in place.

Development

Under the development phase, the software necessary to implement the newly developed processes is created. The software is practical, functional, and usually remains in testing until ready to launch.

Testing

Before a new system can be fully integrated into a business, it needs to be tested to make sure there are no lingering bugs or issues in the software. Not only does the software undergo testing to ensure it is working as it should, it is also tested for quality purposes. It is important to test the system multiple times, and under as many different scenarios as possible to make sure it works under all situations and to avoid simple issues in the future.

Integration and execution

Once fully tested, the systems are launched into the business. Where possible, this should be an automated process, ensuring that the new systems are integrated smoothly. In the best case, this phase makes a difference with the least effort to change the existing systems in place.

Operations and maintenance

Once launched, the new software and systems in place should be monitored to ensure that they are aligned with the company as they have been planned, developed and tested to do. If any problems arise, they should be resolved as quickly as possible. If any systems need maintenance, it should be scheduled and automated where possible.

Business analysis salary

According to Payscale, the average salary for this position in South Africa is R353,303 per annum.

Business systems analysts can expect to earn the following according to their occupational level:

Occupational level:Average annual income:
Entry-levelR350,165
Mid-career professionalR490,798
Top-end professionalR640,000

A bonus remuneration within this field varies according to your experience and ranges from R7,000 – R150,000.

How to become a business analyst

You need to work hard to become an expert figure in business systems analysis by taking every opportunity presented. Gaining experience in the industry is an important way to learn on the job quickly.

Taking a short course in business systems analysis is highly recommended as a means to gain the important and practical knowledge necessary to excel in the field. Through MasterStart, you learn how to both identify and tackle a problem in the best way possible as well as gather in-depth knowledge in analysis related to internal systems and competitor research.