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Describing Business Processes Print E-mail


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Course Code:
3 hours
The Information Architecture Group
5 out of 5 stars
Intermediate Level

Course Summary

This is one in a series of courses that focus on the phases of The Requirements Discovery Process. This course is intended to take the participant through a process of describing and documenting the business processes (activities) that form the business context for your project.

The descriptions of key business processes that you create during this phase of your project provide the context for all work that follows. For the requirements team, breaking the system into activities helps to focus discussions on smaller areas. For your business partners, it is easy to achieve consensus and buy-in at an activity level. For the project manager, organizing the system into activities allows the project manager to identify cohesive work packages. The detail gathered at this stage enhances the product description and confirms the project scope. For the design team, this discussion of business process at an activity level ensures the integration of the functional and data requirements and provides the basis for the software system specifications. And finally, for testers, activity descriptions provide the basis for meaningful test scripts that reflect actual business usage.

Delivery Options

Self-paced, on-line
Computer-based CD-ROM


Who Should Attend

Business Analysts, Business Systems Analysts, Systems Analysts, Project Managers, Business Managers

You can use these techniques regardless of the development environment to describe requirements when you are:

  • enhancing an existing system
  • building a new system in-house,
  • purchasing an off-the-shelf package or
  • outsourcing the construction of the system.

Sample Screen Shot



Learning Objectives

In this course you will learn:

  • what business activities are and why they are important.
  • when we describe business activities
  • who should be involved in the process, and
  • how to effectively describe business activities.


Video Flash 
Audio Interactive Components 
Exercises Live Instructor 
Quizes Printable Reference Material 
Completion Certificate    


Breaking it up into Bite-able Sections Jan 1, 2003
Reviewer: Shaun from RR Donnelley

I liked the way this process tackles the gathering of took it at a high level and broke it down into little modular more biteable sections....I will definitely be able to make use of this approach.

A practical step-by-step approach Jan 1, 2003
Reviewer: Saul from AFG Industries

This course definitely met my expectations. This is a practical step-by-step approach that gave me what I needed to begin capturing requirements with my users.

A real eye opener Jan 1, 2003
Reviewer: Mark from Harris Corporation

This course is a real eye-opener. This is the first time I've seen a method that details specifically how to start gathering and organizing process requirements.

Course Content

Describing Business Processes
What does the course cover?
What is a Business Activity?
Why do we define Business Activities?
When do we define Business Activities?
  • The Software Development Life Cycle
  • The Requirements Discovery Process
  • The Elicitation Process
Who is Involved?
How to Discover and Describe Business Activities
  • Discovering Activities
  • Describing Activities
  • The seven steps to discover and describe Activities
  • Questions to use
  • Activity modeling
  • Triggers and outcomes
  • Variations and Use-case scenarios
  • Business components
  • Dataflow modeling
Discovering and Describing Business Activities in different environments
  • Maintenance and enhancement projects
  • Building a new system
  • Purchasing a packaged solution
Building in Quality
  • The five C’s to a quality specification: Complete, Clear, Correct, Consistent, Conforming

Reference Material Available

A summary video of a live Requirements Discovery Session that brings together all the steps, questions and best practices used to Discover and Describe Business Activities
A summary of the steps and questions -- that you can print and take away as a quick reference sheet
A workbook to use when practicing the concepts
A workbook solution that you can print and take away as a reminder of the steps
Additional supporting information available as part of the Ask The Expert feature including:
Discovering Activities from a Project's Scope
What is an Object
Context Diagramming
Creating a High-Level Scenario
All about Triggers
All about Outcomes
Business Components
Illustrating Triggers and Outcomes
Peer and Client Reviews


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