In my post on Need for Innovative Tools in Business Analysis, I touched upon the need for innovative tools that can shorten business analysis cycle time so that commitment to estimates can be obtained early on. The tools I have encountered so far do not provide an end-to-end BA cycle – some handle only wireframing and collaboration, some handle only prototyping and documentation, and my hunt for a wholesome Business Analysis tool that is easy to learn and use goes on!

What I am attempting to do now is consolidate my thoughts on key attributes needed in a Business Analysis tool based on my experiences with various tools so far. This of course is based on my experience; other practitioners can contribute further in this list. The intention is to compile expectations of the BA community from supporting tools and hope it helps in creation of better and innovative tools!

So here goes my list of key attributes -

  • Wireframing
    • Multiple Resolutions
    • Templates / Stencils for multiple application types – web, desktop, mobile, ipad
    • Master layouts / templates
  • Interactivity
    • Interactivity beyond navigation and page linking
    • Ability to maintain and pass variables across screens
    • Basic level of event handling… something that helps achieve interactivity without making you a developer ;)
    • Tooltips, mouseover effects
  • Documentation
    • Ability to document wireframes beyond titles and description
      • Validations, max length, data type etc for data centric controls
      • Textual use case kind of documentation attached with action centric controls
    • Ability to define custom fields
    • Ability to capture “plain documentation” under custom defined Headings (for the sake of completeness… for example ability to add contextual information, domain related knowledge, vocabulary, use cases, user stories etc within the project)
    • Generate requirement specification in PDF / .DOCX (am I asking for too much now…?)
    • Ability to save a project with new version number, that reflects in documentation too
  • Collaboration
    • Sharing with others for reviews, commenting, annotation
  • Libraries (inbuilt, with ability to add customized items)
    • Master Layouts
    • Icons / Images
    • Controls
    • whatever else…..
  • Traceability (is this drifting towards insanity?)
    • From business requirements to use cases / user stories / etc…
    • From use cases / user stories / etc… to screens / mockups / wireframes
  • Convert to UI (this is truly insane, but no harm in wishing….)
    • Convert wireframes to actual screens in specific UI technologies

My list ends here…. I don’t want a ALM tool, all I am asking for is a complete Business Analysis tool ;D