Top 20 BA documentation tips
 

During my business analysis training workshops, I keep getting requests for documenting the tips for BA documentation.

Finally, here it is for benefit of all my past and future participants and my fellow business analysts.

Documentation is the ONLY way we business analysts reach out to a much wider set of stakeholders. One may physically interact with 50 stakeholders but our documents may be read by 500 stakeholders. Hence, it makes immense sense to spend additional small effort in ensuring business analysis documents. They should be prepared in a way that stakeholders find it easy to understand and find it professionally done. Good documentation reflects competency of the business analysis community.

Here is a simple list of 20 useful tips that I have found useful in my 2 decade plus of business analysis experience.

1. Always write in simple and short sentences.

2. Do not use more than 10 words in a sentence.

3. Explain jargons / acronyms if used.

4. Use active voice.

5. Check spelling and grammar. MS Excel does not do automatic spell checking unlike MS Word.

6. Ensure font consistency.

7. Ensure readability.

8. Use images to communicate.

9. Put header and footer in all documents.

10. Check document properties to ensure correct entries appear.

11. Maintain versions of your documents.

12. In MS Excel, always top align cells. This helps in easy readability.

13. In MS Excel, Do wrap test.

14. In MS Excel, Do freeze panes if your excel table has many columns.

15. If you would like users to print the excel workbook, ensure printability of the document.

16. In MS Word, use styles appropriately so that one can generate Table of contents properly.

17. In MS PowerPoint, use a black / dark background as it does not reflect light back on a white board.

18. In MS PowerPoint, use animations to make the presentation interactive.

19. In MS PowerPoint, do not show more than one concept / topic of discussion on a single slide / show.

20. In MS PowerPoint, a good size image with short text is a pretty good option to capture attention from audience.

Hope this list is a good starting point.

Do add your own experience so that we all do a better job at documentation.

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About me

I am a professional BA, trainer, coach and author. If you like my posts please like/share/comment and spread the word in your network.

Would love to connect with fellow professionals. You can also reach me at LN@AdaptiveUS.com.

About my organization, Adaptive US

Adaptive US Inc. provides CBAP, CCBA, ECBA online training, question banks, study guides, simulators, flash cards, audio books, digital learning packs across the globe.

Adaptive US Inc. is the only training organization to offer success guarantee and all-inclusive plans for its workshops.

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Author Details
Principal BA and Trainer , Adaptive US Inc

Mentor to 500+ Certified BA
25+ years of experience in IT Business Analysis
Author of 12 Books on Business Analysis
Part of IIBA Exam Committee

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