There are a lot of great books about Business Analysis out there. But only few of them are really adding something new to the field.
Let me give you a list of my favourites.
Theory, Concepts and Background
BABOK – A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge®
The PMI Guide to Business Analysis
Business Analysis und Requirements Engineering: Produkte und Prozesse nachhaltig verbessern (in german)
The three books represent the viewpoints towards business analysis of the most acknowledged institutes in this field (IIAB, PMI, IREB). All three institutes provide their own certification schema and have specificities in the way they put business analysis in organizational contexts – still, all of their guides provide a fundamental view on business analysis.
Tools and Methods
Business Analysis Techniques: 72 Essential Tools for Success
Organisation und Business Analysis – Methoden und Techniken (in german)
Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide
You’ll be covered for all possible situations with all the techniques and tools presented in those three books.
There is even a newer version of “72 Essential Tools” – now you can even check out even “99 Essential Tools for Success”. What I like about that book specifically is, that at the end there is summary of the most crucial tools which BAs use on daily basis.
“Organisation und Business Analysis” was the first book I’ve ever read on the topic and even years after I started my career I can still find new tools whenever I encounter an unfamiliar situation.
The “Practitioner Guide” is exactly what it advertises: You’ll get nice methods put into context of work and providing examples. It’s published by the PMI and clusters the tools in the knowledge domains of business analysis as defined by the institute.
Writing Better Requirements
Write Tight: Say Exactly What You Mean with Precision and Power
Write to the Point: How to Communicate in Business With Style and Purpose
Writing is an essential skill for ever business analyst. While most of us learn quickly how to formulate a user story, acceptance criteria or constraints, we do not put the same emphasis on the art of writing itself.
“Writing Better Requirements” is the only book that I know, that really explains what it means to write requirements and exclusively focuses on writing. I love to work with the examples and exercises given by the authors.
After writing several requirements usually business analysts develop a certain style and keep for the rest of their career. But you should try and trim your requirements to be better every time you write one. “Write Tight” helps to get rid of all the wordiness – it’s a helpful tool to have on the desk when reviewing your next requirement, even if it is not specifically for technical writing.
In the end you want that people understand your intentions – no matter if you are writing an email or a requirement. But too often your message gets misunderstood. “Write to the point” is a book that focuses on style and tone of your business communication. A beginners book, to be read once a year and never to forget – to ensure you always consider fine-tuning your business communication. And even if your co-workers do, you should never use the “stormy-weather words”.
Adapting to Change
Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal With Change In Your Work and In Your Life
Abenteuer Change Management: Handfeste Tipps aus der Praxis für alle, die etwas bewegen wollen (in german)
Developing Resilience: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach
Most companies I know are currently in a process of change. And keeping the tech trends in mind, this will be the common state of any organization in the years to come.
“Who moved my cheese” is a short parable about mice in a maze. It is funny to read and reveals the traps around change. From my view, it is a good example of story-telling: the book helps to understand the own approach towards changing environments, and gives an idea how the process can be less stressful using cheese as metaphor.
“Five committed guys can change the world” – you’ll find hilarious illustrations bursting with life during change processes in the book “Abenteuer Change Management”. Although the recommendations and explanations in the book might be a bit old-fashioned, you’ll definitely enjoy the cartoons.
Resilience in among the top-characteristics of a good change agent and it is more than just meditation. As Business Analysts we don’t always like what’s going on, but we are able to deal with it. “Developing Resilience” is a book that gives you some background about the topic, but also guides you on how to grow your resilience. I like that the author writes very personally in a conversational style of writing that helps to focus on the content.