What is Business Analysis?
By definition, business analysis is the discipline of recognizing business needs and findings solutions to various business problems. In simpler words, it is a set of tasks and techniques which work as a connection between stakeholders. These help them understand organization’s structure, policies, and operations. They can also recommend solutions to help the business reach its goals.
Business analysis is about understanding how your organization functions to fulfill its purposes. It entails defining the abilities the firm needs to provide products to the external stakeholders. You will have to understand how the organizational goals connect to specific objectives. You will also have to make a detailed plan to help achieve the goals and objectives. In your business analysis, you will define how the stakeholders and different organizational units interact.
You can conduct business analysis to get an overview of the current state of your company. You might use it to identify your business needs too. Most often, the analysis is performed to state and confirm solutions which meet business needs or goals.
It is the Business analysts’ task to analyze and synthesize information provided by the immense group of people who interact with the firm. Customers, executives, staff and IT professionals send this information. The analysts do not only focus on the expressed desires but elicit the actual needs of stakeholders. The analyst facilitates communication between organizational units sometimes.
Below are 8 steps business analysts generally follow. Each of the steps is important for business analysis.
1. Get oriented
People expect business analysts to start contributing to projects as quickly as possible and make a positive impact. Sometimes, they get involved while the project is ongoing. It is essential to grant them some time to get oriented. They clarify the scope, requirements and business objectives. They spend some time to collect some basic information.
The following are the main responsibilities they have in this step:
- Clarifying your role as the business analyst.
- Determining who the primary stakeholders are.
- Having a clear understanding of the project history.
- Understanding the existing system and processes.
2. Identify the primary objectives of the business
Most business analysts start by defining the scope. This can cause problems. It is more effective to understand the business needs before defining the scope of the project.
Your responsibilities they have in this step are:
- Discovering primary stakeholders’ expectations.
- Merging conflicting expectations. Your business community begins the project a shared understanding of the objectives.
- Making sure that the business objectives are clear and attainable.
- Ensuring that the business objectives set the stage for defining a scope.
3. Define the Scope
Define a clear and complete statement as scope. It will serve as a go-forward concept and help the team realize what the business needs. Remember, scope is not an implementation plan. It merely guides all the steps of the business analysis process.
In this step, the business analysts’ main responsibilities are:
- Defining a solution method to find the nature and extent of technology and process changes which should be made.
- Drafting a clear scope statement. Reviewing it with the stakeholders.
- Confirming the business case
4. Create your business analysis plan
The business analysis plan will provide clarity to the process of business analysis. The plan will answer several questions.
The vital responsibilities involved with creating a business analysis plan are:
- Choosing the most appropriate types of business analysis deliverables.
- Defining the specific list of deliverables for business analysis. It should cover the scope completely and identify the stakeholders.
- Finding the timelines for finishing the business analysis deliverables.
5. Define the requirements in details
Clear and actionable detailed requirements are important. Detailed requirements provide the implementation team with the information they need to devise the solution. The most important responsibilities are:
- Collecting the information needed
- Analyzing the information and using it to make a first draft
- Reviewing and validating the deliverables
- Asking questions to fill the gaps.
6. Supporting the technical implementation
The technical implementation team builds, customizes and deploys software on a typical project. During this process, the key duties of the business analysts are:
- Reviewing the final solution design.
- Updating and repackaging requirements documentation.
- Working with the quality assurance professionals and making sure that they understand the importance of technical requirements.
- Being ready to answer questions and help solve certain problems.
- Managing requirements changes.
- Leading user acceptance testing efforts when possible.
7. Help the firm apply the solution
Sometimes a business cannot use the solutions aptly. As a result, it will be difficult to attain the original objectives. The business analyst should be involved in this final step to support the business. The aim of this step is to ensure that all members are prepared to accept the changes.
The business analysts’ main responsibilities for this step are:
- Analyzing and developing interim business process documentation. These documents state exactly what changes to the business process should be made.
- Training the end users. They must understand all the process and procedural changes. The analyst can also collaborate with training staff.
- Working with the business users
8. Study the value created by solution
Throughout business analysis process, a lot of steps are involved. Business outcomes and details are discussed. Big and small problems are solved. Relationships are built, and changes are managed. Try not to lose track amid the steps. Stop and assess the value created by the solution.
The key responsibilities involved in this step are:
- Evaluating the actual progress.
- Conveying the results to the project sponsor. Communicating the results to the Project team and other members of the company is also essential in some cases.
- Proposing follow-up projects.
After business analyst completes this final step, it is expected that the company will find more opportunities. It will help the business improve and lead to additional projects.