When you hear the words Business Analyst, a big company with a complex hierarchical structure most probably comes to your mind. However, severe market demands challenge both small and big companies to meet the criteria of mess-free process management and facilitated communication. This can all be achieved through implementing strong business analysis skills.
It might sound surprising that over 60% of companies which include business analysis as part of their software project implementation claim that over 90% of their projects are successful. It becomes obvious that, regardless of the project size and complexity, the benefits of business analysis are numerous.
The role of a business analyst is often underestimated, yet it remains vital for the success of any project. The following benefits clearly describe the value brought by a properly performed business analysis:
1. LEARN THE PROJECT HISTORY IN DETAIL
As a business analyst, you need to dive deep into the project and understand clearly why this project needs to take place, what are its key goals and expectations. You will soon discover that there are a lot of ambiguous aspects of the project that need clarification. Pay special attention to the project history to make sure you are not doing a job that has already been done or making decisions that have already been made for you. It is also the task of a business analyst to study the existing business model that a customer feels comfortable with and the issues that need to be changed.
2. DEFINE EACH STEP OF THE PROJECT
It is important for the business analyst to divide the project into separate stages and to define the customer's expectations at each stage. Before the development process begins, make sure that none of the objectives have any room for ambiguity. This step is vital to ensuring that you won't deliver a product that fails to be worthy in the end. Up to 30% of a project budget is frequently spent on rework and nearly 80% of such cases are triggered by the misunderstanding of requirements.
3. ANALYSE YOUR CAPABILITIES
Give your team members a clear project scope, its expectations and deliverables. This will enable them to envision their role in this project implementation. Define the technology required for delivering this project and make sure your existing technology and expertise match the criteria and are project-ready. Upon the technology and roles confirmation, it is necessary for the business analyst to study this business case in terms of profitability for your company and whether it makes sense to invest in its development at all.
4. INTERPRET PROJECT NEEDS
Upon project confirmation, it is the task of a business analyst to provide the team members with clearly defined tasks and all the relevant materials. This will reduce the number of revisions during the project implementation process. This stage will also fill in any gaps in understanding of project details and create a list of questions that the developers might have. A business analyst will then ask customers for clarification to reduce any ambiguity and misunderstanding.
5. PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION SUPPORT
A business analyst should be available to answer any questions and resolve any issues that might occur during the implementation and testing processes. It is also vital to review the design solutions in the initial stages to make sure the development goes in the right direction. The implementation team should be clearly instructed about any changes made to the requirements of the project.
6. SUPPORTING CUSTOMERS WITH THE PRODUCT SETUP
If a customer has difficulty working out how to use the delivered software in a way that fulfills all the necessary functions, it is the job of a business analyst to help resolve this. Supporting businesses in the operation of their newly developed software will help to ensure the success of the project and customer satisfaction. This stage will also involve collaborating with a team of technicians in the creation of technical documentation and user manuals for the software.
Project failures can be very expensive and challenging. To make sure all the project requirements are met, good business analysis skills are critical.