Business Analysis

If you are aware of the article name mentioned above, then most often than not you would agree that we could define business analysis as a discipline that is all about unearthing the needs of a business and then proceeding to finding solutions to various types of problems businesses could encounter during its existence and growth. In other words, business analysis is all about making use of a set of tasks and techniques that work as a connection between stakeholders to understand the organization’s structure, policies, and operations. Through this detailed understanding and by adopting this disciplined and systematic approach a business analyst can recommend useful and needy solutions to help the business reach its goals and objectives.

So if we are to move further in better exploring what business analysis is then we could also see it as a way of understanding how your organization functions and how can we fulfil its purpose. It necessities defining all the abilities a firm needs to provide services/products to its external stakeholders. For this one needs to understand how the organizational goals are created to connect to specific objectives. At the same there is also a need to develop a detailed plan that would enable achieves the goals and objectives more rationally. The business analysis framework will provide you with a methodology to explain how the stakeholders and different organizational units interact.

Business analysis also aids to capture the current state of an organisation which might provide with insights on what needs to be done to improve the current scheme of things. In addition to that through business analysis the business needs can also be unravelled.

With the above understanding a business analyst would embark on this herculean and path breaking task to analysing & synthesizing information provided by the vast group of people through various rounds of interaction and communication with them. Information is extracted from various customers, stakeholders, executives, staff and IT professionals who are relevant to the proposed project in progress. The analyst’s major objective shall be to not only focus on the expressed desires but also elicit the actual needs of stakeholders. At times the business analyst is also responsible to facilitate the communication between the organizational units.

The below mentioned steps could provide a business analyst with the route map as to how business analysis could be performed better. The steps are:

1. Take a reasonable to acclimatise
People go with the prejudice that business analysts shall readily jump to start onto projects as quickly as possible and create magical results within a short span of time. At times business analysts could board onto an already existing project. For these cases it becomes quite evident that a minimum time shall be allocated to bringing them to speeds before they can start contributing positively. This is a time that needs to be granted to them to clarify the project scope, understand the business goals and objectives in addition to understanding the various types of requirements. This way some basic information related to the project can better sink in for efficient processing.
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. Identification of business objectives
Instead of starting with defining the project scope for the business analysis activity it is always advisable to kick start by understanding the business needs before the scope can be narrowed down. The business analyst responsibility during this business analysis activity shall be:

  • Unearthing the stake-holders business desires and translating them to the needs.
  • Create a common shred understanding amongst the stakeholders and removing any conflicts at a very early stage.
  • Ensuring that business objectives are clearly spelt and attainable using the SMART concept.
  • Ensure to seeing if the business needs sets the platform for the scope of the business analysis project.

3. Scope definition
Here the clarity on the scope has to happen with a complete statement available. This way the move ahead point is better laid for the team to realise the business needs. This everyone is aware of what is going to happen than how it shall happen.
Here the business analyst as a part of the business analysis activity shall:

  • Define the solution methodology to unearth the nature & technology and changes to be made in the process.
  • Draft scope and review with the key stakeholders
  • Confirm business case

4. Planning business analysis approach
Through planning clarity on the procedure to be adopted gets clearer. The business plan shall:

  • Enable to spell the type of deliverables to delivered as a part of the business analysis activity
  • Map the scope and relevant stakeholders
  • Convey the time lines for each activity to be delivered

5. Detailing of requirements in detail
Unambiguous and achievable detailed requirements are vital for the implementation team to further work on to devise a solution. Here the below items are required:

  • Elicit the necessary information
  • Analyse the elicited information to create the first rough draft
  • Review with the stakeholders and proceed to validation
  • Where gaps arise address and close though further elicitation

6. Implementation team support
The implementation team shall be responsible for building, customizing and deploying solutions. At this juncture the business analyst shall:

  • Review the solution with the expected result planned and scoped.
  • Update & repackage the requirements document.
  • Closely work with the quality teams to provide necessary inputs for their action
  • Being open to addressing clarifications and provide an open hand to support wherever needed
  • Mange change request
  • Champion for the user acceptance test whenever possible

7. Facilitate for changes within the organisation
At times businesses adopting the new solution may not be in the best of shape to go straight away. This may hamper these businesses to attain their objectives.
For this the business analyst shall involve in this key step of the business and ensure that the stakeholders are able to embrace and adopt the change with ease.
The major responsibilities at this stage for the business analyst shall be to:

  • Analyse & develop temporary business process documents. These documents states the changes that have taken place to the business process
  • Train end users. They must be in a position to understand all the implemented process & procedural changes.

8. Objectively study the overall impact/value created by the new solution
Through the course of the business analysis activity a lot of details, outcomes, expectation and needs were churned over time. In fact problems were expected to have been solved though the business analysis activity. Hold on for a minute. Did this happen in reality or was it a rosy picture we had before and now it seems that the bubble burst!
To answer that assess and take stock of the situation to see the value the solution has created. This can be done by:

  • Reviewing and evaluating the actual thing in place
  • Appraise the results to the sponsor of the project followed by communicating the same to the various project members.
  • Propose for follow-up projects.

Post this step a lot of positive outcomes in terms of new project opportunities can take shape leading to additional opportunities as additional new projects.