Steps to being an Effective Business Analyst

ZaranTech
8 min readJun 5, 2019

Nowadays, the business analyst plays a significant role in the project’s development lifecycle. A business analyst should be able to analyze the organization needs and design the technical system, process, and business strategies. The business analyst is responsible for determining the actual requirements of clients. They are also responsible to enable the communication between the various business departments. When the business analyst is assigned to the new project they feel very enthusiastic about it, but sometimes it can also be a tiresome task. Once the business analyst gets the requirements from the client they should analyze them effectively, so that they can make sure that the final product is built according to the client and the business objectives are met. In order to carry out the business analysis process effectively and efficiently, the business analyst has to follow a few steps. This article presents some steps in a business analysis process which can be applied to a business both in an agile as well as the traditional environment, depending on the size of the business and complexity of the project. The below flowchart shows the various steps to be an effective business analyst.

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Now, let us explore these steps in detail:

1. Get Oriented:

To create a positive effect in a project, it is expected from a business analyst to jump into a project initially and provide their contribution as quickly as possible. It may possible that sometimes the project is on-going and the ideas behind the project are unclear to the business analyst and they won’t be able to find out the purpose of the project. The business analyst has to face a lot of ambiguity, but it is their job to simplify the scope, requirements, and business objectives as fast as possible. If a lot of ambiguity exists in a project, the analyst should not go for the detailed requirements at that time. Due to this, the BA may start the analysis in a wrong direction. The business analysis should wait for some time and get focused on the project, this will make sure that they are not moving fast, and also will be more operative and confident in the project.

At this initial step, following are the important responsibilities for a Business analyst:

  • The business analysis should illustrate their role so that they are definite to prepare the deliverables which meet the stakeholder requirements.
  • The BA should understand the history of the project properly so that they cannot repeat the mistakes which are done previously.
  • They should determine the primary stakeholders who are engaged in defining the goals and objectives of a business and also any of the subject matter experts referred early in the project.
  • They should comprehend the current systems and business processes so that they will get an idea of the current state of the project.

With the help of these steps, the Business Analyst will get the information so that they can achieve success in the perspective of the particular project.

2. Determine the fundamental business objectives:

The business analyst and project managers get involved in the project right from the beginning to define the scope of the project. Gathering all the business needs early in a project and defining the primary business objectives, before its scope is the fastest route of a project’s success. The Business analyst should carry out the following responsibilities in this particular step:

  • He should determine the expectation from the primary stakeholders.
  • The Business analyst should integrate the contradictory prospects of the project so that it gets initiated with a common understanding of the business objectives and are not exclusive to a single person’s perspective.
  • He should make sure that the business objectives are flawless and actionable. So that the project team can provide with a drive and framework at the time of defining the scope and the detailed requirements.

When the fundamental business objectives are defined, it provides a platform for defining scope which confirms that the business analyst does not end up with an incorrect solution that results in the wrong problem or with a solution that no one can determine whether it is successful or not.

3. Define Scope:

When the scope of the project is defined completely and clearly, it provides a way for your team to move further to recognize the business requirements. The scope creates the business requirements, noticeable in such a way that different project team members can see their contribution and implementation for the project.

Following are the key responsibilities of business analysts in this particular step:

  • In order to determine the nature and scope of technology, the business analyst must define a solution method and the business process changes to be made as part of executing the solution to the fundamental business objectives.
  • The business analyst should enlist a scope statement and revising it with respect to the main business and technology clients, until that is prepared to sign-off the particular document.
  • The BA should confirm the business case to make sure that it is sensible for the organization to invest in the project.

The Scope of a project is not an implementation plan, but is a criterion for guiding all the successive steps of the business analysis process and tasks by other project members.

4. Formulate the business analysis plan:

When a work is carried out with a proper planning, the chances of its success become more. Similarly, the business analysis plan helps to define the business analysis process clearly so that the detailed requirements of the project can be defined successfully. The business analysis plan helps to solve many queries of the project team.

This step involves the following key responsibilities for the business analyst:

  • The business analyst can select the most suitable type of business analysis deliverable, provide the project scope, define the project methodology, and other important features of the project.
  • The business analyst can define the particular list of business analysis, deliverable which will entirely cover the project scope and classifying the stakeholders.
  • The business analyst should recognize the timelines for concluding the business analysis deliverable.

If there is no realistic and reliable plan defined, then a set of expectations can be defined for the business analyst. These expectations may not be real because they do not appreciate everything that goes into defining the detailed requirements.

5. Define the detailed requirements:

With the help of exhaustive requirements, the implementation team will have all the information which they require for implementing the particular solution. If there are no clear, brief, and actionable detailed requirements, the implementation team would fail to connect to the solution in such a way that offers on the original business case for the project.

Following are the key responsibilities of the business analyst in this particular step:

  • The business analyst should produce the information which is essential to understand the requirements of the business community from a particular feature or process change.
  • The business analyst should analyze the discovered information and practicing it to create an initial draft of one or more business analysis, deliverables which include the detailed requirements of the project.
  • The business analyst has to review and validate each deliverable with the suitable business and technology stakeholders and should ask the questions to fill in any gaps.

The efficient business analysts deliberately arrange all the deliverable in an effective manner, to drive the project forward. When the business analyst is attentive towards the project critical path, it reduces the ambiguity and complexity of the project.

6. Provide support for the technical implementation:

In a particular project, an important part is to include a technical implementation team building, modifying and deploying software. At the time of technical implementation, there are numerous valuable tasks for the business analyst, which will help them to make the project successful and ensures that the business objectives are achieved.

Following are the key responsibilities of the business analyst in this particular step:

  • The business analyst has to review the design of the solution to make sure that it satisfies all the requirements and should look after the opportunities to achieve the additional business requirements.
  • He has to update the requirements documentation so that it can be useful for the technical design and implementation process.
  • He should engage with the quality assurance experts to make sure that they understand the business perspective properly for the technical requirements.
  • He should be able to answer the queries and help to resolve any problem that may arise at the time of design, implementation or the testing phases of the project.
  • The business analyst should manage the changes in the requirements to make sure that all are working from the updated document and the suitable stakeholders are included in all the decisions made about the change.

With the help of these steps, the implementation team will be able to satisfy the anticipated benefits of the project.

7. Provide help to the business to implement the solution:

Nowadays, in order to provide support for the business, the business analysts are gradually getting involved in the final phase of the project.

Following are the key responsibilities of the business analyst in this particular step:

  • The business analyst should analyze and develop the provisional and the future state business process documentation that expresses the exact changes that need to be made to the business process.
  • They should train the end users to make sure that they understand all the process and technical changes. They should also cooperate with the training staff to make the accurate training materials and provide the training.
  • They should co-operate with the business users to modify the other organizational properties compressed by the business process and other technology changes.

This step is to make sure that all the business community members are prepared to hold the changes that have been specified as part of the project.

8. Evaluate the value created by the solution:

There are different steps that are happening throughout the project development such as business results are discussed, working on details, all the problems are solved, and the relationships are developed, changes are managed properly, the business users are trained etc.

Well, it is imperative to evaluate the results and the value created by the solution, if the results are not evaluated, then how do we know that we are actually functioning from a record of success.

Following are the key responsibilities of the business analyst in this particular step:

  • The BA should evaluate the actual progress made in contradiction of the business objectives for the project to represent the scope.
  • The BA should connect the results to the project sponsor and also to the project team and the other members of the organization.

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Conclusion:

Thus, in order to carry out the business process effectively a Business Analyst must follow these steps. Once this step gets over, the business analyst will disclose further opportunities to improve the business which will result in the additional projects.

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