A Business analyst is a position that plays an important role in changing the future of many businesses. But still, this role is not recognized as a profession, as there are many other roles like project manager, software architects, finance managers who are taking the lead.
A business analyst is a person who acts as a bridge between the client and the technical team. All the communications between the client and the technical team happen through BA. He creates valuable changes to the business process but the common perspective is that a BA is responsible for only documenting requirements but nothing else. A BA plays an important role throughout the project life cycle from pre-project analysis – (enterprise analysis) to deployment and implementation – (UAT completion and RTM handover). A BA helps the organization in understanding and identifying the current situations, problems and opportunities in the context of requirements and helps the organization in making the right decision to achieve its goals.
Key responsibilities of a Business Analyst:
- Client Interaction
- Ownership of requirements – BA is responsible for understanding and managing the requirements.
- Process Re-engineering – If there are any issues with the existing process, the BA will make small changes to the existing process to achieve the project goals.
A software project can be complex, from a client’s point of view. Each organization has its own priorities, budgets and multiple stakeholders. There will be a lot of pressure on the employees to achieve the business objectives successfully on time and within the budget. The BA will provide important values here, in a number of ways. Here are some,
- Defines scope
Whether the scope is defined at the pre-project phase or the discovery phase, A BA is adept at understanding the requirements and the technical solutions. He provides a valuable insight to ensure all the critical features are defined correctly and to exclude all the unnecessary/duplicate features to save both time and money. A BA will come up with ideas on how the business needs can be met by ensuring a high impact on productivity and low impact on the budget.
- Facilitating requirements discussions
There may be some confusions/disagreements/conflicts with the priorities of the solution when multiple stakeholders are involved. The BA will ensure that all the stakeholders needs and opinions are heard and considered and then he will clarify all the concerns/needs to ensure an overall prioritization. The BA ensures equal importance to all the stakeholders needs.
- Serving as a representative of the business:
The stakeholders need to focus on both their primary jobs and core business initiatives during the project. This may divert them from the solution projects. At that time, the BA will help the stakeholders by taking their responsibility and represents the business group. This will reduce the impact on the project, during their absence.
- Assisting with testing and documentation
A BA is responsible for creating the test cases and executes test scripts that align with the client’s requirements as he/she has a clear knowledge and understanding of business needs and technical functionalities. The BA will send the documentation and organizes the knowledge transfer to the targeted stakeholders.
- Change Management
As the business progresses, it is unavoidable that some things will change, that affect the project and so the requirements will also change. BA will always be prepared for change requests and their management. Whenever a change request is initiated, the BA will analyze through impact analysis (to measure the change to the project), feasibility study (to accept change), effort estimation (to implement change). Change management will impact the project scope. The BA and PM together follow a change control process. Successful change management requires the management to bring all the stakeholders to an agreement/consensus about the change to be incorporated and to avoid conflicts which may cause a delay in project completion.
- Focused conversation
The BA helps the PM in keeping the team in the right direction by focusing conversations on the business objectives/requirements. This helps to keep the team on track with minimal distractions and will help to prevent scope creep.