The value of the Business Analyst’s role
I read a quote somewhere which describes the need of Business Analysts. The Quote says…. People often wonder and ask ‘What is business analysis?’, I say: ‘You know all those times that people say, ‘someone should look into that?’ I’m the person who looks into that.
The real challenge is to look for a skilled business analyst. A skilled business analyst draws out the needs that are not yet known and choose analysis techniques that help you understand the requirements and help stakeholders ingest them. I tried my best to share my views and experience in this blog.
Business analysts play an important role: As a practice, the role establish a relation between the various business units and Information Technology, help to discover the end user needs and the appropriate solution to address them, and if there’s any specify requirements. Usually, Scrum doesn’t have business analysts to play the role, whereas we may need business analysts in agile for simple reason like we use terms like user story, acceptance criteria and product backlog in agile projects.
Let’s consider the role and responsibilities of a Business Analysts a Product Owner. Maybe this as an option can be considered as an extension of the business analyst role. It implies significant changes like the individual should own the product on behalf of the company, and make the related product decisions, and even responsible for product success. The business analysts as a product owner learn new skills to play the role which include creating a product strategy, developing actionable roadmap, and aligning the stakeholders depending on the individual’s current skills.
Now let’s consider Business Analyst as Team Member which can be as an option for business analysts to work as team members. They working on team can help their colleagues prepare the product backlog. Please note that in Scrum, sometimes business analysts working on the team take on additional responsibilities like working closely with the testers or sometimes with technical writers. And hence they experience and learn new skills to broaden their expertise.
What exactly we mean by business analyst?
IIBA, The International body defines the its role as “The practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders”.
Business analysts (BAs) certainly enable change. A good BA will not only help define business requirements, but the level of support needed to realize the necessary solution. However, a business analyst’s key attribute lies in listening skills to understand the business, the areas they want to improve or if need support. A business analyst can create a framework in structured way to address complex requirements into a brief/detail as per requirements for the technical team to design and build a solution. Business Analysts brings both part of the story……. explaining a business problem to a technical team and laying out a technical solution in business terms for a nontechnical team member.
Thumb rule to be a business analyst to achieve success, it’s important that they are equally good and strong in both verbal and written communication skills.
Let’s dive and try to understand what does a business analyst do?
We get the understanding that the Business Analysts manages requirements, but what do we mean by that? Regardless of the approach we chose from various methodologies like waterfall model, Agile way, or any other method that makes easy for team to align with requirements, the Business Analysts should come out with a workout plan using the below basic steps:
- Understand the business problem or if there’s any other business opportunity.
- Collate information like What’s the status quo, and where we need the change.
- Current findings on the envisioned state of the organization.
- Transform the collated information into manageable tasks or the requirements.
- Take the consent or agreed with team on how to move towards the desired goals and the objectives.
- Prioritize needs based on the business benefit they delivers and the effort required to deliver.
- Plan and support the development team with required knowledge about the business and the processes.
- Act on variety of assessment stages, testing whether what is being created delivers on what the business needs.
- Coordinate and assist the team with training and knowledge transitions.
If the Business Analysts able to take the challenges involved to follow the above steps and delivers the required results to meet the goal and objectives, then we consider that the business analysts have done their job to satisfactory and it makes all the stakeholders, customers and the project managers leaving with a happy note for its credibility.
As someone said, “Data is the new oil”. So, it’s the responsibilities of the business analysts who will teach businesses how to drill the data.
The above blog is purely based on my experience, my learning’s so far and through various projects I have worked on. Please share your views, experiences and opinions to enrich our learning’s and share with various business analysts’ communities for knowledge and references.
Please note: In above blog, certain quotes and definition are captured from renowned personalities and international bodies just to sync with its meaning and the objective to have clear understanding.
Written by Subhasmita Pradhan