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What is the role of a business analyst in an organization?

Business analyst plays a crucial role of liaison between business and technical team. In a hind-sight role of business analyst in an organization is to identify business needs, elicit requirements, detail requirements to technical team, derive solution and validate same solution to client.

I will briefly elaborate BA’s role further:

  1. Liaison between business and IT team: Business stakeholders need someone who can understand product from business perspective and communicate their expectations to IT team to develop that product. That someone is business analyst who has better understanding of how business operates and what is exactly required by business stakeholders. BA’s role doesn’t end here, BA has to communicate these expectations to IT team to develop this product in a way that IT team understands.
  2. Understanding business objectives: Business analyst must understand how business operates, business goals and objectives. BA draws business process model to simplify how business currently operates. BA then understands what the desired outcome from product is and draws future state of business.
  3. Project planning, estimation and assessment: Once project is understood, BA has to plan for the project. BA has to understand assumptions and constraints along with business rules and goals. BA has to estimate time and budget required for completion of this project. Meanwhile BA carries stakeholder analysis to know from whom BA will be taking requirements. BA also has to prepare BA approach strategy which includes the plan for executing this project.
  4. Elicit/gather requirements: Business analyst has to take requirements from business stakeholders which are to be developed in the product. Business stakeholders don’t often know how to communicate what is required in the product. In this case BA uses requirement elicitation techniques to gather requirements. A document called business requirement document is created, which is either provided by clients or prepared by BA after gathering requirements. BA prepares prototypes for gathering requirements or based upon gathered requirements to present models of product which is to be developed.
  5. Resource allocation: Once BA has in-depth understanding of business goals, objectives and process, and all requirements and information is gathered for project development, next step is to allocate resources to this project.
  6. Documentation: Depending upon type of project, BA has to complete documentation of necessary information for further use. There are various documents used by BA such as BRD, SRS, FRS, HDD/LDD, RACI matrix, RTM and so on.
  7. Requirement Analysis: BA prepares UML diagrams, functional requirements, technical documents and prepares clients for (UAT) user acceptance testing.
  8. Communicate requirements to IT team: Requirements are communicated to IT team via process flow diagrams and user stories. This is very specific technique which BA requires to make IT team understand about requirements.
  9. Conduct meetings with stakeholders: BA conducts meetings with both IT team and client as and when required. BA conducts meetings with IT team to take updates, doubt clarification, assist and communicate the requirements. BA conducts meetings with clients to give updates about progress of project.
  10. Collecting feedback from users and client: When prototype version gets ready BA asks (UAT) users to test the product. Based upon predefined acceptance criteria users provide feedback to BA. Same feedback is passed on to IT team for further implementation.
  11. Presentation/deployment: This presentation is different from earlier presentations where BA used to give updates on progress. This presentation is regarding deployment of product into live server. BA has to plan date and time, location and attendees for deployment of product.

Building final reports: BA’s role doesn’t end with product deployment; it follows on with preparing final reports. These reports are useful for future projects for references. One of the most important reports is project closure document. This document has team performance and ratings, budgeting, estimates, positives and negatives.

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