What is Business Analysis - Invensis Learning
What is Business Analysis - Invensis Learning

During the 20th century, when technology started its beginning, there was a huge demand for IT. The value of technology was evident, but a huge amount of money has been spent on software rewrites, defects, updates, and maintenance. Thus, a gap was created between the IT staff and the stakeholders as business teams lack technical knowledge and technical people hardly knew about business. There was a need for a domain which can complete the gap between them, knowing both via  communication. This created a new stream called Business Analysis.

Business Analysts initially were known as Systems Analysts who focused on engineering software. It was primarily clear that IT solutions needed to be created by business requirements, business changes required to be reflected in IT, and IT demands required proper definition. That is exactly what a business analyst does. If this has piqued your interest, read further to know more. 

What Is Business Analysis?

According to the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), the term Business Analysis is defined as “the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to the stakeholders.”

Business analysis has evolved over the last twenty years. It gives practical solutions to many challenging problems. BA process involves many strategic approaches that reach out to every corner of the project. It is a practice of enabling a shift in the enterprise by framing requirements and formulating solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.

Business Analysis is a professional skill set, a disciplined way of presenting and managing organizational changes. Since technology is changing at a greater pace, Business Analysis is also evolving. It now has an over-all time growth of 14%, which is almost 9% greater than any other domain. Essentially, business analysis has become the backbone of every organization. It allows you to understand the structure and dynamics of the company. It points to the technique of understanding business needs and implementing suitable solutions for a particular business problem. These solutions include system development, process improvement, strategic planning, and policy advancement. 

Every outlook of business analysis aims to define a business need or a new solution to a problem. In the long run, the business analysis seeks to provide the following outcomes:

  • Generating effective solutions
  • Providing the required documentation
  • Assigning sufficient resources
  • Achieving greater efficiency
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Why Do Organizations Use Business Analysis?

Now that you know about Business Analysis, I am sure you will agree with me when I say it is vital to every organization. The benefits and solutions it offers are enormous. Some of the reasons why organizations use business analysis are to:

  • Analyze business requirements
  • Frame the proper planning
  • Have a particular pattern of documents
  • Create adequate documentation
  • Identify and develop various actions
  • Improve the company standards according to the present market

Business analysis is also required in the implementation and testing of the project. It also involves the strategic impact of social, political, on any other business. It identifies various ways to reach the estimated goals. Moreover, business analysis is an area that combines with many other operational areas of an organization throughout the project life cycle. It plays an instrumental role throughout the project lifecycle and thereby increases the demand for business analysts in every organization.

Business Analysis Process

Listed below are the steps that you, as a business analyst, should follow to achieve the best results.

Information Gathering

The initial step is where you lay the groundwork for your project, which includes collecting some information about the project you are working on, clarifying the scope, requirements, and business objectives. 

The key responsibilities in this step are:

  • Clarifying your role as a business analyst
  • Identifying the primary stakeholders to engage them in detailing the project’s business objectives
  • Understanding the history of your project not to repeat work that is already done
  • Understanding the current systems and business processes

This particular step provides the information you require to be successful and effective in the context of your project. The next step is to identify your primary business objectives. So, what does that mean?

To Discover Business Objectives

In this particular step, the objectives and goals of the project are defined. It is always important to chalk out your business objectives before defining the scope of your project. Directly determining the scope will pose a lot of problems. 

The key responsibilities in this step are:

  • Finding out the expectations of your primary stakeholders
  • Finding out the “why” behind the project.
  • Making sure that the business objectives are clear and attainable
  • Solving the conflicting expectations so that everyone is on the same page

Now that you have identified your primary business objectives, the next step is to define the scope of your project.

Defining the Scope

In this step, you need to define a clear, concise, and complete statement of scope. You need to evaluate and confirm the path you will take to attain the best results. This may include shortlisting the options, customizing the obtained path, combining the proper ways to get the things done.

The key responsibilities in this step are:

  • Developing multiple strategies to figure out the technology and the business process changes that you will need to implement the solution
  • Verifying and confirming the business objectives to makes sure that the organization is still investing in them
  • Most importantly, drafting and reviewing the scope statement (involve stakeholders as well to get their opinions)

Now that the scope is ready, the next step is to devise a business analysis plan. 

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Business Analyst Plan

Planning is necessary to make any project successful. A business analyst, along with the project owner, can devise a proper plan to deliver the appropriate requirements. In the further stages of your project, a business analysis plan is going to answer many questions for you and your project team. It will bring clarity to the business analysis process and help you define the detailed requirements for a project

The key responsibilities in this step are:

  • Identifying the most appropriate types of business analysis deliverables
  • Setting up deadlines for completing these deliverables

Remember that expected results would not be possible if no planning is done. Once your plan is ready, you need to define the requirements in a detailed manner.

Define Detailed Requirements

After the planning process is done, the requirements are defined. Make sure your requirements are clear, concise, concrete, complete, and consistent. As an analyst, it is important for you to understand your project’s scope and requirements (in detail) to develop the best solution possible.

The key responsibilities in this step are:

  • Gathering the information needed
  • Analyzing the discovered requirements and creating a first draft that contains the one or more business analysis deliverables in detail 
  • Outlining and validating each deliverable with appropriate technology
  • Asking the right questions to fill the gaps 
  • Reviewing and validating your deliverables

Implementing the Solution

The next step is to implement the planned solution. Implementing the solution is a crucial point. This step should proceed according to the way you planned. Otherwise, the project may get delayed. As an analyst, you need to help the technical team in any way possible. 

The key responsibilities in this step are:

  • Analyzing the solution design to ensure it can fulfill all of the requirements stated by stakeholders
  • Documenting the project so it will be useful for the technology design and implementation process
  • Acting as a liaison between the business users and technical team so that they will be able to understand the business context of the technical requirements
  • Being answerable to every question and resolving the issues that may occur during the technical design, implementation, or testing phases
  • Assisting the team to accept the changes that might come up 

Access The Value Created by The Project 

The last step is to check if the result obtained matches what you had expected—in simple terms, accessing the value created by the implemented solution. While time and budget are two things that you can consider to evaluate the results, they are other metrics that you can consider. 

The key responsibilities in this step are:

  • Evaluating the progress against your business objectives
  • Proposing follow-up plans if needed
  • Accessing user engagement using different tools and techniques
  • Delivering the results to proper stakeholders

This step is really important because by accessing the value created by your project, you can figure out where you can improve to achieve the best results next time. I am sure by now, you have an idea of what entails the roles of a business analyst. So, let’s answer the question, ‘Who is a Business Analyst?.

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Who is a Business Analyst?

The role of the Business Analyst is to extract all the relevant information from the stakeholders. Then, based on that information, the BA will analyze and formulate a set of business requirements. The main reason why business analysts are in demand is that their job cannot be automated. BA’s have a detail-oriented mind and are always analyzing everything. Their minds are constantly running through questions about activities they observe. Hence all the work is done manually by themselves.

The primary responsibilities of a business analyst are as follows:

  • To take a holistic view of the situation while investigating business systems
  • Examination of organizational structure
  • Evaluating the actions for improving the business system’s operation
  • Documenting the business requirements using appropriate documentation standards
  • Defining business requirements in a detailed manner
  • Elicitation activities to identify, formulate, and confirm requirements
  • Documentation of all business analysis findings in different models
  • Eliciting the response and opinion of all the parties involved in every stage of the project

In line with this, the role of core business analyst could be defined as an internal consultancy role that has the responsibility for investigating business situations, determining and evaluating choices for developing business standards, describing requirements, and ensuring the effective use of information systems in meeting the needs of the business. The business analysts work together with stakeholders and project delivery teams to prioritize the implementation of essentials and to deliver the changes requested by the business users. They are the ones who are responsible for the creation and implementation of new models that will be supporting business decisions. They are responsible for making the organization improve its efficiency, profitability, and also productivity.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Business Analysis integrates knowledge of business elements and understanding of IT systems that are useful in determining how they can benefit each other. In turn, this togetherness gives businesses a competitive edge and enables progression to take place faster. Across the globe, the prospects and the scope of the Business analyst is ever-expanding. It can be expected that a remarkable growth of 19% would be reached for business analysis in the next five years.

If you want to become a Certified Business Analysis Professional do checkout the Business Analysis Certification training offered by Invensis Learning. This program is inline with the EXIN’s Business Analysis certification exam.

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Lucy Brown has many years of experience in the project management domain and has helped many organizations across the Asia Pacific region. Her excellent coordinating capabilities, both inside and outside the organization, ensures that all projects are completed on time, adhering to clients' requirements. She possesses extensive expertise in developing project scope, objectives, and coordinating efforts with other teams in completing a project. As a project management practitioner, she also possesses domain proficiency in Project Management best practices in PMP and Change Management. Lucy is involved in creating a robust project plan and keep tabs on the project throughout its lifecycle. She provides unmatched value and customized services to clients and has helped them to achieve tremendous ROI.

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