What Is The Role Of An Analyst – Why do you need a detailed business analysis? Well, it’s not just about generating a report with a series of numbers.
There is a wide range of analytical activities when we talk about software development. All contribute to improvements, albeit through different factors.
What Is The Role Of An Analyst
In this article, we will explain what business analysis is in software development and the role of a business analyst (BA) in that process.
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A business analyst is a member of a product development team that analyzes the business domain, documents its processes and systems, describes business requirements, and maps the software business model to the software being built.
To a greater extent, a business analyst bridges the gap between stakeholders and the development team, translating business requirements into understandable development tasks to align the final software product with expected business value.
At all stages of development, the business analyst communicates with stakeholders and product and marketing managers to capture requirements at the business and market level, and then communicates with developers through project managers, without directly influencing the development process.
Typically, a BA has a set of key responsibilities that can be considered the backbone of the tasks they will perform in their role.
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Clarify the business idea. To understand which direction to take, the business analyst should clarify the primary purposes of the future product. Also, the BA defines key product benchmarks, such as customer acquisition strategy and value proposition, and helps make decisions on key product KPIs. They then evaluate the most relevant ways of implementation, which will be most convenient for both stakeholders and developers.
Planning of development activities. When the basic business requirements have already been defined, it is necessary to formulate the direction of development and allocate areas of responsibility. At this point, participatory product development workshops act as an effective development tool.
Claims validation. By harmonizing the compiled documentation with the included business requirements, BA ensures the alignment of the development results with the customer’s business goals. With both sides on the same page, everything is moving in the right direction.
Standardization of the software development process. One of the BA’s main responsibilities is to ensure that the unified workflow is implemented with the promised requirements. When a product is being developed, BA receives feedback from stakeholders and ensures product improvements based on the input received.
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Analytical thinker. As strange as it sounds, a business analyst must have… an analytical mind. In fact, this is one of the most important skills for a BA. A BA product can be considered an expert when he understands difficulties or problems, visualizes them, analyzes them and then solves them. This also includes competent research skills, logical thinking and presentation skills. A strong background with various analytical techniques such as interface analysis, feasibility analysis and SWOT analysis is required.
Decision maker. The role of a business analyst often requires decision-making. As an intermediary between stakeholders and the engineering team, BAs should make sound judgments on various business issues. Any of them can determine the viability of the business. Decision-making skills allow the BA to assess the situation, including risks and benefits, obtain feedback from stakeholders, and choose a course of action.
A problem solver. For a business analyst, each customer comes with a different problem or problem that needs to be solved quickly and in the long term. So the responsibility of the business analyst is to study the problem, analyze the available options and then recommend the best option. They must be able to look at a problem from different perspectives within the business, including the target user and the technical expert. In such cases, the ability to work in a collaborative environment with constant discussion with developers is mandatory. This is where technically viable solutions are discovered.
Master of Documentation and Visualization. The business analyst role includes making presentations to both stakeholders and developers. To do this properly, a good BA should ensure consistent documentation of requirements. In addition, the production of wireframes is a critical part of BA’s activities. Although not strong UX design skills, sketching and knowledge of tools. Modeling language integration is an exciting must-have feature.
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At different stages of development, the business analyst has correspondingly different levels of commitment and different scope of responsibility. We will start from the beginning of the interaction between BA and stakeholders, highlighting the level of involvement and degree of influence on product development.
The development phase is the first step in introducing a new product (features, modules, names) to the market. We must look around us and make a rough estimate of the scope of our future efforts. This is the first stage of communication with a (potential) customer. Here, the business analyst, in close cooperation with the solution architect and the UX researcher, studies all the possibilities of the product market and methods for its realization.
Researching business problems. When assessing a business model, BA calculates the business owner’s key pain points (such as low-level customer acquisition or irrelevant digitization) or market gaps that they are trying to fill or expand. These concerns will later be reflected in the business requirements and the initial technical proposal.
Decide on the expected business value. An understanding of the product’s trajectory and expected market position usually contributes to the main cables. These are visualized concepts of how system components will interact with each other. This activity includes the establishment of a way of interaction between the future product and its target audience, as well as its monetization.
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Writing non-functional requirements. This scope of responsibility includes a description of how the system should behave. It also defines the limitations of its functionality. When writing this type of documentation, the business analyst includes the quality characteristics or non-functional requirements of the system, such as usability, security, reliability, performance, availability, and scalability.
Development of functional requirements. The business analyst is also responsible for documenting functional requirements. These are product features that engineers implement to enable users to achieve their goals. Therefore, it is the BA’s role to clearly document this for both developers and stakeholders.
Formulation of the principal arrears. At this point, the general outline of the project has already been presented. It’s a good basis for a joint backlog with an instructive to-do list. A business analyst ensures that all the business aspects discussed earlier are reflected.
This stage represents the stage where the future product team has already undertaken a significant amount of raw research from various aspects. The main decisions have already been made, the business requirements have been assessed and approved, and before the start of development, only one thing remains – to find and approve the most suitable technology stack that meets all business and system requirements. Here the BA plays an important role as it compares the overall scope with the promised business value.
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Mapping history. This is probably one of the most important responsibilities of a BA. Basically, a user story is a description of a feature from the end user’s perspective. They are usually created within functional requirements after the software specification document and use cases are written. The story mapping process usually involves several decision makers such as the product/project manager, stakeholders, UX designers and development team representatives. But it is the BA who ensures that the assumed user flow matches the approved business value.
Establish acceptance criteria. This is no less important than collecting user stories. Acceptance criteria are conditions that determine whether a feature satisfies both the stakeholder and the end user. As in the case of configuring user stories, the BA shares this responsibility with the product manager. A QA engineer is also involved, but to a lesser extent.
Prioritizing pending items. This is one of the most important areas of BA responsibility. When choosing a prioritization technique, a business analyst helps to understand which group of tasks is more important or relevant from a business perspective.
This is the stage where active software development begins. The production team performs tasks according to the assigned roles. Here the role of the business analyst is to ensure that the development is in line with the considered and approved business values and requirements.
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Setting up preparatory activities. A business analyst monitors the entire pre-development process to ensure that each sprint is planned according to approved requirements and goals. Participating in activities such as pre-planning and curating is an inevitable part of the BA’s responsibilities.
Monitoring the development process. Although BAs do not interact directly with developers, their daily routine includes attending daily Scrum and Standup meetings. Here BA follows the development process to meet and fulfill all business requirements.
This is the final stage of the development process. It is usually considered a phase of improvement or necessary changes. The BA’s responsibilities for this period include gathering feedback from users about the outcome. They usually compare the result to the assumed business value, deciding on opportunities for improvement.
Collection and processing of customer and user comments. As is often the case with product launches, there are still some improvements to be made. One of BA’s responsibilities is to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the final product from a business perspective.
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Formulation of the following pendulum. Based on the collected feedback, the BA shapes the scope of business issues for improvement, change, integration,
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