Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the business analysis initiation phase, part of Business Analysis Foundations.
- If you're heading out on a vacation with the hopes of seeing certain sights, it'd be a very good idea to share those hopes with your family. That way you can ensure you understand everyone's expectations, and can play your holiday around known agenda and minimize the stress. The business analyst role during the initiation phase is very similar to holiday planning. You want to compile an agenda that makes sense, work with the family to get agreement, and minimize the stress. Here are common approaches in deliverables created or enhanced by the business analyst during the initiation phase.
First you need to work with your key stakeholders in your business to create a scope statement. The scope statement is like a high level trip agenda that shows where you will go and where you will not go on your trip. The scope statement lays out what you will try to accomplish with the project, what areas of the business will be involved, and what areas will not be involved. It's critical that the scope statement be derived based on sound business prioritization and is shared with the important people in your business area. Those important people are commonly referred to as key stakeholders.
Properly identifying key stakeholders is important to show your project is viewed as valid and vital to the organization. Senior managers are universally viewed as key stakeholders due to their decision-making responsibilities they have within the organization. However, there are other people that need to be identified and treated as key stakeholders. Example of these other key stakeholders are: Overall subject-matter experts that aren't part of the management team. People who are very familiar with the organizations and its process, who are viewed as good judges of what will and won't work.
And team members who have significant influence over others due to their enthusiasm, personality, and specialized knowledge. Working and sharing with all of these individuals should be part of your business analysis efforts. Utilizing the information in the scope statement and the views of your key stakeholders, a more detail process of business analysis can begin. You then produce business requirements, which are a more detailed view of what we've done to fulfill the agreed to scope. Just like there is more than one sequence and approach to see sights on vacation, there is also more than one way to achieve business objectives.
This is best accomplished by first determining the requirements the business needs to achieve the outcomes they envision, and then documenting these business requirements in a concise, easy to understand manner. Finally, you review the collective business requirements thoroughly to ensure they are universally understood and reflect the desires of your business area. Once you have collected the business requirements, there is one last important aspect that needs to be understood as part of project initiation: completion criteria.
As the famous quote goes, "Begin with the end in mind." A project needs to have a beginning and an end clearly defined to ensure expectations are well and truly aligned. That clearly defined end is completion criteria. Completion criteria should be stated in business performance related terms, such as productivity levels, cost savings or profit increases, compliance with regulations, and efficiency or percentage improvements from existing levels. A successful project initiation stage occurs when stakeholders have a common view, and are in agreement with the direction and objectives of your project.
The scope statement, followed by identifying key stakeholders, project requirements, and completion criteria, can help make project initiation a resounding success.
Discover where business analysis lives in the project life cycle, how to initiate a project, the best way to gather requirements, and smart strategies to monitor results and test outcomes.
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- Understanding what business analysts do
- Defining business opportunities and objectives
- Identifying stakeholders
- Gathering requirements through observation and brainstorming
- Validating requirements
- Developing project acceptance criteria
- Implementing, testing, and closing your project<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.