Join Haydn Thomas for an in-depth discussion in this video What is business analysis?, part of Business Analysis Foundations: Fundamentals (2014).
- Every ship needs a captain and a navigator, and the world of projects is no different than a ship. Without a captain and a navigator, the ship would be lost. In most organizations, the captain is the project manager, overseeing everything on the ship at a high level. That makes the role of the navigator very important, as the ship needs to be on the best and most prudent path to its destination. As the business analyst, you're the navigator. It's a very vital role, as many things can take the project off course.
Let me share the tools and techniques the business analyst uses to keep a project on the right course for the organization. During the first or initiation stage of the project, as the BA, you manage the business objectives of the project as they are understood. In addition, you also ensure the objectives are valid and appropriate for the organization in the short and long term. As project ideas can sometimes run away and create a life of their own, you ensure the core idea of the project remains in the forefront, and delivery of that idea is the ongoing intent for the project.
During the second planning phase of the project, you manage the collection of requirements. As most organizations have many pivotal people in essential roles, the business analyst needs to ensure that all appropriate individuals are consulted, and their ideas heard. A new business process that is great for one part of the business but cripples another part of the business is not useful. As the business analyst, you ensure that the vital stakeholders have their viewpoints heard, their ideas incorporated into the project, as appropriate, and that the project's direction is always in the best interest of the business.
During project execution, the third stage of the project, you ensure that changes to the project's products are considered and managed appropriately. The demands on organizations rarely are static. As a result, the needs and results of the requirements of the organization can change, often quite quickly and substantially. In many cases, this needs to change the project's products as well. For this reason, as the business analyst, you need to do three things to manage the change for your projects. First and foremost, you need to validate any proposed changes to ensure they appropriately capture the change needed within the project.
Secondly, you need to detect when a change may be needed and promote changes to the project that may be needed for the business. And lastly, in the event of a project change being approved, you should assist with changing plans to ensure the project moves forward appropriately. During the last part of the project execution, the business analyst should play a significant role in product testing. Product testing ensures the items produced by the project team will be suitable for the organization and achieve the project's objectives.
As a business analyst, nobody is in a better position than you with significant and detailed knowledge on how your organization works to ensure the products will work appropriately in the organization. The last significant role the business analyst plays in the project life cycle is during closing. When you validate that the project's completion criteria are accomplished. Despite careful tracking and the best of intentions, products can go astray at the last minute. Sometimes due to last minute fixes or new ideas incorporated into the project hastily, a product may not completely suit the organization.
It's your role as the business analyst to ensure this does not happen, making sure the final product fulfills its promise to the business.
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.
- 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>
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