What is Business Analysis Process & Techniques

What is Business Analysis? Process & Techniques

What is Business Analysis? 

Business Analysis is the analysis of business processes, systems, and documents. It is the process of planning, documenting, conducting, and managing a project to meet user needs. Business analysis is one part of the broader field of software development. Business analysts are often required to work with other business professionals, including business process owners/stakeholders, business system owners/stakeholders, IT developers/practitioners, IT support professionals/practitioners, management stakeholders, legal professionals, subject matter experts (SMEs), etc., to gather requirements for a system or to document the current state of an existing system.

Click Here to Read: What is Requirement Lifecycle Management?

Role of Business Analyst?

The role of a business analyst can vary widely across companies and industries. The certification body for business analysts is the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). IIBA mapped out the scope of the profession in 2011 with its publication of The IIBA Body of Knowledge (BOK)® Guide. This resource defines the role by identifying four main areas of activity:

  • Analyze business problems or opportunities.
  • Design solutions.
  • Communicate solutions.
  • Implement solutions.

Business analysis activities may include gathering and documenting information about an organization’s processes and policies; documenting how users interact with an application; creating use cases; creating user stories; creating

Steps involved in Business Analysis Process 

Business Analysis refers to the process of understanding and documenting business needs and creating solutions. The steps involved in Business Analysis Process are an important factor for any organization to make important decisions.

Enterprise Analysis 

Enterprise analysis is a process of gathering, transforming, and communicating data in such a way that it portrays the real issues affecting the company. The result of enterprise analysis is a snapshot of the organization’s state and main elements affecting its success. It is a database representing the organization’s capabilities and limitations.

Requirement Planning and Management 

Requirement planning and management is key part of business analysis. Business analysis is a process that aims to bring together the needs of all stakeholders in a business process. These business processes can be large-scale, such as supply chain management, or small-scale, such as a daily routine within a company.

The main differentiators between business analysis and systems analysis are that business analysts generally work with people rather than technology and they focus on the “business” side of the “business process”, instead of the “technical” side.

Business Analysis often involves working closely with the users of the system to identify their needs and translating these needs into specific requirements for a new or modified system. The purpose of the activity is to perform a gap analysis of current processes versus required processes, then document, prioritize, and scheduling requirements for review by stakeholders and developers. Business analysis may include gathering information from various sources, analyzing it, and presenting it in an understandable form to management.

Requirement Elicitation 

It is a process that intends to gather information about what the stakeholders need from the software solution. The goal is to gather accurate and complete information about the system’s requirements to be able to design it successfully. Business analysts are responsible for this step in the project life cycle which consists of capturing, analyzing, documenting, refining, and communicating essential information about how a new system should function.

The main purpose of requirement elicitation is to gather all relevant information needed by the business analyst for understanding the business problem to properly specify the solution. Business analysts use specific techniques for gathering these requirements to help them better understand them and identify any missing details.

Requirement Analysis and Documentation

 The requirements analysis phase of a project, which is typically done in the early phases of a project, is the foundation of the entire project. It’s where all the stakeholders come together to define what they want to have built. The goal of this phase is to analyze all requests and build a testable, sharable model that reflects a consensus between all parties involved. The analysis will often involve interviews with key individuals who can describe their needs and determine what is feasible, based on technology constraints, standards, previous solutions, or methods used.

Work products from this phase include:

  • Use cases – these describe functional requirements, without regard to the underlying technology.
  • Data models – these describe what data is needed by each use case.
  • Process models – these describe how business processes are performed today and how they are expected to be performed once the system goes live.

Requirement Communication 

The Requirement Communication phase is another important phase of the business analysis process which intervenes between the business justification for the project and the feasibility study. It is concerned with recording, documenting, detailing, validating, communicating, clarifying, understanding, and agreeing on the requirements which are crucial to achieving project objectives.

Solution Evolution and Validation 

The business Analysis process is a process of solution evolution and validation. Solution evolution starts with the identification of the business problem. Then solution concept is generated based on requirements gathered through various means. It evolves further to the solution prototype, which validates the cost, time, performance, and other characteristics. A business analyst is an expert who helps the business manager to find the right solution to the business problem.

Click Here to Read: Understanding Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Common Business Analysis Techniques 

Following are the common business analysis techniques: 

MOST 

Most stands for Market, Operations, Structure, and Technology. The idea is to analyze these four areas, in turn, building up a picture of the opportunities and threats facing the company. The first thing you do when applying MOST is to list all the markets that your company currently operates in or could potentially operate in.

Who owns it? How many shares are there? Who runs it? How does it raise money? How does it pay its employees and suppliers? This is your Structure analysis.

The fourth step is to look at how technology allows you to operate in each of these markets. What tools do you use to sell things or manage your supply chain or manage your staff or interact with customers? This is your Technology analysis.

PESTLE

PESTLE is one of the most well-known frameworks for analyzing an industry. PESTLE abbreviates Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental. The idea is that all these things affect the industry you’re in, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively.

PESTLE works best when you have a specific target to analyze. For example, you might use PESTLE to help decide whether to open a restaurant or a grocery store. Different businesses have different business models, so business plans appropriate for one might not be so good for the other. PESTLE helps by organizing your thinking about the differences.

SWOT 

A SWOT analysis helps identify what makes a company strong, what areas it needs to strengthen, and where it will find its opportunities.

Opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses are different internal and external actors. They can be macro-environmental factors, such as the economy or the rate of technological change. Or they can be specific to the organization, such as the availability of raw materials, or the extent to which competitors’ actions affect your ability to execute your strategy.

MoSCoW 

Moscow is a method for classifying the requirements or features of a product. Each feature is assigned a priority between 1 and 5, with “must-have” being 5 and “won’t have” is 1.

  • M – Must have – The product cannot ship without the feature.
  • S – Should have – The product would be significantly better with this feature, but it can be omitted if necessary.
  • C – Could have – It would be nice to add this feature if we had the time and budget.
  • W – Won’t have – This feature will not be added to the product.

The priorities are combined to form the Moscow designation: M-S or S-M means that’s a must-have; M-C means it’s a nice to have; C-M means it’s something we might do; W-M means it won’t happen; C-S means it could happen, and W-C means we’re not even considering it.

CATWOE 

CATWOE is a process that’s used during business analysis to come up with suggestions on how to improve a business situation.

  • Cost Analysis – looking at the costs in a business process in detail to identify areas for improvement.
  • Activity Analysis – identifying all of the activities required to complete a process, and measuring the time taken to complete each activity.
  • Workflow Analysis – determining if there are any unnecessary steps or processes that can be removed from a process that would save time or reduce costs.
  • Objectives – setting objectives that can be used to measure success in implementing improvements identified in the other steps.
  • Events – identifying events that trigger changes in a process, and when those events occur.

Click Here to Read: What Is Software Quality Assurance (SQA): A Guide for Beginners

Why use business analysis?

Business analysis is a process to reduce the risk in a business project. It is a structured approach to decision-making that includes gathering information from many sources, evaluating options using cost-benefit analysis, determining the best course of action based on your organization’s priorities and objectives, and facilitating communication throughout an organization.

Business analysis can be used to identify projects that will have a positive impact on the organization, but it can also be used to evaluate the viability of an existing project or activity. Business analysis asks if a project or activity will be successful in achieving its objectives at a reasonable cost. 

Business analysis tries to ensure that all relevant facts and issues are considered when a decision is made. It provides a structured way for organizations to assess projects and business initiatives to maximize their success. By determining what each project or activity can reasonably accomplish, business analysis helps you set realistic goals and expectations for every project and budget.

Click Here to Read: Software Project Management: The Beginner’s Guide

The 5 Whys 

Over the past 50 years, the Japanese have been able to achieve a lot of their goals through this technique. The idea behind it is to ask why an event happened 5 times, once for every time it occurred. The idea is that each time you ask why you dig one level deeper into the actual cause of the problem.

Six Thinking Hats 

Here is the list of thinking hats:

  • White hat: objectivity, focus on tasks and processes, and ways to improve them
  • Red hat: emotions, feelings, and relationships
  • Black hat: pessimism and criticism
  • Yellow hat: optimism and self-confidence
  • Green hat: creativity and new ideas
  • Blue hat: judgment and decision making

Summary 

Business Analysis (BA) is the profession of gathering, analyzing, and documenting business information to support decisions. The BA uses this information to solve problems and make recommendations that improve an organization’s business processes or enable it to take advantage of opportunities. Business analysts are often referred to as “change agents” because they are in the business of change, which can be frustrating for some analysts. The job can also be extremely rewarding when analysts see their work has a positive impact on the bottom line.

Business analysis is not limited to one function or department in an organization. Analysts may be found in almost every area of the company, including finance, sales, production, marketing, human resources, and information technology. The analyst’s role depends on where she is located in the organization. Her scope of responsibility also depends on her level of experience.

The primary objective for most business analysts is to uncover the causes behind operational problems or opportunities for improvement within an organization by performing process mapping or process modeling. Additional objectives include clarifying requirements for new systems development, software applications development, or enhancements; documenting these requirements; communicating them back to stakeholders; estimating costs; preparing risk assessments; preparing test plans and test cases; assisting with project management; preparing training materials; preparing metrics reports; preparing training materials; preparing metrics reports.

Leave a Reply