Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

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Tell me about a time when you were faced with a requirement/enhancement that was not feasible. How did you handle the situation?

Posted by Adube

Article Rating // 37606 Views // 4 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Requirements Management and Communication (BABOK KA)


Even if you know that a requirement is not feasible, be sure not to simply dismiss it away.  Your responsibility as an analyst is to maintain a strong working relationship with the business representatives.  Approach this situation in a way that makes it clear that the decision isn’t a personal one, but that it’s based on a well informed position with associated costs.

Clarify the requirement.  Remember, often when a “requirement” is elicited it is really stated in the form of a solution.  So take the time to verify the true requirement.

Identify why the requirement isn’t feasible.  If the new requirement and the previous requirements cannot be accommodated at the same time regardless of the technical implementation, then present this information to the business.  Do your best to explain the technical limitations using non-technical language that the business can understand.   

Most often however, the implementation of a new requirement isn’t feasible due to the prohibitive cost that would be involved in making the technical changes required to support it.  Estimate the associated cost and present this information to the business.  This is helpful for a few reasons.  First, you may have assumed that the cost outweighed the need for the requirement, but the business may feel differently depending on the business goal driving the requirement.  Second, if the business agrees the cost of implementing the new requirement is just too prohibitive, then you as the analyst have made your case while making the business feel empowered and involved in the decision making process.



Hiena_u posted on Monday, September 22, 2008 10:16 PM
I agree, usually when a client wants to expand the scope of an ongoing project then it becomes significant to allow cost and time expansion as well.
akashdeshmukh posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 11:31 PM
I too agree with the above explanation usually client want to expand the scope of the project when the project is to be shipped. I think the best approach that an analyst can take other than cost and time expansion would be to understand the requirement. It might be possible that the requirement could be included in the product in next release and the current release could be treated as Beta version. Also, analyst can conduct a meeting with developers and clients together to weigh the coin equally. If the requirements requires some aesthetic changes it could be incorporated; however, if the requirement requires significant change or has a significant impact on the existing functionality then the analyst should ask client to defer the requirement till the next release or to expand the time and cost.
amit aswani posted on Friday, August 14, 2009 6:03 AM
I agree as well, the constraints could be purely business or technical ones or combination of both. Once those are identified, it becomes very easy to communicate it to the client. It's also a good idea to have one or two alternative solutions handy. These solutions might not fully meet the requirement but still could help to ensure the business goal is met partially.

amit aswani
posted on Monday, April 13, 2015 4:33 AM
Another angle to this is explaining why the requirement would not be feasible. i.e it is contradictory to business rule, it would be in conflict with other requirements or it does not meet current industry standard hence no longer fit for purpose. Just ensure you back it up with data so your stakeholder can understand.
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.


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