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What sort of existing documents should Business Analysts refer to when starting on a new project?

Posted by everest

Article Rating // 42888 Views // 3 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Roles and Responsibilities


Few analysts are brought on to a project at the very beginning.  For those that are, they will often have a hand in creating some of the important documents that other analysts should reference when they first join.

First, get your hands on the project charter.  The project charter, while high level, will provide critical information on the project such as:

  • the reasons for undertaking the project, including the high level business goal or goals that are to be satisfied by the project and a calculation of Return on Investment (ROI),
  • objectives and sub-goals of the project as well as major constraints due to current business processes or existing technology infrastructure,
  • the high level vision and scope of the project outlining the initial direction for the solution being developed,
  • major risks which need to be avoided while developing the solution,
  • the important stakeholders involved which should include not only a project sponsor and steering committee members but also the business representatives that will have final sign-off on requirements.

Find out as much as you can about the project management processes that are being used to manage timelines, risks, communications, costs, etc.  Ideally, these processes are outlined in a formal document.  If not, be sure to talk to the project manager(s) on your project to fully understand the processes that should be followed.

The same goes for the analysis process and artifacts being used.  Understand the methods that will be used for eliciting and documenting requirements.  How will these requirements be communicated? How will they be captured and translated into functional specifications?  Being an analyst, this is something that you will be taught at some point on the project, but the sooner you learn the details of the analysis process and artifacts being used the better off you will be.

If requirements elicitation has already begun, review the existing requirements documentation.  Reviewing requirements will bring you up to speed rapidly.  Record any questions you have regarding the system requirements and get answers to them.  If a prototype has been created as a method for identifying and clarifying requirements, understand the prototype inside and out.  Take the time to understand why each screen was designed a particular way.  Was it to support a business requirement, or was it merely a design decision that could have been handled in a different way.



taiwo posted on Tuesday, February 1, 2011 4:40 PM
useful information.
DLT posted on Friday, May 13, 2011 3:57 PM
Make sure you talk with the Bus. Arch and review any BPM models in these tools. I would take on more step and talk to the Sys Arch if the project has interfaces and non-functional requirements.
hemal posted on Friday, December 14, 2012 8:35 AM
review functional test cases to understand the happy and exception flows for each use case.
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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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