The Importance of a Business Analysis Approach

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Feb 19, 2024
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The Importance of a Business Analysis Approach

This article explores the importance of a business analysis approach and highlights the key benefits it offers in steering projects toward their desired outcomes. How important is planning in business analysis? Let’s use the construction industry as an example.

Step 1: Scope Definition. Before construction begins, planners need to define the scope of the project. This includes the size of the building, the number of floors, the types of rooms, and any special requirements.

Step 2: Resource and Task Allocation. Proper planning involves determining the necessary resources, such as materials, labour, and equipment.

Step 3: Timeline Management. A construction project typically has a strict timeline.

Step 4: Risk Management. Construction projects inherently involve risks, such as unforeseen site conditions, regulatory changes, and design modifications.

Step 5: Quality Control. Planning includes specifications for materials and construction standards. Without adherence to these standards, the quality of the building may suffer.

Step 6: Communication. In construction, multiple teams and stakeholders are involved, including architects, engineers, contractors, and regulatory authorities. Hence, communication plays an important role.

All these steps are part of planning, which ultimately determines the success of the construction project. Similarly, defining a well-thought-out approach is essential to ensure project success in business analysis.

Understanding the Business Analysis Approach

The business analysis approach is a comprehensive outline of the activities, durations, and resources required to conduct successful business analysis. It serves as a bridge between the current state and the desired future state of a project, guiding actions to achieve project objectives effectively.

A well-defined business analysis approach is paramount for several reasons:

Alignment with Business Objectives. By defining business analysis tasks and aligning them with business objectives, stakeholders gain a holistic view of the project's initial phase.

Early Identification of Risks. Understanding tasks allows for the upfront identification of potential risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies (or RAIDs).

Quantifying Workload. The approach enables the quantification of the business analysis work, aiding in resource planning and management.

Stakeholder Identification. Identifying tasks helps determine relevant stakeholders and lays the foundation for stakeholder engagement.

Tailored Communication. Background information on stakeholders facilitates the development of effective communication strategies.

Requirements Gathering Methods. Knowing stakeholders' level of detail requirements enables the selection of appropriate requirements gathering techniques.

Governance Process. The approach informs the development of a robust business analysis governance process, including requirement approval, change, and risk management.

Requirement Traceability. Clearly defining how business analysis information will be used enhances requirement traceability.

Measuring Progress. The approach allows for measuring business analysis work to foster continuous improvement.

Stakeholder Communication Plan. A well-defined approach aids in building a stakeholder communication plan, outlining the preferred modes and frequency of communication.

Challenges and Solutions

Here’s an anecdote that shows the business analysis approach in action.

Sarah, a seasoned business analysis professional, found herself leading a project aimed at creating a cutting-edge mobile application for a client in the healthcare industry. As she delved into the initial phases of the project, she faced a significant challenge: defining the business analysis approach. The client's requirements were intricate, and the project involved various stakeholders with diverse perspectives.

The first challenge was understanding the client's vision. Sarah scheduled multiple meetings with key stakeholders, from healthcare professionals to IT specialists. Each had a unique perspective on the desired functionalities of the application. Balancing these diverse viewpoints to create a cohesive vision proved to be a delicate task.

The second challenge arose in choosing the appropriate analysis techniques. Sarah needed to select methods that would uncover essential requirements while considering the constraints of time and resources. The development team preferred agile methodologies, while some stakeholders advocated for traditional waterfall approaches.

Sarah employed her analytical skills and diplomatic finesse. She facilitated collaborative workshops to align stakeholders' visions, conducted a thorough analysis of the project's dynamics to tailor the approach, and implemented robust change control processes to manage scope effectively.

Sarah's journey highlights a balance that business analysis professionals must maintain in defining a business analysis approach. Through perseverance and strategic thinking, Sarah successfully crafted an approach that set the foundation for successful project delivery.

Some stakeholders may prioritize immediate results and rush into requirement gathering without a proper business analysis approach. Business analysis professionals should educate stakeholders about the importance of an approach and invest time in its creation.

Though planning takes time, it ultimately safeguards projects from failure, making it imperative for business analysis professionals and their teams to embrace this crucial step.

Conclusion

The business analysis approach forms the backbone of successful projects. It provides a roadmap for stakeholders, enhances communication, mitigates risks, and ensures alignment with business objectives.

While investing time in planning may seem burdensome, it significantly reduces the risk of project failure. Emphasizing the significance of a well-defined approach and encouraging its implementation is the responsibility of business analysis professionals to deliver successful outcomes in their projects.


Nitin Kumar DeswalAuthor: Nitin Kumar Deswal

Nitin Kumar Deswal is an Electrical Engineer and an MBA from Symbiosis, Pune. He has worked as Technical Consultant with an IT firm and was also part of a Life Insurance Company. Nitin has also worked as a sales representative for a short stint with India’s leading private bank and currently working with a global bank as a Lead Business Analyst.

He has experience in varied roles such as consulting, sales, operations, data analytics, and business analysis. Nitin is an IIBA certified and AWS certified Business Analyst, he is an avid business analysis content creator and passionate about giving back to the society. His fields of interest are process analysis, requirement analysis, stakeholder management, mentorship, consultation, and teaching.  Nitin can be found on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nitinkumardeswal/

 



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