What is Business Analysis?
Business analysis is a process of identifying business needs and problems and determining solutions to such business needs and problems. The problems and solutions are mostly documented in the form of a requirement document or a user story. Most of the solutions proposed will include a configuration in the system or a solution being developed in software. Sometimes workaround process solutions are also proposed as part of business analysis.
Business analysis is a critical part of any solutions developmental process. Sometimes its impact can make organizations look at process improvements, policy definitions or strategic planning as well.
In today’s context, Business Analysis involves analysing the business problems or issues - end to end - and leveraging technology to work out solutions. Since it is always done from a unit or department that is a specialist in business functional requirements, it is a specialised function.
Business needs mostly arise on account of
1. Launching a new product, process or service
2. Fixing an issue with an existing product, process or service
3. Enhancing an existing product, process or service
4. Regulatory or compliance requirements that need to be fulfilled
These business needs require technology or operations-driven solutions to realise the same. The needs are then translated into requirements and a final solution is created, defined, or re-defined.
Stakeholders sign business requirements. These are called by different names like Business Requirements Document (BRD), Stakeholder Specifications Document, Solutions document, etc., in different organizations.
The signed-off BRD is what defines how the solution will be delivered – via a new system, via a new process, or a combination of both
A BRD is a means to an end, not the end itself.
Why is a Business Analysis very Important?
Business Analysis plays a key role in every organization that drives solutions in a structured way. Business analysis is the catalyst for any change.
An organization uses business analysis to achieve its goals by identifying and implementing specific changes or solutions. It sometimes involves changing various organisational systems, policies and processes to compete better in the market.
Business analysis is done by designated Business Analysts (BAs) or by a department that is comprised of Business Analysts. They can be called by various names like Product Development Group (PDG), Business Technology Group (BTG), Business Solutions Group (BSG), etc.
While the nomenclature may vary from org to org, the key role of a business analyst is to facilitate communication by acting as an agent of change between business stakeholders and the technology development teams.
Business analysis is the process of transforming business requirements into simply worded documents that are easily understood by developers. These documents are used as a reference in the entire lifecycle of creation - all the way from coding to testing. Not only that all traceability of any requirement developed or implemented is always to the BRD or the Business Requirements Document.
Who is a Business Analyst?
Business analysts are professionals who help bridge the gap between business stakeholders’ requirements and solutions provided by Information Technology and Operations. They gather information and inputs about business needs and define problems and work out solutions using processes and data analytics in a language that is easily understood by technology developers.
Business analysts’ role combines the sharp acumen of product, with analytical and communication skills to create easily understandable solution documents.
What are the Responsibilities and Roles played by Business Analysts?
Engage with existing and prospective customers and help them understand products and solutions to meet their business requirements.
Ensure consistent growth in awareness, adoption, and usage of products.
Understand the client’s business objectives and application needs.
Design the solution that best meets the client’s requirements.
Promote products and solutions using presentations, demos, and effective documentation.
Create artefacts like business cases, requirement documents, usage scenarios, FAQs, and meeting notes.
Lead or work with other customer success teams to complete project milestones for production.
Train users and clients and play a key role in promoting solution adoption and usage.
Provide end-user feedback to the product team.
Continuously improve solutions through design re-validations, configurations, testing, training, change management, and support.
The role of Business Analysis and the role of Business Analysts are key to the successful implementation of any structured system or software-driven solutions.
Execute Partners and Consultants LLP was formed based on a strong foundation built on learnings acquired from Business Analysis and Implementations over five years.
The author is proud to have driven a strong team of Business Analysts at IDFC Bank Ltd., (and subsequently at IDFC FIRST Bank Ltd.)