The Role of a Business Analyst in Software Development

Making a good wine is simple but not easy. (Italian farmer)

Introduction

Individuals in the Business Analyst role collect, analyze, develop, document, communicate business requirements, and support user testing to achieve business goals.

But sure their responsibilities may varies depending from the project’s industry, size, budget, project stage.

In other words, in case of preparing the project for the development.

A business analyst collecting all requirements, ideas and primary information from clients and stakeholders. Analyze user’s needs and adapt the client’s idea to the real needs of the user. As the result, BA gathering all together to the specification document for the tech (software development) team.

In case, when the project is already in the development process.

The main responsibility will be to improve business (project) with or without technology. For example, it could apply in improving a small process within a development team or the department; implementing a new framework to the product development. In other words, making something better.


Collaboration

collaboration

Based on breadth and depth of understanding of business needs and processes, they collaborate with IT professionals to determine if appropriate internal or external solutions currently exist, or whether new solutions are required and feasible.

According to my experience, collaborating with IT professionals is a must

They take a broad perspective to determine how such solutions will impact existing work processes and systems, and how to manage the integration of new systems. Business Analysts are responsible for identifying technology opportunities that support project’s strategies and performance and this is not possible without communication with tech team.


Potential range of the business analyst role

I already gave you a general understanding about business analyst’s role. Let’s now concretize it and give more explanation.

  1. Strategy Analysis
  2. Business Analysis
  3. IT System Analysis

Business Strategy Analysis

Definition: This Business Analyst come from business/domain background who define the business need, high level solution scope and present the business case to the sponsors.

This type of Analysis gives the answer to the questions: 
“ What is the project about?; What makes your project unique and how will it help the world?“

Strategy Analysis Included:

  • Define the business need (problem or an opportunity)
  • Define solution scope that would to cater to the business need
  • Define and present business case (cost vs benefits analysis)
  • Secure funding

Business Analysis

Definition: This Business Analyst come from either business or technical background who start the core business analysis once the business need is defined or project is funded. This Business Analysts, primarily involved in eliciting the requirements and defining the solution. In addition, they are also involved in identifying the IT team (internal or external) and managing them during the solution development and implementation.

This type of Analysis gives the answer to the questions: 
“ What will be a scope of work?; What should be included to the first release?; Which specialists should be in the team?; “

Business Analysis included:

  • Elicit Requirements, document them, confirm them, scope them, present them and get them approved / signed them off.
  • Define solution or BRD or Product roadmap
  • Further requirement analysis (FRD, Requirement models and so on…)
  • Identify or recommend IT team (internal or external)
  • Design User Cases
  • Finalize solution and its scope

IT System Analysis

Definition: IT System Analyst is a highly technical nature person. (Usually today this is the role of a software architect)

They are responsible for analysing and specifying the IT system requirements in sufficient detail to provide a basis for the evaluation of software packages or the development of a bespoke IT system.

Typically, systems analysis work involves the use of techniques such as data modelling and process or function modelling.

IT System Analysis included:

  • Modelling process and data requirements for the IT system
  • Designing the entire system based on the received requirements
  • Defines application problem by conferring with clients; evaluating procedures and processes

In some organisations there is little divide between the business analysts and the IT team. In these cases the business analysts work closely with the IT developers and include the specification of IT system requirements as a key part of their role.


Originally published at medium.com on May 16, 2018.