The Business Analyst Role in a Project

How the business analysis practice should be applied within the boundaries of a project.

Erivan Ramos
· 3 min read
Photo by Jo Szczepanska on Unsplash

One of the most frequent questions I get from professionals who are starting out in the Business Analysis career is about how deep the Business Analyst should act in a project. It´s common to see the Business Analyst, in addition to their own responsibilities, taking on the role of project managers, UX designers, testers and even software developers. From my experience, this usually happens when the Business Analyst is a new role in the organization or the company is small and still immature in the definition of its professional roles and tasks, and everything can get more confusing in Agile projects where the creation of cross-functional teams is strongly stimulated.

The BABOK® Guide, that defines the profession of business analysis and provides a set of commonly accepted practices, points out six knowledge areas and its tasks where the practice of business analysis is applied within the project boundaries:

“Relationships Between Knowledge Areas” by The BABOK® Guide

Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring: Organize and coordinate the efforts of business analysts and stakeholders. Includes the following tasks:

  • Plan Business Analysis Approach
  • Plan Stakeholder Engagement
  • Plan Business Analysis Governance
  • Plan Business Analysis Information Management
  • Identify Business Analysis Performance Improvements

Elicitation and Collaboration: Prepare and conduct elicitation activities and confirm the results obtained, including communication with stakeholders. Includes the following tasks:

  • Prepare for Elicitation
  • Conduct Elicitation
  • Confirm Elicitation Results
  • Communicate Business Analysis Information
  • Manage Stakeholder Collaboration

Requirements Life Cycle Management: Manage and maintain requirements and design information from inception to retirement. Includes the following tasks:

  • Trace Requirements
  • Maintain Requirements
  • Prioritize Requirements
  • Assess Requirements Changes
  • Approve Requirements

Strategy Analysis: Collaborate with stakeholders in order to identify/address the business need, and align the resulting strategy for the change with higher- and lower-level strategies. Includes the following tasks:

  • Analyze Current State
  • Define Future State
  • Assess Risks
  • Define Change Strategy

Requirements Analysis and Design Definition: Structure and organize requirements discovered during elicitation activities, specify and model requirements and designs, validate and verify information, identify solution options that meet business needs and estimate the potential value that could be realized for each solution option. Includes the following tasks:

  • Specify and Model Requirements
  • Verify Requirements
  • Validate Requirements
  • Define Requirements Architecture
  • Define Solution Options
  • Analyze Potential Value and Recommend Solution

Solution Evaluation: Assess the performance and value delivered by a solution and to recommend the removal of barriers or constraints.

  • Measure Solution Performance
  • Analyze Performance Measures
  • Assess Solution Limitations
  • Assess Enterprise Limitations
  • Recommend Actions to Increase Solution Value

Although Business Analysis is a role that involves many activities throughout the project, this does not mean that it can replace other roles during the project life cycle. I believe that all roles have their importance and expertise that are necessary for a successful project. How far the boundary of responsibilities goes is something that the business analyst learns from their experience time, practices already taken in the market and professional associations.

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Erivan Ramos

Written by

IT professional, Software Engineering Specialist with MBA in Project Management and MBA in Human Resource Management.

The Startup

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