Imagine working directly with dev teams who are always on toes to meet tight deadlines. Sometimes, it could be challenging to get developers involved in the initial phase of discussion with the client and therefore forging the need for such professionals who can get thoroughly involved in the project requirement gathering process. The major role of a Business Analyst is to determine client’s needs and provide data-driven recommendations and reports to the internal team of software engineers as well as the client. Basically, the business analyst is responsible for ensuring solutions delivered by the developers meet the client’s requirements.

The techies know the functional requirements but what a business needs can be best interpreted by a Business Analyst. One can help to understand the business sense. Not having a BA involved in the project, can leave the possibility of having a breakdown in the overall development process or you will not be sure enough to measure your overall work processes for attaining desired goals. Moreover, there is an acute probability that their absence can lead to a surge in misunderstandings in comparison to having a BA added to liaison between stakeholders and the development team, simplifying business requirements to match a final software product with the expected business value.

Importance of Business Analysts in Agile structure

Business Analysts working on agile initiatives engross with the clients on a strategic level and assist in defining how the proposed product or feature aligns with its objectives. They collaborate with various stakeholders and the team to divide the product vision and break it into a prioritized list of desired work items to be completed. The prioritized backlog list mainly focuses on the capabilities needed in the resultant product, with emphasis on the highest value items first. As expected in Agile, there could be unexpected changes for which rapid response is needed. Such incremental changes could be better prioritized by BA’s with minimal impact. Making such decisions, Business Analysts may act as a stakeholder proxy, or work directly with the client or product owner which means that Business Analysts are bridging the gap between the team and the Product Owner on the client-side. As a result, a Business Analyst is a must on most of the Agile projects.
Business Analyst during Agile process

To understand further, Business Analysts working within the discipline of business process management performs a variety of roles:

1. Business Role

Taking into account the main role, a Business Analyst is responsible for understanding objectives, collecting, interpreting, and preparing actionable steps that help improving processes and optimizing results. In routine, he or she assesses company and client needs, receives robust information, and analyzes it, looking for current trends or areas for improvement.
  • The principle role that any Business Analyst performs is understanding and analysing what the business goal is.
  • Identifying a need of strategic or tactical importance i.e.the business need, enables the enterprise to address that need, and align the resulting strategy for the same.
  • Prepare for and conduct elicitation activities
  • Communicate with stakeholders
  • Manage and maintain requirements and design information from inception to retirement.
  • Establishing meaningful relationships between related requirements and designs.
  • Make structure and organize requirements discovered during elicitation activities, specify and model requirements and designs, validate and verify information.
  • Transformation of those needs into a particular recommended solution.
  • Assessing, analyzing and gaining consensus on proposed changes to both requirements and designs.
  • Make sure the removal of barriers or constraints that prevent the full realization of the value.

2. Technical Role

Most of the time Business Analysts write specifications with diagrams that visualize quite complex requirements, this ensures that the team and stakeholders are on the same page. By doing so, the BA can encounter any business problems beforehand, and can keep specifics about how the system will work. BA prepares technical documentations for system specifications at later stages as well.
  • Documenting technical requirements.
  • Creating flowcharts which are good for gaining both alignment with what the process is and context for a solution
  • To assess technical feasibility, along with tech team for each change/alternative /Designing new features to the business/product and its impact
  • Undertaking systems testing.
Business Analyst Role during project execution

3. Managerial Role

As BA’s provide support for training, documentation and user acceptance testing. They also help in devising strategies for optimal business operations which further help in increasing productivity. What’s more, tasks planning, defining priorities and auditing and evaluating changes are also done by them. Out of all the management tasks, the BA breaks down the complexities and explains to stakeholders what developers are doing or why they need to do it. They convey the actual estimates and keep both team and stakeholder hand in hand to verify that information and decisions. Thus, reducing communication issues.
  • Communicate with all the stakeholders and extract the possibility of bringing business
  • Involved in knowing and validating the changes to business processes, information systems, and policies.
  • Analyze the organizations’ business operations by interpreting the processes, analyzing the data i.e. output rate, gains/losses, and customer feedback.

4. Functional Role

This comes as a primary role as a Business Analyst analyses and evaluates the product or the application and determines what amendments are required. This involves a viewpoint from a BA that contributes to the product by his/her excellent depth-in knowledge and technical principles. Whether it’s a new or existing system, they evaluate the effectiveness of the product which further helps in improving the process where required. This ain’t as simple as it sounds. As analysts look at these systems from a big-picture perspective to see all of the available choices. This often requires coming up with solutions that are distinguished from how things have always been done and are unique or innovative.
  • Analyze Existing Systems
  • Map and analyze critical service
  • Create Plans for Change
  • Determine options for the best approach to achieving benefits while preserving savings
  • Time and cost of project
  • Plays a liaising role between the core team and the clients/stakeholders.
Largely Business Analysts wear many hats. Acting as a team-lead on assigned projects and assignments; providing work direction to the developers and other project stakeholders. In the IT sector, a BA belongs to the product development team and is in charge of analyzing the business domain, documenting its systems and processes, and delineating the needs of the business. The role of BA is retained throughout the SDLC.

Let’s Analyze How Having a Business Analyst Involved in Your Project can Make a Huge Impact on Your Product Delivery:

Business Analysts are responsible for discovering, synthesizing, and analyzing information from a variety of sources within an enterprise, including tools, processes, documentation, and stakeholders. The Business Analyst is responsible for eliciting the actual needs of stakeholders—which frequently involves investigating and clarifying their expressed desires—in order to determine underlying issues and causes. Business Analysts play a role in aligning the designed and delivered solutions with the needs of stakeholders as described in the BABOK® Guide.
The activities that Business Analysts perform include:
  • Understanding enterprise problems and goals
  • Analyzing needs and solutions
  • Devising strategies
  • Driving change
  • Facilitating stakeholder collaboration
According to BABOK® Guide the Business Analysts is responsible and accountable for the execution of these activities. In some cases the Business Analysts may also be responsible for performing activities that fall under another stakeholder role such as decision making, setting milestone dates etc. The Business Analyst is inherently a stakeholder in all business analysis activities. With no doubt, the specified activities play a significantly important role in the successful accomplishment of any project hence, need special consideration of an expert. Having a professional business analyst will make sure that these tasks are performed with accuracy and there is no room for doubts. Ultimately, It will speed up your product development and ensure the overall success of the project.

Conclusion

In any IT company, the role of Business Analyst is as vital as any developer, tester, and project manager. He/She brings various benefits to a team:
  • Effective communication
  • Well-established relationships between stakeholders
  • Formalized and written requirements
  • Defined (and common) project goals
  • Managed development process
  • And more.
  • Defined (and common) project goals
On the contrary, it may seem to some decision-makers that hiring a BA is an unnecessary additional cost but it actually helps in reducing the time and money spent on a project. Moreover, a BA can analyze your competitors and define growth opportunities.