Being a Business Analyst is a little like being an architect. Instead of producing plans, the Business Analyst provides requirements which clearly state the business needs and align with business processes. The requirements are then used by the team or an external supplier to build or modify the product.
A typical day may look like this:
The Business Analyst arrives in the office with a goal in mind of what they expect to accomplish that day. This plan may include spending greater than 50% of the time in meetings or workshops where they will be gathering information or seeking agreement on the contents of the project artifacts that they produce. The rest of the time, they will be performing original review, crunching through spreadsheets of data and traceability patterns, analyzing or writing documentation or working out the optimum way to define a particular need, requirement or process.
A Business Analyst's everyday work duties can vary considerably, depending on the variety of the current business and project. Despite this, there are some activities that the Business Analyst will usually do in the plan of every project.
- Investigating goals and issues
- Analyzing information
- Communicating with a broad range of people
- Documenting findings
- Evaluating solutions
For an assigned project, the Business Analyst will regularly try to define and supervise a sequence of carefully structured assignments aimed at obtaining the common goals of review, constructing, planning, and evaluation. Of course, these functions are bound to require a flexible approach matching the circumstances.
Let's have a look at the responsibilities based on the project phase:
1. Investigating Goals and Issues
Business Analysts spend a great deal of time asking questions. To explain the project and feasible clarifications, a BA might conduct interviews, read, and observe work in progress. Business Analysts do analysis and look for solution alternatives, both inside and outside the organization.
2. Analyzing Information
The analysis phase is the phase during which the Business Analyst explains the elements in detail, affirming clearly and unambiguously what the business needs to do in order solve its issue.
During this stage the BA will also interact with the development team and, if appropriate, an architect, to design the layout and define accurately what the solution should look like.
3. Communicating with a Broad Range of People
Good Business Analysts contribute countless hours actively communicating. More than only speaking, this means hearing and recognizing verbal and non-verbal information, building an open conversation, verifying you've understood what you heard, and communicating what you learn to those who will create the actual solution.
4. Documenting Findings
Business Analysts spend a decent amount of time recording what they learn and observe, and recording the results of their analysis.
During this phase, the Business Analyst should consider the best ways to record particular kinds of information, either in text or visual form, i.e., charts, graphs, illustrations, etc.
5. Evaluating Solutions
A Business Analyst must also spend time identifying options for solving particular difficulties, then help choose the best one. The preferred solution is then estimated throughout the layout and planning to assure that it meets the business requirements.
The implementation phase is not the conclusion for the Business Analyst. It's the riskiest time for things to go amiss and for objectives to be missed. It's during this stage a BA should be aware of how clients are utilizing the framework.
Do they see the benefits envisaged in the business case? Do the training materials support the business case?
In essence, a Business Analyst is a navigator, responsible for reaching the end destination, which means a satisfying resolution of a business problem. The BA always knows what the end destination is, how to get there and is capable of handling course adjustments as they arise.