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Enough Business Analysis Already


The topic of the week for me has been knowing what is enough or the definition of done.  I attended a presentation at an IIBA chapter meeting where we discussed the importance of having one view of done for a task or deliverable. On a LinkedIn group a question was asked related to techniques to help BAs determine when you have enough requirements.  There is one technique used to determine when you have enough requirements.  That technique is… talking. 

I am a big believer in doing what is necessary for a project to be successful.  Most people, I hope all, agree you don’t follow a process just to follow a process.  You don’t complete an entire template because there is space to fill in.  You document what is necessary and you follow process steps because they add value to the project.

This is where talking comes in.  Determining when you have enough requirements is not the sole responsibility of the business analyst.  The team needs to determine how much is needed to move to the next stage.  Defining done or enough is in the eye of the receiver of the information, not the one eliciting and communicating the information. 

There tends to be a belief that a senior BA should know when enough is enough.  Without interaction from the receivers of the information any BA is just taking a guess. If a senior BA knows when enough is enough on their own, they are mind readers.  A senior BA knows what enough is because they talk with the receivers of the information to make that determination. 

It all comes back to determining what needs to be done in order to meet the goals of the project.  Together the project team, which includes the business stakeholders, makes that determination.  Once an initial determination is made there should be continual discussions or check-ins to ensure you have the right level. As the BA you need to adjust and adapt as necessary.  Maybe stopping before you thought or continuing to elicit and analyze more than anticipated.

That’s enough about enough…this blog post is done!


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