Some individuals may wonder what a business analyst is, so let’s start by clearing that up. The role of a business analyst can be defined as the bridge of communication between the IT staff working on a project and the business stakeholders.
Their main responsibility is organising discussions between the business users to understand their business needs for change and then to communicate these needs to the IT staff, so they can design and build a system that is what the business user requires and up to the business stakeholders’ expectations. Along with being the facilitator, a business analyst is responsible for documenting requirements, user specifications, cases, test plans, implementing test plans and supporting the project manager, customer and development team.
Reasons why they’re needed
A business analyst can bring a maximum efficiency to a project team and this can sometimes be overlooked. While the development team outlines the technical solutions, the business analyst provides information, answers questions, eliminates obstacles and ensures that the technical solution is developing forwards to meet the stakeholder’s expectations. A business analyst can bring a lot of value to all departments that are working on a project as well as the customer. However, some may ask what these values are, so below are some reasons as to why your team needs business analysts.
Reducing project cost
Business analysts are needed within a team as they can help to reduce project costs. Although it may seem like you are spending more money as you will need to hire and pay a business analyst, in the long run, they can help to reduce the cost of the overall project that they are working on. One way they can help reduce the cost of the project is by reducing re work that takes place. For example, when your developers start coding for a business user, it may not be exactly what they wanted and may have to be looked over and re coded. Something that starts so simple can then become so complex after stakeholders’ requests come in and you will find yourself re working the elements you first started the project with. Therefore, having a business analyst can help stop this re work as they will know what the business user demands are and how to translate this to the developers, so they get it right. This will result in stopping steps within the project being delayed which can cost any company money.
Secondly, it can take some time for businesses to figure out what it is they want from a project and this can be costly. If requirements meetings were to take place regularly without some form of solution being made in each one, then this can cost the company a lot of money as you will be holding up meeting rooms and stakeholders time. Therefore, this is where a business analyst would be valued as part of there role is to come up with solutions, create a logical decision-making process, remind others that they may have made that suggestion before and fill in those communication gaps between the different departments working on the project. Business analysts would prevent multiple meeting from happening between stakeholders which would save the business money.
Increasing potential return
Increasing the value of a project will help to increase potential return for a business as they are becoming more efficient. Having the development team divide a list of say 100 things that need to be done and grouping them by the area of the system can cause issues later in the project as they may not have been grouped by value. By doing this you may be grouping tasks at the top of the list which aren’t that important. By not having any focus on prioritisation can cause your project to lose value. One of the main skills that a company would want in a business analyst is prioritisation. Therefore, by having a business analyst in your team to deal with all the requirements needed for a project, they would help to add value to the project and provide potential return.
Many developers are grateful when they have an experience business analyst working on a project with them as all they want to do is code. Having developers interacting with business users and lengthy requirement meetings isn’t productive. Developers tend to want to design a solution before knowing the full scope of requirements that are needed for a project and business users sometimes do not like this. This normally causes discomfort and confusion for the business users and can have a negative impact on the overall project. However, the business analyst understands the detail the developers need to go into to bridge the gap between business requirements and technical requirements. Although developers are more than capable of working with business users, it can cause project delays and re work due to the miscommunication. Therefore, business analysts will bring value to the team as they understand technical requirements as well as business requirements and can interact with the business users as well as the developers to ensure that there aren’t any project delays.