Business analysis is finding a solution to the business problem considering all the context like business needs, the target audience and the state of market. Business analysts are responsible for these solutions being well thought and analyzed. Let’s find out how they do it.
The full cycle of business analysis starts with analyzing business itself, finding a solution and describing the full product specification. Specification document is a big document describing all products, all system functionality with all the details how it operates. It is a step-by-step description of what should be done to achieve the ultimate goal, namely to deliver a product that will meet the business needs and vision of the customer.
First, it is just one source of information where you have everything, and each member of your team or each stakeholder can go there and check all the information. It excludes the fact of miscommunication and also excessive communication, because you don't need to ask everybody (sometimes you may even not know whom you should ask).
Second, working on next versions is much easier when you have a good specification. For example, in LinkUp we work on a big project for a law company which was initially written by another team. They didn’t have a specification and when we wanted to find out how things work, we had to open the code. After we created the documentation and everything became well described and accessible, everyone started breathing a sigh of relief.
It is important to have the professional business analyst who will write this specification, as they know the format and the standard that is very readable by each member of a team.
The product owners can have their documents with good description of the general idea, but there are always things that will find missing if digging into the details, like small logic, raw calculation and formulas etc. Business analyst's job is to fill these holes.
BA starts a job with receiving information from the product owner, analyzing it, and then doing measurements by the method of decomposition. Besides working on requirements, there are also a few important things: estimation and planning. They are separate processes with different levels.
Detailed estimate is what appears after the discovery phase. A business analyst is responsible to create the project development plan and estimate how much future phases will cost.
The faster you engage an expert, the faster you get to the point where you have all logic well-thought and there’s no need to change anything. The success of a product, in the beginning, is the correct way to build architecture, and you should consider all the points or the connection of entities in the system before building it.
In case you want to do something a bit after this, it can be a consequence that you need to actually rebuild this architecture. And when we are talking about changing architecture, it's a lot of money, which you can save if you engage a business analyst in the beginning.
The results of the study from NASA show clearly that cost to fix escalates exponentially as the project progresses. The cost of fixing a requirements' error discovered during the requirements phase is defined to be $100. Design phase $1,000. Development $10,000. Testing $100,000. Operations $1 million.
There are cases when up to 50% of the functionality is being changed due to all the reasons and all the context.
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