Could a project run without a business analyst?

Oct 30, 2022 |
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To create the proper products and provide substantial services, a competent and efficient team is exactly what you need. A product development team normally consists of experts from several fields. And its structure and constitution mainly depend on the requirements of each project. So, who’s there to analyze the whole project? A business analyst of course!

The role of a business analyst is to evaluate an organization’s performance and work with it to enhance the business’s procedures. To find solutions to a plethora of challenges, multiple research and analysis are conducted. Afterward, the solutions are presented to the customers for satisfactory results.

But are business analysts that important to run a project? A client may, at times, question the necessity of a business analyst in technical projects. But in reality, it is one of the most important aspects for the successful outcome of a project. In this article, we’ll dive into the functions of a business analyst and examine whether they are an essential element in conducting a project.

Why is there a need for a business analyst in a project?

While a business doesn’t always have to invest in a business analyst, someone will always have to take charge and execute business analysis tasks. Either way, a business analyst is crucial for a project to complete.

Along with engineering and design, establishing clear goals and objectives is a primary concern for any project. Tracking new business requirements and comprehending all dependencies is extremely necessary while creating a product. In other words, someone will perform business analysis work anyway, but the question is, how thoroughly? It’s always best to hand it over to someone who’s a professional and has experience in the field.

Roles and responsibilities of a business analyst

The most widely accepted and best practice of business analysts is that they’re in charge of facilitating change within an organization by identifying requirements and offering a beneficial solution to stakeholders.

To develop the best solution, a business analyst must extract knowledge from the stakeholders and then consult with the development team about the various choices to finally come up with a decision.

There are many different definitions of a business analyst’s function since there are countless techniques and ways to carry out these tasks. To better address the issue, we purposefully employ the word “role” rather than “position.” You have probably seen that a set of business analyst duties varies based on the nation, business, and project characteristics. This job could even vary across projects carried out by the same organization.

Conducting user research and interviews is necessary for certain projects while hosting workshops with important stakeholders, creating logical data models, or displaying business processes using diagrams is necessary for others. To evaluate and accept requirements obtained from the product owner, business analysts may need to develop a low-quality prototype.

Projects that require a business analyst

In some cases, it might be possible to go on about a project without much need for a business analyst. For instance, the project outlines a precise list of features and requirements that need no further modification. But in most cases, a business analyst has to be present to do the job efficiently. Let us look at a few examples where a business analyst’s expertise is absolutely necessary.

Scenario 01: The client has many ideas for the project but is unable to give the team a detailed list of features and specifications.

To assist the product development team in providing the best solution in this situation, a business analyst must evaluate data and ask the appropriate questions to establish the foundation for the project.

Here is an easy illustration. Let’s say a client wants to develop a system that enables people to plan online events. He gives a brief description of the essential characteristics of the requested product.

The product owner must provide the team with as much information as possible before they begin to create the UX. For a fuller understanding of the situation, even the tiniest details are important. In this situation, the relevant questions need to be answered:

  • Which user types could access each specific feature?
  • Who is in charge of controlling user permissions?
  • Should content be moderated before publication?
  • Will it be carried out manually or automatically?
  • If automatically, according to what standards?
  • Do the reports need to be added?
  • How quickly should they be produced?

The business analyst examines the user and business sides of the answers given by the client, predicts various options, exclusions, and regulations, then confirms them with the client. Once authorization is complete, the business analyst records the information and gives it to the design and production department.

Scenario 02: There is no agreement among the project’s various (3 or more) stakeholders.

Every stakeholder is a potential source of what the project needs. Thus a business analyst must carefully gather all of their input before analyzing, systematizing, and prioritizing requirements. If there are problems, the business analyst identifies individuals to talk to about the problem, consults outside experts to gain their opinion, and links user needs to the original business aim to evaluate the worth, dependencies, and hazards.

Scenario 03: The project’s scale is enormous, with various difficulties and risks involved

Projects with a complicated user ladder and various degrees of operational access frequently have a lot of needs and a lot of exclusions and limits. A program’s requirements may also appear ambiguous to application developers due to specialized language and guidelines that are familiar to clients but unfamiliar to developers.

For instance, certain industries have a high degree of legal regulation. It implies that even the smallest error might result in damages to the business. Here, the responsibility of the business analyst is to become familiar with the field, including technical jargon and particular procedures. Also to transform customers’ requests into operational and non-functional objectives that the team can comprehend.‍

Scenario 04: The project will last a while

Long-term projects are likely to require a significant amount of data to be retained and documented. This includes specifications, updates, processes, and basic references. Additionally, if the project lasts for more than six months, the team composition on both sides may vary. In both scenarios, a business analyst manages valuable data for the completion of the project.

Scenario 05: The project calls for thorough attestation

Documentation is always necessary when designing solutions for strictly regulated businesses like healthcare, banking, and government services. Some businesses want their internal documentation requirements for software solutions to be adhered to. A scheduled pause between project stages is another factor that determines whether a project needs substantial and accurate documentation. In this situation, all information should be carefully stored, always accessible, and intelligible for the subsequent rounds.

Projects that do not require a business analyst

As we previously stated, a business analysis activity must be carried out regardless of the nature of the project. However, some ventures do not require the service provider to hire a professional business analyst. Let’s look at some examples.

Scenario 01: There is already a business analyst working for the client

Whether the person in charge of business analysis is an analyst, product manager, or product owner, each of them may be accountable for tasks that are quite similar to those of a traditional business analyst. It is crucial to state upfront if this individual will be responsible for all required tasks.

Scenario 02: No difficult hierarchies are involved in the short-term project

Hiring a business analyst may not be necessary for situations where the project’s objective is to improve an existing product or transfer it to a new platform while maintaining current functionality. It is also not required when stakeholders are completely familiar with user flows and all potential scenarios, or when there are numerous similar solutions available on the market. But once more, it depends on the needs of the specific project.

Scenario 03: The project’s essential data has already been acquired.

In this instance, all the details regarding the domain, the customers’ operations, their personas, and relationships are documented and can be distributed to the next project team.

Conclusion

To summarize, doing business analysis tasks is a must for any project. This position may occasionally need to be carried out by a specialist in the field. It may also be assigned to another team member such as a designer, engineer, project manager, or another. You should take into account your individual needs and the details of your project when deciding how business analysis work should be carried out on it. But there is no doubt that a business analyst will always be crucial for a project to run smoothly.

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