Responsibilities of a Business Analyst usually don’t remain the same across organizations. Each organization could have its own set of roles and responsibilities for its BA team. At some places a BA has certain responsibilities of a Project Manager and at some place there are certain tasks he needs to do which fall into the domain of a Key Account Manager. But as a BA, there are essentially 4 functional areas which usually remain the same across any organization and ideally make up for the 90% of what a Business Analyst should actually do.
In this post, I try to list down and give a brief about those 4 areas:
1. Requirements Elicitation
Collecting requirement from the project sponsors or stakeholders is the first and foremost step for any project. Without requirements, there won’t actually be a need to develop something new or make updates in some existing system. A Business Analyst needs to follow multiple techniques and use tools to elicit requirements from the stakeholders.
2. Requirement Analysis
Once the requirements have been captured, the next step is to analyze those requirements. Analysis of requirements include things like: what is common from stakeholders and where are the conflicts, what requirements are feasible and what not, etc. A BA needs to put in deep thought process and analyze what the customer is looking for. He might have to work with other departments in the organization and see how it is being done by the competitors. At this stage, a BA needs to play role of a consultant to come up with the best approach.
3. Requirements Documentation
Documentation is one of the essential features of functional areas for any BA. As explained in my previous articles on Career Tips for Business Analysts, I emphasized on the documentation and how it is important for a BA profile. Documentation helps all the stakeholders have clarity on what was proposed to build and what needs to be built. Getting a sign-off on the requirements document, hugely helps in better project planning, managing scope and keeping a control on changes.
4. Requirements Validation
Validating requirements is one of the final steps of any project. A Business Analyst needs to make sure that the system developed aligns with the business requirements and meets the stakeholder expectations. For this, a BA needs to be a good tester as well. A BA needs to work closely with the Quality Assurance teams and make sure that proper test cases are prepared and things work as expected. This article on Develop.com explains how Business Analysts need to perform UAT and what factors they need to keep in mind while working on it.