Business analysis should start at the very beginning of a project. Definitely, before the development and UX/UI teams are fully immersed in software development methodologies. However, software developers and UX/UI designers should be included. On the contrary, their expertise adds excellent value to the business analysis of a new project. These people have already solved many technical and business problems, and they can handle them at this early stage of new product or program development. In addition, participating in the analysis at this stage brings long-term benefits for effective project management. The entire self-organized cross-functional team – especially the UX/UI designer and project manager – plays a critical role in this phase. Fully understanding the product idea and requirements analysis will steer the team in the right direction, help guide the right development methodology, and help create customized solutions in the future.
The business analyst is usually the business analyst, but sometimes a project manager with business analysis skills also takes on this role. This role links the client (business part) and the development team (technical part). The business analyst has a complex task. He has to translate business requirements into functional and, therefore, partially into technical requirements.
How to conduct a practical business analysis?
Business analysis is a step toward creating a product that will satisfy your customers and surprise your competitors. You can follow the sequence of steps below to conduct the analysis.
Interview with a client
This is usually a series of small workshops in the development cycle. During these sessions, business analysts or dedicated project managers cover questions about the purpose of the product, user expectations, competition, and features the finished solution should have.
You can use various tools and methods available in the marketplace to conduct workshops, depending on the area you want to study. However, they all focus on understanding, vision, product, users, finance, competition, and risk.
A general understanding of the experience and strengths of the parties collaborating on the project helps you determine the terms of future collaboration and areas of expertise. You may be asked, for example, about your industry experience or market research. All this is to understand your needs better.
Defining the vision of the software architecture and the roots of the product idea allows you to determine the long-term purpose of the product in the marketplace and better plan your implementation and development strategy. In addition, understanding high-level product creation ideas will positively impact your team’s understanding of your needs and better adoption.
This part of the analysis focuses on studying individual product functionalities to determine the connections and relationships between them, how users will perceive the product, what the product requirements are, and how the idea as a whole relates to the overall product vision. This extensive pre-planning helps simplify business processes. As a result, you can expect a clear image of your product that your audience would like to see, along with an assessment of program processes.
Financial analysis is an opportunity for the entire team to understand the options and financial expectations with which you are starting the project and will allow you to understand your plan for earning the finished product so you can design it more efficiently.
Discussing technological capabilities and constraints early in the architectural design phase of project implementation is just as crucial as analyzing business assumptions. Many technical problems can arise due to the complexity of application functions and limitations imposed by the chosen technology. By analyzing these parameters, you and the team will understand what you will face and which elements will require more attention on your part.
Final team involvement
After analyzing the collected information, the entire project team gets involved. Depending on the project, iOS and Android developers (for mobile applications) or back-end and front-end developers (for web applications) may be interested in the project. For any project, there is always a PM, UX/UI designer, and tester who ensures the software’s quality and standards. The project team analyzes the information together one more time to ensure they can add value to the final product and create solutions at a satisfactory level of quality and with customer satisfaction.
Creating an analysis document
After the team has double-checked the collected requirements, the person responsible for the project document should double-check and include all the details. This document contains all the information received from the client about the project. It consists of all requirements, expectations, customer satisfaction scores, and test results. In addition, this document should be a valid guideline for the activities of the entire team from the very beginning of any application software development.
Creating a project framework – what should software developers be thankful for?
The collected requirements, with the help of the development team and the project manager, are reflected in the project scope – the amount of work needed for the product to be considered complete. The project scope for IT projects is reflected in the project backlog. This is a list of all the tasks required to create a ready-to-use product.
Given the importance of an in-depth description of all requirements, a properly drafted project scope can significantly reduce development time. Software testing team members will quickly get involved in the project, ensuring that the quality of the software is top-notch and paying particular attention to testing. Software developers will make fewer mistakes in the software development lifecycle. The need for changes will potentially be drastically reduced, which will have a positive impact on the project budget and software development.
The pre-implementation business analysis brings several benefits:
- Meeting expectations – requirements are detailed and precise, ensuring that the final product meets users’ expectations.
- Cost optimization – the team knows what to do so that you won’t be surprised by additional costs.
- Reduced implementation time – when all requirements are collected, the team can determine the best implementation path, reducing the time to prepare a solution.
- Good business relationships – during the analysis phase, the entire agile team can get to know each other and establish initial relationships that will be useful during the project and for client satisfaction.
Is it possible to implement an IT project without doing a business analysis? Yes, today’s market proves that it is possible but difficult because of the risks that increase as the project scale increases. In the case of large and complex projects, the pre-business analysis is a necessity and a standard. In more straightforward projects, IT expert advice, effective project management, and close cooperation between companies may be sufficient.