Role and Responsibility of a Business Analyst
Business Analyst itself is an important role in any change initiative. It can be played by any stakeholder in an enterprise and it is predominantly a role and not a designation. Anyone who is performing the business analysis activities, can be called as a Business Analyst. A Business Analyst can also play the role of other stakeholders in any project. If the BA has a very good working knowledge of the domain, then the BA can very well play the role of Domain Subject Matter Expert (SME) and Quality Assurance professional. Taking primary care for the quality along with the scope.
However, the role focuses more on managing the scope of the work or product as part of any changes or new projects. When it comes to Scope , Requirements are important to manage throughout the life cycle. Requirement management is the key responsibility of any Business Analyst.
Requirements classification schema as per BABOK® guide broadly specifies the below.
- Business Requirements
- Stakeholder Requirements
- Solution Requirements
- Functional Requirements
- Non-Functional Requirements
- Transition Requirements
Business Requirements are high level and focuses on enterprise / Organisation’s goals and objectives. It may also contain problem faced or opportunities.
Stakeholder Requirements are the needs, wants and expectations of the stakeholders. Business Analyst should spend sufficient time and collaborate with stakeholders to elicit it. Just gathering the requirements from the stakeholders may not help satisfying the objectives or building the right solution. Eliciting them is the real challenge and key activity for any Business Analyst. Stakeholder requirements acts as a bridge between Business and Solution Requirements.
While eliciting the solution requirements, the business analyst should understand the non-functional requirements rather than just understanding the behaviors of the system. The non-functional requirement are quality attributes such as performance, security and usability etc.,
Transition requirements help to move the enterprise or organisation from its current state to future state. They are temporary conditions, capabilities or activities. Data conversions and Training needs are essential and can be categorized as transition requirements.
Documenting the requirements, analyzing, tracing, maintaining, prioritizing and getting the agreement along with handling the changes are requirement management related key activities.
The role need not be restricted to just project life cycle. It can be extended even after the project is over or rolling out the solution into production. The business analyst extends the support by evaluating the solution for improving the performance and verifying whether it delivers the expected value for stakeholders.
Ideally the role begins before the project is initiated in any enterprise by understanding or assessing the needs, supports in delivering the solution and continues in benefit realization beyond the solution delivery.