An Analysis of the Tasks Involved in Business Analysis
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This article discusses the concepts and relevant knowledge of Business Analysis (BA) and Systems Analysis (SA), also it does the comparison and contrast between BA and SA. Situations which provide evidence that BA and SA complement each other, are distinguishable, have many advantages & disadvantages, raise issues, and are founded upon assumptions will be especially relevant.
This article Identifies and analyses the tasks involved in business analysis. Base on the BABOK V3, there is an in-depth analysis of several tasks in the knowledge area, including task “Elicitation” of Elicitation and Collaboration knowledge area and task “Trace Requirements” of Requirements Life Cycle Management knowledge area.
Introduction & Background
The last decade has seen a huge shift within the world economy and therefore the entire industries discontinuous and remodelled. Business models that were stable for many years or centuries have suddenly stopped being viable and similar transformative events are doubtless to continue. This presents a major chance of BA as there is a tendency to shift from method automation and managing semipermanent capital investments target group action new technologies directly into the organization’s business model. It’s now not merely regarding up what did before, it’s regarding dynamical the connection with customers and suppliers in basic ways in which were not possible before.
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How does BA support the business during an unquiet world? one among the foremost important, if not the foremost important, functions of BA are to deliver valuable amendment to organizations. BA assess the organization and its operational landscape, they measure out there and rising technologies and processes, and that they orchestrate comes that deliver solutions to best meet the requirements of the business. within the words of Michelle Shakesheff (2016), Business Analyst Manager, “Business Analysis is one of those roles that will never be static. It will always be changing as organizations change and technology changes.” (p. 2) However, ‘disruption’ goes on the far side amendment. the globe has modified and has become way more complicated. Competition is a lot of intense than ever before, and therefore the changes facing business are happening quicker than ever before. to stay property and competitive, organizations are recognizing the worth of the role of BA in serving to them to realize their business goals.
In this report, this chapter outlines the Business Analysis and Systems Analysis (Chapter 1), Chapter 2 describes Key Tasks in Business Analysis.
Chapter 1: Business Analysis and Systems Analysis
This chapter introduces the concept and relative knowledge of BA and SA also search comparisons and contrasts between BA and SA.
1.1 Business Analysis
BA is a research discipline designed to identify business requirements and solutions to business problems. Solutions typically include software system development components, but may also include process improvement, organizational change, or strategic planning and strategy development. Investigate the business system to understand the situation comprehensively. This may include examining organizational structure and staff development issues as well as elements of current processes and IT systems.
Evaluate actions to improve the operation of business systems. Again, this may require an examination of the organizational structure and staff development requirements to ensure they are consistent with any proposed process redesign and IT system development. Document the business requirements supported by IT systems using appropriate documentation standards.
The International Institute of Business Analysis (2009) defined BA as “Business analysis is the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders”(p.12). These are critical to the success of the profession. To ensure that we accurately identify areas of potential financial gain we will engage our stakeholders in a manner that is appropriate given the type of project environment we work in.
The BA focuses on helping businesses and organizations improve their success and market advantage through the gathering and reporting of data by using statistical and mathematical data. This data is clustered, segmented and scored in order to predict likely trends and scenarios in an industry or for a specific business.
BA ultimately helps businesses and companies, even whole industries, make improvements, organizational changes, policy changes, and strategic plans. Business systems are investigated and researched in order to make suggestions and find development issues that can negatively affect systems. BA also improve operations by examining organizational structures and staff development needs. process redesigns and other kinds of changes are used in order to meet new needs and trends in the industry.
Business Requirements Analysis – clearly agreeing what you’re going to deliver and avoid a mismatch in what you deliver, and what the client wants.
Every new activity, each new product, each new project within the work is made in response to a business would like. However, it’s usually found, despite defrayal tremendous time and resources, there’s a twin between what has been designed and what’s required. A cantered and elaborated business necessities analysis will facilitate to avoid issues like these. this is often the method of discovering, analysing, defining, and documenting the necessities that are associated with a business objective. And it’s the method by that it clearly and exactly defines the scope of the project in order that you’ll assess the timescales and resources required to finish it. And sensible BA helps you bring home the bacon this objective. It results in higher perceive the business desires and helps to interrupt them down into elaborated, specific necessities that everybody agrees on.
1.2 Systems Analysis and Design
There are some definitions of SA. For example, “The process of studying a procedure or business in order to identify its goals and purposes and create systems and procedures that will achieve them in an efficient way.” (Merriam-Webster, 2015) and “Typically purposes of a Business Case is made for a new system (or “project”) and this involves IT systems to” (Based on Rosenblatt, 2014).
There are some aims of SA.
- Improve customer service
- Supporting new products/services
- Enhanced existing system performance
- Improved controls
- Decreased costs
Systems Analysis essentially involves:
- Generating models derived from the existing/new system’s requirements
- Create development strategies for existing/new system
- Models to represent data, processes, and objects within the existing & new systems
There are five key phases of SA and design
- Planning and Business Case
- Systems Analysis
- Systems Design
- Systems Implementation
IT systems to support or develop business are used to aims by working with BA and senior management to establish the actual system that will fit their needs, enhancing existing systems and developing new systems, Recognise the necessary input/outputs,
using modelling tools and techniques to visualise system, requirements, code requirements and run required set of tests, and maintain and support users & system.
Systems development is a systematic process which includes. In this article, it primarily focuses on SA and design.
1.2.1 Systems Analysis
It is a method of collection and decoding facts, distinctive the issues, and decomposition of a system into its parts. System analysis is conducted for the aim of learning a system or its components to spot its objectives. it’s a problem-solving technique that improves the system and ensures that everyone the parts of the system work with efficiency to accomplish its purpose. SA specifies what the system ought to do.
1.2.2 Systems Design
It is a method of designing a replacement business system or substitution associate degree existing system by process its parts or modules to satisfy the needs. Before designing, it would like to grasp the recent system totally and verify however computers can best be utilized in order to operate efficiently. System Design focuses on the way to accomplish the target of the system.
1.3 Comparisons and Contrasts
The BA focuses on serving to businesses and organizations improve their success and market advantage through the gathering and reportage of information by victimisation applied mathematics and mathematical data. This data is clustered, segmented and scored in order to predict likely trends and scenarios in an industry or for a specific business.
The purposes of BA are listed below.
- Looking for areas of improvement in business practices, processes, and structure of an organization.
- Recommend such solutions using current or emerging technologies.
- Facilitating communication between the people involved e.g. directors, shareholders, management, IT and all system users.
- Formulating and communication of key stakeholders’ needs by converting the requirements of the business into software needs.
SA is central to system development. Its prime aim is to develop systems models to inform the design and implementation of suites of software programs that constitute a system. It focuses on determining what a new system is required to do. Analysts investigate, understand, and develop organizational knowledge about business areas where IT is to be applied and develop systems models, and then to determine appropriate suites of software programs to write and their functions.
The purposes of SA are listed below.
- Making use of IT systems to support or develop business aims by working with BA and senior management to establish the actual system that will fit their needs.
- Enhancing existing systems and developing new systems.
- Recognising the necessary input/outputs.
- Using modelling tools and techniques to visualise system requirements.
- Code requirements and run the required set of tests.
- Maintain and support users & system.
Some comparisons between BA and SA are listed below.
- Business mind focus
- Achieve/support business goals
- Focus on the needs of users
- Seek for continual improvements using technology
Some contrasts between BA and SA are listed below.
- Technical focus
- Focus on detailed modelling conversion into coding
- Testing focus
- Tasked with maintenance and support for users
- Training of users
BA is to explore and solve the problems and requirements behind the customer are described by surveys, interviews, etc.
SA is based on the requirements analysis, aiming at the customer’s core value, and combining tools and methods to gradually outline and refine the solution process.
All in all, BA is to get the goal (what to do), and SA is to get a solution (how to do it).
Chapter 2: Key Tasks in Business Analysis
The BABOK is based upon a set of knowledge areas guiding the business analyst when they perform BA activities at any point in the project or product life cycle. Knowledge areas define what business analysts need to understand and the tasks they should perform. It contains six knowledge areas, all supported by underlying BA competencies and practical techniques.
- Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
- Elicitation and Collaboration
- Requirements Life Cycle Management
- Strategy Analysis
- Requirements Analysis and Design Definition
- Solution Evaluation
Also, each knowledge areas includes some tasks. Following sessions will discuss some key tasks. Task “Elicitation” is in Elicitation and Collaboration knowledge area and task “Trace Requirements” is in Requirements Life Cycle Management knowledge area.
Stakeholder collaboration to generate requirements is the primary responsibility of business analysts and is one of the most important, complex and important areas of knowledge. In addition, this may involve the most diverse variables and have a direct impact on the success of the project.
The BABOK guide defines five major tasks to accomplish in the domain of heuristic and collaborative knowledge. Therefore, understanding how to handle major activities in this area of knowledge is critical to understanding the requirements and clearly defining the requirements to add maximum value to the entire enterprise organization.
Requirements capture targets collect the correct information to develop project requirements. Project requirements are the basis of the solution that the project and its work will design and deploy.
According to the BABOK guidelines, tasks in the heuristic knowledge domain begin early in the project lifecycle and usually peak during the more detailed requirements development phase of the project. This means that requirements can arise at any point in the project lifecycle, or for the first time or because of changes or missed or misstated things. There are several ways to elicit project requirements. The most common heuristic technique is to meet face-to-face with one or more project stakeholders to gather information about their requirements. However, the resulting message does not necessarily come directly from the person. It can also be based indirectly on research and review of existing documents and other data. Business analysts are responsible for adequate demand inspired preparation. In large projects, this responsibility usually falls on the collective members of the business analysis team, who will simultaneously obtain requirements information from different stakeholders. Be sure to coordinate who is doing what and make sure to sit down and accumulate what everyone has learned from the plan. It is important to remember that any project stakeholder can participate in requirements capture.
The BABOK Guide has three types of elicitation techniques: elicitation events, performed work and collected work.
- Elicitation events take place using one of six techniques: brainstorming, focus groups, interviews, observation, prototyping, and requirements workshops.
- Brainstorming––idea generation
- Focus Groups––small group moderated to focus on a topic to generate small group moderated to focus on a topic to generate discussion of preferences discussion of preferences
- Interviews–with all users, recording / note–taking
- Observation–see existing system in action ‘normal use context’
- Prototyping –a partly complete (in progress) system version
- Requirements Workshops––discover, clarify, rank, boundaries
- Performed elicitation work is done by the business analyst using the document analysis or interface analysis technique.
- Document Analysis–studying existing documentation
- Interface Analysis––current & new, with input/output, validation current & new, with input/output, validation
- Collected elicitation work is distributed and collected using surveys/questionnaires that are sent out to the stakeholders.
- Survey/Questionnaire–list of questions (pilot, Cronbach’s Alpha)
Business analysts are increasingly becoming the critical liaisons between business and solution development, so they must communicate and relate with equal effectiveness throughout all levels of an organization.
2.2 Trace Requirements
Managing requirements traceability is part of the task in the requirements management and communication knowledge domain of the BABOK guide. Traceability is an important feature of requirements, especially in complex projects. Tracing requirements have been clearly defined and identified according to other requirements within the scope of the solution. Requirements traceability provides the ability to identify and document the pedigree of each requirement. The spectrum of requirements includes their relationship to other project requirements, work products, and solution components. When business analysts say they can track a requirement, that means they can look at that requirement and all other requirements associated with it. Traceability is often achieved by placing requirements in tables, spreadsheets, or tools to manage trace activities.
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Traceability begins with the business goals of the project. Business goals are used to determine business requirements. In turn, business requirements are decomposed into more detailed stakeholder requirements levels. Stakeholder requirements are further subdivided into detailed solution requirements, transforming the project team from requirements definition to solution design and development. All of these requirements that make up the project solution scope should be traced back to one or more of the project’s business goals. The following are three major aspects of requirements traceability:
- derivation: trace requirements back to their parent at a higher level
- assignment: forward traceability of requirements to more detailed children
- relationships: track dependencies and interrelationships between requirements and other project requirements
Traceability can be established and maintained at many levels within a given set of project requirements. Traceability usually begins by tracing the current requirements under development to the higher level of requirements from which they originate. For example, when business analysts build solution requirements for a project, the first aspect of traceability they will address is derived from their previous stakeholder requirements.
The BABOK Guide recommends tracing requirements at one or more levels. The four suggested levels for traceability in a project are:
- Individual requirements
- Requirements packages
It is important to decide the level of traceability and the types of relationships to be traced ahead of time. Defining traceability approach should really occur before requirements development work begins. According to the BABOK Guide, tracing could and should be performed for:
- Individual requirements
- Graphical models of the requirements
- Requirements packages
- Requirements documents
- Higher-level capabilities or features
It is important to determine the level of traceability and the types of relationships tracked in advance. This allows the business analysis team to do this while developing requirements. In addition, all project requirements must be associated with business goals. Otherwise, there is no need to meet business requirements and provide a solution scope. Implementing traceability of project requirements requires additional work from the business analysis team. Requirements traceability is almost always worth it. Impact analysis: traceability allows business analysts to thoroughly assess the impact of change requests on requirements and solution components. Requirements coverage: tracking requirements that trace business goals show business analysts how to achieve these goals. This also allows the business analyst to confirm that all business goals are included in the solution scope and solution components. Requirements allocation: traceability allows business analysts to track the subset of requirements assigned to each solution component. It is worth noting that relationships between key dependencies and requirements should be documented so that they can be tracked even beyond the project lifecycle. Creating and maintaining this information helps prioritize project work activities to design and deploy solutions defined by requirements. Traceability can also help you correctly assign project requirements to solution components. According to the BABOK guidelines, there are five common relationships between requirements that can be tracked and documented during and after requirements development.
- Necessity: A requirement and another related requirement must be implemented at the same time for a specific reason.
- Effort: A requirement is easier to implement if a related requirement is implemented at the same time.
- Subset: A requirement is a decomposed outcome (one of the children) of another requirement.
- Cover: A higher-level requirement is the sum of its sub-requirements. In this case, all the sub-requirements must be implemented for this higher-level requirement to be met.
- Value: Including a requirement increases or decreases the desirability of implementing a related requirement.
In some projects, discovering traceability helps make better decisions when assessing the impact of change requests on the project. For example, if an approved requirement changes on a project, you may find that the traceability matrix is used to examine the impact of the change on other requirements or solution components. Although traceability can be done manually using spreadsheets, complex projects often require a simpler approach. Many business analysts prefer to use requirements management tools or configuration management systems to track large amounts of requirements. In this final, it focuses on the topic of recommended traceability techniques. The coverage matrix technique is specific to the “managing requirements traceability” task in the BABOK guide. Basically, the coverage matrix is a table or spreadsheet for managing and facilitating requirements tracking. This simple approach is used for simple projects with only a few requirements, or for projects with very limited traceability and little detail.
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