In the dynamic landscape of modern business, effective business analysis goes beyond gathering requirements or refining user stories. Asking users what they want and documenting it won’t cut it. There are 4 aspects that effective business analysts are mindful of, to capture better requirements.
Well, there is no business analysis without a business! Understanding your customer’s business is a foundational stage of business analysis. You need to explore the customer’s business with genuine curiosity. Dig deeper than just knowing what industry the customer serves and what products they sell. Go deeper. Why is the customer’s business important to their industry? Where do they sit in the value chain? What would happen if their offering didn’t exist? How do they market, sell and service their customers? How does this business make money? What is their differentiator? What is the pricing power they have? These questions are not exhaustive but illustrate what it takes to truly understand your customer’s business.
Every project should have an expected business outcome. Some projects may not go through a formal business case justification process. This could be because the business value is obvious to the customer. But as a consultant, you have to truly understand the business value that the project is expected to deliver. This just helps you align strongly with the customer.
Knowing the department and title of your user is not enough. Understand what type of person performs that role. Know what their typical day looks like. How do they currently achieve the outcomes that your system is expected to deliver? How do they perceive the value of the system?
We usually interview the users and get the requirements – this could be 1-1 sessions or in a workshop setting. But here you can only get the stated requirements. What about the unsaid requirements? Understanding the business, the business value and the user’s role will take you a long way in getting the unsaid requirements. If possible, spend a day or a few hours, just observing your users doing their routine work. Companies like Intuit and P&G implement follow-me-homes.This a wonderful way to really understand your users.
In the realm of business analysis, proficiency goes beyond the mechanics of requirements documentation. It intertwines the art of understanding, empathy, and revelation. The journey to capturing in-depth requirements is not a linear path but an intricate tapestry woven through deep-seated curiosity about the business, a profound connection to projected value, a compassionate grasp of user lives, and an unwavering commitment to unravelling the unsaid. By embracing these dimensions, business analysts cease to be mere observers and instead become catalysts for innovation, propelling projects toward transformative success. The road to effective business analysis is an evolution—a relentless pursuit of excellence in comprehending, connecting, and creating.