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Thursday, February 4, 2016

37 Business Analysis Fundamentals For Beginners

What is Business Analysis? and Who is a Business Analyst?

Business Analysis is a job function performed by business subject matter experts. It involves analysis of existing business processes or design of new business processes from scratch.

Business Analyst is a role performed by a person who is well versed with the business process, policies, operations and functional/ domain knowledge.

The key responsibilities of a BA include:
  1. Understand the business need or business problem and covert it into detailed business requirements
  2. Drive design of business process solutions
  3. Collaborate and Liaise with business and IT stakeholders
  4. Engage from the very beginning/ inception of the project till final delivery and sign off
  5. Provide consultancy on improvement of business processes and IT processes

What is expected from a business Analyst?

  1. Skill and ability to visualize and understand the End to End business flow
  2. Strong analytical skills to understand and break a problem into logical units
  3. Domain expertise
  4. Excellent communication and collaboration skills to lead business discussions and arrive at logical conclusions
  5. Awareness and ability to apply industry best practices
  6. Conversant with business to business and business to IT communication

What are the key day to day tasks performed by a Business Analyst?

  1. Stakeholder engagement
  2. Requirement analysis and creation of business requirements document
  3. Understanding and documenting the "AS-IS" business flow
  4. Process and Gap Analysis
  5. Conceptualize and develop the "TO-BE" business flow
  6. Identify and document known issues, pain points and user experience issues
  7. Create training manuals. Conduct User training
  8. Generate business metrics to support the business case(s)
  9. Secure formal sign offs from stakeholders
  10. Perform business acceptance testing(BAT)
  11. Facilitate user acceptance testing(UAT)
  12. Participate in IT delivery or Go Live processes
  13. Drive business normalization processes post IT Go Live process

What are the key skills of a Business Analyst?

  1. Excellent verbal and written skills to communicate and collaborate
  2. Excellent negotiation skills to drive business decisions
  3. Good working knowledge of documentation tools like Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio, Project Planner etc.
  4. IT or System knowledge is not a must, but is a big plus in certain situations where collaboration with IT is required
  5. Project Management knowledge is a must
  6. Status reporting and proactive approach to report risks and issues to the management

What are some of the key deliverable of Business Analysis function?

  1. Process flows(AS-IS and TO-BE)
  2. Business Requirement Document(BRD)
  3. Business Test Scenarios
  4. Business Test Cases
  5. Business Metrics/ Reports
  6. Training and/ or User Manuals
  7. End to end business process view chart/ diagram

It is vital for beginners to understand these Business Analysis fundamentals because it has immense impact on the overall approach they take towards performing day to day activities in their role. At times, professionals with IT background get confused between the roles of an IT Analyst and a Business Analyst. I hope the above details provide enough clarity as far as the Business Analysis part is concerned. We will cover the IT Analyst part in a separate article.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.