Monday, February 16, 2009

Business Analyst Responsibilities in a Nut Shell

Click on the pic for a better view.

The idea behind writing this post was to demonstrate the role of a BA  through visuals to make this role understand in a simpler way.

Not taking much of your time, generally a BA is found working at 2 places
  1. One at Clients place (incase if represents the IT organisation/ IT dept of the Client Organisation) where the Business Users Reside
  2. And second is at IT Organization where the IT team is working ( can be at offshore )
Remember there can be two different BA's at the above mentioned 2 places. Although there is no hard and fast rule that the same BA has to represent at both the phases, there might be a team of BA's (for Eg; 2 to 3 ) for a particular project.

In the Requirements phase:  A BA responsibility is to interview the business users to define scope and  capture high level business requirements. To make this happen a BA can make use of different techniques.

For Eg: You go to a Manufacturing Co. where in they wish to implement a ERP (obviously with many  customisation to suit the client needs) in that case you will like to discuss with all business users and help them identify what they require from their software , just to make their life easy !!

In the above case a BA will use some of the techniques like Conducting JAD Sesssion, Surveying , Interviewing the business users.

Once the high level Business Requirements are captured, The Managers, BA's and Technical Architect Guys  from Software / IT Project team  will come up with highlevel estimations and project timelines to meet this requirement.

Once agreed on the above estimations and timelines a BA would move in to the functional phase, here the BA would be challenged to capture or translate highlevel Business Requirements to detailed level functional and non functional requirements.

A BA is a sole owner of the requirement and has to  keep a tab on the requirements.  He has to maintain a tracebility matrix to map where each Business Req. is mapped to Functional Req. and where each functional Req. is captured. A Test manager has to map each Test case for each functional Req. in the same matrix.

BA is also required to review & validate the  Functional requirements,Test cases, Test Results to check the status of the requirements. BA also has to manage Change request and come up with impact analysis and estimates/timelines for the same.

Once the Software is ready to be given to customer BA has to do a series of testing to see whether the requirements are incorporated in the software or not and then BA has  to support the UAT phase.
In UAT the clients Test team/ Business Users will test the product and any issues/concerns raised by them has to be supported by a BA.

There are many more things a BA does however to keep this article very simpler i didn't touch the other areas.

Hope this article with the above visuals help you to understand the BA role!!