Overview of Business Analysis
Business analysis is the discipline of identifying business needs for a new or changing business, and determining the solutions to those needs in sight of possible resources, complications, risks and problems. Solutions often include a component of systems development, but may also consist of process improvement, organizational change or strategic planning and policy development.
If to summarize the expectation from a Business Analysis exercise, is that a business analysis is a process of suggesting a practical solution derived from the business vision and strategy.
In the perspective of the SCRS approach, a BA should present a practical feasible business solution(s) that include four basic components: the strategy, the current state, and requirements and the suggested solution. Flowing from strategy to solution ensures that the BA is sound with the business’s vision, but also that the outcome of the work is a useful solution.
The SCRS approach:
1. Strategy: specifying the organization‘s mission, vision and objectives, developing policies and plans, often in terms of projects and programs, which are designed to achieve these objectives, and then allocating resources to implement them.
2. Current state: describing the existing situation of the business in terms of background, business context, stakeholders (employees, contractors, managers…), systems, functions, processes and the rest of the elements and entities which are important for the business.
3. Requirements: The requirements define the characteristics or features of the desired system or service. The main requirements would be:
- Business requirements: How the new solution is understood by the business users (such as customers, employees, and vendors) in the early stage of the development cycle and as a guide the design of the future system.
- Technical requirements: How the new solution is understood in technical terms, i.e. if there are any technical constrains or needs which the solution must take into account. It could be for example using specific software or hardware which are required by the organization, delivery standards, compatibility standards etc.
- Functional requirements: How the new solution should function, i.e. the input, the calculation rules, and the output of the required solution. Functional requirements may be calculations, technical details, data manipulation and processing and other specific functionality that define what a system is supposed to accomplish
4. Solution Design (“spec”): This is the most useful part of BA work that unfortunately many Business Analysts miss it due to lack of technical skills. The solution design is actually a detailed specification of the solution (sometimes also called “spec” or “detailed spec” or “detailed requirements specification”), that goes to the lowest possible level of every function / IO (input/output) element of the system as well as the calculation steps. It The solution design should be detailed to the level that every developer could take it and produce the solution directly from it.