Business analysis as a discipline has a heavy overlap with requirements analysis sometimes also called requirements engineering, but focuses on identifying the changes to an organization that are required for it to achieve strategic goals. These changes include changes to strategies, structures, policies, processes, and information systems.
Examples of business analysis includes:
Enterprise analysis or company analysis
Focuses on understanding the needs of the business as a whole, its strategic direction, and identifying initiatives that will allow a business to meet those strategic goals. It also includes:
- Creating and maintaining the business architecture
- Conducting feasibility studies
- Identifying new business opportunities
- Scoping and defining new business opportunities
- Preparing the business case
- Conducting the initial risk assessment
Requirements planning and management
Involves planning the requirements development process, determining which requirements are the highest priority for implementation, and managing change.
Describes techniques for collecting requirements from stakeholders in a project. Techniques for requirements elicitation include:
- Document analysis
- Focus group
- Interface analysis
- Reverse engineering
- User task analysis
- Process mapping
- Observation/job shadowing
Business Analysis Roles
The primary role for our business analysts is to identify business needs and provide solutions to business problems. These are achieved as part of following set of activities.
Organizations need to focus on strategic matters on a more or less continuous basis in the modern business world. In serving this need, our business analysts are well-versed in analyzing the strategic profile of the organization and its environment, advising senior management on suitable policies, and the effects of policy decisions.
Organizations may need to introduce change to solve business problems which may have been identified by the strategic analysis, referred to above. Our business analysts contribute by analyzing objectives, processes and resources, and suggesting ways by which re-design (BPR), or improvements (BPI) could be made.
There are three elements essential to this aspect of our business analysis effort: the redesign of core business processes; the application of enabling technologies to support the new core processes; and the management of organizational change. This aspect of business analysis is also called "business process improvement" (BPI), or "reengineering".
There is the need to align IT Development with the systems actually running in production for the Business. A long-standing problem in business is how to get the best return from IT investments, which are generally very expensive and of critical, often strategic, importance. IT departments, aware of the problem, often create a business analyst role to better understand, and define the requirements for their IT systems. Although there may be some overlap with the developer and testing roles, our focus is always on the IT part of the change process, and generally, we get involved, only when a case for change has already been made and decided upon.