We have interviewed our Lead business analyst, Maciej Gabiec, to understand and clarify the gist of the business analysis process.
“Business analysis is all about collecting requirements from the business side and translating them to the IT side. The purpose of this action is the mutual understanding so that developers can turn ideas into working applications” says Maciej. The analyst has a certain role in the application development process, which stands on the borderline between the business team, that comes up with the product, and the development team, that transforms the project requirements later on into code that creates a working application. It is the BA’s responsibility to maintain contact between two parties.
“These are two different worlds – a person who works in a business and a person who is a developer. The analyst brings those two worlds together” states Maciej.
The presence of the analysts allows individuals who work in the business to focus on their own work. Due to the digitalization of society, many people have no idea about its development process. Owing to analysts, they do not have to gain knowledge about it, because the employee properly communicates and creates the documentation of business requirements. The main goal is for both parties to be able to understand the documentation and that is why the analyst is also appointed to process the written document with the team in case of any type of question. Theoretically, business is not a crucial part of this process.
We, as users, scrolling through the Internet sites, do not give special attention to the functionality of our ‘clicks’. When we want to log in, we just press ‘login’ and what we do not know is that there is a whole process behind that button that needs to be designed and handled by developers.
“There is a whole bunch of specialization on the development side and the role of the analyst is to identify an employee to handle a given task. Then, the project manager assigns the said task to the identified person. The needed changes vary from the most basic ones such as different button colors to the intervention in the code. It is necessary to report to the right person who is responsible specifically for this part of the process” says Maciej. “You have to be versatile. I am not a developer, but it is important to be able to break down a requirement into who it goes to”.
The business side does not have to wonder to whom to direct a given notice or task. While the business analyst identifies the person, the project manager directs the change to them. It is vital for the project manager and the business analyst to cooperate.
Work methodologies are essentially sets of guiding principles and processes for managing a project. There are a lot of methodologies but the most popular one is agile methodology in which communication plays a key role in helping the project succeed. Agile Manifesto preaches that “individuals and interactions are over processes and tools”.
Agile methodology is a way to manage a project by breaking it down into multiple phases. Everyone is working at the same time- the work is agile; testing, correction, and analysis are performed simultaneously, so there is no need to carry out the entire process again in order to change a small mistake. It has its own ‘schools’ such as Scrum which is a framework based on daily rituals.
In the Scrum framework, work is done in short cycles called sprints and the team meets daily with the purpose of discussing the tasks and connected problems.
The opposite of agile methodology is waterfall methodology, i.e., cascade method. The project is carried out in a different way because the employees do not cooperate at the same time. Each profession in the team works independently. There is a business team that prepares the requirements, the analyst analyses them, then it is passed in full to the developers who are trying to come up with the right code, then the full code is passed on to the testing. If there is a mistake, it all goes back to the very beginning. The same path must be overpassed.
Without business analysts, there is no way to use the cascade method.
“An analyst has to be very flexible. We are part of a team that has to adapt – both in terms of development and business”says Maciej. The whole purpose of the analysis is to help people with their work. “Art for art’s sake is no use”.
Business analysis is a process consisting of a little bit of both worlds. It requires input and knowledge from both the business side and the development team. In the middle of this stands a business analyst who is required to have appropriate traits known to help in work with people – “This is a job where contact with people is very important as well as forming relationships and adapting to every person” adds Maciej – “empathy and patience are crucial”.
The actions of people like Maciej allow the stakeholders to gain more knowledge about the organization’s processes. Understanding the bigger picture is crucial to develop a company’s full potential. Defining the goals and identifying strategies help to achieve goals in the development process.
Did you know what role does the BA play in the software development process? Let us know your thoughts!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form