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Business analysts are in charge of continuous projects. The start of a new one can have even the most seasoned analyst sweating. After all, expectations shift, results are always necessary, and success is the primary objective.
The business analysis process can help with new projects in fast-moving environments. While complexity of projects fluctuate, the right process can help you find your ground and get the project moving in the right direction.
Step 1: Take Time
You may find yourself in the middle of a project and are expected to start immediately. It won’t be long until you feel like you’re overwhelmed. That’s when the panic sets in.
But you must ensure you’re not moving quickly. Take time — hours, days, or weeks if you can — to truly understand this project. Now that you’re in charge of the project, you want to clarify expectations company leaders have.
If possible, research and understand the project. Who initiated it? Were there other analysts working on it before you? What data had they already used? It’ll be up to you to understand which processes were previously set in place and how you can utilize them to your advantage.
Remember, getting settled means collecting relevant information before you get started.
2. Understanding objectives
The plan involves goals set by stakeholders and leaders within the company. It’s time to find out what they are. This has to be understood early in order to make smart decisions for the project later on. If you’re not the on the same page as the stakeholders, the project may be doomed.
Address expectations. What are stakeholders expecting from this project? Does it match up with what you were told when the project was given to you? And ensure the objectives are clearly defined, without room for interpretation.
Interpretation leads to misunderstanding, which can lead to project failure.
3. Scope and responsibilities
Next, is determining scope. This means setting boundaries within a business and assigning responsibility to team members. The point is to keep everyone focused and on track.
Each member, including yourself, will see the objectives. You can create a scope document or statement to send to stakeholders or leaders. They may require signing off on it before work begins. It’s best to do this to ensure everyone understands the project and what is expected of them.
This is not the business plan. It’s the step before the project is formulated. Scope is used to define needs, roles, and ensure everyone understands what to expect. When this is agreed upon, the planning stage commences.
4. Business analysis plan initialization
The plan is essential in any business analysis process. It will highlight requirements and addresses possible questions by team members, stakeholders, and leaders. The previous step, scope setting, will help with this step.
By understanding the process, business requirements, and key aspects, you will select the tooling used to complete the project. This includes strategic planning, analysis, and framework design.
You’ll also address the timeline and periodic goals. Specifically, setting weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly goals. You’ve outlined which deliverables are necessary, but the due date must be set as well.
A detailed plan may not be possible, but lists of expectations can be. This can also suffice for a plan, for the time being.
Here, you’ll go into great detail about deliverables, methods to meet objectives, team member roles, and expectations. It will help you create solutions for the corporation to implement.
By following these steps of the business analysis process, you’ll have the outline to create a plan that will benefit company objectives. Remember to start slowly so you can understand needs, grasp objectives, set scope and regulations, then begin the planning process.