Fundamental Business Analysis Tasks in any Project
By Carol Mwangi
Organizations have several needs, and the Business Analyst is tasked with the noble role of clarifying these needs and then, guiding the organization to find solutions that will deliver value to them. It is a process of creating change. A well-seasoned Business Analyst is often able to take on this role with a sense of confidence and give clarity to this process of change, while drawing not only from their own experience, but from the wealth of knowledge described within the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK®) Guide-version 3, integrating both techniques and tasks in collaborative harmony. It is therefore essential to master the fundamental business analysis tasks when you start out.
A fledgling Business Analyst may naturally feel a little intimidated if they find themselves thrust in similar circumstances, with high expectation placed upon them to deliver. If you’re reading this article and have landed your first role as a Business Analyst, then I hope this article will be helpful. The thoughts shared below will help you begin making tangible contribution through performing tasks that will be fundamental to your overall success as a business analyst.
The BABOK® Guide-version 3 states that business analysis activities do not follow a sequential order by way of knowledge areas – and tasks by extension- and that Business Analysis activities can start from any task within the six key knowledge areas irrespective. This requires a Business Analyst to have a good understanding of all the tasks in the Knowledge Areas, and this is important even as you make in-roads into this field. Ultimately, this knowledge coupled with an understanding of how to apply the defined techniques within the BABOK® Guide will allow you as a Business Analyst to navigate the required change and ultimately deliver value to the stakeholders.
Fundamental Tasks to Master as a new Business Analyst
With that introduction, are there tasks therefore that one must ensure to execute as a standard requirement before engaging on a project? I could rephrase this to ask – are there any Business Analysis tasks to be performed before one undertakes any project, regardless of where they begin from, that will allow one to handle the assignment(s) and complete them without any hinderances in the process?
I will highlight four tasks that I consider to be fundamental and necessary to have in place as you carry out, and preferably begin, any Business Analysis Activity:
Task 1: Plan Stakeholder Engagement
This task describes which stakeholders are relevant to the change, what business analysts need from them, what they need from business analysts and the best way to collaborate. As a business analyst taking on any project, you need to understand who your stakeholders are, and you will also need to have a plan in place to maintain an effective working relationship with them
Task 2: Plan Business Analysis Governance
This task defines the business analysis components that are used to support governance process within any organization. As a budding business analyst, before you take on any project, you need to ensure that you understand the decision-making process so that decisions are made properly, using a consistent approach
Task 3: Plan Business Analysis Information Management
This task describes how information developed by Business Analysts is captured, stored and integrated with other information for both your immediate project and for posterity
Task 4: Analyze Current State
This task will help a Business Analyst understand the business or environment succinctly and in the process be able to get context for business requirements
When you deliver on these three (4) fundamental tasks, you will have covered some foundational ground for successful collaboration and organization of business analysis work. As with other tasks, you will need to work within the framework of the Business Analysis Core Concept Model – BACCM – i.e. Needs, Context, Solution, Change, Stakeholder and Value to shape your insights and help you tackle your work with a great sense of understanding.
Author: Carol Mwangi