Business analysis is a critical process in the management and operation of any business. It involves the identification of business needs and the determination of solutions to various business problems. These solutions often include a systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organizational change, or strategic planning and policy development.
The business analysis plan is a key document that outlines how the business analysis process will be carried out. It provides a roadmap for the business analyst and other stakeholders, detailing the tasks and activities that will be undertaken, the resources that will be required, and the timeline for the project.
Understanding Business Analysis
Business analysis is a research discipline that provides recommendations to improve an organization’s structure, policies, and operations. It involves understanding how organizations function to accomplish their purposes, defining the capabilities an organization requires to provide products and services to external stakeholders, identifying the steps an organization takes to achieve these capabilities, and advising organizations on how to make the necessary changes.
Business analysis can be used to understand the present state of a business or organization, to define its future state, and to determine the activities required to move from the present to the future state. It can also be used to identify and articulate the need for change in how organizations work, and to facilitate that change.
Role of a Business Analyst
A business analyst is a professional who performs business analysis tasks. They work across all levels of an organization and may be involved in everything from defining strategy, to creating the enterprise architecture, to taking a leadership role by defining the goals and requirements for programs and projects or supporting continuous improvement in its technology and processes.
Business analysts create and maintain the strategic plan for implementing change in an organization, define the project scope and objectives, identify the steps or tasks to be done, determine the resources needed, and develop schedules to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.
Business Analysis Techniques
There are a variety of techniques that business analysts use to perform their work. These include SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis, MOST analysis, Heptalysis, STEER analysis, and SCOT analysis. Each of these techniques provides a different perspective on the internal and external factors that affect a business.
Business analysts also use various tools to help them in their work. These include data analysis tools, project management tools, and business process modeling tools. These tools help business analysts to gather and analyze data, manage projects, and model business processes.
Understanding the Business Analysis Plan
The business analysis plan is a document that outlines the approach that will be used to complete a business analysis for a particular project. It identifies the key stakeholders, defines the business analysis processes that will be used, and outlines the schedule for all business analysis activities.
The business analysis plan is important because it provides a roadmap for the business analysis process. It helps to ensure that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of what will be done, when it will be done, and who will be responsible for each task. It also helps to manage expectations and to ensure that the business analysis process is carried out in a systematic and organized way.
Components of a Business Analysis Plan
A business analysis plan typically includes several key components. These include the project description, the business analysis approach, the stakeholder list, the deliverable plan, the requirements management plan, the business analysis communication plan, and the business analysis schedule.
The project description provides an overview of the project and its objectives. The business analysis approach outlines the methodology that will be used for the business analysis. The stakeholder list identifies all of the individuals and groups who have a stake in the project. The deliverable plan outlines the deliverables that will be produced as part of the business analysis process. The requirements management plan describes how requirements will be identified, documented, and managed. The business analysis communication plan outlines how communication will be handled during the project. And the business analysis schedule provides a timeline for all business analysis activities.
Creating a Business Analysis Plan
Creating a business analysis plan involves several steps. The first step is to define the scope of the project. This involves identifying the business problem or opportunity, defining the objectives of the project, and outlining the deliverables that will be produced.
The next step is to identify the key stakeholders. This involves identifying all of the individuals and groups who have a stake in the project, and understanding their needs, expectations, and level of influence. The third step is to define the business analysis approach. This involves deciding on the methodology that will be used for the business analysis, and outlining the processes and techniques that will be used.
The fourth step is to create the deliverable plan. This involves identifying the deliverables that will be produced as part of the business analysis process, and outlining the tasks and activities that will be undertaken to produce these deliverables. The fifth step is to create the requirements management plan. This involves deciding on how requirements will be identified, documented, and managed. The sixth step is to create the business analysis communication plan. This involves deciding on how communication will be handled during the project, including who will be communicated with, when and how communication will occur, and what information will be communicated. The final step is to create the business analysis schedule. This involves outlining the timeline for all business analysis activities, and identifying the resources that will be required.
Implementing the Business Analysis Plan
Once the business analysis plan has been created, the next step is to implement it. This involves carrying out the tasks and activities that have been outlined in the plan, in accordance with the schedule that has been set. It also involves managing the resources that have been allocated to the project, and ensuring that all deliverables are produced on time and to the required standard.
Implementing the business analysis plan also involves managing the stakeholders who have a stake in the project. This includes communicating with them regularly, managing their expectations, and dealing with any issues or concerns that they may have. It also involves managing the requirements that have been identified, ensuring that they are documented and managed effectively, and that they are met in the final deliverable.
Monitoring and Controlling the Business Analysis Plan
Monitoring and controlling the business analysis plan involves tracking the progress of the project, comparing actual performance with planned performance, and making adjustments as necessary. This includes monitoring the schedule to ensure that tasks and activities are being completed on time, monitoring the resources to ensure that they are being used effectively, and monitoring the deliverables to ensure that they are meeting the requirements that have been set.
Controlling the business analysis plan involves taking corrective action when necessary. This may involve revising the plan, changing the schedule, reallocating resources, or changing the requirements. It also involves managing risks and issues that may arise during the project, and ensuring that they are dealt with effectively.
Evaluating the Business Analysis Plan
Evaluating the business analysis plan involves assessing the effectiveness of the plan once the project has been completed. This includes assessing whether the objectives of the project were met, whether the deliverables were produced to the required standard, and whether the project was completed on time and within budget.
Evaluating the business analysis plan also involves assessing the effectiveness of the business analysis process. This includes assessing whether the processes and techniques that were used were effective, whether the stakeholders were managed effectively, and whether the requirements were managed effectively.
The business analysis plan is a critical document that provides a roadmap for the business analysis process. It outlines the tasks and activities that will be undertaken, the resources that will be required, and the timeline for the project. By creating and implementing a comprehensive business analysis plan, organizations can ensure that their business analysis process is systematic, organized, and effective.
Business analysis is a critical process that can help organizations to identify their needs, determine solutions to their problems, and implement change. By understanding and applying the principles of business analysis, and by creating and implementing a comprehensive business analysis plan, organizations can improve their performance, enhance their competitiveness, and achieve their strategic objectives.