plan: Business Analysis Explained

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plan: Business Analysis Explained

In the realm of business, the term ‘plan’ holds a significant place, especially when it comes to business analysis. A plan, in the simplest terms, is a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. In the context of business analysis, a plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the approach, activities, and resources required to conduct an analysis of a business or its components. It serves as a roadmap that guides analysts and stakeholders through the process of understanding, evaluating, and improving business operations.

Business analysis plans are crucial for the successful execution of business analysis activities. They help in setting clear objectives, defining the scope of analysis, identifying necessary resources, and establishing timelines for completion. Moreover, they also provide a framework for monitoring and controlling the analysis process, ensuring that it stays on track and delivers the desired outcomes.

Components of a Business Analysis Plan

A business analysis plan is composed of several key components, each serving a specific purpose in the overall process. These components provide a structure to the plan and ensure that all necessary aspects of the analysis are covered.

While the exact components may vary depending on the nature of the business and the specific objectives of the analysis, there are some common elements that are typically included in most business analysis plans.


The objectives of the business analysis plan outline what the analysis aims to achieve. These could be related to understanding the current state of the business, identifying areas for improvement, evaluating the feasibility of a proposed solution, or any other goal that the business aims to achieve through the analysis.

Clearly defined objectives provide a direction for the analysis and serve as a benchmark against which the success of the analysis can be measured. They also help in aligning the analysis activities with the overall business goals and objectives.


The scope of the business analysis plan defines the boundaries of the analysis. It specifies what will be included in the analysis and what will be excluded. The scope can be defined in terms of the business areas, processes, functions, or systems that will be analyzed.

Defining the scope helps in focusing the analysis efforts on the most relevant areas and prevents the analysis from becoming too broad or too narrow. It also helps in managing the expectations of the stakeholders and ensures that the analysis delivers the expected outcomes.

Approach to Business Analysis

The approach to business analysis outlines the methodology that will be used to conduct the analysis. This could be a formal methodology such as SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis, or Porter’s Five Forces analysis, or it could be a custom approach designed specifically for the business.

The approach provides a framework for the analysis and guides the analysts in conducting the analysis activities. It also helps in ensuring that the analysis is systematic and structured, which increases its effectiveness and reliability.


The activities section of the business analysis plan lists the tasks that will be performed during the analysis. These could include data collection, data analysis, stakeholder interviews, process mapping, and so on.

Each activity is typically described in detail, including its purpose, the method of execution, the resources required, and the expected outcomes. This helps in planning the analysis process and ensures that all necessary tasks are accounted for.


The resources section of the business analysis plan identifies the human, financial, and technical resources that will be required for the analysis. This includes the analysts who will conduct the analysis, the budget for the analysis activities, and the tools and technologies that will be used.

Identifying the resources in advance helps in ensuring that the analysis process is adequately resourced and can be executed smoothly. It also helps in planning and budgeting for the analysis activities.

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is a crucial aspect of business analysis planning. It involves identifying the stakeholders who will be affected by the analysis, understanding their needs and expectations, and managing their involvement in the analysis process.

Effective stakeholder management helps in ensuring that the analysis is aligned with the needs of the stakeholders and that the outcomes of the analysis are accepted and implemented by them.

Stakeholder Identification

Stakeholder identification involves listing all the individuals, groups, or organizations that have a stake in the analysis. These could include internal stakeholders such as employees and managers, and external stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, regulators, and investors.

Identifying the stakeholders helps in understanding the different perspectives and interests that need to be considered in the analysis. It also helps in planning the communication and engagement strategies for the stakeholders.

Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder analysis involves assessing the stakeholders in terms of their interest in the analysis, their influence over the analysis, and their attitude towards the analysis. This helps in prioritizing the stakeholders and determining the level and method of their involvement in the analysis.

Stakeholder analysis is a critical step in stakeholder management as it helps in ensuring that the stakeholders’ needs and expectations are adequately addressed in the analysis.

Timeline and Milestones

The timeline and milestones section of the business analysis plan provides a schedule for the analysis activities. It outlines when each activity will be started and completed, and identifies the key milestones that will be achieved during the analysis.

Having a timeline and milestones helps in planning and managing the analysis process. It also provides a mechanism for monitoring the progress of the analysis and ensuring that it stays on track.


The timeline for the business analysis plan outlines the start and end dates for each activity. It provides a chronological sequence of the analysis activities, which helps in coordinating the activities and managing the resources.

The timeline also helps in setting expectations for the stakeholders and provides them with a sense of the duration and sequence of the analysis activities.


Milestones are significant events or achievements in the analysis process. They serve as markers that indicate the completion of a major phase or task in the analysis.

Milestones help in tracking the progress of the analysis and provide a sense of achievement and motivation for the analysis team. They also provide a basis for reporting the progress of the analysis to the stakeholders.

Risks and Mitigation Strategies

The risks and mitigation strategies section of the business analysis plan identifies the potential risks that could affect the analysis and outlines the strategies for managing these risks. This includes risks related to data quality, stakeholder engagement, resource availability, and so on.

Identifying and managing risks is a critical aspect of business analysis planning. It helps in ensuring that the analysis process is resilient and can adapt to unexpected events or challenges.

Risk Identification

Risk identification involves listing the potential risks that could affect the analysis. These could be internal risks such as lack of data or resources, or external risks such as changes in the business environment or regulatory requirements.

Identifying the risks helps in understanding the potential challenges that could arise during the analysis and prepares the analysis team to deal with these challenges.

Risk Mitigation

Risk mitigation involves developing strategies for managing the identified risks. These strategies could include risk avoidance, risk reduction, risk transfer, or risk acceptance, depending on the nature and impact of the risk.

Risk mitigation strategies help in reducing the impact of the risks on the analysis and ensure that the analysis can continue despite the risks.


In conclusion, a business analysis plan is a comprehensive document that guides the process of business analysis. It includes several key components such as objectives, scope, approach, activities, resources, stakeholder management, timeline and milestones, and risks and mitigation strategies.

By providing a structured approach to business analysis, a business analysis plan helps in ensuring that the analysis is effective, efficient, and aligned with the business goals and objectives. It also helps in managing the expectations of the stakeholders and ensuring that the analysis delivers the desired outcomes.