Business analysis processes and techniques in software development
5 minutes read
Someone can wrongly reckon that software development is only coding, programming languages, frameworks, and other relative things. Before starting software development, besides having a team of developers, you must know what to develop. Of course, we all know it, but we are not talking about some abstract idea because no one will develop the software without at least well-written requirements.
To develop decent software, you have to define every aspect of your idea to know how it should look, what features and functions it should have, what challenges and opportunities are available for this software, etc. That is why we need business analysis.
Business analysis is the process of defining the business needs, opportunities, and issues of the product. After analysis, you can search for solutions to implement in order to meet all the demands and expectations of stakeholders. During business analysis of the software project, Business Analyst gets a detailed description and understanding of the business needs.
Business Analyst gathers requirements from the client to further discuss them with the tech team and find relevant solutions. Furthermore, Business Analyst serves as a mediator between client and the development team as well as translates the requirements into understandable language for tech specialists, so the tech team can easily work with them.
When getting business analysis, it results in reducing the cost of development, identifying issues and finding solutions for them, and a detailed plan assures on-time product release.
Now we know what business analysis is and the reasons to use it. Let’s consider it in a more detailed and widely explained way. These are core processes and techniques of business analysis.
It is not enough to have only the product’s main idea description for a deep understanding of software business needs. Business analysts should interview and communicate with clients as much as possible to work on every angle of the software and document everything to have well-structured information. All the gathered information helps to set the business goal right.
When you outline the types of users, their roles, and needs, it is much easier to develop feature sets for them as you understand how to satisfy clients’ needs. Dividing feature sets between users’ roles allows you to plan resources, budget, and execution time.
You cannot start developing software without a plan, so here it is high time to develop a plan. A roadmap and all the information about steps, resources, and execution time, make the whole development process clearer and more understandable.
Moreover, having a detailed roadmap with all the necessary information allows you to foresee any possible challenges and issues that can harm the development.
Conducting interviews and surveys helps business analysts to gather the necessary information to write project requirements. Requirements need to be clear and understandable for everyone, including stakeholders, as only then every interested side understands how the product develops and how it satisfies clients needs.
When it comes to execution, proper process control is essential, and ignoring it is a crime. For these purposes, it is common to use boards like Jira or Trello, where business analysts can divide tasks into the following categories:
Such a way of control eases working communication within the team.
During the developing process, some aspects of the product can change and, respectively, requirements need to be updated as well, according to changes.
The most important thing at this stage is to test the product on a group of users who will use the product and give feedback about their experience. Then, based on the feedback and trial group of users’ experience, business analysts can conclude if the product meets all the needs of the target audience or not. If not, there is a chance to implement changes and improve the product.
There are multiple techniques that business analysts can use to satisfy different needs:
Data analysis is a great technique to improve an already existing system. Data analysis consists of analyzing existing data about user experience, their behavior, faults in user experience, what features are redundant or vice versa, and what features the product lacks. Analyzing such data allows us to see what to change, what works or not, and what features or functions the product needs the most.
A complex diagram can illustrate process automation. It visualizes how certain features or functions, data flows, and users’ behaviors manifest themselves while using the product.
To personalize the product for a specific audience, business analysts must create an empathy map. It aims to satisfy the needs of the audience by describing the following in detail:
Building a new product from scratch requires creating a vision board along with all the necessary information:
According to Indeed, business analysts’ responsibilities are:
Of course, to cope with such responsibilities, a business analyst needs a certain skill set, especially technical and analytical skills, communication and problem-solving skills, and business analysts cannot do without research skills.
In conclusion, software development can hardly go without business analysis. Its processes and techniques assure that the product will have everything it needs to satisfy users’ needs completely.
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