Business Analyst is often perceived as a role apt for big shot IT companies. Because when it comes to small & mid-sized companies, not all companies hire individuals for this role.
And this indeed is a big mistake.
So who are Business Analyst?
They are the ones who play a critical role in bridging the gap between what business needs & what technology team can deliver. They possess skills which a modern organization needs to stand strong in this competitive world. Right from a software project’s initiation to its closure BAs are crucial in every phase.
Role before the start of a Project
Keeping in mind the end goal to guarantee effective communication & a good level of stakeholder engagement, business analysts identify key stakeholders, process owner, and business end users to understand the core of client’s business.
They analyze business requirements, find the cause of underlying problems & understand project scope, risks etc. And depending upon solution urgency & project timeframe, they put practical solutions for a project.
Keeping client’s needs & technical feasibility in sync, they help to document & freeze the requirements so that the designing/development team can start with their work. This way, they ensure that the requirements are well-defined & can be properly addressed before moving into design & development phase of the project.
Role during the development process
BAs prioritize tasks which helps development team to pick tasks in a proper order. During the development, they also keep a close watch on the entire process & helps development team in case of clarification to keep the project on the right track. This way, they assist developers to develop the correct solution within the stipulated time.
Role after the development process
Business analyst’s primary role is to understand customer’s needs & provide exact results in the most effective & efficient way. So once the development is done, they assist the testing team by reviewing test scripts & ensure that all functional requirements are being tested properly. And at times, they may also help in defect prioritization of the project.
Business analysts also coordinate with clients & carry out User Acceptance Testing to ensure that the final solution meets business objectives.
So if BAs are so critical in a project, why are SMEs (small-to-medium enterprise) reluctant to hire them?
Well, they have their uniques reasons for not hiring a dedicated BA.
SME often have a very hectic routine in terms of work. They have to manage clients and ensure delivery in a stringent deadline. In most of the cases, resources are scarce; time and money are very critical. Hence they perceive documentation, long discussions, brainstorming sessions as an overhead. They prefer keeping less formal management processes to quickly jump into the core part which is coding & delivering their services.
Most of the times, the person who is in charge of Sales or BD(Business Development) or Developer is involved in quickly gathering client’s requirement. Also, as a part of cost optimization, they prefer to hire a developer over a business analyst who can help them complete a project soon by writing code.
How can BAs help SMEs?
Business Analysts help businesses to change, adapt and grow. They are visionaries who can actually come in and determine what the small business owner can do to expand their business. BAs can show how to implement innovative business techniques, introduce technology & change processes to save time and money. They can see the big picture when at times others can only see the bottom line.
Also, most of the times technical teams do not have domain expertise. Business analysts have specific sector experience that can add value. They are trained in a way that they can look at the overall business requirement & can also help business executives to clearly look at the vulnerabilities which exist in their business.
Lastly, for an IT company to grow the key factors are building profits and customer relations. And, a good BA can help in increasing the profitability of a company & retaining clients. Because with a BA being involved in a project, client’s requirements are properly defined, analyzed & documented. And therefore chances of rework & scope of clients being unsatisfied with the final output becomes less likely.
It is worth trying to involve a BA in a small company & make the best use of their skills to grow company’s business.