There is no doubt that a successful IT project comes from alignment between all members of IT team. In ideal world, having a qualified team that knows their roles, understands the project goal and acts as one is the key to a successful project.
Often though, when it comes to outsourcing, customers are mainly interested in hiring developers alone. It is easy to understand from the cost saving point of view, however, what they should remember is that lack of project planning may come at a cost or worse fail.
Planning an IT project involves several key figures in a team. Depending on the scale of the project, an IT team includes frontend and backend developers, QA manager, project manager, product owner, UI/UX designers, team lead, scrum master, chief architect and a business analyst. While some roles may not be necessary for small IT projects, a business analyst is an important figure for most projects.
Let us have a look why.
The most common challenges during the implementation of an IT project are developing the right product, fitting within the allocated budget and delivering services on time. The question is whose responsibility is it to ensure it is done the right way. This is when a business analyst comes into play.
Business analyst acts as an intermediary between a client/business and a team of developers. His role covers many aspects of the project development to ensure the success outcome for both the customer and the IT team. Let us elaborate on the main aspects a business analyst is responsible for.
1. Communication and product requirements
Business analyst collects the most detailed brief from the client on the product that is required to build and communicates product requirements to a team of developers. Business analyst can be present at all stages of product development, unless agreed otherwise, and make sure that all product requirements are met.
2. Research and analysis
Business analyst is responsible for analysing the product to see if this is the best solution for the client’s business. He identifies the target audience and studies the market to analyse similar products offered by competitors. Based on the findings, business analyst can crystallize the exact product that will benefit the client’s business.
3. Cost optimisation
Based on the findings gained from the market and products analysis, business analyst can offer a solution to optimise the costs by creating a product that combines the best-in-class features and provides new opportunities for the client’s business to grow.
Every project needs to have proper documentation in place. Business analyst makes sure that all communication, suggestions, recommendations and infographics are there and referred to when needed. Certain steps require client approval – all these are part of the documentation workflow that a business analyst takes care of too.
IT projects consist of multiple stages. Business analyst plays an important role in every stage of the software development life cycle. This includes pre-sale stage (communication with a client), product requirements analysis, product implementation, product testing, product release and maintenance.
Often, people have difficulty differentiating between a business analyst and a project manager. Here is how it works. While a project manager is responsible for monitoring the implementation of a project and equal allocation of the staff and working hours, a business analyst is the person who focuses on the quality and the essence of the product requirements to ensure the clients get what they need and the developers know what purpose the developed product should serve.
You may wonder what the assessment criteria are for a good business analyst.
The ultimate objective for a business analyst is to make sure that the developed IT solution brings maximum profit in the most cost-effective way possible for the customer.
Among the long list of work tasks that a business analyst performs, BA’s job is to crystallise the following deliverables to achieve the desired outcome:
– Prepare backlog grooming and detailed research
– Prepare user stories that are good to go for development
– Run product testing with minimum bugs and errors
– Release product within agreed time and scope
– Organise development stages and avoid downtime
– Ensure user satisfaction and customer profits.
If you struggle to picture what happens to an IT project without a business analyst, try to imagine that the criteria above are not met. The costs of fixing errors that happened due to lack of planning, preparation, aligned communication, missed deadlines and poor functionality are not worth the illusive benefit of saving on a business analyst. A qualified and experienced business analyst is a guaranteed return on your investment in the IT project.
Here at Magnise we have delivered a number of successful IT projects with business analysts involved. Contact us to get a better understanding of how a business analyst can benefit your project in particular. We will be happy to help you select the right candidate for your business and offer a full stack team for your project.