~ 8 Questions every Business Analyst Should Ask

 نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Business Analyst‬‏
It does not matter what project you are going to undertake.  It is not important what industry you are going to be assessing.  What is important is you know what you are going to do.  You must as questions.  You must find what it is the client wants.  Presented is a list of obvious questions every good business analyst should know the answer to when starting a project.

1. What problem is this business having that you hope to solve by developing this project?  It should be obvious as to why you would ask that question.  If you do not understand what the problem is then you can not help to solve it.  Also, when reading the project program it may not be clear as to what the client actually wants.  The scope may only tell you what they would like to see happen.  It could and often times is not focused on what the true issues are.

2. What is the business doing at present to alleviate or solve the issue?  What has been tried in the past?  You must understand what the client is doing in order to understand what must be done. You do not want to develop a project plan overview only to have someone tell you it has been tried.  Listen to the customer.  Find out what they have done.  Ask questions while you are listening.  On your toes brainstorming so to speak.  Listen to what has not worked.

3. What inside resources will this project be utilizing?  What outside resources will be necessary? You will want to determine where your help and team players are coming from.  You may be familiar with most of the IT, but if the client wants to outsource it is a different game.  You may have to make a list of external interactions.  Define the company's strengths and weaknesses. This can be most advantageous.

4. Have you determined a vision for the project?  The business analyst will compare this scope with the one he or she will develop to ensure consistencies and a parallel outlook.  In other words make sure you are on the same path.  This is sometimes easier said than done.  Communication is the key to success with this question.

5. What risks to you foresee and are you willing to take them?  A conservative client may not be inclined to take large risks.  Getting them to be specific can help when generating the project program.  You may also be able to overcome some of their fears or doubts by explaining the risk factor more thoroughly.

6. Are you under any type of time constraint?  There has to be a set time frame for the outcome.  A goal can be reached for any project if time is not a factor.  Most clients have time constraints which affect every avenue of business.  You will want to know what these are and plan accordingly.

7. What is the projected cost of the program?  An aggressive business analyst may be blunt and honest by wording the question like this. What is the projected budget and can it be deviated from?  There are times certain steps must be taken which can cause a project to run over budget. Other plans of action may not need implemented because management was not fully aware of certain assets available.  It is best to know exactly what is going into this project for the project program to succeed.

8. Who is the end user?  What support will they have? You will need to know this in order for the program to even fulfill it's purpose.  Marketing data must also be collected to incorporate what the end user is asking for.  The goal is to reach the objective with everyone satisfied.  A business analyst can not do this without talking and listening to everyone involved.

Being Flexible as a Business Analyst

Sometimes the business analyst can be so caught up in a project he or she forgets tried and true methods do not always work.  The analysis team is trying to get done what the customer has scoped out and sets up a plan of action.  The plan of action requires certain fundamentals.  There are times when these rudimentary ideas just do not work for the client.  The client can not understand why these steps may be so important.  This is when the business analyst needs to step back and ask the same questions as the client.  It is all in communication.

The professional business analyst must understand success of the project is not only about requirements documentations it is about how those requirements are handled.  The business analyst is the acting liaison between the client and IT.  The documentation may be required for the IT team to do their job.  Certain explanations may be necessary for everyone to understand what is needed.  Yet the client may not understand the documentation or have no need for it to begin with.  Communication skills are what is required.

The business analyst may get further and move faster with just a simple meeting to explain the methods and procedures being used.  The client can ask questions and the business analyst can explain.  The case studies and other documentation would not in any way assure the client of progress.  There are those who need to hear it because to them it may look good on paper, but how is it supposed to work?  A good business analyst can explain the intricacies of what is taking place.  The client can sign off.  The work can continue.  The goal is being met.

This is where the business analyst must be flexible.  Just because he or she has done this a thousand times with other clients does not mean this client is like the other thousand.  The job of the business analyst is to determine what the client wants.  Paperwork may be a burden to the client.  The business analyst should comprehend how information is delivered.  He or she must be flexible enough to deliver what the customer is requesting.  The business analyst must ensure the client is comfortable with how information is delivered.  Not the other way around.

There will be times the business analyst must learn to be flexible when it comes to dealing with information.  Not everyone can do the job of a business analyst.  This is why he or she was hired in the first place.  However, there may be no documentation for certain things the analyst is normally made privy to.  The business analyst must be flexible in knowing how to work around this barrier.  He or she must know how to gather the information needed to perform the task.  Flexibility comes in handy at this point.  The business analyst may have to do what he or she can at present and wait for statistics to be gathered.  Instead of getting a concise written report from the team, the analyst may have to interview each member to gather what he or she needs.

The key is to work within the boundaries of the client.  Do what the client feels comfortable with.  The business analyst may not be as comfortable.  Being flexible in any situation will do away with this unease.  The task at hand can be accomplished.

Business Analyst for the Small Business

Small business owners may not think they need a business analyst.  Small businesses are sometimes caught up in trying to survive and overlook a key element in their success.  The business analyst can actually come in and determine what the small business owner can do to expand  his or her business.  The small business owner can benefit just as much from a business analyst as a large corporation.  There may be times when the business analyst sees the big picture when the small business owner can only see the bottom line.  The new small business may not feel the added expense of a business analyst is worth justifying.  In fact this is just the case.

The small business can benefit from the business analyst in many ways.  The business analyst may be able to offer an unforeseen income generating avenue.  Advertising techniques the small business is using may be proving fruitless.  The business analyst may be able to implement Bluetooth advertising.  The small business could target specific clients instead of a general population with his or her advertising dollar.  The business analyst may be able to suggest point of sale income not thought of by the small business owner.  Other elements the business analyst could suggest would be repackaging in different sizes, where appropriate.  Offering complimenting sales items may have not occurred to the small business owner.  The business analyst is there to show a different perspective.

The business analyst will be able to assess the small business and determine what business decisions should be made.  He or she can instruct the small business owner of new programs available.  The business analyst will be able to offer advice as to new technology the small business owner is not taking advantage of.  The small business is able to be aided in several ways by the business analyst.

The business analyst is a visionary.  He or she can show the small business how to implement innovative business techniques.  These techniques may have never been before thought of by the small business owner.  The business analyst can view the broad scope of things to determine a need by the customer.  The small business owner may have no idea these areas of opportunity exist.  It is up to the business analyst to show the small business what will work and what will not work for the business.

Building profits and customer relations are the two key components that make up what the small business is focused upon.  A good business analyst will be able to integrate these key elements into a plan of action for the small business.  The business analyst can act as the liaison between the small business and the customer to determine if the needs of the customer are being met.  A report can then be generated to determine how the small business can use this information. 

The small business and it's customers can benefit from the knowledge a business analyst brings to the table.  The added expense of a business analyst can significantly raise the profits of a small business.  It is worth researching whether a business analyst will be able to use his or her skills when it comes to a small business.

Business Analyst in Web Design

Web design can be confusing to anyone.  The programming needed seems to be a never ending cycle of code, application, and algorithms.  Trying to determine what numbers plug into which schematic might be a bit confusing to anyone with out technical training.  The business analyst can assist with the web design of a large company right down to the mom and pop corner store.  Web design has become a need which must be addressed by almost every industry.  There are so many people today who rely on information technology to research everything from apples to zoological studies and everything in between.  The business analyst can assist with implementing the strategy necessary for a profitable web design.

Acting as the liaison between the stakeholder and the IT (Information Technology) department, the business analyst can speak to both.  He or she is knowledgeable with technology which can benefit the stakeholders.  The business analyst can also explain to the IT department what is needed for the stakeholders to be happy.  This is his or her job.

The business analyst will be able to listen to the stakeholders to determine the needs of the business.  He or she may ask pertinent questions as to the web design in question.  He or she will make suggestions to the stakeholder to explain new or existing technology that may be utilized.  The stakeholder may not be familiar with options available to the company.

Acting as the spokesman for all departments, the business analyst will be able to take ideas offered by the stakeholders and transform them into usable information for the IT department.  He or she will be able to come up with a workable solution for each key point needed by the stakeholder.  The business analyst will also be able to formulate a definitive plan of action or a project program to lay out the ground work necessary for the web design to actually perform according to plan.

There may be information the business analyst must gather from the end user to determine if the needs assessment performed by the stakeholders is viable.  In some cases it is not usable information or may be off the target scope.  The end user will know better what will make the web design complete.  The options available for the end user may be overlooked by the stakeholders.  The business analyst will be able to ascertain from surveys and site inspections what is needed to satisfy all parties involved.

Web design will be a team effort developed by many departments.  It is up to the business analyst to choose these teams so the best of the best is available.  He or she will be able to motivate the individual teams to act as a unit for the betterment of the project.  The departments will work alone and together to complete the project in a timely manner.

Using a business analyst to develop a project program for web design is a smart business decision.  He or she may have code experience which will help in analyzing the problems which may come up.  The business analyst will be able to decipher the facts and figures to better explain to the IT department what is useless code and what is viable.  The shrew business stakeholders will benefit from hiring a business analyst when the idea of web design presents it's self.

Business Analyst Job Description

The job description of a business analyst is rather extensive.  He or she must first determine the needs for a company by using many tools.  The business analyst may conduct interviews with management and other department leaders.  He or she must analyze documentation, facts and figures.  The analyst should incorporate a site survey to determine applications being used and what may be needed for superior quality performance.  He or she will consider business applications currently being used which may or may not be working.  The business analyst will do a business analysis and a work flow analysis to assess difficulties in reaching goals and to determine a better strategy.

A qualified business analyst will be able to ascertain the true needs to be met by the project.  He or she will be able to transfer information from management into needed data.  Statistics from other sources will be assessed and turned into usable information.  The business analyst will be able to compile a report in an easily understood projected vision to be implemented.

The job description of a business analyst does not always but should include excellent communication skills.  He or she needs to be able to address a diverse group of inside and outside personnel.  He or she should be able to motivate the departments to challenge themselves and reach their goals.  The business analyst will be required to relay information from the IT team or department to the clients in easily understood terms for both groups.

The business analyst should have past experience to draw from when processing data and information.  He or she will possess knowledge used in case studies and transfer it into usable information.  Prior situations should be able to be compared to avoid counterproductive actions.

The business analyst will be able to draw from known resources when outsourcing or external interactions are needed.  He or she will be able to incorporate joint venture relations into the project scope when it is necessary.  Determining this critical point is instrumental in the job of a business analyst.

Acting as a liaison between clients and development departments, the business analyst shall distinguish requests from needs.  He or she will assess the proposed project plan to ensure all needs are met.  The verifiable solution shall be one which guarantees success.

A statement of purpose will be proposed by the business analyst to ensure the end results are satisfactory to all involved.  There will be a project goal integrating all data collected.  Documentation will be provided by the business analyst to determine which aspects of the project will be handled by outside sources.  These sources shall be listed with critical attention being paid to the specific task of each organization.

The business analyst will have a good understanding of what is expected.  There are many aspects of the project proposal.  He or she will involve themselves with each unit to instill continence and still maintain productive action.  The professional analyst will be able to focus on each department independently and maintain a broad vision of the project scope.  These are the duties of a business analyst.

Customer Relations and the Business Analyst

In today's market the customer should always come first.  This has been the bread and butter of many industries throughout the ages.  A satisfied customer is one who will keep coming back.  The customer is the one who helps the bottom line.  This is true in the field of business analysis.  It is the customer's   needs which the business analyst is fulfilling.  The business analyst should help to strengthen customer relations.  Time put into this is time well spent.  Finding the customer to be unhappy is never a good thing.  Ask any good business manager what their number one priority is and they will answer customer relations.  Sometimes it does not always show.

Many of today's corporations utilize a big part of their budget on improvements in operations.  The target is the bottom line.  What they fail to realize is this can and will drive customers away.  Targeting the needs of the customer is first and foremost in any business.  The same holds true with business analysts.

When going in to trouble shoot a system, the business analyst becomes a production manager.  If he or she does not put the needs of the customer first, the project will undoubtedly fail.  Listening to the customer to determine what is needed and desired is the start of a good relationship.  When the business analyst fails to listen the entire project could not only start on the wrong foot but end in disaster as well. 

The business analyst must encourage feedback.  He or she must understand just what the customer is wanting, even if they do not know themselves.  The customer may know what he or she wants the project to accomplish.  They may know how they want something to run.  The customer just may not know how to say it.  He or she may collect data imperative to the project program.  It is the business analyst's job to determine if the data is even relevant.  He or she is the liaison in this relationship.  He or she must have good customer relations skills.  The business analyst must speak the customer's language.

Putting the customer relationship first can be a daunting task at times.  The bottom line is critical to success on any project.  There are times the business analyst will be caught up in keeping cost down and compromise the relationship he or she has with the customer.  The customer will be much happier if you go a little over budget and keep him or her happier in other areas of the project.

Sometimes it is easier to prepare reports and allocate spending to IT to accomplish a task than it is to spend time or money developing a plan for customer satisfaction.  The price any company could pay for this is a high one.  The business analyst is no different.  Customer satisfaction means keeping them informed of progress.  Speak in a language they understand.  Consult with them when a roadblock is met or when a progress point is passed.  Either way, keeping a constant rapport with the customer ensures a satisfied client.  This can lead to repeat business.  This helps the business to grow.

Defining a Project Scope

The project scope is the core of an individual project.  Without a project scope the project will just float.  Proper needs assessments and other intricate details will be overlooked.  Each project is designed to resolve issues the stakeholders are experiencing in their company.  These well meaning individuals will dump data and information charts, lists and figures presumptuously on the desk expecting it to all make sense.  The "here's the problem, fix it" attitude can be frustrating.  There are numerous feature requirements which must be met.  It is unclear as to what to prioritize where.  Cost estimates may not be accurate.  Delivery dates are tentative.  It is enough to make someone through up their hands in desperation and say "I QUIT!".  The trained business analyst will just grin and dive in.  He or she will know what is needed is a project scope.

The project scope is the outline of the project.  The project scope is considered the itinerary of an individual project program.  The project scope is the step by step guide to determine who, what, why, when, and where.  It will be able to define to the stakeholders what they want to have done.  It will be able to list who will be doing which job.  The project scope will list why each step is critical to success of the project.  It will also address the time frame as to when the project should be completed.

The project scope will detail for the stakeholders outside resources being utilized for completion of individual tasks.  Each development team will be able to view the project scope and see what is required of them.  The project scope will also detail needs assessment and cost estimates.

Each project scope will be able to address technical constraints the stakeholders may or may not be aware of.  Within the project scope a detailed report of end user requests will also be added.  This will allow the stakeholders to understand why certain aspects of the project program are different than anticipated.

The project scope is an itinerary listing short term and long term expectations.  Short term goals will be listed allowing the stakeholders to check each milestone.  The project scope will also include a prioritized listing of essential requirements or features needed for short term and long term success of the project program.

One of the most critical reports in the project scope is the vision statement.  The vision statement will define in clear and concise wording the project scope.  The vision statement will allow the stakeholders to understand the problem and the solution needed.  The vision statement will state the user needs in clear terms.  The program features will be outlined in the vision statement.

The project scope is the "do to" list of the program.  A sort of brainstorming, or in some cases, model storming which allows all parties involved to be able to follow along.  Each department along with the stakeholders will be able to refer to the project scope throughout the completion of the project.  Without the project scope the project has no start or end point.  The project will most likely fail.

Difference Between Systems Analyst and Business Analyst

Many run into the problem of differentiating between a systems analyst and a business analyst.  The differences in some organizations do not exist.  In other companies, the comparison is almost an insult.  Depending on the business or corporation, there are many differences.  The job title is not the only thing with which to compare these two separate roles.  The problem occurs when the title is not so conclusive.  The business systems analyst or the systems business analyst can actually be one or the other or both.  Job description is the only way to tell when this happens.  There are differences, though.

A systems analyst is capable of looking at a program or utility and see the code.  They can go in and pinpoint where changes need to be made.  They can incorporate the new data into an existing program for benefiting the company.  The systems analyst can collect data and transform it into usable code for a new project or program.  They can recognize where problems may lie in the code itself.  They can rewrite this code to alleviate the problem.  Usually, the systems analyst can consult with other IT members in technical jargon foreign to the business stakeholders.  The stakeholders are just grateful the job is being done.

The business analyst has a more complicated position.  He or she must not only understand the way IT speaks but also how the stakeholders speak.  The business analyst is more of a people person.  He or she acts as a liaison between management and IT.  A business analyst will be able to look at all aspects of the company and discover underlying causes for system failures.  He or she may not be able to write the code to fix the issue.  The business analyst can at least come up with the concept of what the code is supposed to do.

The business analyst can retrieve reports and data from IT and transform it into reports needed to develop a project plan or program.  Further development and research may be needed from another department which the business analyst is capable of doing.  This is not to say the systems analyst can not do the job.  The systems analyst is more black and white when it comes to this.  The true business analyst is more creative and more flexible.

The business analyst is one who can pull teams together to focus on the outcome of a project.  He or she will be good at heading up meetings to present information in an easily understood language.  The business analysis will be motivational, a driving force behind the project plan.

Both are essential for good business.  The systems analyst may need the business analyst to determine what is needed for the code to work effectively.  The business analyst needs the systems analyst to make the code work effectively.  Working together, these two people can accomplish great things for the company.  There are certain companies who have both needs met with one person or a team of people.  It is all a matter of choice.  Trying to decide between the two may cause more headache than just hiring two people, or one who is qualified,  to get the task at hand done.

Finding a Business Analyst

There are times when a business starts to lose money and no-one is sure where the problem is located.  Going over facts and figures only points to the bottom line.  The bottom line continues to shrink.  People start to get desperate.  Strategies are planned and implemented to no avail.  Tried and true measures are no longer working.  It is time to call on the experts.  The business analyst needs to be  brought in.  The problem is finding one who knows the company.

Finding a good business analyst is not as hard as everyone thinks.  They are not the enemy.  They are not some eerie creature sneaking around, lurking behind every corner.  A good business analyst is a creative thinker.  He or she is a motivational, aggressive team player.  The business analyst can gather data and other pertinent information from management and other sources to determine what is the key problem.

A qualified business analyst may already exist in your organization.  A member of the IT department could be the one who develops a project program designed to save the company money.  This is some one capable of setting up a development team to think outside the box.  You are looking for someone creative.  You want someone who is not afraid of a vision.  Someone with good communication skills is a must.  Most projects fall short due to the lack of communication.

It is actually a benefit to choose someone in-house.  He or she already knows the company.  The business analyst will know the strong attributes as well as weaknesses of the company.  Choosing someone from inside the organization means he or she will know the people involved.  Camaraderie may already exist.  This can make the gathering of information easier.  The more easy it is to collect needed data and information, the more quickly a project scope can be developed.

The best business analyst will be able to speak the language of which ever department he or she needs to interact with.  He or she will not get caught sidetracked with mundane tasks and mute points.  The business analyst will know what information is needed and get it.  They will keep the big picture in mind.  They will motivate others to stay on task.  A good business analyst will allow someone the freedom of creativity.  Obviously what was being done did not work.  A new approach is needed and the qualified business analyst will see this.

Someone who can develop a repoire with the departments to meet expectations is the perfect candidate for business analyst.  This person will act as a liaison between management and development teams.  He or she should be able to speak with authority while still maintaining a level of respect.  The perfect business analyst will be able to foresee problems which may arise between teams and squelch them before they start.

A liaison between involved departments, a leader during meetings, a project developer, and a numbers cruncher are all beneficial attributes of a good business analyst.  Find someone capable of doing all these things and you have found a great asset.
Hiring a Business Analyst

There are times when a company must hire a business analyst.  When searching from an outside source there are certain things an employer should determine when hiring the perfect business analyst.  Some of these suggestions are common sense.  Other items listed may be overlooked in the desperation to find a qualified business analyst.

The first question one should always ask is "What do you know about our company?".  This is a key question in the interview process.  You will want someone who is familiar with what your company does.  He or she should know what products you manufacture or services you provide.  Being familiar with your industry makes it easier for you and the business analyst to understand each other.  He or she will know exactly what you are expecting without much training.

When hiring a business analyst another question to ask is "How much experience do you have with this type of project?".  You will want someone who has been there before.  You want to know the business analyst you are hiring will be able to handle the pressure needed to get the job done.

Hiring a business analyst means knowing the type of person you are interviewing.  This is not an easy task.  First impressions may not always be right.  You are looking for someone who is creative.  He or she will be able to think on their feet.  Find out what their main short term goals are.  Someone who says they hope to be starting their own consultant group is probably one who is not planning to stay long.  You will want to have someone who can start the project and see it through to completion.  There are times this may take several years.

Another attribute to look for when hiring a business analyst is team player capabilities.  Someone who confesses to being a loner may not work well with others.  He or she may bring an attitude to the table you just do not want.  Watch for indications of self assurance but not self absorption.  Hiring a business analyst means finding someone who is friendly and easy going.  One who is not shy or submissive.  You are not looking for a yes man. You are looking for someone to tell you if a solution will work or if it will fail.

When hiring a business analyst ask for worse case and best case scenarios from past experience.  Listen carefully to the response.  Did they make reference to who was to blame for any failures or shortcomings?  Someone who puts the blame on everyone else is someone you do not want in your organization.  There is usually enough of that going around for everyone.  Someone who is able to stand and say they made a mistake or did not do everything to avoid the failure is an honest person people will trust.  This is someone others will respect.  It will be easier to introduce a new player into the team if others can trust them.

The best thing to do when hiring a business analyst is to first determine what attributes you are looking for.  List qualifications second.  Third is the experience.  This will be a guideline for hiring the perfect business analyst to do the job.

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