The Business Analyst is responsible for leading the collaborative team effort in getting from an idea to an effective business design, and a continuously updated story backlog ready for development. They are guided by user needs, business architecture and Programme objectives.
Defining the solution
The Business Analyst will lead the team in understanding the problem, exploring and agreeing the solution, and turning that solution into implementable and effective business design and playable user stories.
Developing business design
The Business Analyst will work closely with the Business Architects to understand the business architecture, and develop it into physical detailed process design and user journeys, from which user stories can be developed. The business design will be tested end to end with the business to ensure impact is well understood and new process and technology can be seamlessly introduced into the existing estate.
The Business Analyst will assist the Product Owner in prioritising and selecting stories from the product backlog and answer questions raised by the Delivery Team during planning.
Guaranteeing the quality of the product is a major theme, from generating requirements, to creating acceptance criteria, supporting system and acceptance testing. The BA supports the PO by providing analytical skills which the PO may not possess.
Ensuring that the solution fulfils the requirements
The Product Owner and the Business Analyst through continual review and guidance help to ensure that the final product not only meets quality standards but is also fit for purpose.
Doing the 'big thinking'
The Business Analyst leads the team in doing the up front thinking to reach a common understanding of scope for a chunk of work the team is delivering. Typically this will result in a visual representation of the problem space (e.g. a process map) and the potential solutions to be explored. They will also identify the scope, what’s definitely out of scope, research to be done and questions to be answered.
Defining the solution - what does it look like?
They then closely with the Product Owner, the Business Architect and the User Researcher and/or UXer to understand the needs of the users and define how those needs can best be met in relation to that particular chunk of work. This will involve working closely with business users to understand current processes, it will also be informed by user research with internal users and citizens as appropriate
Defining the solution - it's definitely this
At the point that the team are agreed on the solution the Analyst will further refine the business design and the user stories, working closely with the Architects, developers and testers to ensure that they are of the right size and have the right level of detail in the acceptance criteria. Acceptance criteria should typically be a series of bullet points, always remembering that a story is the basis for a conversation.
In doing the above they also:
Possesses or be able to quickly possess a good working knowledge of the domain.
Able to look at a problem from multiple perspectives, challenge assumptions and guard against flaws in the reasoning of their stakeholders and themselves.
Can create many possible futures and identify which is most worth pursuing.
Understands the cultural and business context, why a particular project is being done, who the power players are and how to influence them.
Understands the impacts and implications of decisions upon the business (financial, process, resourcing, etc.).
Has an excellent working knowledge of agile business analysis techniques and practices
Whilst not a technology expert, is comfortable and competent when discussing technology.
Capable of employing of a number of methods to elicit requirements (modelling, interviews, workshops, etc.).
Can create and follow a plan of action.
Expression of thoughts and requirements clearly - written and verbal.
Agile delivery requires that the BA is open to new ideas and ways of working rather than sticking to formal methods.
A focus on the product rather than the next delivery of the solution. An ability to keep one step ahead of those delivering the solution.
Willing to uncover true needs, issues and requirements from established "facts" and assumptions.
Is able to engage with and marshal business and technical resource when required.
An intellectual and emotional awareness and understanding of another's thoughts, feelings, and behaviour.
An ability to be easy to engage, converse and to interact with.
Taking ownership and accountability where required and acting in a manner which inspires the confidence and trust.
Willing to dedicate time and energy, or to fulfil a promise.
Is inclined to ask questions to understand reasons and principles.
Whilst being able to see the big picture, is naturally detailed in practice
BPMN, Use Case modelling
Jira, Confluence, Visio
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