Business Analysis: Stakeholders Within the Organization

Business Analysis:  Stakeholders Within the Organization
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There are multiple stakeholders within the organization of the products and processes of Business Analysts.  The list includes Business Analysts themselves, plus the project management team, architects, designers, developers, quality assurance, and testers.  This article explores the details needed and interests of each of the stakeholder groups. Let’s take a look at one strategy.  Using the basic equation “Thing + Information + Sharing = New Value Proposition”, you can identify some things that may change going forward.  But how can you do that for an organization?  How can an organization that is structured around physical products execute on this idea to seize on the IoT opportunity and leverage its scale for major returns? This is the third part of a series of four articles on “Business Analysis”, where we explore various aspects of the field in practice today.  This article, Part 3 in the series, “Business Analysis:  Stakeholders Within the Organization”, focuses on the variety of stakeholders for the products that Business Analysts produce.  Part 1, “Business Analysis:  Eliciting and Managing Requirements”, looks at the left and right bounds of what a Business Analyst does.  Part 2, “Business Analysis Certification”, looks at the opportunity for certification and benefits of doing it.  Finally, Part 4, “Business Analysis Best of Breed Tools”, dives into the key capabilities of the tools that Business Analysts use. Who are the stakeholders of the activities of Business Analysts?  Here are my thoughts, starting with Business Analysts themselves.

  • Business Analyst - Business Analysts are at the center of the requirements management process, recording the requirements that have been discovered during elicitation is a key step.  They ensure accurate communication and management of the requirements as they evolve.  Business Analysts set the document format for recording requirements, providing space for establishing context or for offering supplementary requirements information.  Business Analysts need to create and publish a business model to help ensure that the business processes, organization and resources are well understood.  Business Analysts directly link tasks, processes and resources with requirements. This capability helps ensure that the software being developed meets the needs of the business.

  • Project Management Team – The Project Management team facilitates the creation and comparison of requirement baselines. A product baseline, a logically grouped set of requirements for a particular version of an application, is needed by the project management team. Business Analysts construct these baselines and perform comparisons between them, exposing differences at the project, document or requirements level.  Project baselines can also jumpstart the creation of new releases. 

  • Architects, Designers and Developers - To ensure optimal design and to minimize costly rework, developers need access to requirements from where they sit.  Developers connect requirements to use-case models – hopefully seamlessly - enabling instantaneous access to use-case specifications from use-case diagrams as well as visibility into requirements information.  This functionality can help ensure developers implement the functionality that truly reflects customer needs, as they evolve.  In short, they connect design elements to requirements. By linking design elements with requirements, you can easily review and assess the impact of requirements changes on design elements and keep developers informed of changes that may impact their work.

  • Quality Assurance/Testers -   Testers need to be assured they have prioritized their work appropriately.  A good system for managing requirements helps ensure that requirements serve as a direct input to test-case creation so that testers and quality assurance (QA) engineers can validate their applications with confidence. And as changes to requirements occur, testers can run reports that highlight which test cases are impacted by the change, helping to ensure their test cases are properly updated to reflect the latest requirements.

Can you think of any other stakeholders of the products and processes of Business Analysts?

This post is part of the series: Business Analysis

This series of four articles looks at the requirements of a Business Analyst and the performance of this job in Business Analysis. 1. Business Analysis: Eliciting and Managing Requirements 2. Business Analysis Certification 3. Business Analysis: Stakeholders Within the Organization 4. Business Analysis: Best of Breed Tools