Business Analysts - Roles and Responsibilities

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Business analyst
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search A Business Analyst (BA) analyzes the organization and design of businesses, government departments, and non-profit organizations; BAs also assess business models and their integration with technology.

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1 Levels 2 Alternative descriptions 3 Typical deliverables 4 Prerequisites 5 Possible benefits and drawbacks of including Business Analysts in software projects 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

[edit] Levels
There are at least four tiers of business analysis: 1. Planning Strategically – The analysis of the organization's strategic business needs 2. Operating/Business Model Analysis – The definition and analysis of the organization's policies and market business approaches 3. Process Definition and Design – The business process modeling (often developed through process modeling and design) 4. IT/Technical Business Analysis – The interpretation of business rules and requirements for technical systems (generally IT)

[edit] Alternative descriptions
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, proposes the following definition of a business analyst: "An internal consultancy role that has responsibility for investigating business systems, identifying options for improving business systems and bridging the needs of the business with the use of IT." [1] The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) describes the role as: "a liaison among stakeholders in order to understand the structure, policies, and operations of an organization, and to recommend solutions that enable the organization to achieve its goals."[2]

The Certified Software Business Analyst (CSBA) Common Body of Knowledge, defines this as: "uniquely placed in the organization to provide a strong link between the Business Community and Information Technology (IT)."[citation needed] The role of Business Analyst has evolved from someone who was a part of the business operation and worked with Information Technology to improve the quality of the products and services being delivered by the IT organization to someone who apart from gathering Business Requirements, also assists in Integration and Acceptance Testing, supports the development of training and implementation material, participates in the implementation, and provides post-implementation support. Business Analysts today are also involved in the development of project plans and often provide project management skills when these skills are not available in other project participants.

[edit] Typical deliverables
Depending on the level of thinking about business analysis, the areas range from the technical Business Analysis role (converting detailed business rules into system requirements), to conversion of shareholder return and risk appetite into strategic plans. The following section focuses on the IT sector perspective around business analysis, where much of the deliverables are around requirements. The BA will record requirements in some form of requirements management tool, whether a simple spreadsheet or a complex application. Business requirements (project initiation document), what the needed achievements will be, and the quality measures. They are usually expressed in terms of broad outcomes the business requires, rather than specific functions the system may perform. Specific design elements are usually outside the scope of this document, although design standards may be referenced. 

Example: Improve the readability of project plans.

Functional requirements describe what the system, process, or product/service must do in order to fulfill the business requirements. Note that the business requirements often can be broken up into sub-business requirements and many functional requirements. These are often referred to as System Requirements although some functionality could be manual and not system based, e.g., create notes or work instructions. 

An example...
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