You might have played the role of a mediator or a savior in different real time situations but have you ever been among one of them in the IT industry?
You must also have seen a bridge that connects the two shores of a lake or river. If you can relate to that bridge or to the savior -
You are a BUSINESS ANALYST!
A business analyst plays a very important role in the SDLC process. He manages both the business and technical teams to come up with the best software (product) in the given deadline and resources. He is basically glue who sticks the whole software development team and process and ensures smooth deployment.
BA manages client expectation by talking to stakeholders or clients and understands their requirements. The analyst also advises client on how the best product can be developed and delivered to them. After the requirement gathering and planning he prepares the relevant documents (BRD, FRD, Gap Analysis Doc, etc) and wireframes of the software (which are testable and verifiable). Once the documentation is done they create user stories and acceptance criteria using project management tools (JIRA, monday.com etc) and assigns it to the development team so that they can start working on it.
And once the development process is completed they play a vital role in the testing phase via being involved in E2E testing, or UAT or defect triaging processes. BA has to ensure that the best product is going to be delivered.
And here the BIG QUESTION comes!!! How does a BA manage to do all this????
To become the best BA one needs to have certain skills set.
1) Communication: They need to excel in communication skills along with proficiency in problem solving. BA is required to communicate in both verbal and written manner, share information across teams and departments, resolve conflict, give updates and facilitate meetings and workshops.
2) Expertise on Industry, domain or business Knowledge: You can’t advise how to best configure EDI forms if you do not know what EDI forms are and why are they vital for the business. That’s just an example. The BA can manage the stakeholders and their requirements only when he/she has great domain and Industry (business) knowledge. Since a BA works in different domains like healthcare, finance, insurance, HCM, retail and many more therefore they need to have an understanding of what they need to deliver to their stakeholders from different domains.
3) Technical Expertise: BA also undertakes functional tasks such as configuring the ERP and CRM systems and such BAs are often known as TECHNO-FUNCTIONAL BA. This requires knowledge about data, perhaps SQL, database, or tools like excel, macros, VBAs, etc. But this all depends on what is your client-expecting out to you
Communication is the key: A BA must know how to tackle the worst scenarios and how to make everything run smoothly on time. He/she should master themselves in asking the right questions to the right person so that they can get the best solution out of it.
Conducting SWOT analysis and JAD sessions are among the core responsibilities of a BA. Finding the most optimum solution to take the company to the best height is what a business analyst does.
Don’t you feel this is an EXCITING JOB!!
It is silly, but it’s said, “If clients ask for unicorns, BA might have to come back with a horse glued with a Horn.” BA make things happen, after all they excel when the customers are happy with the product delivered.
So for now I would just say “Just as PILLARS are the core elements of a Building, similarly the BA is the soul of the whole Software Development life cycle without whom the team cannot achieve the goals smoothly and successfully.”
About author: Samiksha Shrivastava, a Software Engineer in ConsultAdd Inc, is primarily working on various ERP tools and provides Business Analysis training inhouse.
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