Business analysis is identifying business needs and determining solutions, then enabling a change within the business in a way that generates value for stakeholders. The value of business analysis is in the realization of benefits, the avoidance of costs and the identification of new opportunities. When an agent of the business identifies and articulates this for the business and helps the business understand it, a change may be facilitated that improves the way it conducts itself and generates a positive outcome.
Business analysis is about creating value. Value can be created by reducing projects costs or by increasing efficiency. Time is a valuable resource when trying to create value, businesses take time to understand the requirements of the customer and in that time, spend resources building and developing something that may not be what the customer is looking for, also called requirements churn. Business analysis helps in reducing requirements churn so that the business can figure out what is needed upfront, and the rest of the time can be spent reworking or building the final product.
Another way business analysis can create value for a business is by using prioritization to help the business realize what the more important things are. Prioritization helps to ensure that the more important requirements that add the most value are completed before the team moves on to the secondary, less valuable requirements.
Business analysis also adds value by providing a framework in which the business can scale and expand. When a work system has been adopted and the organisation or team has to be expanded, business analysis serves as a way to initiate, educate and engage new and existing stakeholders about the what is going on. Making sure a business can scale helps ensure that its efficiency stays the same so that it can keep a consistent return on investment value.
Business analysis also helps bridge the gap between stakeholders and the project team, helping the stakeholders describe what the are looking for in the end product and helping the project team understand the requirements and the resources needed to create what the stakeholder needs. This reduces stress on the project team as they don’t have to ‘translate’ what the stakeholder is saying into actionable work and also reduces frustration for the stakeholder as they are able to describe what they need to an objective third-party who is knowledgeable in both the technical and the marketing side of the project who can translate requirement into specification.
In conclusion, business analysis is the interface between a project team and the stakeholder that translates for both parties and also identifies new methods for the project team to work more efficiently while cutting costs so that the project is done in a timely manner, meets objectives and is within the budget.