Business Analysis: An Essential Tool for Successfully Implementing Your IT Projects

28 February, 2019 | Blog

Julie Lessard

JULIE LESSARD

Business Analyst

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In the digital economy, where big data is a precious asset for companies, business analysis plays a decisive role in the vertical and horizontal integration strategies of the companies of tomorrow. To remain competitive, companies must have efficient IT solutions in order to optimize their value chain. That’s where the expertise of a business analyst comes in.

A business analyst plays a pivotal role in aligning each project stakeholder’s business requirements with the IT solution provider, sponsor and users. They must ensure that the systems’ functionalities meet the needs identified at the initial analysis stage. When a project involves a number of stakeholders, one group often prioritizes its own needs above those of the other groups. The analyst must remain objective and must communicate the overall vision for the project in order to propose the best solutions for the issues raised. This exercise often helps the analyst identify inefficient practices and eliminate them in the new processes to be implemented.

The analyst’s primary objective is to achieve measurable results while adhering to the allocated budgets. The chosen solution must also represent added value for the company.

For example, when specialized software is being implemented, the business analyst ensures that the needs of users (employees or external clients) correspond to the functionalities of the tool being deployed. Their job calls for advanced knowledge of the client’s methods and business processes and the ability to align them with the proposed IT solution.

When are the services of a business analyst necessary?

A business analyst’s presence is required throughout the project, from defining the client’s needs to implementing and delivering the solution. A business analyst must be resilient, vigilant and flexible, as projects rarely follow a straight line.

What does a business analyst do?

Business analysts are involved in both IT and operational processes. They focus mainly on how the project will benefit the organization’s activities. It is critical for the analyst to interpret the context and business reality in which the company operates as well as the impact and risks posed by the project in order to properly guide the approach. They are involved in analyzing and assessing issues raised by the client, the strategic planning of IT systems and documenting the project’s scope and objectives. They also interpret the business, operational and functional requirements for the development teams and participate in quality control activities.

What value does a business analyst bring to a project?

Regardless of the duration or nature of the project, the company’s business needs are in constant flux. Business analysts adopt a long-term vision while ensuring that the client’s business objectives are achieved. In other words, they see to it that the solution proposed, chosen and implemented for the client meets both current and future needs.

Clients who think they will save time and money by not using the services of a business analyst run the risk of seeing their project compromised. The reason is simple: analysts focus mainly on how the project will benefit the organization’s activities. They ensure that actions taken remain consistent with the strategy developed at the start of the project, but that the project evolves as it is completed as well. A poorly analyzed project can be very costly for a company from a productivity, financial and human resources standpoint. By calling on the services of a business analyst, clients can rest assured that every variable is taken into account to ensure that their needs are not only met but exceeded.

This content is for general information purposes only. All rights reserved ©BBA

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