BA: Do you really understand the business need?

BA: Do you really understand the business need?

business-needI think this time the topic is quite rude and primitive. The aspiring BAs may feel it more hurting if someone asks them if they understand the business need, business case or some other heavy term related to business. But I believe this is very basic and fundamental question to all BAs as if they don’t understand the need of the business, they will not be in the position to analyze it.

We always talk about requirements and their management, stakeholders and their views but very few people I have seen talking about business need. For me the bigger question is “do I understand the purpose of the project to which I am involved”. If the answer to this is no, then there is certainly a gap between the team working and team manager. The business need is required as it helps to determine the use of the project. It will have a emotional attachment with the team and in turn team will perform better.

Above to this, a business analyst should understand the business need in and out and then only he would be able to define the requirements, analyze them and get them implemented from the development team. Understanding the business need moves business, organization, or career forward. They squeeze incremental value from interactions, the drops of which add up to reservoirs of insight. The more you interact with the business owners, the more you get an insight of the business. Now interacting with the owners doesn’t mean that you have to visit them daily but regular business meetings either personal or on call will definitely help in understanding business need.

Business need is not similar to business requirements but it will help in analyzing the business requirements, if we go through the dictionary meaning of the two terms, here are the details:

Requirement: Something that is necessary

Need: Anything that is necessary but lacking

[Courtesy: WordWeb Pro]

So here we have noticed that requirement is something which is necessarily defined during or before implementation of the project but Need is something which is necessary but stakeholders have forgot to define.

Similarly in terms of business, need is something which should be defined before starting a project. Let’s take a favourable example, if we have to design a database table in which column1 (say user_name) and column2 (say user_email) are mandatory fields and mentioned in the requirement document but there is column (say user_id) is also to be defined for further upgrades but its not mentioned in the requirement document. Then in that case column3 will become need for that DB table which is necessary for further upgrades but lacking in the requirement document.

Identifying the business need is of utmost importance and the purpose of defining business need is also defined in the BABOK as “Identify and define why a change to an organizational system or capabilities is required”. This defines that a BA should be able to identify and understand this “why”.

The business need understanding is basically done during project analysis. If a BA understands the business needs, he not only able to understand the customer/project requirements but he can easily prioritize those requirements. This will in turn help in enhancing the processes and ensure the on-time delivery of the projects with minimum chances of false requirements.

Happy Reading!!!!

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