Understanding What Business Analysis Is: Business Analysis Definition

Business analysis has developed into a core business practice in a bid to link a firm’s capabilities with its objectives.

The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) has significantly helped in providing a clear definition of business analysis as a combination of tasks and techniques that aids stakeholders in understanding the structure, operations and policies of their organization. IIBA offers a series of recommendations on how BAs can support organisations in meeting their business needs.

Conducting effective business analysis involves carrying out the following key steps:

  1. Classifying the problems and opportunities affecting the organisation
  2. Eliciting constraints, assumption and business needs from stakeholders
  3. Analysing the needs of stakeholders in order to outline business requirements
  4. Assessing and substantiating probable and realistic solutions
  5. Managing the scope of requirements

Some comment that in today’s intricate business environment, the business analysis discipline has evolved from work that was previously cut out for project managers. Indeed, the argument also holds that in many organisations, it is difficult to establish a clear-cut difference between project management and business analysis. Others have likened the techniques used in business analysis with those used in systems analysis. Business analysis techniques however, focus more on business goals than technology design. The business analysis discipline is designed to deliver an understanding of user groups and the general business environment.

The importance of the business analysis discipline is also recognised when solving business problems. Business Analysts seek opportunities to help stakeholders strategize the implementation of effective processes, structures, and technology to complement and improve their work.   

Business analysis is considered to be very closely linked to software development in the sense that most software development approaches are designed by developers of software to facilitate building effective applications—Business Analysts often have to adopt the software development approaches of the projects they embark on. Examples include Agile/Waterfall approaches, to mention a few.

Picture Attribution: “Group Of Business People At Work” by photostock