Why a Business Analyst Is Needed on a Project

Maria Boyarko

Maria Boyarko

Head of the BA Department at Andersen

Business Analysis
Dedicated Team
Jun 1, 2021
Lesedauer: 9 Min.
  1. Who a Business Analyst is and when this specialist is needed
  2. The Business Analyst in the SDLC: the global source of product knowledge
  3. The Business Analyst? Why include one more specialist in the team? We’ve already got a Project Manager...
  4. How do I know that the Business Analyst has completed the job successfully?
  5. Conclusion

A successful IT project is the result of the planned, well-coordinated, and high-quality work of a team of specialists.

What do planned processes involve?

  • a vision of a future solution is worked out;
  • there is an understanding of the basic functionality and improvements;
  • a roadmap for project implementation is created;
  • the composition of the team is determined: the number of specialists, roles, and dates of involvement;
  • the team is provided with tasks for the upcoming sprints, and subsequent ones are gradually being worked out.

Well-coordinated work is when each participant contributes to the common goal, without creating downtime or delays. High-quality development means that the team participates in the analysis of requirements and is involved in the discussion of upcoming tasks - for example, at grooming, where risks and potential problems are highlighted. As a result, the team chooses the best solution.

When reaching out to an outsourcing company, a customer is mainly interested in developers. Still, they should consider other equally important participants in the software development life cycle (SDLC).

Now let’s imagine a team of ten “programmers only” who have the task to create, for example, a fitness app. Who of these geniuses will communicate with the customer and find out the requirements? Who will determine which features to implement first and which ones to implement later? Who will be responsible for achieving business goals? Who will be able to determine the real needs of users or correctly understand the business idea of the customer?

If developers are the only specialists engaged, there is a high probability that the product won’t satisfy all the user needs, as none of them would spend time on analyzing the target audience.

Who will communicate with the business? Developers approach the clarification of requirements too narrowly and technically. As a result, the customer receives a product that is completely different from what they really needed.

Finally, any development should be planned, and sprints should be fully packed with elaborated tasks. This is necessary in order to release urgent valuable functionality during each iteration. If developers grasp for tasks without any order, they will eventually accumulate technical debt. If trying to clarify the customer's requirements during a sprint, they won’t be able to meet the deadlines, which can cause a significant delay in product release.

Consequently, the plans will collapse. Users are not satisfied, so the business is not making profits. Well-coordinated work is out of the question because everyone is in their own bubble. High quality is out of the question too - shortcomings in requirements and implementation of flawed or unnecessary functions will have consequences. And the cost of fixing such flaws, as Microsoft calculated, increases from five to two hundred times as we move towards the end of the SDLC.

Thorough planning and comprehensive analysis will help a business avoid serious losses. According to McKinsey, 17% of IT projects are so unsuccessful that they lead companies to bankruptcy. Did you know that almost half of all developments exceed their allocated budgets, and 7% of projects exceed their allotted time? Conducting a discovery phase can improve the situation - as a result, development costs are halved and the likelihood of meeting deadlines increases by 75%.

Fortunately, chaos can be easily avoided by including a kind of superhero - a Business Analyst - in the team. Let's figure out what helps this specialist keep order and what benefits they bring to the business.

Who a Business Analyst is and when this specialist is needed

A Business Analyst is a kind of intermediary between the business and the development team. How does this specialist fulfill this role?

1. Communicates with stakeholders and gathers requirements.

The Business Analyst acts as a liaison by communicating with stakeholders to extract product requirements. In this case, this specialist simultaneously solves several problems.

First, the Business Analyst documents the requirements so that the development te