While working on a project every single step taken, every single product manufactured and every new project undertaken is the response to a particular business need. However, often it is seen that after dedicating enormous amount of time and resource on a project the designed product shows some dissimilarities and mismatch with the product required. Sometimes you might get a complaint from one of your clients that what you delivered is not what he ordered for. It can often be the case that someone made changes to the aspects of the deliverable product while the project had already commenced. On the other hand, the client sent in new requirements for the final goods after the manufacturing process is completed. Requirements of the final product for certain clients can conflict with that of others from time to time.
Under such circumstances, getting a focused and detailed business requirement analysis done can help you predict and bypass problems, which may arise like the ones, mentioned above. The process of business requirement analysis involves discovery, defining, analysis, and documentation related to a specific business objective. Through this process, you are able to define the scope of the project that enables you to assess the time scales and resources required to finish it.
Why is Business Requirement Analysis Important?
Many large organizations have already established planned and efficient processes and methodologies for conducting the business requirements analysis often optimized specifically for that organization or industry. These can be put to use in other organizations or industries as well if there are any similarities between them.
How does a Business Requirements Analysis Work?
In order to commence with business requirements analysis efficiently and achieve the desired results you need to do it properly. The five steps mentioned below will help you understand the tool better and gives you the technical knowhow for conducting your own business requirements analysis:
1. Identifying key stakeholders:
This involves identifying the people who holds the maximum stake in the project and who would suffer maximum loss in case the project fails. First, you need to identify the main project sponsor/sponsors. No matter whether he is an external or an internal client, it is essential that you figure out who has the final say on what will be included in the project's scope, and what won't. Then they are the ones who are going to use the products you manufacture. They are the end users consumers of the product, solution, or service. You production is done to meet with their demands so their inputs should be considered in this too.
2. Capture stakeholder’s requirement:
Get in touch with every single one of these stakeholders and find out what their requirements are. Figure out what they want from the project, find out about their basic expectations from the project. You must always remember that everyone considers the project from his or her point of view and hence often have very different requirements from each other. You must gather all these different requirements and get a clearer image of what this project should achieve. All the stakeholders should be made aware of the basic scope of the project and you should always keep your discussions within this. Else, stake holders may describe all sorts of functionality that your project was never designed to provide. If end-users have expressed in detail these desires, they will be disappointed if they’re omitted from designing the final specification. There is a plethora of methods available for better understanding of these requirements and capturing them in their truest sense. Mentioned below are four such techniques:
- Using stakeholder interviews - You should personally talk with your stakeholders or end users. Often, direct interaction allows you to understand individual views and needs.
- Using focus groups - Conduct group workshops or joint interviews to understand the flow of information between different divisions or departments, and ensure that hand-over will be smoothly managed. When using this method, it's a good idea to keep asking "Why?" for each requirement. Doing so, would help you to eliminate vague requirements, so that you can create a list of the highly important questions.
- Using “use cases” – This technique involves creating an imaginary scenario of the situation and walks you through the whole process step by step as a user. Doing this helps you understand how the system or service would work. The “use cases” method is a good technique for gathering functional requirements, but multiple of these are required for efficient understanding and completion of the entire process. Pre-existing cases can be put to use for similar types of system or service, and can be used as a starting point for developing your own use-case.
- Building prototypes - Building a mock-up model of the system or product for your users often gives them a clearer idea of what the final product is going to look like. The users can address the feasibility issues, and help identify inconsistencies in the prototype.
Any of the above-mentioned procedures can be used to gather all of the requirements.
3. Categorize requirements:
grouping you requirements into certain categories makes the analysis easier and efficient. The categories are as mentioned below:
- Functional requirement
- Operational requirements
- Technical requirements
- Transitional requirements
4. Interpret and record requirements:
After gathering and categorizing all of the requirements, the achievable requirements should be identified. A process for the efficient delivery of the system or product has to be devised next. This can be done in four easy steps:
- Giving a precise definition of the requirements.
- The requirements should be prioritized.
- The impact of change on the project should be analyzed.
- The conflicting issues should be immediately resolved.
- The feasibility of the plan is analyzed.
After analyzing all the requirements the key results should be presented in the form of a detailed business report preferably hand written and circulated among all the major stake holders and end users.
5. Signing off:
An agreement signed by all the key stakeholders or representatives of key stakeholder groups should be produced stating that the business analysis report reflects all of their basic requirements.
In order to get exactly what you have in mind you should be able to define it properly. The method of business requirement analysis helps you do just that. It helps you to understand your business needs better and then assists you with breaking them down into detailed, specific requirements.