How to organize effective BA work. Our BA advices.

Evgenii Burda
19 September 2017

01. Meet with stakeholders rather writing emails

We prefer to have skype/hangouts/zoom meetings with our stakeholders more often rather than write a lot of emails. Thus, we organize more close and effective discussion, involving into process many people at one time. During negotiations, we have a chance to overview an issue from different sides, saving time for making decisions.
Generally, we use emails to notify Stakeholders about implemented features to check, to define date of next meeting or some urgent issue to clarify.

02. Use professional BA tools to work with Requirements

It is very important to have such BA tool that allows whole team collaborate together, namely, track tasks, exclude duplicates of information, link information and so on.

We use in our work such professional BA tools as JIRA and Confluence. Main workflow looks like this: BA team create “Story” in accordance with stakeholders requirements and redirect this Story to testers to prepare test cases. Then “story” redirected to development team. Development team create tasks and connect them to this “Story”. After all tasks implemented and checked by testers the Story receive status DONE and documented in Confluence for regression testing in future.

03. Start from hypothesis and finish with requirements

Clarify requirements with stakeholders on very early stage. Each time when new requirement received we try to look at it as if it is a hypothesis not a requirement. We analyze what value this hypothesis brings to the project, how many Users will use it, how many resources needed to implement it, should it conflict with existing functionality and so on. Thus, we reduce dramatically errors in decision making process and provide more fast ROI by implementing the most valuable features.

04. Be in trend of new UX/UI solutions

Analyze new global UX/UI concepts to be in “trend” and provide our client advanced solutions.

05. Accumulate experience and exchange ideas with other teams

When you work in multi-team company it is very important to exchange experience and discuss ideas. It may happen that one smart advice costs months of your work.

06. Write requirements that will be clear for all stakeholders.

We try to use simple structured text RQ vs complicated diagrams but working in accordance with best international standards, practices and guidelines.
Our requirements are well structured to find any at any time.
We prototype each RQ (desktop, tablet, mobile views) as well as full set of prototypes for Web and Mobile applications.
Such approach help us to communicate with stakeholders more effectively.

07. Create and support positive atmosphere inside team

This obvious at first glance thing help us to collaborate effectively, especially in deadline mode.

08. Analyze competitive advantages

Every time when new feature must be implemented it may sense to review similar competitive solutions for cherry picking good ideas. In some cases, you do not need to reinvent the wheel and make each feature unique. Save your time.

09. Write requirements vs not writing RQ (Agile)

Despite the fact Agile methodology are very popular nowadays we prefer to write requirements that help us to exclude many mistakes during development process and as a result save time. When requirements written in detail, tested and provided to development team the process of development goes more smoothly, fast and in quiet positive environment.

10. Explore and apply new design trends

In many cases business analyst, need not only describe internal logic of site, but also describe user interface. Proposing draft mockups take into account new world design trends, in this case designer not needed to redesign whole your concept but just only stylish it. It could dramatically save project time.

11. Develop alternative solutions to choose the best ideas
Create 2-3 alternative solutions to discuss. Make several concepts to help you see issues from different sides. You can just create mockups to discuss and after one solution will be approved prepare requirements.

12. Meeting organizing

Be prepared for the meeting in advance. Make several concepts to discuss and prepare plan of discussion. Send this plan to stakeholders for they could also be prepared for the meeting well. During the meeting assign one person as secretary to fix every discussed point and just after meeting write meeting notes. Focus on stakeholder requests. It is very important aspect, because very often during the meeting many brilliant ideas appears (especially generated by project owner`s team) that need to be fixed.
Try to complete meeting in one hour, the longer meeting the less it effective.

13. Work in accordance with best international standards, practices and guidelines.

During your work as BA use different international standards. For example, for developing iOS or Android applications it is highly recommended to use iOS or Android Guides. Working in financial sector the knowledge of UML diagram are essential to describe entities and interactions between different project modules.

The End