Business Analyst – In Different HATS
Business Analyst are also called requirements engineer, as architects and sometime as business associates
There are many colors of hats that a Business Analyst wear during his/her assignment in a project. In the article we will review 11 different hats to see how a Business Analyst job is not associated to one role in a project. As already stated earlier in my last video, depending on the type of the company- structure, project scope, standards and their sizes, the role of Business Analyst may change from one company to another.
Let’s first look into Enterprise Business Analyst role. These Business Analysts are assigned to identify strategic business goals, align, standardize and optimize program and the project. Normally, these goals in a project are called high-level requirements/program level requirements or high-level scopes. These requirements may be documented in business documents , project charter, project plan , stakeholder charter, dependency planning document, cost-benefit analysis documents, impact analysis documents, business cases, project scoping documents, and project initiation & planning- enterprise-level or program level business requirement documents and solution requirements documents.
Technology Business Analyst: This role is very much similar to enterprise Business Analyst role. If a BA is engaged in technical activities in a project i.e a BA which works very close to IT or technical team then they are usually Technology or IT BAs. These Business Analyst are considered experts of technology i.e technology SMEs. Their second quality is the expertise of business knowledge and project execution skills, unlike enterprise business analyst whose first critical skill is management/project initiation, planning and analysis. They document detail and granular requirements like business requirements documents, detail project requirement document, , data solution documents, technical use cases, technical stories etc. they use enterprise business and project requirements documents and solution documents to create these detail project level business requirement documents and solution documents. As as mentioned in my videos, they are very much engaged in the execution phase of the projects. In summary – these Business Analyst get high-level requirements from the program level analysis and break it down into detail requirements.
Solution Analyst: After the requirements are put together, the solution of the requirement is identified and in most cases a Business Analyst who wrote a requirement may also be engaged in identifying the solution for the business requirements. In this case, the hat a Business Analyst wear will be the hat of solution analyst.
- If these Business Analyst are involved in enterprise-level and assigned to work on solution of program level requirements then they may be called as enterprise solution analysts.
- Similarly, if they are assigned to project level than they may be considered as project solution analyst or technology solution analyst.
Solution Analyst are also popular with the name as “architects” in short. They create detailed solution/specification document based on the past solution analysis which identified the exact solution and found benefit of implementing each solution exceeds the cost. Feasibility is initially conducted by Solution analyst to understand the feasibility of implementing the solution for the business requirements. This validated document by Solution analyst is then forwarded to system analyst to design and define the specifications for the solution. These role require very high level of technical understanding of the solution however they may not be required to be expert of business domains or business languages. Sometime, based on the size and scope, a business analyst may complete all three roles: Business Analyst (enterprise and project), Solution Analyst (enterprise and project) and System Analyst (project. If you see your role called BSA than it is business and system analyst role-which may be combination of all three roles we have discussed until now.
UAT Business Analyst: Similarly when a Business Analyst is assigned to perform quality assurance & testing of the product being delivered by the project, along with the business then those Business Analyst are called UAT Business Analyst. When a product is ready to be tested by the client or the sponsor of the project than a Business Analyst may be assigned with the role as UAT leader or UAT test manager, UAT coordinator or simply test manager. UAT Business Analysts are as possible to coordinate and perform the user as a test testing from the start to end. Business may not know the product details – which is being developed by project, so they prefer someone from the project team to help them get trained, help them standardized their activities and artifacts – this helping person from project is in fact UAT Business Analyst. In cases when a client wants to perform all the UAT testing by following the client’s standards (not following project team standards), then also in that case this helping persion – UAT Business Analysts will be assigned to support the client (sponsor). In this case there will be another UAT Business Analysts or UAT Accountable stakeholder in the clients side to execute the UAT. The responsibility of these kinds of project UAT Business Analysts may be shared with client UAT BAs, and project UAT Business Analysts may just work as test coordinator- i.e. not UAT leads or managers. In simpler words, in this case this project UAT BA only acts the coordinator to deliver everything needed for a business to perform the testing successfully. They schedule a daily status meeting between internal and external teams to keep everyone on the same page and to monitor UAT progress from project prospective without impact the clients’ normal process, however they are allowed to steer the UAT direction if they sense a risk of UAT failure.
In most cases UAT Business Analyst are responsible to create UAT documents like UAT test plan, test strategy, scenarios, summary documents, job aid, status artifacts etc. they may also being used as a full-time tester to test the product
System Analyst: very much similar to the role of solution analyst, system analyst provide decomposition and technical design of the solution requirements and business requirement provided to them. System analyst are from the technological team who are much more knowledgeable in technology than normal business analyst. System analysts are considered subject matter experts of technology. They are the bridge between engineering team and the project management team, very much similar to the Business Analyst who are bridge in between technology team and business team. System analyst acts as a business to the engineering team or as a lead of them, then coordinate the development effort to build the product matching exactly the solution and business requirements. In small to midsize projects, a Business Analyst may be required to put on the hat of system analyst where they will be involved in creating detailed technical documents like detail/technical use cases, detailed design documents, specification documents, data design documents, system interface design documents, User Interface Design Documents etc. These Business Analyst may also be involved in the preparing development and test environments, data extract, transform, load (migrate and archive) or even in the coding and development of the product. Normally, a developer with many years of experience in development who acquired the total knowledge of the system may lead the team as business system analyst.
Quality Analyst: very similar to the UAT Business Analyst, a Business Analyst who works in the small to midsize project may also work as a quality analyst-directly involved in the system testing, end to end, functionality, point to point, integration testing, regression, backend testing and sometime in automation testing. The documents created during this testing would be very much similar to the UAT artifacts, however the level of detail provided in these documents are much more technical than UAT documents.
Project Manager (PM): in some cases a Business Analyst may not have a distinct role which separates out he’s role from project manager’s. In the situations like- a project with a small scope, a small company or even in the large company which is functionally organized, these roles may not be clearly separated out. Example- a traditional bank is a functional organization where a finance manager is considered the business owner or the program manager for the finance projects and a Business Analyst may never see a role called project manager defined in such projects. In this type of organization a Business Analyst is in fact a project manager. Similary- it also may be other way around where these is no business analyst role in a project, then the project manager is a business analyst. Normally these companies hire a Business Analyst with the PM experience or a PM with BA skills.
UAT or Test Manager: Apart from being UAT tester or quality analyst-BA can also be assigned as a UAT manager because of their skills in managing business, team, and projects. It is a combined role of quality analyst and a UAT Business Analyst, but more on the management side. A Business Analyst working as a test manager may never be required to execute test cases, however, they will be responsible to guide the team and develop test artifacts. They are also responsible to hold status meetings, management meetings, issue/risk/challenge meetings and many ad hoc meetings. A test manager may be assigned to:
- The internal testing team i.e. leading quality analysts or maybe assigned as
- The UAT manager/Lead for the external client testing i.e. leading Business UAT testers
Test Coordinator: it is very much similar to test manager role but test coordinator does not have the power to make any kind of decision, unlike Test Managers.
Project Team Leader: it is a very diverse role where a Business Analyst may be assigned to lead other project teams like team of Business Analysts, team of quality analysts, team of system architects, team of engineers etc. Remember if someone is assigned to lead the whole team (not just a group) then they are called project managers and if there assigned to lead a group of people or team than they are called leads. In smaller project or team, a lead may also be called as a project manager.
Business/Project Consultants: These Business Analysts are the subject matter experts of business analysis, modeling, strategic planning and executive leadership. There are also considered exports of modern technologies and modern methodologies due to their diversified knowledge of multi-Doman and multi-environment. When a company decides to add a value to existing system or the team or the methodology then in that case they hire business consultants, mostly on contracts. These business consultant roughly make double of the full-time Business Analyst.
Who can be called a business consultant?
An executed business and technology expert with many years of experience in technology and business domains-well-educated and professionally certified are business consultants.
You may have a question if business consultants are almost double expensive than the normal full-time Business Analyst, then why does a company hire a business consultant? Here are a few scenarios which explains the concept of business consultant and why they are considered for job:
- When the existing technology of a company is outdated and need enhancements then the temporarily hire business consultants to enhance the system on the specific field.
- When there is a temporary need of increasing the number of project team members then it is much more safer to hire business consultant than to hire a Business Analyst full-time when a new technology is required to be used by only few projects, and may not be used in future, the higher consultants to take it off the task and release them after the task is complete
- When the business methodologies and models used by companies are outdated then they need expert of modern technologies and models. They hire consultants until the task is accomplished when there is an immediate need to hire someone with already existing quality than the higher the consultant as they do not have to be trained
- They hire someone as consultant on contractual basis and then later on converted them to the full-time employee. It allows businesses to explore the quality of business consultant before they can propose them to work as a full-time employee-these kind of employment is called contract to hire.
BIG SHOES OF BUSINESS ANALYST
Business Analyst work as a bridge between business and technology team. So they are seen as two different person by these two different groups:
Business: Internal project technology team considers BAs as the business representative because they are the one through whom the technology team interacts to business. Whenever there is a question to business from technology team then they ask Business Analyst and then the Business Analyst goes back to business and seeks the resolution
Technology: business considers Business Analyst as the technology team representative-subject matter expert. So whenever a business has a question or in trouble for/due to technology team than they ask it to Business Analyst, then Business Analyst goes back to the technology team and seeks the resolution
Additional Details Covered in the Training- Enterprise Business Analyst L1 – Click me