If a software development process were a railway, business consulting and analysis services would be the rails. It is an essential stage of creating digital products: a thorough business analysis ensures project success and contributes to user satisfaction with a solution.
Business analysts (BAs) often run into software development bottlenecks. Therefore providers and their clients should take into account useful tips to confront and overcome the challenges.
When developers are too much involved
Let everyone does his/her job: business analysis is solely the prerogative of professionals in this field. It is essential to keep in mind the opinion and experience of software developers, but business analysis has user requirements as its basis. ABA is the one who communicates with end users to fully understand their actual needs and aspirations.
Not every developer can boast good communication skills, which is a must for a seasoned BA. A customer doesn’t always share comprehensive information or fail to mention something meaningful making a BA try hard to elicit sufficient information for drawing up system specification. It can be challenging for a software developer to cope with this task.
However, it would be unwise to ignore the practical experience of IT engineers. Their opinion is vital at the stage of analyzing all the gathered information.
When user involvement is insufficient
User requirements determine a project’s destiny. If user involvement in communicating with BAs is for some reason limited, it can result in failures. Nobody will like an application with complicated navigation and not tailored to solve related business needs. Therefore BAs should spend plenty of time figuring out user requirements to avoid spotting errors and oversights during the final development stage. Such errors inevitably result in delays and extra expenses.
For a BA, it is challenging to communicate with end users who would prefer things the way they are. Some software solutions designed for business processes automation can intimidate employees – potential users – of a client company. That fear of changes doesn’t play into the hands of BAs. It makes them cooperate with a client company’s management to clarify the reasons for upcoming changes, engage each and every employee and gather users’ opinion about a would-be solution.
When misunderstanding is in the air
Communication with a wide range of specialists from a client company is a part of business consulting routine. People of different professions speak different languages. It often causes misunderstanding and ambiguity of information coming from the customer side. The bilateral analysis of requirements can solve the problem:
- Someone on the client’s side should be in charge of double checking the requirements. This person or a group of people will verify the information gathered from different sources.
- The software developers should thoroughly analyze the provided data themselves.
When everybody is on the same page, it is easy for the development team to reach the common understanding of user goals and objectives.
When the view of a solution changes
Throughout the development process, a customer, a business consultant, and developers may change their vision of what a software solution should be. The more specialists discuss a new UX wireframe, the more they enhance their experience and dig deeper into the peculiarities of a would-be solution. Such discussions may result in making additional changes to an approved specification. At a later stage, changes greatly complicate the development process and may lead to undesirable expenses.
At times, customers get a taste for providing more and more new requirements. As a matter of fact, costs of such updates can exceed a project budget. Some features clients ask for at the last minute are usually insignificant. Such trivialities divert developers’ attention from the main concept of a solution and, again, result in going over the budget.
BAs clearly explain to a client the costs and results of all the changes, especially of those at a project’s final stage. It’s not a big deal provided that a client is ready to spend more on the expected value of features.
Underestimating the role of a BA in the process of creating high-quality software leads to misunderstanding between a provider and a client sides. There are several components of successful cooperation with a customer, and a professional BA provides comprehensive assistance. First of all, it’s vital to reach the full understanding between a client and a software development services provider. A professional BA capable of engaging a client into the process of planning a project and gathering user requirements increases the chances of a solution being tailored to specific business needs and equipped with required functionalities to augment client’s business.