Around the world, 37 percent of businesses are focused on digital transformation initiatives at present. The way they go about this naturally differs from business to business.
However, many of today’s enterprises are becoming more and more reliant on business analysis to assist them with guiding them through the digital transformation process.
When it comes to developing software for your business, business analysis can help you to unlock a wide range of benefits that you may not have thought about before. With that in mind, let’s explore them in more depth below.
Business analysts can help you to elicit requirements for your digital project
If you hire a business analyst to assist with your software project, they will be able to gather all of the technical and business requirements that are required for a minimum viable product (MVP) or a final product.
They will be able to do this by working in cooperation with all stakeholders, which includes the likes of employees, software engineers, company leaders, project managers, and product owners.
In a perfect scenario, this research will include input from customers or end-users as well. After all, these are the people who are going to be using the software in the end. Therefore, they are in the greatest position to ensure you have all of the information needed in terms of the product’s functionality.
You will learn about both successes and failures, as well as any challenges that are faced when using the product.
By incorporating the people who are going to be using the software, you will also get a better understanding of whether your attempts at getting buy-in are introducing additional artifacts or unexpected processes to product users that could affect your overall return on investment (ROI).
If you do not conduct proper and thorough business analysis prior to building the software, designers could find themselves designing an application that is incomplete and does not solve any of the problems it was intended to.
Even worse, you may have to scrap the software and the entire process may need to be started all over again, once a significant amount of funds and time has been spent.
Lower your costs
One of the most significant benefits of hiring a business analyst is that they are going to be able to help you to reduce your company costs.
A business analyst will utilize data analysis, as well as recommended work methodologies, to create strategies that will lower your project costs.
Depending on what sort of software development framework your team is working under, your company analyst will be able to brief team members on how to work effectively, as well as monitoring the process to find any pitfalls or improvements in terms of efficiency, enabling everyone to achieve more and continue to improve.
This approach is highly beneficial in terms of lowering your costs and boosting the time to market, otherwise known as TTM, for the complete application.
There is literally an abundance of different ways that business analysis can be used to help you to reduce project overruns and costs.
Project implementation and testing
Now, let’s consider how a business analyst can assist in terms of implementing your project and completing testing.
The actual building or development part of any software project is going to include preparing and implementing the application or software solution that is needed to fulfill company requirements in regards to a successful and fully functioning product.
Business analysis also plays a vital role with regards to testing your product to make sure that it fulfills the brief and caters to customers’ pain points. Your company analyst will work alongside your testing team, ensuring that specific features and overall functionality are reviewed and pass the test.
The business analyst you hire will make certain that the product you have developed meets all of the specific criteria from the product backlog and technical documentation throughout testing activities, such as application walkthroughs. This is something that is going to be carried out in a cyclical manner, with regular testing to ensure the best possible results.
Aside from this, your business analyst will also play a role in actual product testing. They will ensure your entire project team receives clear and accurate feedback in terms of product requirements and compliance.
Throughout the testing and implementation period, your company analyst will also help with crisis anticipation and change management.
All of this will increase the chances that the end product is going to meet the end-user requirements that have been specified in the brief, and that these requirements will be met within the timelines and budgets that have been expressed.
Bridge communication between stakeholders
In addition to the advantages that we have talked about so far, another key benefit of utilizing business analysis when you build SaaS software is to ensure that communication is bridged effectively between stakeholders.
Your company analyst will act as a bridge between the project stakeholders and those working on your development team.
They will make sure that your company requirements are effectively translated so that your developers and engineers can comprehend them in technical terms.
During this time, your company analyst will also communicate any concerns that the project team has to the stakeholders that need to know, making sure that everyone is involved at the time has all of the information that is required and everything is understood properly across all silo boundaries.
By making sure that this imperative communication is filled, it aids in making certain that anyone else in your company, both on the business and development side of things, can understand the value of the project. This will make sure that you have protection against any type of misunderstanding.
You will also be protected from the chance of creating a product that does not coincide with the vision your customer has.
In addition to this, it is also going to reduce the risk of communication failures in the end in terms of product requirements or specifications.
Advice on how to hire a business analyst
There is no denying that there are a lot of advantages to be gained by using a business analyst as part of your SaaS software development team. However, to experience all of the benefits discussed above, you need to find the best business analyst for your team.
It is imperative to test IT business analyst skills, as this will enable you to make certain that the individual you hire has the skills you are searching for.
In addition to this, it is imperative to choose someone who has the required experience. Not only do you want to ensure that they have many years of experience in their locker but it is important to ensure that they have worked on similar projects before. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask what software development projects they have worked on in the past.
What to expect from a business analyst?
You may be wondering what sort of tasks a business analyst is going to complete. So, let’s take a look:
- They will communicate with all team members to understand the needs of your business as a whole, as well as the needs of specific departments.
- They work with external stakeholders so that they can investigate and understand feedback regarding the software you are creating.
- They will make sure that plans and processes are created to assess the impact of any changes made to the software, and they will take responsibility for overseeing and reporting on this.
- They use data modeling practices to assess your findings, and they will put together suggestions for operational and strategic changes and improvements to consider.
- They will consider possible risks and opportunities that are attached to any of the suggestions that you make.
- They provide support for teams and staff in terms of making the recommended changes, helping them to resolve any problems or issues.
- They will produce written documentation to support their work, as well as report their findings and present them to stakeholders when required.
- They will identify the information technology and processes that are needed to introduce your recommendations.
- They will gain agreement, typically from senior management, of the greatest method for introducing recommendations.
- They will communicate the benefits of their recommendations across all impacted departments, helping to address any concern or uncertainty.
Final words on business analysis in SaaS software development
As you can see, there are a number of important benefits to be gained by involved business analysis in the software development process.
Not only will business analysis act as a bridge in terms of communication between a number of different stakeholders but it can also effectively reduce your expenses, as well as enhance decision making and strategy decisions.
If that was not enough, a business analysis will ensure your project is implemented properly and testing is carried out to the right level. When you take all of this into account, business analysis is a no-brainer when developing software.