Business Analysis Overview

An overview to business analysis (BA), and its importance and value in organizations

Introduction

According to The PMI Guide to Business Analysis (2017):

Business analysis is the set of activities performed to support delivery of solutions that align to business objectives and provide continuous value to the organization.

Business analysis is used to:

  • Determine problems and opportunities
  • Identify business needs and recommend viable solutions to meet those needs
  • Elicit, analyze, manage, and communicate requirements
  • Define benefits and approaches for measuring and realizing value, and analyze the outcomes

Scope of Business Analysis

Business analysis supports solution development through portfolio, program, and projects, as well as ongoing operational activities.

Importance of Business Analysis

  • Business analysis practices are as important for program and project success as program and project management practices.
  • Both business analysis and project management roles are key contributors to project success.
  • Business analysis is a key competency to help organizations meet market demands by delivering better solutions in a faster and less expensive manner.
  • Business analysis creates a competitive advantage for organizations.
  • Just like project management, business analysis practices also need to be tailored to address the specific needs of the organization.
  • Business analysis enables the organization to identify and fix the root causes of problems instead of repeatedly addressing symptoms as they occur.

Value of Business Analysis

  • Business analysis saves time, reduces costs, and minimizes risk exposure in the long run.
  • The application of good business analysis practices can result in the product or solution being accepted early on and fully adopted once implemented or released, and achieving high levels of stakeholder satisfaction.
  • Strong collaboration between project managers and business analysts leads to more successful project outcomes.

Business Analyst Role

Business analysis may be performed by any individual regardless of the person’s job title. It may also be performed by a team of individuals. Refer to Skillset and Expertise for BA Role for more details.

Business Analyst Focus

Business analysis focuses on products, whereas project management focuses on delivering projects to create or evolve products.

Business analysts focus more on understanding the business needs, defining requirements, and shaping the project’s scope, whereas project managers focus on planning, executing, and delivering projects on time, within budget, and according to specified requirements.

In other words, business analysts focus on ‘what to implement’, while project managers are more concerned with ‘how to implement’.

Last updated: May 26, 2024