Last updated on March 4th, 2023 at 02:39 am
There are a variety of tools and techniques for business analysis that are used in order to perform their job duties effectively. Some of the most common techniques include requirements gathering, data analysis, process improvement, and stakeholder management.
Understanding how to properly gather requirements is critical for business analysts so that they can identify the project’s specific needs from beginning to end.
There are many, many, many business analysis techniques out there. That many? Yeah, many. However, instead of re-iterating all of them, how about I give you the top ten and what they mean? Good. Let’s get started.
10 Business Analyst Techniques
Business Process Modeling (BPM)
Business Process Modeling (BPM) is a technique used to visualize, document, and streamline business processes. It involves breaking down a process into its individual steps, or “tasks,” and then analyzing each task to see how it can be improved.
BPM can be used to improve just about any type of business process, from customer service to inventory management. Business process modeling’s benefits are many and varied, but some of the most common include reduced costs, improved customer satisfaction, and increased efficiency. In short, if you’re looking for a way to take your business to the next level, BPM just might be the answer.
One of the oldest techniques out there. You’ve probably used it before, even if you didn’t know it by name. Brainstorming is simply a method of generating new ideas by getting a group of people together and allowing them to share their thoughts freely.
The best brainstorming sessions are those where there are no wrong answers and participants feel free to think outside the box. The goal is to come up with solutions to business problems.
Not exactly the command you give your feline when s/he is zooming about the house and knocking your stuff askew. It means:
- Who the benefactors of the business process are and how does the issue affect them?
- Who all is involved in the situation?
- The transformation which lies at the heart of the system.
- The big picture and the wider impacts of the issue.
- The owner of the process or situation and their role in this.
- What constraints may impact the solution and its success?
MoSCoW (Must or Should, Could or Won’t Have)
Not the Russian capital, The MOSCOW method involves listing requirements and placing them into one of the four categories: Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have.
The “Must have” requirements are the most important and must be completed in order for the project to be successful.
“Should have” requirements are important but not as crucial as the must-haves.
“Could have” requirements are desired but not necessary, and “Won’t have” requirements are not desired or necessary at all.
By prioritizing the requirements using the MOSCOW method, stakeholders can come to a common understanding of the importance of each requirement and make decisions on which ones should be tackled first.
MOST Analysis comprises of the following:
- The top-level, overall goal for establishing a business in terms of what you want to accomplish. The more specific your mission is when defining the remaining elements of the tool, the more successful you will be at attempting to define them further down.
- Your objectives are like mini-missions; they act as stepping stones to reach your overall mission. They should be specific enough that you can use them as a guide for future planning and decision-making. After establishing your mission, developing a list of objectives should be relatively easy.
- This is a short list of items that you must accomplish in order to achieve your goals. What steps should you take in order to reach your objectives, and how does this help you achieve your mission?
- The specifics of your tactics should be the focus of your daily activities. The best approach to make sure what you’re doing right now will help you get closer to your ultimate goal is to use your tactics to control your day-to-day actions.
Non-Functional Requirement Analysis
Non-functional requirement analysis is a process used to identify the non-functional requirements of a system. These requirements, also known as quality requirements, define the system’s attributes in terms of how it should behave, perform, or be manufactured.
Non-functional requirements are typically divided into two categories: those that deal with how the system behaves externally, and those that deal with how the system behaves internally.
In order to properly identify and analyze these requirements, it is necessary to first understand the stakeholders’ needs and goals. Once these needs and goals are understood, it is then possible to identify which attributes of the system are most important to them.
After the critical attributes have been identified, it is then possible to begin developing metrics and benchmarks that can be used to measure and track them. By understanding and tracking the non-functional requirements of a system, it is possible to ensure that the system meets the needs of its stakeholders.
PESTLE analysis is a strategic tool used to evaluate the external factors that can have an impact on an organization. The acronym stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, and Environmental factors. By taking into account these various factors, organizations can develop strategies to respond effectively to changes in their operating environment.
The political environment refers to the governing bodies and policies that can impact a business. For example, changes in tax laws or trade regulations can have a significant effect on an organization’s bottom line. The economic environment encompasses factors such as interest rates, inflation, and employment levels. These macroeconomic conditions can affect consumer spending patterns and business investment decisions.
The social environment includes demographic trends and social attitudes that can influence demand for a company’s products or services. For example, an aging population may drive demand for healthcare products or services, while changing attitudes towards environmental sustainability could affect consumers’ purchasing decisions. The technological environment encompasses the development of new technologies that can disrupt existing businesses or create new opportunities. For example, the rise of e-commerce has revolutionized the retail sector, while advances in biotechnology are creating new medical therapies.
The legal environment includes the laws and regulations that govern businesses. This can include everything from employment law to health and safety regulations. Finally, the environmental environment refers to the physical conditions that can impact a business. This can include factors such as climate change or natural disasters. By taking into account all of these factors, organizations can develop strategies to respond effectively to changes in their external environment.
SWOT Analysis is a framework for business planning that helps identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can be used for both large-scale strategic planning or more narrow tactical decision-making.
The SWOT framework has been adapted for use in diverse industries and organizations, making it one of the most popular business tools today.
The first step in conducting a SWOT Analysis is to identify an organization’s strengths. These can be internal factors such as a strong product line or efficient manufacturing process.
They can also be external factors such as a favorable market position or significant financial resources. This step is important because it helps define what an organization does well and where its competitive advantage lies.
Weaknesses are the flip side of strengths; they are factors that put an organization at a disadvantage relative to its competitors. Common weaknesses include things like an outdated product line or lack ofEnough experience in a particular market. As with strengths, weaknesses can be either internal or external factors.
Opportunities are external factors that present new growth possibilities for an organization. They can arise from changes in the marketplace or the development of new technologies. Taking advantage of opportunities often requires thinking creatively and taking risks.
Threats are external factors that could damage an organization’s competitiveness. They might include things like intensifying competition from other firms or disruptive new technologies.
While threats cannot be completely eliminated, identifying them early can help an organization take steps to mitigate their impact.
The SWOT Analysis is a powerful tool for business planning, but it does have some downsides.
One example of such downside is that it can lead to paralysis by analysis; obsessing over weaknesses and threats can prevent an organization from taking action to seize opportunities.
Another potential limitation is that the framework encourages a pessimistic view of the world; focusing on Strengths and Opportunities while ignoring Weaknesses and Threats can lead to complacency and blind spots.
Despite these limitations, SWOT Analysis remains a popular tool because it forces businesses to take a hard look at themselves and their environment, leading to more informed decisions about where to focus their limited resources.
Six Thinking Hats
In business analysis, the Six Hats technique is a framework for thinking about problems from different perspectives.
The Six Hats are:
- white (facts and figures)
- red (emotions and intuition)
- black (caution and realism)
- yellow ( optimism and sunny thinking)
- green (creativity and new ideas)
- blue (strategic thinking)
Each hat represents a different way of looking at a problem, and by thinking about a problem from all six perspectives, you can get a more well-rounded view of the situation.
This can be helpful in both personal and professional life, as it allows you to consider all aspects of a problem before making a decision.
When using the Six Hats technique, it is important to set aside any personal biases and view the problem objectively from each perspective. This can be challenging, but it is essential in order to make the best possible decisions.
The 5 Whys
In business analysis, the Five Whys is a technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem. The basic idea is to repeatedly ask why something has happened, in order to identify the root cause of the problem. This technique can be used to generate hypotheses about how a system or process works, and to identify potential improvements.
The Five Whys technique is particularly useful for resolving complex problems where there are many possible causes. By systematically asking why something has happened, it is possible to eliminate false leads and focus on the most likely causes. This can save time and effort in problem-solving, and help to ensure that the root cause of a problem is addressed.
What techniques do business analysts use?
In addition to the ones I mentioned above in this article, there are 185 business analysis techniques according to Businesschange. Yeah, 185. Good thing I only discussed ten, huh?
There are many different techniques that business analysts use to think about problems and make decisions. Each of these techniques has its own strengths and weaknesses, but all of them can be useful in different situations. The key is to choose the right technique for the problem at hand and to use it in a way that will lead to the best possible results.
Dani Lehmer is the Founder and Head Honcho of Dani Digs In.
She is a Quality Assurance Analyst and blogger whose natural curiosity allows her
to dig in (pun intended) to help people build their businesses and satiate curiosity
in regard to data science, analysis, and crypto.