Straight Talk on Project Management

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Five reasons why IT Project Business Analysts are the business!

The integration and alignment of technology into business operations has never been more important. We often say that, whereas IT used to support your business, in many cases IT now IS the business.

Surprising then, that many organisations choose to miss out on having a key team player to bridge the gap between business needs and available IT solutions – the critical role of THE BUSINESS ANALYST!

To ensure that IT projects are successful and deliver real business value, it is essential to have a skilled Business Analyst (BA) on your IT project team. In this post, let’s explore the top five reasons why an IT project team needs a business analyst, highlight the critical role they play, and discover that you can still enjoy the benefits of business analysis (even if adding to your headcount is not part of your short-term plans!).

1. Bridging the Gap Between Your Business and Your IT Projects

One of the key roles of a business analyst is to bridge the gap between the business stakeholders and the IT team. A good BA ensures that the technical solutions being developed align with the business’ goals and objectives. Often, business stakeholders have a clear understanding of the problem but lack the technical knowledge to specify the solution. Conversely, IT professionals have the technical expertise but may not fully understand the business context or priorities. It can be like the two speak different languages! BAs are great at interpreting!

A business analyst understands both languages and can translate business requirements into technical specifications, ensuring that the IT team builds solutions that accurately address business need rather than just technical challenges. By facilitating this two-way communication, BAs help to avoid misunderstandings and ensure that the final product meets stakeholder expectations.

2. Requirement Gathering and Documentation

Accurate and thorough requirement gathering is fundamental to the success of your IT project. A business analyst is skilled in eliciting actual requirements from stakeholders through interviews, surveys, workshops, and observation – BAs have a sixth sense for seeing things others cannot! BAs are also brilliant at asking the right questions to uncover the true needs of the business, often even needs that stakeholders might not have initially articulated. BAs are instigators of lightbulb moments!

Once gathered, to be effective, all of these requirements must be documented clearly and concisely. This documentation will serve as a critical reference for the development team throughout the project lifecycle and, without a BA, there is a higher risk of incomplete or ambiguous requirements, potentially leading to project delays, cost overruns, and ultimately, solutions that do not meet business need.

BAs ensure that the development team has a clear roadmap to follow by providing comprehensive and precise documentation.

3. BAs Improve Project Efficiency

Thanks to their deep understanding of business processes and their analytical skills, BAs can identify inefficiencies and areas for improvement, they recommend solutions that streamline workflows, eliminate ‘redundant’ processes, and optimise resource utilisation.

For example, a BA might identify that a particular manual process can be automated, this can save time and reduce the risk of human error. By proposing improvements like this, BAs help your organisation to achieve more with less, enhancing overall project efficiency.

Additionally, BAs have an ability to foresee potential issues and address them early in the project lifecycle helping to avoid project delays, mistakes and costly reworks.

4. BAs Ensure Quality and Compliance

Quality and compliance are critical to your IT project, especially in industries that are heavily regulated. A business analyst is pivotal in ensuring that the final product meets the required quality standards and complies with relevant regulations and policies. They work closely with quality assurance (QA) teams to develop test cases and ensure that any solution is thoroughly tested against the business requirements.

BAs also help in identifying and mitigating quality and compliance risks. For instance, in a healthcare IT project, a BA would ensure that all aspects of the system comply with regulations, minimising the risk of non-compliance, and the potential severe legal and financial consequences.

5. BAs Enable Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are increasingly vital cornerstones for the success of an IT project. A business analyst serves as a facilitator, ensuring that all stakeholders, project managers, developers, and other team members are on the same page. They organise and lead meetings, workshops, and discussions where requirements, progress, and issues can be communicated clearly and effectively.

Most organisations with a BA report also report having an environment of open communication, as BAs help to manage expectations, reduce conflicts, and promote a collaborative work culture. Everyone involved in the project has a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, which leads to more efficient project execution.

Looking for a Business Analyst But Not Ready For Full-Term Commitment?

So, you’ve seen the Top 5 benefits that a BA can bring, but you may be anxious about increased cost in the current climate and not want to commit to a full-time hire. At the same time, you may be wary of contractors. Stoneseed’s resource on demand model, Business Analysis as a Service (BAaaS) allows you to dial up and down IT project resources in sync with your delivery needs giving you more control over your costs.

BAaaS is part of our PMaaS offer and comes with all its benefits. Whether it is production of a business case for an IT Project, requirements gathering or data analysis to help with project implementation, we can supply BA expertise and resources.

BAaaS can be tailored to your specific requirement and Stoneseed’s BA team are experienced across multiple technology solutions, sectors and industries and we work with all types of projects and programmes such as Business Change, Transformation, Infrastructure, Digital or IT Project Delivery.

In conclusion, having a business analyst in an IT project team is beyond beneficial, they are increasingly essential and instrumental in delivering successful IT projects. Their ability to bridge the gap between business and IT, gather and document requirements accurately, improve project efficiency, ensure quality and compliance, and facilitate communication and collaboration makes them invaluable.

As organisations continue to rely on technology to drive their business forward, the role of the business analyst will only become more critical.

Investing in skilled BAs is an investment in the success of IT projects and, ultimately, your organisation’s future and, thanks to Stoneseed’s Business Analysis as a Service, that investment can be totally within your control.


Find out more about BA as a Service from Stoneseed