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Business Analysis - Part II

Defining Scope and Objectives of the Project

Clearly defining the scope and objectives of a project is one of the most important stages in business analysis solutions. Project scoping is identified as a key start-up activity for any successful software development project.

Scope of a project is often wrongly associated with stating of project cost and time schedule. But time and costs of a project are merely outcomes of project scope.

Defining project scope entails developing and documenting a clear understanding on 'why' the project is being done and 'what' it plans to achieve. Thus a detailed project scoping should clarify and document the following elements:

  • Purpose of the project
  • Goals of the project
  • Enterprise elements included in the project and those that are not
  • Assumptions on which the project is based
  • Implementation options

The project scope should be documented in as much detail as is possible. Business analysts should use diagrammatic representations where necessary to make all aspects of the scoping clear to all stakeholders and project teams.

Business analytics techniques for defining project scope approach the process from different perspectives. The main scoping techniques deployed at O2I are:

  • Definition of project deliverables/outcomes
  • Definition of project functionality
  • Definition of Technical Structure of the project

Requirements Gathering

Trends in business analysis solutions advocate the identification of the 'users' or 'stakeholders' of the proposed application, before going into the detailed requirements gathering process. Business analytics processes are streamlined when business analysts identify exactly who the 'end-users' or 'stakeholders' are and by approaching only the relevant people for requirements gathering.

Stake-holder interviews, focus group studies, use cases, data flow diagrams, prototypes etc are business analytics tools in use for requirements gathering. Existing corporate documentation such as process flow charts, training modules, user manuals and research findings are also referred to, in order to make the requirements gathering as detailed and exhaustive as possible.

Requirements Analysis and Documentation

Once the software requirements are elicited, they are thoroughly analyzed by business analysts. Requirements analysis helps review, validate and assess the feasibility of requirements. Some of the techniques used for requirements analysis are requirements animation, automated reasoning, analogical and case-based reasoning.

Business analysts document the Software Requirements Specification based on the results of the requirements analysis. Software requirement specifications serves as the base for the software design and development and can run into many pages depending on the complexity of the software application, size of the user groups and number of users.

A well-written software requirements specification not only lists out stakeholders' requirements but also communicates these requirements to the technical community for design and development of the system.

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Return to Business Analysis Part I

Read about our Business Analysis Process here.

Learn more about the role of the Business Analyst at O2I.

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