Even the most cutting-edge and revolutionary software idea will have no value without a strong execution plan. Business analysis and high-quality software development services form 50/50 of the success of your innovative IT idea.
Business analysis, or BA, guarantees high-quality software development, a clear business plan, and transparent communication during the SDLC (software development lifecycle).
Business analysts act as a bridge between the client and the technical team. As a business development specialist working in CodeRiders software development company for half a decade, I have come into conclusion that understanding how the actual software development process is managed is critical for all parties included in the SDLC.
For the software development team, it is important to understand how tasks are formed and why we break the process into several stages during the SDLC. On the other hand, the clients themselves should understand why BA is required for software development projects, what benefits they will provide and how they well accelerate and facilitate the whole cooperation process.
Therefore, let’s dive in!
What is business analysis in software development?
Business analysis is the process of using specific techniques to gain information from the stakeholders of the tech project and present a successful implementation plan.
- requires defined performing tasks to identify a specific business’s needs.
- recommends changes for the tech project and provides solutions that produce value for the stakeholders.
Business analysis is also a research discipline that helps find business needs and identify solutions to business problems.
The role of a business analyst in SDLC
A business analyst is an agent of change. BA identifies and defines the solutions that will maximize the value delivered by an organization to its stakeholders.
BAs work across all levels of an organization and take on a leadership role by defining project goals and requirements. BA’s support continues for the improvement of the project’s technology and processes.
Why does your tech project need business analysis before starting the execution?
All the details should be communicated with all the parties engaged in the software development process for a positive outcome. Each stakeholder’s requirements and interests should be taken into consideration.
BAs should understand all the stakeholders’ needs and set up a communication plan convenient for them. In this way, BAs ensure every detail is clarified before and after the software development process.
Who is considered the software development project’s stakeholder?
Stakeholders are individuals, a group, or an organization that have an interest in the project or product or are directly or indirectly impacted by the outcome of a project.
An entity’s stakeholders can be both internal and external to the organization.
We also have two types of stakeholders: primary and secondary stakeholders.
Primary stakeholders are those who are ultimately affected, either positively or negatively, by an organization’s actions, while secondary stakeholders are the “intermediaries” (individuals or organizations who are indirectly affected by an organization’s actions).
Common stakeholder categories include customers, governments, partners, finance, support, sales, business owners, sponsors, team members, senior management, and the marketing department.
To not miss out on the needs and requirements of any of the stakeholders, the project should have in- depth requirements documentation.
We have the following types of requirements in software development projects.
Project requirements classification
To deliver a successful product and not confuse the end users, first, the tech team and the client should understand for themselves what they need and which goals they must accomplish.
Therefore, requirement classification is one of the key processes in the software development lifecycle. We have:
Business requirements are the statements of goals, objectives, and outcomes that describe the reasons for initiated changes.
Business requirements can apply to the whole enterprise, a specific business area, or a specific initiative. Business requirements are documented in the Vision and Scope document.
Stakeholder requirements describe the needs of stakeholders that must be met to achieve the business requirements. Stakeholder requirements may serve as a bridge between business and solution requirements.
Solution requirements describe the qualities and capabilities of a solution, software, or product that meet its stakeholders’ requirements. Solution requirements are usually divided into two main categories: functional and non-functional requirements.
- Functional requirements: Functional requirements describe all the functions and features of the software/solution. Functional requirements should describe the capabilities that a solution must have in terms of the behavior and information that the solution will manage.
- Non-functional requirements: Non-functional requirements answer the “how well the system or software must perform” question. Some common examples of non-functional requirements include requirements about performance and scalability, portability, availability, maintainability, security, usability, localization, etc.
Transition requirements must be in place for a certain period. Transition requirements describe capabilities that the solution must have and the conditions it must meet to facilitate the transition from the current state to the future state.
These requirements are not needed once the change is complete. Transition requirements address topics such as data conversation and migration and organizational change (training).
What is stakeholder management? Why do we need it?
Stakeholder management is the process of managing the relationships between stakeholders and teams. This process is vital for the success of your project, as unhappy stakeholders can cause:
- Constant unnecessary communication
- Hindering the completion of the core features
- Change of the project’s metrics
- Change of the tasks and scopes in the middle of the project
- Problems with supervisors, clients
We have several proven methods of stakeholder management, such as:
- RACI Matrix
- Stakeholder behavioral assessment
- Cultural contexts
- Engagement techniques
SDLC – Software Development Lifecycle
The business analysis does not end once all the stakeholders in your tech project and their requirements are documented and clarified. To successfully execute the software development project, the team should have a complete view of a standard software development lifecycle.
A software development company must also maintain flexibility and adaptability throughout the project lifecycle to address evolving stakeholder needs and industry trends effectively.
Here are the six phases of SDLC:
Planning and requirement analysis
Ultimately we have already spoken about the planning and requirement analysis stage of the SDLC. As the name confirms itself, in this stage the team members analyze, organize and document the software development requirements.
We also continue with creating use cases and spreadsheets for the final product view.
In the software design stage, the team makes technical decisions necessary for the software or product implementation. The management team usually brings technical experts and business users to iron out the details, and sometimes, partnering with a software outsourcing company can provide valuable insights and expertise in this process.
Software design and execution
During the software design and execution stage, the business analyst, project manager, or product owner explains the requirements and clarifies any related doubts.
During the monitoring and testing stage, the management team provides user acceptance criteria. They work closely with software developers and testers to ensure the work is done according to the acceptance criteria.
The acceptance criteria secure the compliance of the executed work with the original requirements.
Closing and deployment
This is the final stage of the SDLC where the team presents their work to the client and gains acceptance. It is common to create user-training manuals and capture fixes for future product versions at this stage.
Maintenance and support
This is an optional stage for the product owners. The tech team can keep in touch with the client and still provide software maintenance and support services for the ready-made product.
The creation of the product is also a breaking point in the SDLC. POs (product owners) created the product backlog. It is a list of the requirements for the development team, placed in descending order from the most urgent to the less urgent ones.
In Agile software development, we have sprints created by choosing some of the requirements from the product backlog. Each sprint has:
Initiative: an investment area that supports the overall business and product goals.
Epic: a sizable piece of “Be Functionality” that should be deliverable by an agile method.
Feature: a set of related requirements that allows the user to satisfy a business objective.
User story: a short and simple description of a feature from the perspective of the product’s end user. To write a user story, you should define the end user, specify what they want, describe the benefit, and add acceptance criteria.
To sum up, professional management of the SDLC is critical for successful software development project delivery. When hiring a software outsourcing company, consider checking the company’s SDLC management skills along with its technical and design skills.