The Business Analyst is in a great position to constantly focus on the desirability of the product. A well-defined requirement elicitation process must be focused on defining the problem the business is trying to solve for our customers. If defining the problem is the first step in your requirement process you are on the way to guaranteeing that the delivered product will provide value to your customers. Throughout the development process you will be able to monitor if the product is actually solving the problem. Additionally, your requirements should be directly related to solving the problem. It is a BA’s job to question the value of every proposed requirement that product owners want to add. If the requested feature or function is not directly related to solving the problem then it should be taken out of scope.
Developers complain that customers don’t know what they want. At the same time, customers complain about having to explain the obvious. Many projects can get stuck in this type of behavior.
Fortunately, there is a loophole. Many of the problems that business people find don’t actually require a fully working application. Often, a simple “picture” (aka mockup) is enough.
Sure, you put a lot of time into creating a prototype, a mockup, screenshot, or wireframe (are there any other names for the user interface drawing I’ve missed?). You may have drawn it on a whiteboard, in VISIO, or even used a requirements tool to create it. At the end of the day, no matter how much time you spend on it, it’s nothing more than a picture. And those of you who have worked in IT know developers cannot code and create a solution solely from a picture.
But what about user experience or interaction designers? Does every software project truly need a UX/UI specialist (or team of specialists)? Or could this aspect of the solution be taken care by the collaboration between the BA and the development team?
At UC Berkeley there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of business analysis (BA) and user experience (UX) in the software development lifecycle. In this article we will discuss the advantages of involving BA and UX practitioners in your development process, when and how to involve them, and the similarities and differences between the two professions.
In an ideal world, all software projects would have an interaction designer or user experience (UX) specialist working with the team to ensure that the product is designed in a way that truly satisfies the needs of end-users. In a software project with separate business analyst and interaction designer roles, the work of these professional is complementary
Smooth stakeholder participation is integral to the success of any project. Sometimes stakeholders hold information that is essential to thorough requirements discovery, so it is important that they be forthcoming. Other stakeholders must sign off on requirements as being final in order for a project to move forward, so it is important that they be decisive and willing to let go the discovery stage of a project.
Although it may seem obvious that the User Interface (UI) directly impacts usability, and therefore satisfaction, Business Analysts often find themselves focusing on functional requirements to ensure end user satisfaction. Mainly, this is due to the non-functional requirements, like usability, being dictated by existing technology or process within the organization. However, research into mobile user interfaces is placing the focus back on the usability requirements as the main driver of user satisfaction.
A lot of people think that coming up with solutions to business problems is the hardest part about being a business analyst – particularly when working with a client who knows more about the business than you ever will. Don’t believe it, after all you’ve already made considerable progress in understanding the problem – and your understanding is based on level-headed analysis rather than a potentially emotional interpretation by your client.
Now it’s time to look for solutions – to be creative and think outside the square. In this paper we’ll offer a few tips and techniques for getting the creative juices flowing. We’ll show you that anyone can be creative and that solutions can come from the most unexpected places – you don’t have to be a subject matter expert to come up with valid, workable solutions to business problems.
In this article, I'll be discussing some other requirements gathering methods that complement use case modeling and should be used to ensure your requirements gathering goes swimmingly.
In particular, I'll be mentioning storyboards, wireframes and prototypes.
I'll also cover what level of quality and detail you should adopt when applying these techniques.
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