Regulations, Design, Testing…Oh my!

Design and development work on large-scale government projects can be harrowing for the faint of heart. The project Business Analyst (BA) generally performs tasks to elicit, analyze, communicate and validate requirements.  Traditionally, the BA is the conduit between the project Subject Matter Experts and the IT staff.

There are many factors to be identified, incorporated, and implemented. The BA helps stakeholders define and prioritize their business needs.  The analysis process provides core strength to the development design. Requirement documentation is not a choreographed dance.  Analysis is not concrete.

Woman looking at graphs

When working with stakeholders not familiar with the analysis process, it is important to emphasize the BA role as an advisor. The BA must balance the level of analysis required to satisfy the stakeholders’ needs, while avoiding the paralysis of over-analysis. The analysis approach will need to factor whether the project is plan driven or change driven. Creating a work plan specifying the business requirements documentation process can provide the framework necessary to keep the analysis on track. The BA work plan will typically include the following factors:

  • Communication Plan
  • List of Deliverables
  • Detailed Task List
  • Time and Cost Estimates

Shared understanding and recommendations are the key goals of good Business Analysis. With clear understanding, the recommendations can be mapped to illustrate the transition from current process to the desired process.

Work performed by the BA may not be foreign to other key members of the project team.  While a BA is identified by title, as a requirements champion, many team members have significant roles in the development, documentation and delivery of the project requirements. The BA is often dancing; however, the BA truly performs with the coordination of the full project team.


One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.  – Walter Bagehot

If I listened to my customers, I would have built a faster horse. – Henry Ford

It’s better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late. – Marilyn Kennedy