Business Analysis tools and techniques.

As a Business Analyst you need to be familiar with the various tools and techniques that you would be using to complete your work.

While you may use some of these tools and techniques regularly, you might only need to use others once in a while.

Regardless of how frequently you use these tools or techniques, it is always a good idea to know these Business Analysis tools and techniques.

What are Business Analysis tools ?

Business Analysis Tools are software applications that can be used for modeling , requirements management, issue tracking, prototyping and simulation.

Some Business Analysis tools are used to do the following :

  1. Modeling .
  2. Documentation.
  3. Analysis and mapping requirements.
  4. Recognizing relationships between requirements.
  5. Tracking and storing requirements artifacts.
  6. Communicating with stakeholders.

Examples of common Business Analysis tools are Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Jira, Microsoft Visio, SWOT, Trello, SharePoint, Emails and AzureDevOps.

What are Business Analysis techniques ?

Business analysis techniques are the methods that are used to identify and fulfill the organizational business needs.

Tools specifically developed for business analysis may include functionalities such as modeling, requirements management, issue tracking, prototyping and simulation.

Some business analysis techniques include the following:

  1. Scenarios and Use-cases: Use cases and scenarios are used to describe how a person or system connects with the solution being modeled to attain a goal.
  2. Organizational Modeling: organizations are made up of people and representing these people and how they fit in the organization can be a complex task. Models can simplify this task by representing these people, their roles in the organization and their relationship to the solution. Organizational modeling is known by numerous names such as roles and permissions matrix and stakeholder list, map, or personas.
  3. Scope Modeling: Scope modeling is used to understand why the change is needed and to define the range of the required change.
  4. Functional Decomposition: Functional decomposition is the analysis of complex systems by breaking them down into smaller simpler elements. It involves breaking down processes, systems, functional areas, or deliverables into simpler components, so that each part can be analyzed individually.
  5. Interviews: An interview is a structured approach used to obtain business analysis information from a person or group of people by talking to the them, asking pertinent questions, and recording their responses.
  6. Observation/Job Shadowing: Business analysts use observation techniques to gather information by watching and understanding workplace activities. It is used to identify needs and opportunities, understand business processes, create performance standards, assess solution performance, and facilitate training and development.
  7. Focus Groups: A focus group is a way of gathering ideas and opinions about a particular product or service in a collective group environment. The participants, led by a facilitator, would express their opinions, inclination, and needs.
  8. Sequence Diagrams: Business analysts use sequence or event diagrams to model the logic of management scenarios by showing the information passed between objects in the system through the execution of the scenario. A sequence diagram shows how processes are connected during a scenario. The classes needed to implement the scenario and the messages they pass to one another; which are triggered by steps in the use case are displayed on the diagram.
  9. User Stories: User stories are simple statements that are used to describe pieces of functionality from a user’s point of view. They are used to represent what the user needs. A user story is written in a simple and understandable way and they are a great way of clearly describing the solution’s functionalities. Well written user stories are used to focus on the stakeholders needs.
  10. Brainstorming: Brainstorming is a very good way of encouraging creative thinking about a problem. The goal of brainstorming is to generate new ideas, which would be used for further analysis.
  11. Prototyping: Business analysts use prototypes to elicit and validate the stakeholders’ requirements through an repetitive process that creates a model or design of those requirements. It is also used to assess design options, enhance the user’s experience, and form the basis of the final business solution.
  12. Business Rule analysis: Business rules analysis is used to recognize, communicate, prove, clarify, and organize rules that form the regular business behavior and guide operational business decision making
  13. Requirements Workshops: A workshop is an event attended by key stakeholders for a particular period of time. They are used by business analysts to bring stakeholders together and work together to achieve a preset goal.
  14. Risk Analysis: Risk management is used to spot areas of uncertainty that could affect value. Risk management analyzes and assesses those uncertainties, and develops and manages the associated risks.
  15. Root Cause Analysis: Root cause analysis is used by business analysts to identify and analyze the root cause of a problem. Root cause analysis is a methodical analysis of a problem that focuses on identifying the problem’s origin in order to fix the problem. It uses a repetitive analysis approach to confirm if there is more than one root cause.
  16. Business Requirements Documents : the business requirement document is used to describe the business need and how the organization plans to fulfill that need.