Understanding your needs is key to creating a satisfying web application. Make sure you discover requirements and define expectations throughout your organisation, and don’t forget to include all stakeholders in this process.
A web application should do more than letting customers filter the data presented on the site, make a reservation that will be saved in the database, and receive an email notification of the reservation made. This is a good start, but there needs to be a sufficient level of depth in understanding your product/service that the agency you have chosen to work with should achieve.
What is business analysis?
Business analysis is a practice that enables change in an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that provide value to stakeholders.
Business analysis does not necessarily refer only to a project, but also to the entire enterprise. Identified initiatives or needs can be strategic, tactical, or operational.
Why will business analysis help you understand your needs?
An effective business analysis will incorporate several tools and techniques that will help you understand the problem and the goal the solution is intended to solve or achieve. It will enable a deep understanding of your company's processes (the "as is") and the connections between departments that you may not think about every day in terms of obstacles or things to improve. It will also allow you to understand what needs each stakeholder group has and develop a process to meet the requirements that will be the basis for implementing the solution. It will also construct measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented solution.
As a result of the business analysis, you should be able to answer two questions:
- "What will I get as a final product?"
- "What will I not get as a final product?"
Answering these questions will make you able to effectively evaluate the implementation of the delivered product and avoid potential misunderstandings about the scope of work.
What does a valuable business analysis consist of?
The business analysis consists of requirements acquisition, documentation, validation, and management. As part of the business analysis, all project stakeholders must be identified, as each stakeholder (or group) may have different goals and needs - especially if the application is to be a solution that facilitates the work of multiple departments in your company.
Each person or group should be listened to in order to understand their needs and, most importantly, to determine in the next stages the functionalities that will be implemented and in what order. Listening to each stakeholder group is helpful in that the change management process for implementing a new solution will be faster, easier, and potentially fewer people will oppose it.
A good business analysis should include business requirements, stakeholder requirements, functional and non-functional requirements, and transition requirements.
- Business requirements will identify the goals, outcomes, and reasons for initiating change.
- Stakeholder requirements will expose the stakeholder needs that are required to realize the business requirements.
- Functional requirements will answer questions about what actually needs to be created.
- Non-functional requirements will answer the questions of how, how much time has been provided, what, and how many users will use the application.
- Transition requirements will help determine what conditions need to be set so that the implemented change will not cause more mess in the work than if it had not been made.
How do you effectively conduct a business analysis?
The most effective method of creating a business case is through a workshop where you and the stakeholders identified early on will work on the above elements of the business case.
As preparation for the workshop, start by thinking about the purpose of implementing the application, the results you expect, and why it is important to create it. Such input will help open up the discussion. Don't be discouraged if the goals or reasons change during the process formation, this is normal and may be due to different goals of different stakeholder groups.
Why choose Frontkom to conduct a business analysis and develop your web application?
Frontkom has delivered 300+ software projects, from simple landing pages to global, multi-language, multi-currency solutions. We are very familiar with and experienced in conducting business analysis and doing discovery at the beginning of the project because we believe that working very closely with the clients on real needs is the key to success in any project implementation.
A business analysis will be valuable if you and your team, along with the contractor, commit to creating it, honestly answer questions about what the process looks like at this point, and above all, realistically define the needs the project is intended to meet.