A core set of business analysis documentation is needed for all of your projects regardless of project size or type. Have you considered using the BABOK® set of business analysis deliverables as your starting point? These key deliverables define aspects of business analysis work and document project requirements across the project life cycle.
In addition to deliverables, the BABOK® also has contains records, which are more dynamic deliverables maintaining information regarding progress and performance relative to the business analysis efforts that are underway. Reports provide snapshots of certain aspects of the project’s business analysis efforts at certain points in time. Records and reports should be placed under configuration management but are not typically subject to change control.
The following list summarizes the key business analysis deliverables addressed and recommended by the BABOK®:
Business Analysis Plan Describes the planned business analysis work activities done by the business analyst on a project/initiative, including the scope of work, the deliverable WBS, an activity list and estimates for each activity
Business Analysis Approach Defines the set of processes, templates, techniques and activities used to perform business analysis on a project or initiative; a methodology is a formalized and repeatable business analysis approach
Business Analysis Communication Plan Describes the types of communication performed by the business analyst during BA activities as well as the recipients and the associated communication formats
Business Analysis Performance Assessment Compares planned versus actual estimates for BA activities and variance analysis results to understand the level of effort required to complete BA work
Requirements Management Plan Describes the requirements management process to be used for a project or initiative, addressing traceability, requirements attributes to be used, prioritization and requirements change management
Stakeholder List, Roles and Responsibilities Lists the stakeholders affected by a business need or proposed solution and describing their roles, authority, influence, interest and responsibilities
Business Analysis Process Assets Documents the processes and templates used for business analysis deliverables and any lessons learned
Business Need Describes the problem or opportunity faced by the organization and the desired outcome
Business Case Justifies the project in terms of the business value as a result of the deployed solution as compared to the cost to develop and operate the solution; presenting information necessary to make a go/no go decision to invest and move forward with a proposed project
Required Capabilities Provides an understanding of the current capabilities of the organization and the new capabilities that may be needed to meet the business need (See also ‘Gap Analysis’)
Solution Scope Defines the set of capabilities (scope) that a solution must deliver in order to meet the business need and the effect of the changes on the business and technology operations and infrastructure
Solution Approach Describes the approach that will be taken to implement a new set of capabilities, including solution components that will be delivered and the methodology to be used
Elicitation Results Consists of documentation appropriate to the phase and technique that captures information provided by stakeholders that describe their needs from their point of view
Requirements Structure Organizes the requirements and their documented relationships to show where a specific requirement should be found (this is not traceability)
Requirements Package Groups together a set of requirements in a document or presentation for communication to stakeholders
Assessment of Proposed Solution Assesses the value delivered by each proposed solution and recommending the best option of multiple options or to terminate the initiative
Organizational Readiness Assessment Assesses whether stakeholders are prepared to accept a change associated with a solution and use it effectively; May lead to revisions in solution or project scope
Solution Performance Assessment Measures how the solution is performing relative to the business goals and objectives based upon the solution performance metrics
Solution Validation Assessment Assesses if the solution is able to meet the business need at an acceptable level of quality
Enterprise Architecture Describes an organization’s business processes, IT software/hardware, people, operations, projects and the relationships between them
Feasibility Study Evaluates proposed alternatives to determine if they are technically possible within the constraints of the organization and if they will deliver business benefits
Impact Analysis Assesses the effects that a proposed change will have on a stakeholder, stakeholder group, project or system
Gap Analysis Compares the organization’s current and desired future states in order to identify differences to be addressed
Opportunity Analysis Examines new business opportunities to improve organizational performance
Problem Statement Briefly states and describes the problems in the current state and clarifies what a successful solution will look like
Requirements Trace Matrix (RTM) Tracks requirements relationships and lineage by looking at a matrix of requirements information and development components
Vision Statement Provides a brief statement or paragraph describing why, what, and who of the desired product from a business point of view
Remember, the business analysis team needs to decide where in the project life cycle these BABOK® deliverables are created, agreed-upon and updated. And don’t forget to decide on your requirements document set structure so you can map some of these deliverables within that requirements document set. For example, the team may decide to have separate documents for your business, user, system and transition requirements. Your Business Requirements Document may contain several of the listed deliverables, such as the Business Need, Business Case, Required Capabilities, Solution Scope and Solution Approach.
Business analysts are increasingly becoming the critical liaisons between business and solution development (oftentimes IT), so they must communicate and relate with equal effectiveness throughout all levels of an organization. Download this free White Paper to see which five common obstacles business analysts face and how to address them to ensure success.