Business Analysis

Business analysis is a research discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organizational change or strategic planning and policy development. The person who carries out this task is called a business analyst or BA. Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.

  • 71% of failed software projects are traced to poor requirements – CIO Magazine
  • 40% of the effort in an average software project is fixing errors - Requirements defects account for 56% of re-work – Butler Group, 2005
  • $250 billion of annual waste is traced to poor requirements (global)
  • $194.4 billion is spent on software development (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2008)
  • $46 billion is spent on fixing software requirements errors (USA)

If we examine those last two numbers from the USA, almost 25% of all spending on software is rework associated with requirements. It is clear that improving business analysis capabilities can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Hence, Business analysis has become a clearly defined profession with a significant number of powerful techniques to support IT Businesses.

There are many communities impacting the BA role and how it can deliver value to the organization. Business Process Management, Business Rules, Agile, Enterprise Architecture, and Business Intelligence are all components of business analysis and changes in those areas will evolve the BA role. BAs need to stay involved to understand how they can leverage these changes to support their performance. The BA role is still evolving. BAs have a great opportunity in front of them.