What are the challenges a Business analyst can come across and some noted case studies?

a Business analyst

 

A business analyst is a specialist who analyses problems in order to identify the underlying cause of the problem. They then propose solutions or other alternatives that will solve these problems or otherwise improve efficiency, quality, or performance. In short, they are problem solvers that provide direction for others on how to best address a problem. On top of this, analysts must be able to communicate their findings clearly and concisely with other stakeholders including management or customers.

Institutes offering business analyst training online are on the rise. A number of institutions are putting in a lot of effort to make these courses even more fruitful for the students by introducing new skills and tools. On completing these courses you get certified for business analytics skills. This is one of the most lucrative roles in a company and allows you to make a good salary regardless of the industry you are in. 

In fact, some statistics show that in terms of jobs there is a growing expectation of at least 14% in the years to come. However, before you dive in to get trained as a business analyst you should learn about what the job as a business analyst entails, especially the challenges you might face:

  1. Lack of understanding: Most new business analysts have limited understanding of the job description of a business analyst. It typically happens due to lack of experience in projects. In an on-going project clients frequently change their requirements and this makes it extremely difficult for all stakeholders to follow along and meet the deadlines set in the project plan. Additionally this also affects the overall cost of the project because of the increased effort. This is where the importance of a business analyst is even more underscored since it is their responsibility to manage the expectations of both internal and external stakeholders.  Whenever a client makes a change in the requirement as a business analyst you can’t simply say “no” since it would affect the long term relations with the client. In these cases it would be best to discuss with the client the impact of the change and the additional effort required.
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2. Challenges during the development phase: The development phase of the project is the most challenging time for all business analysts across organizations. For example in certain cases, the developers may not agree with the importance of certain bugs or defects that the testing team has raised and the testers continue to stress upon its importance. This could create a deadlock and potentially affect the timelines of the project. Typically, business analysts share the functional specification documents(FSD) with the client however in cases of such deadlock they would need to conduct a joint session to resolve the problems. These meetings could also be used to extract the project updates and which could be later on shared with the clients to let them know of the progress.

3. Managing the availability of different stakeholders: Requirements gathering is one of the most important phases of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). It is the responsibility of business analysts to have meetings with clients to understand their requirements. A majority of times the business analyst would work in tandem with the development teams, business support systems teams, project managers and other stakeholders. 

4. However, the availability of all of them at the same time may be a bit difficult. This is especially true with consultancies. This is because for instance the tech team might be working on multiple projects at the same time. Hence as a business analyst it is your responsibility to match the client’s time with other participants. If the important meetings get delayed, project plans are often affected thereby leading to postponement of deadlines. This may not be acceptable to your client and might affect your company’s relations with them.

5. Limited domain and industry knowledge: For a business analyst it is extremely important that they be well aware of all the aspects of the domain. Hence, building up domain knowledge is something that you simply cannot overlook as a business analyst. This knowledge can help you build proper relations between different stakeholders but more importantly it could help to extract the proper requirements from the clients and in cascading these requirements to the other stakeholders.  

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6. Lack of proper training: On certain occasions you may need to work with a client without proper understanding of the product or lack of understanding of the business. This may diminish your ability to suggest and provide solutions to the clients which in turn may affect your clients’ trust in you or your company. Hence it is extremely important that you try to learn about the clients and their products before meeting with them. But more importantly it is extremely important that you maintain a good relationship with the stakeholders in order to get things done smoothly. 

7. Delays in sign off: Getting a sign off from the client may sometimes be a challenge. This could lead to a delay in the timeline and thereby affect the long term project plan and schedule. In such cases you could inform the client about how the development phase is getting delayed. Generally, clients take time to give a sign off because they want to ensure all the requirements have been properly recorded. The clients try to maintain this prudence since once they provide the sign off any further changes in the requirements will cost them extra. However, this problem could be easily solved by timely following up with the clients for the sign-off. Additionally, as a business analyst you should commit to a delivery date only when the sign off has been received.