1. Misconception of BA’s scope of work
There are differences between Business Analyst’s actual functions and tasks they really should perform. This is typical for projects with Customers who haven’t had the experience with development projects.
Before a project starts, it is necessary to agree with a Customer BA’s responsibilities and expected deliverables. BA should make sure that a Customer understands the meaning of all terms (wireframe, SRS, V&S document etc.). For example, Customers often cannot tell the difference between a wireframe, a mock-up and a prototype. For many people these words are synonyms.
The difference is here:
In addition, Customers often think that wireframe/mock-up/prototype are terms equal to design and, therefore, require applying of styles, formatting, margins etc. which goes beyond BA’s responsibilities.
As shown, approval of expected deliverables and their content is vital for both BA and Customers.
2. Created specifications do not satisfy the needs of the development team
The pitfalls can be the following:
3. Changing requirements or business needs
Every Business Analyst is familiar with a situation when stakeholders change their requirements. It may happen several times a week or even a day. The main dilemma for BA is whether to apply changes or ignore them.
First and foremost, a BA should understand the reason for such changes. Below you can find the most popular causes and possible solutions:
Some external organizations require changes in a current business process (for instance, new rules, laws, or instructions are adopted by government).
New requirements have to be accepted while postponing planned project deliverables.
Requirements elicitation problems: requirements were not fully defined, not all the “right” users/stakeholders were involved in an elicitation and approval process.
Customers are not sure what functionality they need (requirements were agreed)
- to implement reduced project scope because of new/changed requirements;
- to include required changes in the next project stages.
4. Conflicts with stakeholders
The conflict between Business Analysts and stakeholders may happen when a team proposes a new approach relevant to the current business process.
First of all, the team needs to understand the reason for the resistance to the new solution.
There are two possible resistance scenarios:
In the first case the next step is evident – BA should study the process and requirements again to prepare an appropriate solution. In the second case BA should prepare a business case document for users and present it, describing the new solution and answering users’ questions. The document should contain enough details to prove the approach proposed by a decision maker.
5. Undocumented processes
BA is familiar with the lack of documentation on the project or poorly documented procedures and processes. At first sight it seems that every user performs their work in the same way, but when more and more details are clarified the actual process stages may vary from one user to another. So, requirements from different sources clash between each other.
To resolve a conflict, BA should identify the main system users and decision makers. After that a document with the description is created to show the differences in processes for users with different roles. This document should be presented to the stakeholders in order to define if described processes are suitable for the solution. BA has to focus on business needs rather than on user positions.