What Is At The Heart Of Business Analysis?

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Author Image - Katya Matavilava

By Katya Matavilava

Katya is a Business Analyst who is passionate about customer experience and digital innovation

The customer, of course!

Here at Leighton, we don’t just create software - we deliver premium digital services. And a great service is based on understanding two main things:

  1. What the client wants
  2. What the client needs

As you would expect, the answers to these two questions are not always the same - that’s why we invest heavily in business analysis, spending hours face-to-face with our clients defining the project purpose, product vision and the customer journey.

It might look like a big commitment from both the client and Leighton, but in our eyes it's vital, as it achieves three crucial things:

1. Helps the client to think through their initial idea once again

  • What will the product do for your company and your company’s customers?  What is the purpose of it?
  • What would you like your product to do (to support the purpose)?
  • Who are the target users of the product and why will the product make their life easier?

By asking questions such as these, you can ensure the initial idea is actually the best one to move forward with - or conversely, develops into one that is more suited to the discussed needs and expectations.

2. Helps the client to understand what is involved in the project

  • If the product is an application or a digital platform, what functionality will it have? How do you not include too little of it (so that it does not solve the problem and make people’s life easier), and how do you not plan too much in (so that it is confusing and offers too many options instead of serving the initial purpose of making the user's life easier)?
  • If it’s a website, should it be responsive across multiple devices? Should it be translated into multiple languages to serve its purpose or is it not needed at that stage? How interactive should it be to appeal to the audience, provide better value for people and generate more income for the business? How should it be designed to deliver a seamless experience?

The more detail we can go into with the project, the more we can show the client just what's involved, and as such, ensure expectations and timescales are accurate and realistic.

3. Helps the client to save money.

  • Are all the functionalities you initially thought about really needed to make your product work and serve the purpose?
  • Can it actually be done simpler without losing out on final value?

It is fascinating how valuable the outcomes of these questions are and how fast they can shape a bare idea into a proper project scope - and when good technical knowledge and innovative thinking is added into the conversation mix, amazing things really do start to happen.

That’s what business analysis is all about.