How should we start business analysis? With discovery.
Discover and gather information about:
- Business problem
- Goals and objectives
- Current state
Through the discovery process, we learn about the business, collect terms and definitions, gather up useful artifacts, stories and knowledge.
We research the industry – what customer needs does the industry serve? What personas will you encounter? What are the big challenges and trends?
We start building the big picture, understanding who is who and what do they want.
The problem to be solved starts to come through; the picture is getting sharper.
Analysis activities will help to clarify the fuzzy areas.
Discovery helps to plan the analysis, to pinpoint the areas that require further investigation.
During this phase, a business analyst will already be creating useful artifacts:
- Mind map to capture concepts, their relationships and hierarchy
- Context model
- List of personas and their needs
- First assessment of project stakeholders, their influence and interest
- High-level depiction of key processes or user journeys
- Outline of high-level requirements
- Initial gap analysis
These artifacts serve as:
A) Communication tools – to align all stakeholders on what the project is about
B) Planning tools – to plan requirements analysis and product breakdown structure.
If you skip discovery, you are building castles on sand.