Common Mistakes of Business Analysts in Web Development

September 19, 2018
Common Mistakes of Business Analysts in Web Development

Business analysts are a crucial part of every web development team within organizations. As a business analyst, you are required to be the interpreter of the consumer’s needs within their website. This task involves being able to communicate with stakeholders and realize what they would like achieved through the website under development, and the subsequent conveyance of this information to the developer(s) in a way which makes the development process understandable. As such, business analysts are considered the bridge to the gap between various stakeholders’ and developers’ communication.

A business analyst’s most important role in any development cycle is in the requirements phase. Because they are the primary contact for the stakeholder, they are tasked with collecting all relevant information and bringing it to the table before development begins. Among the most challenging tasks of a business analyst is the provision of a stakeholder’s want rather than their need. Business analysts are required to have a great deal of communication prowess. However, there are some common mistakes which can make an analyst’s job in development even harder if they are not identified and avoided.

Lack of Proper Collaboration While Defining Requirements

The definition and review of requirements should never be left to a sole entity to validate. With every development, different stakeholders may have different requirements as well as different means by which they would like these requirements met. By involving these stakeholders in the review of the collected requirements, business analysts eliminate the chances of pitfalls during the application stages, as well as enable collaborative thought into how these various requirements will be fulfilled within the website’s design and implementation.

Improper Stakeholder Analysis

Before even discussing the requirements and terms with stakeholders, it is important for a business analyst to perform an analysis on the stakeholders with whom they will be working with. Some businesses have various facets to them or even different business lines. Without the proper representation of each of these facets within the stakeholders, business analysts may fail to gather the proper requirements that will enable the building of an all-inclusive and comprehensive website for the business. When a representative of one business line speaks on behalf of another line, there are high chances that they will not be as readily aware of that line’s protocols as an individual who works for that line. Business analysts must make sure that each tier of a business is properly represented within the stakeholders.

Overreliance on Templates

There is a high possibility that a website project that requires building already has a similar template online, even for free. However, while these templates can be significant in the reduction of resources such as time, they have been observed to have limitations in many ways. For instance, templates can either be too detailed and give requirements that are not necessary within a template, or have too little detail, resulting in the lack of representations of other business areas such as policy, organizational models, and general workflow.

Templates can also be limiting in terms of collaboration and discussion of various website modules. If a template seems to provide the answer to a certain design question, for instance, stakeholders are likely to move past it and fail to realize the specifics of that design that require more attention. This may lead to a failure in proper implementation at the application phase which may, in turn, cause a block in the overall development process.

Misguided Conversation

There are times where business analysts may fail to acquire the perspective of what a business truly requires and what the project requirements will be thanks to misguided communications with stakeholders. One major reason for this hiccup is the involvement of too many stakeholders while drawing up website requirements. When there are too many conversations going on, it can be impossible to pinpoint the relevant requirements of a project. It is important that business analysts select few and informed representatives to make the requirements specification process streamline and productive.

Jumping to Design Before Getting Clear Requirements

If a business analyst does not drive the conversation with stakeholders, there is a likelihood of drifting from discussing the important matter at hand – the requirements – then the conversation is likely to shift into discussing factors such as solutions and implementation strategies. These conversations can cloud the main agenda of requirements specification and lead to improper requirements being delivered to developers. It is important that BAs maintain boundaries within the conversation.

Business analysts are given the difficult task of interpreting requirements to tangible data for developers to work with. If a business analyst fails to derive key insights from meetings with stakeholders, they can fail to deliver proper data for developers to work with, leading to a poorly implemented solution which may require a lot of refactoring and even complete redevelopment later on within the business.