We are here, in a place where translation does not only mean using two different languages (linguistically). It means translating something from the real world – to the technical world. Could you guess whose main skill might be hiding in the description of this title?
While paying attention to what currently surrounds us and what are the areas of interest of young people who are rushing to new experiences, but also those who want to upgrade their many years of experience, we came to the conclusion that the IT environment is becoming more and more focused and formed into the thought “I want to be part of that world those stories.”
The reason why mentioned this sentence is because of the point of view of a Business Analyst. From their point of view, they can view the connection between a business and software, which are fully compatible and intertwined.
Someone who works as a business analyst should have a wide range of interests and skills that do not have to be subject exclusively to technical knowledge and education. Why is this so?
A Business Analyst does not have a ‘profession’ or a specific education for the position they have. This is actually the biggest advantage of being a Business Analyst. Different types of education, work experiences, and tasks that the Business Analyst does or is doing are all seen as advantages. The moment when a certain IT company hires someone for this position, all the knowledge, all the skills, and every experience gained are used together to come up with the best possible solution. The direction towards the goal will differ depending on the project, the Business Analyst’s team structure, the dynamic of the Business Analyst’s work, as well as the co-workers who work on this project.
Prozone jointly engages Business Analysts and Software Developers in solving and realizing client requests on its projects. The level of tasks, as well as their descriptions, vary from project to project as well as from client to client.
In the text below we will scratch the surface and touch upon certain tasks in the work of a Business Analyst on the IBM Maximo system, within which the Maximo system is adjusted to the needs and requirements of the client.
IBM Maximo is a system that offers a handful of possibilities and within which it is possible to realize the needs of the client at a very high level. It is software that allows the client to access detailed reports, the reliability of the company’s equipment, and identifies problems at the level of business processes.
Maximo also offers solutions in the process of implementation, by managing various forms of warnings, problem announcements, and the expiration of equipment/goods in a way that will allow the client to react as quickly as possible. Requirements vary from client to client (due to different companies, systems, different types of industries, etc.). Maximo is a system that offers support, management, stability, and flexibility to the user in an intelligent environment.
For all of the above, the Business Analyst should see the bigger picture, for each system’s functionality individually, as well as the system in a global sense.
During their previous work experience, the Business Analyst was at least once a user of a certain system and at least once wished that they could influence changes and adjust the system for the sake of functionality that will facilitate their daily tasks.
“Let me be the copy of the system, by mastering it and learning about it more and more every day”.
This is the thought of a Business Analyst during their everyday approach to the realization of clients’ requests.
The reason is simple – a good understanding of the system is the first obstacle you overcome in communication, both with the client and the developer. The way in which the Business Analyst will convey the client’s request to the assigned developer needs to be clear firstly to the Business Analyst, but even clearer to the developer who will later implement the request.
Managing a certain system becomes easy for the user once they really learn all about the system’s capabilities, but also accept the shortcomings that the system has.
In this case, the Business Analyst is expected to understand the Maximo system, to enable the client to provide services of equal quality by seeing themselves in three roles from the beginning to the end of the project:
• Client/User (I require from the system...)
• Business Analyst (I understand the business process, I demand from the programmer…)
• Developer (I understand what the writer wanted to say, in technical language, the task is clear…)
The Business Analyst is on the initial meeting with the client, i.e. kick-off meeting. The participants in this meeting are usually the project lead, technical team, and support. From the Business Analyst’s point of view, the most important participants are the potential users of the system/app which is the end result.
At a meeting with a client, the Business Analyst usually participates alone, without a developer. Setting up such a system and organizing it present a challenge for every Business Analyst.
Whether the Business Analyst has understood the client’s request will become clear once the client is asked a question, and their horizons broaden regarding the request that was already set. When the client has one of the questions before them: Why do you need this system functionality? – and the answer includes possible consequences and problems that the business or current work process has, it can be said that the right path towards request realization was set.
During the kick-off meeting, the Business Analyst becomes a system user from the initial request and remains in the role of the user until the end. The Business Analyst is guided by active listening and understanding of each request. What the writer wanted to say will be important not only to the Business Analyst but also to the client, as well as to the developer with whom the Business Analyst will have a meeting immediately upon their return, where they will have to answer a handful of new questions. The answers that the Business Analyst gives to the developer must be clearer than any question that the client was asked.
During the communication with the client, the Business Analyst will have to document the requests (in writing or audio) so that not even the smallest possible detail is left out.
So, how can you transfer everything that has been said from the countless descriptive notes made during the meeting into a technical description?
Comments, open questions, written on paper or typed in a word document become a concept of a new project/request that needs to be presented to the developer in “their language“. Why?
Translating a descriptive text into one that is technically understandable is what introduces the Business Analysts to the developer’s world. The Business Analyst has perhaps the most important task on which every possible realization of the client’s request will depend. The only connection between the client and the developer which cannot be weak at any point is the Business Analyst.
During the designed concept to the set request/project, the Business Analyst has to take care of all possible tasks which might arise as a new task for the developer. By diving into the already existing system functionalities within which a new project is being developed, or the existing system is being adapted to a new requirement, the Business Analyst has the task of bringing the client’s business process closer to the developer. In this case, the answer of the Business Analyst to every question asked by the developer becomes the focus during the entire project development process.
The symbiosis of the skills of a Business Analyst mentioned at the beginning must now become a joint action of both the Business Analyst and Developer, all with the goal that the client will accept the end result and product as a functional solution to their request.
The dynamics of the Business Analyst’s work are not negligible, and even when it seems that the project is “stalling” in the background, there must always be a whole process supported by many techniques, documentation, and inexhaustible, skilful communication.
Some of the Business Analyst’s activities are:
• Holding presentations;
• Perception of the current manner of client’s work (participation in workshops);
• Analysis of user’s request;
• Preparation of the project’s concept, functional specification of the system being worked on, user manual, etc.;
• Formulation of functional requests into concrete tasks for the team which is developing the system;
• Testing solutions before the demonstration to the clients;
• Training of the user.
The influence a Business Analyst has on the development of particular systems as an answer to the client’s request is crucial.
I (don’t) understand and I (don’t) want, are the smallest boundaries of each communication.
By skilfully placing themselves in the roles of all participants and the various parties from whom the above statements may emerge, the Business Analyst does not take them as the end result and examines them in detail from the beginning to the end of the required process. This is the (only) way a Business Analyst develops themselves, and at the same time, the thing they are working on from the technical aspect.