In this article we would look at some important interview questions for business analyst profile. Business Analyst is a role in which a person analyses business processes or a specific area to enable business decision e.g. launching anew IT system, upgrade, product launch etc. Business Analyst has to review, assess, and develop the business processes. The focus is on the effective use of resources, both people and technology. He has to be an expert in business-planning, analyze the requirement and translate the business requirements into system deployments and/or business process changes. He acts as a change agent to help facilitate effective deployments/modifications to current practices.
Business Analyst's main responsibility is to advise the clients so that they can meet their business objectives and overcome problems. They work towards the improvement of structure and efficiency of the various systems in the organisations. They also provide strategic guidance regarding technology, They also provide guidance while selecting and procuring by providing technical assistance. They are involved both in the technical duties and also deal with the sales and business expansion. They also deal with planning the time scale of the project and also deciding the resource needed. They have to talk to the clients regarding the various requirements, understand them and then accordingly design the specifications. With the continuous change in technology it becomes very important to help the clients with the change management activities purchasing systems where appropriate. All the new processes and technologies are monitored by the consultant. They are also responsible for identifying the target clients and maintain contact with them.
Sectors where Business Analyst profile is prominent
This profile has a wide scope in IT industry and has a very significant role. They are hired by Specialist IT consultancies, software houses, IT retailers, Financial organizations,etc.
Business Analysts are also sought after in consulting firms, financial organizations etc.
• Requirements elicitation is basically the process used for gathering the requirements from the stakeholders involved.
• Usually, the Elicitation Strategy would depend upon the type of project.
• Workshops and interviews can be conducted in order to observe the end users by taking advantage of the direct collaboration with client.
• Various techniques can provide more precise information for example: prototype and scenario building.
• Once that the requirements are gathered, they are usually validated by the clients.
• Requirements are considered as completed only if the business users approve it.
• Also, it’s a good practice to validate that:
a. The requirements are elicited from all the stakeholders especially the key stakeholders of that project.
b. The requirements must align with the project’s business case.
c. The requirements should be matched with the resources available.
d. All the stakeholders should have agreed with the requirements considered.
The requirements which fulfill the above 4 criteria, are then considered as formal and final. These requirements are documented and thus become a part of project scope.
A Business Analyst constantly strives to help technology achieve the business requirements. Thus in this pursuit he has to prepare a number of documents. They are :
a. Project vision document
b. Requirement Management Plan
c. Use cases
d. User stories
e. Business Requirement Document (BRD)
f. Requirement traceability matrix (RTM)
g. Functional requirement specification (FRS)/ Functional Specification Document (FSD)
h. System requirement specification (SRS)/ System Requirement Document (SRD)
i. Test case
• The best practices that can be used to write a clear and also well documented use case are:
a. Capturing both the functional and non-functional requirements.
b. Including use case diagrams along with use case.
c. Include the UI details in the use case.
• Note the new changes in terms of : scope of the changes and the impact analysis for the project.
• Impact analysis: w.r.t. the project cost, the timeline and the resources.
• Gap Analysis: to check if the scope change is introducing new gaps to the technical /functional designs / development and testing.
Scope creep is the hindrance to a project’s success and thus it can be avoided by:
a. Document the scope of the project clearly.
b. Follow a proper change management.
c. Inform the effects of the change to the parties that may be affected before making any changes.
d. Document the new requirements in project log.
e. Refrain from adding any additional features to your existing functionalities- “Gold Plating”
• Alternate flow: The alternative actions that are performed apart from the basic flow and that could be considered as Optional flow.
• Exception flow: The path traversed in case of an error or any an exception being thrown.
• For example: On Logic page the ‘Forgot password’ will be the alternate flow whereas if the system is showing the ‘404 error’ even when correct username and the password are entered is an exception flow.
In order to measure the quality of a good requirement, use the ‘SMART’ rule. This rule states how a good requirement should be:
• Specific: It should be specific so as to be documented properly
• Measurable: The success criteria of requirements should be measurable by different parameters
• Attainable: It must be possible to attain the requirements with the available resources
• Relevant: The requirements should be in line with the business case
• Timely: The requirement should be posed in time.
• It involves considering different interests and values the stakeholders have. Also, addressing them during the project duration to ensure that the stakeholders are satisfied.
• For a BA, it’s essential to develop and control relationships with all the individuals that the project impacts.
• Thus, by managing all the stakeholders, it could help to keep a lid on ensure project requirements are aligned, scope creep, understand the tolerance for any risks, and also mitigate issues that may otherwise delay the project.
• Therefore, a good stakeholder management is thus a testimony to a BA’s influence in an organization and a beneficial component for a healthy project environment.
• Business Requirements: The sales order is made against the customer’s purchase order. Sales order is given for approval to upper authority
• Functional requirement:- The sales order is made with reference to the customer’s purchase order which then has to be approved from upper authority.
• While preparing the BRD, it is essential to mention problem statement.
• For creating functional requirements, it is a good practice to specify the solution of the problem and explain it thoroughly.
• In short, the BRD contains the business challenges including the problem statements. Whereas the FRD contains how the solution is defined for the problem statement.
• BRD is a source for FRD. Also, the requirements can be elaborated textually or flow diagrams or use case models or combination of the three.
• Create the project-initiation diagrams. Also, include the activity diagrams, the business use cases, flowcharts, workflow diagrams,
• Determine the project scope.
• Derive the context diagrams.
• Project the use cases through the business diagrams
• Use cases should be elaborated by using activity diagrams or some other techniques
• Create the analysis of domain class diagrams, dataflow diagrams and entity-relationship diagrams with the help of use cases
• Recognize and understand various design models. Which includes relevant types of detailed design entity-relationship diagrams, UML diagrams and decomposed dataflow diagrams
• Determine the relevant modelling technique to be used, followed by a project life cycle. An understanding of which diagrams are derived from the others diagrams would be useful.
Agile software development is a software development methodology which is based on an iterative development. In this the requirements and solutions are reached by collaboration among self-organizing cross-functional teams. Agile processes incorporates iteration and a continuous feedback from the various stakeholders involved in the project which helps to refine successively and deliver the product.
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