Analysis Overview

Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. Analysis can be strategic or tactical in nature.  Strategic analysis is focused on the big picture while tactical analysis is focused on solving a specific problem or opportunity.

In this post we will be touch upon a variety of analysis techniques to help us understand what the need or problem is so that we can then determine the best way to solve it.  What is listed is by no means all possible analysis techniques but only those I have found useful in some way.

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The foremost priority for any business analyst will be to try understanding following things

  • Understand what business does and how it does
  • Determine how to improve existing business processes
  • Identify the steps or tasks to support the implementation of new features
  • Design the new features to implement
  • Analyze the impact of implementing new features
  • Implement the new features

The mechanism to accomplishes these activities is through analysis techniques.  These techniques can be grouped as either strategic or tactical. Below is a breakdown of the two categories. The techniques lists are by no means an exhaustive list.

Business report

Strategic Techniques

Strategic Analysis defines opportunities, and develops business cases to initiate work.  From an Agile point of view this level of analysis defines problems and opportunities in terms of themes and business epics.   Performing business analysis at a strategic level requires a broad set of tools and techniques to ensure that work initiated from the defined business cases support the organization’s business goals and objectives.

This level of analysis really has nothing to do with software development so, as citizen developers, we are usually not involved in this level of analysis. Not being directly involved doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least be aware of some of the techniques that can be used for this level of analysis.

Some of the most popular techniques are:

  • PESTLE
  • MOST
  • SWOT
  • Product Roadmaps
  • CATWOE
  • Brainstorming

 

person holding blue ballpoint pen on white notebook

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Tactical Business Analysis

The primary focus of tactical business analysis is to clarify the business epics or business cases that were defined through strategic business analysis.  This form of analysis is to elicit stakeholder requirements based on the business case.  In agile methodology the analyst decomposes business epics into features which are further decomposed into user stories.  It is at this level of analysis the citizen developer is mostly involved.

Just as there are many ways to design a solution to a problem, there are many ways to learn about a problem.  Different ways or techniques will provide you with a different way to see the problem.  Sometimes it may take several techniques to understand the problem.

Some of the most popular techniques are:

  • The 5 Whys
  • Mind Mapping
  • Business Process Modelling
  • Entity Relationship Diagram
  • Non-Functional Requirements Analysis
  • Wireframes

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