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3 May 2010

Who decides a project’s requirements? Business Analysts?

Business Analyst: Catalyst for Requirements 

The Business Analyst holds the primary responsibility to elicit, analyze, validate, specify, verify, and manage the real needs of the project stakeholders, including customers and end users. The requirements analyst serves as a catalyst between the customer and the software development team and is responsible to bring all the stakeholders to a common level of understanding. 

A Business Analyst would serve as an agent and views requirements from the following angle: 

Apart from requirement gathering, interviewing the users they would be responsible to create prototypes or wire frames to demonstrate a non-working model to the customers. Customer can get a fair idea looking at the wire frames how the proposed solution would look like.

For any queries or concerns towards any aspect of the planned project activity it is appropriate that a BA defines a clear process in identifying the key points of contact in the project engagement with proper escalation mechanism.

Business Analyst (BA) analyses, documents, manages and presents the project requirements for review and approval to the customer in a most comprehensible manner. Analyst should communicate to the customer in the early stages of the project the standard templates and requirement management tools they would adhere to in order to document the requirements specifications.

For a BA getting a requirements sign-off would mean a formal agreement with the project stakeholders, stating that the contents of the requirements document, as drafted, are complete to the final projections and that there are no open issues left to be addressed. It is an expression of the output of requirements gathering to all those concerned with the project.

Nilesh Raje works as Business Analyst with SYSTIME Computer Systems Ltd. based in Mumbai. He also has his articles published earlier with RQNG, International Institute of Business Analysis, ProjectTimes, Business Analyst Times and ManagementNext magazine. He's been a reader here for a while and has proposed this question;

Who decides a project’s requirements?