Role of the BA vs. Other Roles in the Organization
In addition to the project manager, systems analyst, and test manager, there are several other roles on the project team that the BA interacts with throughout the business analysis process. I will now describe each of them in more detail that I have experienced both at many organizations.
Governance bodies include the change management control board, quality team, project management office, new initiatives committees, etc. They interact with the BA throughout the business analysis process. The change management control board at Citibank, for instance, is responsible for reviewing and approving or rejecting proposed changes to the project. Typically, the project manager deals directly with the change control board, but the BA may be asked by the project manager to provide input and explanation as to why certain changes in the project are needed. The project management office is responsible for reviewing project proposal information and deciding whether to invest in the project. The BA interacts with the project management office by providing written and verbal summaries of the proposed project, and offering recommendations as to what the next steps should be.
Functional management provides resources for business analysis activities. For projects that affect only departments or divisions, functional management performs the role that executive management performs on enterprise-wide projects.
Executive management has final acceptance or rejection of the final solution. The business sponsor, who is often from executive management, has approval authority for the BRD. The sponsor will participate in quality assurance reviews of the testing process and deliverables. The sponsor and others from executive management participate in final management acceptance test to determine whether the solution meets the solution vision and supports business strategies. Note the business sponsor may delegate this responsibility to a position so firms call a “client acceptor”.
Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
SMEs serve as experts on a process and/or the outputs of a process by providing and validating information regarding how the process currently operates. SMEs may identify weaknesses in the solution development and testing processes. SMEs may also participate in the validation reviews and inspections as well as quality assurance reviews of the testing process and testing deliverables.
Developers or programmers (aka “IT”) construct the solution using technology and verify that the solution meets specifications.
End users are the source for user requirements and will use the solution to perform their business tasks.
Stakeholders include anyone who may be affected by, may influence, or may have a direct interest in the solution. Stakeholders may perform in the role of tester. They may also participate in the review of requirements, test plans, and test results.
Next and final installment, “Responsibilities of the BA“…