When you begin a project with Fitzroy IT you are very likely to have a conversation with one of our Business Analysts. They will listen to you and ask lots of questions about you, your business and your project. But you may be wondering, “what is a BA, and what are they trying to achieve?” We believe that BAs serve a critical role in all projects and their ability to understand and bridge the technical and functional aspects of your business will help your project succeed.
Often clients approach us with an idea for a software project or for assistance with the IT infrastructure, and one of the first questions we ask them is “What problem are you trying to solve?” The answer might be “our customers tell us our website is slow and hard to navigate”, or “I’m worried about the security of my cloud account”, or “my users need IT support”, or even “our staff are spending too much time on repetitive tasks”. Our Business analysts help identify and flesh out these problems, as well as the solutions to them. Those solutions often include software development, but may also consist of process improvement, strategic planning or organisational change. In a nutshell, BAs try to make your business better, by improving processes, products, services and software, and they do this with a logical, data-driven approach.
The BAs at Fitzroy IT like to take a holistic approach to new projects. For example when looking at a company’s website, a BA will also seek to understand other company processes such as how orders are processed. It’s important to know what the people are doing, not just the IT systems. And our BAs are always looking for a “better way”. Henry Ford is often quoted as saying “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” While often seen as a rallying call for those who wish to ignore customers' opinions, we at Fitzroy IT recognise that Henry Ford identified the underlying need of his customers - faster transport - and thought laterally to come up with an innovative solution.
So a key role of the BA is to question everything: is what is being asked for is the best solution to the problem, is there a better way - something that hasn't been considered? With technology changing so rapidly, it is highly likely that something new has come along, that could be just what you’re after.
And it’s the job of our BA’s to be up-to-date, and constantly researching new developments. Indeed, the ability for a BA to be curious is highly valued at Fitzroy IT. It’s our job to know everything from AWS to Zettabytes when it comes to technology, and more importantly to be able to explain it to our clients without all the technical jargon. We recognise that you don’t need to know all the nuts and bolts, but you do want to understand the transformative impact that could be realised by your business.
Indeed education is one of the key benefits of working with Fitzroy IT. We believe passionately in bringing our clients along on the journey, when we are implementing new technology or otherwise bringing change to an organisation. Our philosophy is not to create dependency on Fitzroy IT by putting in place solutions so complex that only we can maintain. Indeed we prefer our clients to have buy-in and ownership of the outcomes, upskilling their staff with our assistance. Here too our Business Analysts can assist, with great skills in training and writing documentation.
Training and documentation are also key parts of Change Management - an often overlooked necessity of any new IT project. When change occurs it is regularly met with unease, from users and customers, who are taken out of their comfort zone - away from what they know and are used to. Our BAs understand this and are experts at employing numerous strategies to combat at - from engaging key staff in planning so that their ideas and opinions are integral to the change to ensuring that users comprehend not only how to use the new systems, but know the benefits of using it to them and your company.
But the biggest advantage of utilising the knowledge and experience of BA’s is that your project will typically run smoother, take less time, cost less money and ultimately be successful. When BA’s work to understand context, develop solutions, ask questions and produce project requirements documentation they are aiming to “get it right” from the beginning.
"The most important single aspect of software development is to be clear about what you are trying to build."
– Bjarne Stroustrup
It is well known that the more you get right upfront, the better off you are. You don’t waste time and effort heading in the wrong direction and bugs cost more to fix the later they are discovered.
Summary – how BA’s help your company thrive
As you can see, business analysts can help you optimise your business performance, reduce costs, increase efficiency, and achieve your objectives. They can also help you adapt to changing market conditions and customer demands, as well as leverage new technologies and innovations.
Why not get in-touch, and chat with our friendly team today?