In complex and lengthy software development project the involvement of a business analyst mean “difference between success and failure”. Business analyst involvement starts at the very beginning of a project, most business analysts ‘own the requirements processes,’ where they work with key line-of-business executives and users.

If you believe software projects succeed or fail based on the quality of the requirements, then you have to believe software projects succeed or fail on the basis of business analysts, too.

Good communication skill is necessary for BA, with that following are key responsibilities for them.

• Identify and model process requirements
• Identify and model data requirements
• Identify business rules requirements
• Test requirements
• Manage requirements
• Facilitate requirements sessions
• Scope the project
• Write use cases
• Improve business processes
• Design screens (or prototypes)
• Write system (or technical) specifications
• Determine benefit/cost
• Lead or manage projects

Eight Activities of Business Analyst in Software Development

1. Scope the system

At the outset of a project, business analysts may be the only "software development staff" assigned to the project. And at this point, they work with key project stakeholders and business people to formulate and communicate the business vision for the project, map out initial requirements and the scope of the project. Their fundamental goal is to get the project focused early by translating the initial high-level vision into something realistic.

2. Interpret business needs

A critical responsibility of business analysts is "to work with project stakeholders to translate their requirements into something that developers can understand as well as to translate the resulting questions that the developers have into something the stakeholders can understand”. A key skill needed in this part of the process is the business analyst's ability to distill the differing messages and needs of project stakeholders into a single, consistent vision.
"This task often includes significant negotiation and political maneuvering". Business analysts will "often find themselves spending significant time in meetings, thereby saving the rest of the development team from this inefficient use of their time."

3. Translate technical issues
Business analysts also have the arduous task of breaking down technical and architectural complexities so that project stakeholders can easily understand any issues that crop up. Business Analyst often explains what the developers are doing and why they need to do it, including explanations of the basis of schedules and estimates.

4. Spell out the project details and requirements
Business Analyst will often work with project stakeholders to identify, model and then document their requirements and business domain details.

5. Put development team in touch with the right people

Business Analyst typically has very good connections within the business community; therefore they are in a position to help development teams find the right people to work with.

6. Political guide.
Business Analyst often helps project teams through the political minefields within their organizations, particularly when the business analyst has worked within the same organization for several years.

7. Test and validate
Business analysts work with project stakeholders to "validate their requirements and analysis models via techniques such as reviews, walkthroughs and play acting". Business Analyst will often aid in writing user acceptance test (UAT) cases and will be a liaison between project stakeholders and testing organization during UAT.

8. Represent project stakeholders throughout the process

If project teams don't have direct access to their project stakeholders, which is never a good situation, business analysts have to act as "stakeholder surrogates". Typically developers will treat a BA as the 'customer' from which requirements, domain information and business priorities are provided. The BA, in turn, will work with the stakeholders to obtain information and to verify decisions.
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Business Analyst Skills
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• Leadership and organizational skills
• Change management skills
• Communication skills (oral and written) in order to better facilitate, interview and communicate in a collaborative manner
• Ability to work independently or in a team environment

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