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The importance of process driven business requirements

Colourful post-it notes pinned to a wall

Bill Gates said:

  • “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify its efficiency.”
  • “The second rule is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

Why these quotes resonate with me is that after all the modelling techniques, process improvement frameworks, and enterprise system knowledge that I have learnt from my masters, the most important question to ask first before undertaking any IT solution is understanding whether the business is even ready for the change. Often applying a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or a cutting edge software will not fix embedded and complex problems pivotal to the successful delivery of products and services to customers. For any given business what you do and how you do it is the main differentiator in an often saturated and highly competitive market. By analysing a company’s business processes and leveraging processes which deliver high value, revenue and greater customer satisfaction inevitably leads to a greater competitive advantage and businesses being better placed to take on riskier ventures.

Working at Business Analysis (BAPL) I very quickly learnt that an understanding of processes is just one element of a successful business analyst. Understanding the stakeholders needs, the level of process detail and the reports required must be tailored for each client. What truly makes BAPL great and evidently so successful is that we do not claim to be knowledgeable across all areas of businesses. We focus on delivering high level consulting, expert support and mentoring through the use of applying the business analysis body of knowledge (BABOK®) to business needs. BAPL solutions are at its core driven through evidenced based requirements. In my opinion I believe that having an understanding of how powerful business processes are and the impact of linking requirements to any strategy or solution will always lead to having a solution that is fit for purpose and fit for use.

A good business analyst should apply relevant business analysis techniques to solve a business problem. A better business analyst should question why is there a need and what requirements are driving the need for a business solution. An exceptional business analyst should combine process level thinking, leveraging the BABOK® and understanding the people aspect to provide evidenced based business analysis which drive business solutions.

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