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Good Practices in Functional Analysis

Good Practices in Functional Analysis

how to be a better functional analyst

With a wide business perspective, the Functional Analyst understands and identifies the business needs of the stakeholders in order to enable companies to achieve their full potential. Acts as an intermediary between multiple departments in an organization, being responsible for establishing a good understanding and communication between stakeholders. The tips that I will present next are, in my opinion, the BA Best Practices, and will definitely help you on your journey to success!

Tip #1 Clearly Identify the Stakeholders

Start by identifying the main stakeholders: by influence, by interest, and the final user of the project. Set aside time for establishing requirements – needs – to ensure that the model is as close as possible to what the stakeholders expect. A first phase that should not be neglected!

  • Internal Policies

In what regards to processes in organizations, it is important to recognize and respect the scope in which the company operates, not to ignore internal policies/procedures. Typically, a formal process will result in better project performance, as well as good requirements management and best practices. Cultural factors in an organization must also be taken in consideration by project stakeholders, in order to obtain significantly better results.

Tip #2 Maintain a good relationship with all stakeholders

It is really important to foster a good and professional relationship with the stakeholders, as well as with the project final users. A Functional Analyst must be a communications enabler between different points in the organization, a “Smooth Operator” with good communication skills, who reports via email on progress, conducts one to one meetings, workshops, among others. Finding gaps in communication, called “managing conflict” in the most effective way, transmitting confidence, personal organisation, analytical thinking and being problem-solving oriented – will make the project run smoothly.

  • “Project Momentum”

Ensure that the Stakeholders are aligned in each stage of the project that is concluded – “do not lose project momentum”. It is necessary and interesting to count with the critical expertise of Stakeholders during the course of the project.

Tip #3 Classify all Requirements

After collecting the requirements, it is important to organize them: functional, operational, technical, and transactional. So that there can be, a good management of them. Later on, we will be able to understand what they are about, who to contact if any clarification is needed, among other needs.

Tip #4 Contemplate the option of “Doing nothing”

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During the course of a project, it is possible that there are stages where there is no evolution – stages that also have costs involved throughout the collaborations. It can happen in business cases, analyses, and it’s normal. The important thing is to understand the impact that this moment will have on the business. This analysis should not be undervalued, as it is fundamental in helping key stakeholders making a more informed decision.

Tip #5 Actively Participate in Test Planning

The person who collected requirements will be the one who knows the most about it, besides the stakeholder(s) involved. Together with the development team, and with the stakeholders, when we’re picking up the requirement, we immediately understand how it can be tested. So, in the testing phase, you will be able to understand how to test the functionality. So, do not forget to define test phases, as well as the requirements to develop, because a good principle is to help in the definition of UAT (identify test cases), test coverage and what to test.

I hope this set of best practices can help you, and that you’re now more clarified about the activities of a Functional Analyst in the search for answers that help a team to build the right solution!

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