How Business Analysis Plays a Major Part in a Software Project’s Success or Failure

9 June 2017 | Posted by Ali Asgher



A study of approximately 600 business and IT executives published by software development firm, Geneca, shows that:

“78% feel the business is usually or always out of sync with project requirements and business

stakeholders need to be more involved and engaged in the requirements process.”

Requirement engineering, the process of gathering project requirements from business stakeholders, is a fundamental

element of software development and it often gets undervalued in many projects.

If we don’t get it right from the beginning it can lead the development team

to build a brilliant piece of software which drastically differs from what was meant to be implemented.

Ultimately it may lead to the project being an absolute failure.

Our experience shows that we can get the requirements right by taking the following basic factors into consideration:


1- Identify who the stakeholders are early on

Identifying the key decision makers of a project is important and often overlooked. And it is something that should be set from the very beginning of the project.

Although many software development teams leave it to the client to be responsible for assigning the key stakeholder who will make project decisions,

we believe it is a shared responsibility and ensure it is taken care of before the project begins.

Many times we see a correlation between project failure and a development team’s lack of understanding

of the business needs. This is even more apparent if the project begins by listening to the wrong stakeholder!

By missing this step of not clearly assigning the key stakeholders at the

beginning of the project, it is difficult to comprehend whether the business needs being identified are what is truly required for the project or not.


2- Distinguish what is needed from is wanted

We start by identify what a business needs. What they want may not necessarily be what they need.

A common mistake by business analysts is that they start thinking about how to create solutions without knowing exactly what the problem is.

Clients every so often may provide you with user-based challenges they’ve assumed from

their own experience. However, it is the role of the business analyst carefully listen and extract this information.

The true role of a Business Analyst is to closely look at whether or not that problem is a legitimate issue and that the proper motive is being expressed.

In addition it is quite often clients say what they need rather than what the business actually needs.


3- Immersing into domain knowledge immerse

One of the challenges for a business analyst is not to just understanding the technology domain but also to understanding the domain knowledge of the client:

their background, their experience and what sort of challenges they have been dealing with.

Understanding and creating a strong relationship with clients provides the space for the business analyst to communicate things effectively.

It’s really important for the business analyst to put themselves in the shoes of the client and to understand and analyze the problem effectively.


4- Be ready if the stakeholders change

A change in stakeholders, especially when the project is running, can cause requirements to clash and conflict with work already completed and can completely derail a project.

As people inherently have their own understanding of things when there is a changeover of key project stakeholders there can be a

significant disruption to the project and it can compromise the project’s success.

This can cause conflict. When requirements are already defined and then

are changed through the opinions of new stakeholders in the team, it can be difficult to identify the right path to take.

This also relates to the prioritization of requirements.

It can be difficult to determine the position and influence of new stakeholders in a project team, and this can create confusion for the business analyst in prioritizing the requirements.


Although there are several other factors which need to be considered and handled properly to bring the project to its success,

if you as a Business Analyst consider these 4 four basic areas while performing

the elicitation of requirements you will ensure the right requirements are collected from the right stakeholders.

Ali Asgher

I am a problem solver who takes pride in understanding a person's, or businesses, needs. Working with them to map their ideas, and transform them into valuable products and solutions, is where I thrive. As a technical business analyst, I am able to communicate effectively with clients, and provide them with a space to develop their concepts and ideas comfortably. I am an avid learner who enjoys staying ahead of the curve with the latest technologies in the IT industry so I can provide robust solutions to my clients. Technical capabilities: ASP.NET Web Forms,ASP.NET MVC PHP (Fameworks and CMS) Oracle 11g SQL Server 2012 MySql REST APIs Entity Framework Bootstrap, Jquery, Angular.js, Node.js


Let's Talk

Ready to take action on your business idea?

Call us on (02) 9188 0844 and meet the Engenesis team