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Understand The Background Of Business Analysis Documentation Now

Introduction

Documentations are sole proof which any business analyst holds for the analysis they perform for their work. Any kind of documentation is the same as code is for developers and test cases for testers. Documentations help to ensure that all the information is being tracked properly and reduces verbal confusion. A sense of transparency is being created by documents at various stages of the software development lifecycle.

In this blog, we will focus on various documents that are helpful in business analysis.

  • Project Charter and Scope 
  • BRD, FRS, And SRS
  • Requirement Traceability Matrix
  • Migration Documents
  • Other Visuals Documents

Understanding of Project Charter and Project Scope Document

Project Charter document is the statement presented for a project which lists the scope, project objectives and stakeholders involved as part of that project. Primarily, it presents the role and responsibilities of each and everyone involved, key goals that need to be achieved as a result of the completion of this project and the power which the project manager would have over this project.

Sometimes, the request for a proposal is also known as a charter document. Framing the project charter document by the project manager is considered to be one of the best practices in the industry.

The reason, why the project manager prepares a charter document, are –

  • Details of why this project has been accepted?
  • Various project objectives and constraints.
  • Details and Identification of the end goals.
  • Identifying the key stakeholders.
  • Plan for capturing the risk analysis.
  • Cost-benefit analysis to keep a check on the budget.

But, with the charter document, there is one more document that is very essential and it lists the entire scope of that project, called a project scope document. Actually, with the current agile environment, it would be good to call it a scope statement that captures key milestones to achieve, high-level requirements and assumptions that are being made. The scope of the project should always be kept in mind while working on the entire project. At the finalization of the scope document, each stakeholder gets all the important and every small detail related to the project. Remember the project revolves around five main elements – Business Goals, Delivery, Acceptance Criteria, Risks and Limitations, and Costs. Once all these are aligned it makes it easy for a project manager to finalize the project scope.

 Project Charter and Project Scope Document

What do you mean by Business Requirement Documentation?

The document which showcases the details of business solutions with respect to the project forms the business requirement document. It is designed as per the need of the client and their expectations from the solutions. It can be said to lay the foundation of a successful project and details the problems which project is going to resolve with proper solutions for those problems.

Read: The Ultimate Revelation Of Activity Diagram In UML

Business Requirement Document acts as a blueprint for the stakeholders to prioritize tasks in the project, do the planning, make the appropriate design so that it is aligned with the needed business goals. Another important aspect of BRD is that it has the basic details of the contract between the customer and organization showcasing the deliverables to meet the expectations.

Objectives of this document are –

  • A common understanding among all the people involved
  • Details of the technology, existing system, business needs 
  • Gathering high-level inputs for the next phase of the project
  • In-depth details of client needs and business solutions to fulfill those

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What do you mean by Functional Requirement Documentation?

This document represents a holistic picture of the functions that would be performed as the end result of the feature which is being developed. This document should be written in such a way that it is understood by customers, the development team and internal stakeholders. It can be said to be the guiding specification around which testing would happen. 

In the software development lifecycle, this document can range from high-level conceptual notions to capturing each and every small detail. It contains the application data flow and the UML diagrams. The person creating this document who is mostly a business analyst or system analyst needs to take care that this document is prepared from the user’s aspect. 

Benefits of this document - 

  • It helps to identify each and every function of the feature. 
  • The errors which get identified as part of this document are easy to resolve as this document is being prepared during the planning phase. 
  • As the document focuses on the expected behavior, it considers all the actors involved and hence it is easy to figure out the missing business need.  

What do you mean by the Requirement Traceability Matrix?

Now we all understand that matrix means something in the form of a table, and when spoken about requirement its where you work on them. So now this requirement traceability matrix is a document that maps requirements of a user with that of the test cases being designed. 

During the initiation of the software development lifecycle, we have the need of the client in the form of requirements, and test cases are developed based on them. This matrix ensures that no gaps are there in software testing. 

Read: Business Analyst Tutorial Guide for Beginner

Elements of this Matrix - 

  • An Id number for the requirements. 
  • Type of Requirement.
  • Description of each requirement. 
  • Test cases for each requirement.

This matrix and its elements help to check that current project requirements are being met and thus, lead the path for the creation of requests to proposal documents for future enhancement. It is advisable that the testing team uses tools to make this matrix rather than struggling with excel to capture all the details. 

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What do you mean by System Requirement Specification?

Whenever we speak about any requirement document, it is presumed that something related to business need or functional document which needs to be prepared. But then what about the software or system which needs to support the business. This document speaks about the software which needs to be developed. 

This document is a continuous analysis of the business need much before a specific system design phase with the mission to reduce the redesigning problems. This document needs to be clearly understood by the development team so that there is no re-engineering process that comes up later in the picture. 

Based on the project management methodology, whether to follow agile or waterfall, the level of details might change for this document, but it should have details of functional requirements, technical feasibility, assumptions, acceptance criteria, and end result. Whenever any technical details are being analyzed it becomes important to judge whether these would support the business need, the reliability and capability factor of the existing system.

Benefits of System Requirement Specification - 

  • Provides client satisfaction that the vendor is checking on the non-functional aspect as well.
  • It makes testing easier and simplifies the process of making test cases. 

What do you mean by Data Migration Document?

Now, this is a very critical document and is not always being used. Every organization maintains a customized format for themselves and this is used in migration projects. Some people also refer to it as a Migration Checklist where they capture high-level details of the migration project. The data migration document should have a detailed migration plan for the successful migration to happen. This step enables us to list down, transform and transfer them to a different location. 

Read: Understanding Class Diagram in UML (Unified Modelling Language)

Examples where data migration document is being prepared - 

  • Server Maintenance Project 
  • Upgrading the Server, OS
  • Changing the data center 
  • Moving the customer application to a different server 

This document list down the details as the steps which an organization follows for the data migration project - 

  • Analysis of sensitivity of the data and the new location for the migration
  • Capturing the viewpoint of each stakeholder to finalize the project scope
  • Very Important to take the backup of the existing data and keep the details of the backup location
  • Checking the migration tool before starting the migration
  • Regress testing of the new migration location once data is being moved
  • Maintenance of the data as per the organization’s standards

Overview of Other Important Visual Documents

Apart from the above formulated and standard documents, there are other important not so lengthy documents that act as a catalyst for these documents. Let’s see some of them.

Important Visual Documents

  • Wireframes - These are visual representations of expected UI needed as a product feature. It is made from an end-user aspect and forms the basis of UI/UX designs. They are also called the blueprint of the website which is being built. They make it very easy for the business analyst to explain the feature to the development tool. The most common tool for wireframes is Balsamiq. 
  • MockUp - Imagine a scenario where there needs to be a very small change, maybe a new button or removal of any tab. The use case in this would be simple and not very bulky. Business Analysts can just capture the screenshot and manipulate the existing UI to showcase what the new UI should look like. This process of making a new product feature out of the existing one is known as Mock-Ups. I prefer to use a very simple tool for this which is MS-Paint. 
  • Prototyping - This is also similar to mock-ups, but it has a defined template to follow. The reason to do prototyping is the identification, description, and validation of the needs of the customer from the user interface aspect. This can be made by various tools as it is the step in which the business analyst expresses the feature in a visual format.
  • Data Flow Diagram - Any feature would be part of some flow of the product or would derive a new flow itself. Before the initiation of any project, the analyst definitely draws the flow diagram. There are various tools to draw them - MS Visio, Lucidchart, draw.io, etc. 
  • Data Dictionary - A business analyst also works towards framing a data dictionary for the product. This helps him/her to finalize any requirement easily as it gives the insights of the database of the product and thus it is convenient to explain to developers. It can be prepared in MS Excel or with agile in the market, people are making use of Confluence to design this. 

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Conclusion

So, we all understand how important documents are and the vital information they hold. They are like business drivers and always catalyzes the complete project lifecycle. In your business analysis work, document everything that you encounter as part of analysis journey. I hope the documentation briefing would definitely increase your knowledge. Keep Growing and Keep Learning!!




    Nidhi

    I believe in knowledge sharing and bringing change in people's lives. As a business analyst by profession, I love to explore everything about the way businesses should drive. I keep in touch with the latest business analysis updates.


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