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Get Oriented

 

 

 

Get Oriented

Business analysts are expected to dive in to a project, and start contributing as quickly as possible in order to make a positive impact. Sometimes the project is already underway, and other times there is a vague understanding about what the project is or why it exists. Business analysts face lots of ambiguity early on, and are tasked with clarifying the scope, requirements, and business objectives as quickly as possible. 


Getting oriented is the key to success early on, so it makes sense to dive knee-deep into detailed requirements right away. Doing so very likely means a quick start in the wrong direction.


Taking the time, whether it's a few hours, days, or at most, a few weeks to get oriented to a project will ensure the analyst is not only moving quickly but able to be an effective and confident contributor on a project. The Get Oriented Checklist  is a tool to help analysts get oriented.

Key responsibilities in this step include:

  • Clarifying the role of the business analyst, so that they are sure to create deliverables that meet stakeholder needs
  • Determining the primary stakeholders to assist in defining the business objectives and scope, as well as any subject matter experts to be consulted in the project
  • Understanding the project history to not inadvertently repeat work that's already been done or rehash previously made decisions
  • Understanding the existing systems and business processes to obtain a clear picture of the current state that needs to change

Getting oriented is when business analysts learn what they don't know.  This step gets the information needed to be successful and effective on a project. 

 

Discover the Primary Business Objectives

Let’s be SMART with our projects = Specific; Measurable; Achievable; Realistic; and Time-based

Uncovering and getting customer agreement regarding business needs early on in a project but before scope is defined is the quickest path to a successful project

Key responsibilities in this step include:

  • Discovering expectations from your primary stakeholders and discovering the "why" behind the project
  • Reconciling conflicting expectations so the project team begins with a shared understanding of the business objectives 
  • Clarifying the business objectives to provide direction, momentum, and context while defining scope and detailed requirements