Why Your Remote Team Needs a Business Analyst
As technology has become integrated with businesses, virtual teams, or remote teams, have become more common. This makes business more effective, as remote teams can work around the clock, talent can be found in less competitive markets, and special skills can be retained more easily.
Even with these benefits, sometimes a remote team can lack communication, resulting in loss of coordination, scheduling conflicts, and problems with project development. Although these problems seem difficult to overcome, they are not unsolvable. One of the best strategies to better connect remote teams and make sure there is little loss of efficiency is to hire a business analyst (BA).
A business analyst provides many helpful tools for an organization and a remote team. Here are just a couple of reasons why your remote team needs a business analyst.
At its core, a BA analyzes an organization, assesses the business model, and uses professional expertise to suggest different directions or changes for the company. Essentially, a BA bridges business problems with solutions. Due to this fact, they are highly trained in strategic planning, model analysis, process design, and system analysis. With their expertise, a BA can unearth a problem a company may be unaware of to better increase efficiency or profits. This is no different for remote teams. The professional expertise allows for a better look at problems from an outsider's perspective and can bring creative solutions to fix those problems.
The business analyst can either create the project concept or help to better establish one. This may include the overall definition of the project, the technology that is used, and the individuals or branches that are responsible to see the project to the end. This planning process is easily missed when first creating a remote team. In order to not miss an important step, a BA can better assess the needs of the company and create a comprehensive project concept. For example, a BA can provide a mind map which visually diagrams the relationships for the project. Sketches like this can previsualize the idea and get everyone on the same page.
Market and Competitor Analysis
A BA can analyze a market or competitor to better assess strengths and weaknesses. For competitors, this can involve evaluating rival strategies relative to the company's own products or services. This should answer the question “What potential threats do your competitors pose?” and “What are their past strategies?” For a remote team, this information provides insight on what to do better and what to avoid. A BA can also analyze the market in which the company or team is working. This looks at the size of the market in volume and value, demographics, competition, overall economic environment, and regulations. Additionally, a market analysis looks at potential opportunities or gaps in the market. With this information, a BA can better assess the project's direction.
Business Strategy Development
When a BA identifies a problem, they come up with new solutions. A business analyst can create a strategy using the information they collect to bring long-term value to the project. This type of strategic development will meet the specific needs of the team. Additionally, it will bring new opportunities in the form of creative solutions.
For many organizations, this means becoming lean (creating more value with fewer resources). A lean team will focus on its key processes to better the project. Once a strategy is developed, a BA can also lead the team to these changes. This can include assisting in learning new systems or processes that target efficiency. By developing strategies and walking the remote team through them, a BA can help move the project along more quickly.
Functional Specification Creation
A business analyst can help with functional specifications that describe the products or services, capabilities, appearance, and interaction with users. To better help with functional specifications, a BA can provide a business process modeling notation (BPMN) or a unified model language (UML).
The BPMN helps map business processes to better analyze and make changes. In many cases, this is used to more reliably identify workflow problems. For a remote team, this can assess project productivity. When a BA creates a UML diagram, it visualizes the flexibility of an underlying systems process. Understanding and editing this to fit the needs of the project is crucial for success. This is important for software development companies and mobile app agencies.
Apart from the functions above, a business analyst can function in many other roles depending on the company's needs. For example, they can evaluate better technology for communication. They can also validate information and business functions. BAs can create feasibility checks in order to make sure everything between employee activity and customer interaction is feasible.
These are just a couple examples of other roles that can help a remote team. Regardless of a business analyst's role, they will always gather preliminary data, use that data to create concepts, and design strategies to better help the team. As there are many different functionalities of a BA, procuring one can only benefit the remote team.
Even though a business analyst can accomplish quite a bit, there is still a major role for the owners and stakeholders. Their role aims to integrate the BA with the remote team and allows them better access to information. In order to do this, an owner or stakeholder should provide clear requirements. As there is a great deal a BA can accomplish, their goals should be narrowed for better results. Additionally, an owner or stakeholder should understand what the BA intends to do and evaluate their work.
Evaluations are constructive for both the analysts and the stakeholders’ understanding. Lastly, an owner or stakeholder should manage priorities. Understanding priorities means making changes should the scope of the project get off course.
What happens when a project owner is the business analyst? This is normal for small businesses. If this is the case, the BA should listen to the client, understand them and create requirements based on their interactions, and suggest a decision that is feasible. If the client cannot carry out the decision or wants to make changes, the BA should analyze the feedback and create new requirements. When the owner is the BA, they should also document their work. This includes keeping track of documents received from the client and creating new documents with relevant information and visuals. As the owner of the product, they should also remain in contact with the client as much as possible to ensure transparency and customer satisfaction.
With their ability to analyze data and create strategies, a business analyst is able to increase project efficiency and profit. As a result, business analysts for remote teams are often used for mobile app development agencies, software companies, and website development. Although this is true, their functionality stretches beyond this. A BA can assist with any remote team to fit their specific needs. As companies are distributing more work and allowing members to work remotely, business analysts are becoming increasingly important in the business world.
Feel free to schedule a one-hour consultation with Business Analyst. Our professional can help you starting with project idea finalization and more.