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Tactical Business Analysis

What Is Tactical Business Analysis and When Do You Need It?

Tactical business analysis starts when the organization initiates a project or initiative that will result in change for some subset of the organization. The purpose of tactical business analysis is effective communication between those affected by the change (typically the business community) and those responsible for instigating the change (typically the IT group). When and where this communication takes place and how you express the results depends on the System Development Methodology (SDM) the project follows. The table below illustrates the impact that the chosen SDM will have on your tactical business analysis process.

Waterfall SDM Iterative SDM (RUP) Agile SDM
When During the Analysis Phase of the project and while assessing each change request During the Analysis Phase of the initial iteration and during the analysis stage of each iteration On-going, especially during Release Planning, Iteration or Sprint Planning, and during User Story Elaboration meetings
Where Ideally at the SME’s workplace Ideally at the SME’s workplace In the project team room for co-located teams, via video conferencing for distributed teams
Results Expressed in refined Business and Stakeholder Requirements  which are maintained in a Requirements Definition Document Expressed in User and System Requirements which are maintained in a Requirements Repository Expressed in User Story Epics, User Stories, and Work Items maintained in appropriate Product, Release, Iteration and Team Backlogs

Fundamentally, the choice of SDM does not change what tactical business analysis is and which techniques fulfill its purpose.

Regardless of the Chosen SDM, You Need To:

Tactical Business Analysis in Your Organization

The “Business Analyst” or “Business System Analyst” in many organizations performs tactical business analysis under the generic term “business analysis”. In my opinion, the use of the generic term is insufficient to communicate the scope and intent of the activity and causes confusion. In the absence of a clearly articulated and enforced policy, people with job titles such as “Manager”, “Project Manager”, “Scrum Master”, “Product Owner”, “Product Manager”, “Developer”, “Tester”, and many others actually do business analysis without calling it such.

Communication is crucial for business analystsSince a prime directive for business analysis at any level is clear and concise communication, we at BA-EXPERTS add the differentiator “tactical” to clarify the level of detail and common set of techniques representative of this crucial activity.

The ultimate outcome of tactical business analysis is a result consistent with the evolving business goals and objectives of the organization and all affected stakeholders. Effective execution reduces the time and effort it takes to deliver the result and eliminates unnecessary stress for all involved.

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