Business analysis

Requirement analysis is a part of the project lifecycle, and it usually starts at the stage when business stakeholders propose a solution. As part of requirement analysis technique, a business analyst needs to conduct interviews to understand the intention of requirements which include –

What is Business Process Analysis?

Business process analysis (BPA) is an approach to analyzing business operation processes. It is a detailed, multi-step examination of each part of a process to identify what is working well in your current process, what needs to be improved and how any necessary improvements can best be made. There are different business process analysis methods, but all apply the underlying principle that optimized systems generate better overall business results.

Common desired outcomes of BPA are greater cost savings, increased revenue and better business engagement. For instance, you might use BPA to analyze customer engagement and where there are downturns, blocks or unexpectedly low conversions. Business process analysis can also reveal what in your business operations or policies creates low employee engagement.

Steps to Perform a Business Analysis

Starting Point: The first step in the process is to identify a problem, an issue, or some other business need. Let’s say that you are the owner of a small motorcycle dealership. In addition to selling bikes, your store does repairs and maintenance, sells riding gear, and custom orders parts for your customers. You have received numerous complaints from the staff and customers about the accuracy of your inventory system. The usual problem is for the system to show parts and merchandise as being in stock, when none are actually available. This often means that a repair job is not finished on schedule, which really irritates your customers.

Designate Business Analysis Team: The next step is to assign an individual or a team to perform the business analysis. Usually the business analysis team is the go-between and provides organization, strategic guidance, documentation, clarification, and assistance with political issues. The objective of the business analysis is to efficiently resolve the problem or issue to the satisfaction of all parties. Perhaps the most important factor in this process is full and open communication between all parties. For our example, you assign the task of solving the inventory system problems to your business manager and her assistant.

Identify Current Business Process: In the business analysis process diagram, the column on the right represents the existing business process and the people currently responsible for the area containing the problem. In our example, the business process would be the inventory system and the people would be the shop manager, the sales manager, and the accountant.

Identify Stakeholders: The left-hand column on the diagram represents all of the other stakeholders. These will vary from project to project. For example, stakeholders can include customers, suppliers, regulatory officials, financial reporting experts, and external auditors. In our example, the owner and the customers are certainly stakeholders. The sales personnel are also stakeholders because they have to deal with angry customers.

Identify Requirements: Initially, it is crucial that the stakeholder requirements are clearly identified and defined. If we don’t do this, it will be impossible to successfully resolve the problem. Examples of techniques that can be used to help define what the stakeholders need include:

In our example, your customers want their work done on time and they want the parts they ordered to be available as promised. As the owner, you want to keep the customers happy. You also need accurate inventory records so that your shop area can work efficiently and the sales staff can concentrate on selling merchandise.

Identify Current Business Process and Capabilities: Many of the same techniques that we use to identify stakeholder requirements can also be used to define the current business process and capabilities. We would rely heavily upon systems analysis techniques, modeling, research, and the review of documentation. In our example, the current business process is the existing inventory system. This would also include receiving inventory shipments and placing the items on the shelves, ordering inventory, and recording sales.

Identify Differences: Any differences between what the stakeholders require and what the current business process can provide represent unsatisfied stakeholder needs. These are the issues that must be resolved. In our example, the current system for keeping track of our inventory items isn’t working. We can’t operate efficiently and keep our customers happy until we find and correct the problems.

Identify Potential Solutions: In our store, we could begin by reviewing how we order and receive inventory items. For example, how and when do we add new items to our inventory system? Do the sales personnel always remember to document and record a sale, and how is the item removed from the inventory system? We would also look at the physical security of the inventory. Is inventory theft a real possibility?

Perhaps something as simple as assigning one person to record all sales tickets and inventory receipts might be an adequate solution. Maybe a partial solution would be to move the riding gear displays further from the exits in order to make shoplifting more difficult. As shown in the business analysis process diagram, any potential solutions should be reviewed and commented upon by both the stakeholders and the people involved in the current business process.

Implement Changes: Let’s assume that we changed several procedures, such as recording sales invoices and recording merchandise receipts. We also improved the physical security of the more expensive inventory items. We think we fixed the problem. We can track our success by doing customer satisfaction surveys, recording completion times on jobs, and recording any unexpected out-of-stock instances. We should also count our inventories periodically and record any differences with the inventory system. In short, we shouldn’t just assume that we fixed the problem.

PESTLE Analysis


In the above picture, we have highlighted some of the key factors which drive the PESTLE parameters. Hence, the task of a business analyst is to apply PESTLE analysis technique to understand and identify the factors within the environment of the organization operates and analyze how those PESTLE factors will influence the future performance of the organization.

PESTLE is a simple and easy framework for business analysis which involves cross-functional skills of a business analyst along with his expertise. With an effective PESTLE analysis, we can reduce the potential threats of an organization. Moreover, it opens up the scopes to exploit the opportunities for entering into new markets globally.

User Stories

This is a modern business analysis technique mostly used in the Agile model where there is a need for iterations for requirement gathering, designing and building a project. In this technique, requirements are collected from end users point of views to build the best solution.

CATWOE is a generic thinking way for business analysis to understand what a business is trying to achieve. It identifies what the problem areas are and how the solution will impact the business and its associated people.


The CATWOE analysis brings up the different stakeholders’ perceptions on a common platform. Hence, it provides a holistic understanding regarding assumption, the integrity of the data, ethical angle. It helps a business analyst to prioritize different perspectives depending on its merits.


To conclude, all the techniques mentioned above are useful and must be known to a business analyst who wants to practice best business analysis techniques. Moreover, these techniques are emphasized explicitly in any industry recognized business analysis certification like CCBA , ECBA , CBAP, and PMI-PBA .

At Whizlabs we provide the training solutions for the certifications mentioned above, we thoroughly guide the test takers on these best business analysis techniques with examples and case studies. These guides help to assess and solve the business problems asked in the exams using the techniques mentioned above.

About Dharmalingam N

Dharmalingam.N holds a master degree in Business Administration and writes on a wide range of topics ranging from technology to business analysis. He has a background in Relationship Management. Some of the topics he has written about and that have been published include; project management, business analysis and customer engagement.