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Business Analysis is a key process in the creation of a business solution. It brings together stakeholders and helps define their needs, map out a possible solution and prioritize that solution into milestones.
To execute the gap analysis necessary for this sort of work, you must have extensive knowledge about what techniques are available. Most entrepreneurs and marketing teams just rely on a technique similar to the SWOT analysis of Jollibee, but there are many other solutions available. In no particular order, here are ten top business analysis techniques:
1. UCD – User-Centered Design
This technique is ideal for a situation when you need to optimize your user experience or maximize ease of use in a product or system. This method allows you to create comprehensive personas based on real users so that developers can understand how these people will interact with whatever it is they’re developing.
Personas help the development process by allowing you to keep the user at the forefront of everything. Like most analysis techniques, UCD has its roots in marketing, where it was first used to market new products and make sure they would sell well.
2. Task Analysis
Task analysis is a good way to break down broader goals into specific tasks that need to be completed for those goals to be achieved. It’s useful not only for understanding the path toward success but also for finding areas where future improvements can be made.
This requires you to identify key milestones, then break them down into more manageable sub-milestones that are more easily achievable; this creates an environment that encourages shorter-term wins rather than one long stretch of nonstop progress.
Additionally, this technique forces you to think about what activities need to happen between milestones and how these actions will build on the previous tasks.
3. Kano Analysis
This business analysis technique is a relatively new idea, having been created in the 1980s by a Japanese quality control engineer named Noriaki Kano. The goal of this method is simple: understand customer satisfaction with a product or service by assessing the expectations that customers have for it.
To do this, you must first be clear with yourself as to precisely what features are necessary for your project before moving on to identify which aspects of those features will please users.
This can help bring cohesion and structure to your development process by making sure everyone on your team understands exactly what they’re working toward.
4. Contextual Inquiry
Developed by Hugh Beyer and Karen Holtzblatt, this technique is all about immersing yourself in your user’s world. By spending time with them in the environment where they’ll be using what you’ve created, not only do you get a better understanding of how it will work in real life but also gain insight into different situations that you may never have considered before.
It’s very easy for people to think they know how something works when they haven’t seen it in practice, so don’t assume anything based on just words or assumptions – get out there and see for yourself.
Storyboarding is essentially just creating an outline of whatever it is you’re trying to make. This is great for understanding and defining user interfaces and also for making sure that your design fits the structure of the category it’s in.
This technique helps you define what needs to go where, how users will interact with it and what their overall experience will look like; this includes things like where they’re likely to struggle and how to best guide them through such situations.
6. Affinity Diagramming
This method was developed by Toyota as a way to analyze problems that exist within an organization or system.
The basic idea here is that individual statements on which everyone can agree are grouped into larger clusters of concepts, then further clustered into different groups based on similar attributes until you have just one cluster remaining.
By enabling people to gather together all the information they have on a particular situation, this technique helps facilitate effective discussion and makes it easy for everyone to feel like their opinion has been heard.
7. KJ Analysis
KJ analysis is another cool business analysis technique that’s used when you’re trying to identify your customers’ pain points and what might be causing them so that you can come up with solutions to alleviate those problems before they even happen. The basic idea here is to create a grid with two axes: one representing the relative importance of each specific issue, and the other indicating how painful it will be to the customer if they aren’t addressed. This technique allows you to pinpoint a list of problems that need solving and then prioritize them based on how much pain each one will cause for your customers.
8. Tree Testing
Tree testing is just what it sounds like: a business analysis technique that helps you plan out user flows so you can see where potential roadblocks might be before they even happen.
It’s very important to get this right because no matter how detailed or thorough your design may be, there’s always a chance user will get stuck somewhere along the way — especially if they have to go back and forth between multiple screens to complete the process correctly.
Instead of trying to figure out what paths people are taking after-the-fact which will only make the problem harder to solve, use this technique to help you outline all potential paths and figure out which ones are likely to create stumbling blocks before it’s too late.
9. Goal-Question-Metric (GQM)
This technique encourages collaboration between development teams, the product owner or end-user communities, and senior managers.
10. The Five W’s and H (Who, What, When, Where, and Why)
These questions help business analysts to better understand their clients’ goals. Answering every single W will help understand the situation and find solutions.
Aside from the above ones, the following techniques are also productive.
Value Stream Mapping
This technique helps stakeholders identify the process flow needed to support a product or service. Understanding workflows also allows for decisions about where automation can improve performance.
Use Cases and User Stories
These techniques are used for describing anticipated product functionality from the perspective of targeted users or customer roles.
They often feature impact analysis along with documentation of user interface specifications, data format descriptions, etc. Use case diagrams to provide an overview of use cases, actors, and relationships between them while user stories describe specific functionalities expected in a product.
Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)
This technique is used to describe processes at a high level of abstraction, with simple symbols for activities and connectors that show when they happen in relation to each other. It allows stakeholders to see where a process can be automated or improved upon.
The Three Amigos Meetings
This familiar term refers to the three members of the most successful project teams: The Scrum Master, Product Owner, and Development Team Leader. Their interactions lead towards team success by way of having a clear understanding of who’s responsible for what within a project.