Imagine you go to a Restaurant. Sit at a table and you see a person walking towards you and hands you over the menu, gives you few minutes to read and understand what you want to eat. A little later, he comes back and takes your order and before he does that he answers any questions you may have or in case you want a custom made just for you, he checks with that the chef inside and confirms if its possible or not. Finally you order arrives, you eat it, pay the bill and leave.
Pretty much the same happens in a software business that for every customer there is a assigned Business Analyst who spends enormous hours with the customer to understand, elicit, document requirements. Take those to the development team and gets the software developed and delivers to the customer.
There are few add-ons that one needs to note –
Domain – Imagine a steward working in Chinese restaurant moves to work in a american restaurant OR the other way around. This is called Domain expertise. Steward from Chinese place has that specific domain expertise compared to the one who is from American restaurant. In software business as well there are domain experts like Retail, Manufacturing, Pharma, Sales, IT, Financial etc.,
Documentation – the menu can be compared to the company profile, software and services, products that are ready off the shelf or made to order. Across domains customers are looking for more customized software. The BA uses various documentation to track these that are used as references or guide while the actual solution is built.
Communication, Stakeholder, Risk and Project Management are few more areas that the BA should be hands on during the entire development duration. These help the BA to be on top of the job and ensure the product or solution developed meet the customer requirements 100% and the company’s reputation in the market gets better.