A wide range of people with various titles roles and responsibilities actually perform business analysis within an organization. There are fundamentally three different flavors or levels of business analysis;
- Strategic business analysis or Enterprise analysis
- Tactical business analysis and
- Operational business analysis.
Strategic business analysis is the study of business visions, goals, objectives and strategies of an organization or an organizational unit to identify the desired future. It encompasses the analysis of existing organizational structure, policies, politics, problems, opportunities and application architecture to build a business case for change. This analysis employs techniques such as variance analysis, feasibility analysis, force field analysis, decision analysis and key performance indicators to support senior management in the decision making process. The primary outcome of this work is a set of defined prioritized projects and initiatives that the organization undertakes to create the desired future.
Tactical business analysis is at the project or initiative level to flush out the details of the proposed solution and to ensure that it meets the needs of the business community. Commonly used techniques at this level includes stake holder identification, interviewing, facilitation, base lining, coverage matrices, Moscow analysis, benchmarking, business rules analysis, change management, process and data modeling and functional decomposition. In an agile environment tactical business analysis adds to the product backlog and or released plans expressed in themes, business epics, architecture epics, user stories and user story epics. In a traditional setting the primary outcome of tactical business analysis is a set of textual and or modeled business and stakeholder requirements.
Operational business analyst work on specific business applications, in an agile approach they are members of the development team and will be heavily involved in user story elaboration and iteration or sprint planning. If they are the stewards of a packaged application they will deal primarily with identifying how to manage the application parameters to meet evolving business needs. Their primary techniques include meeting facilitation, checklist management, prioritization, process mapping and analysis, business rule analysis, lessons learned analysis and interface analysis.