By: Cindy Frazier, Senior Consultant
That is exactly what executives want to hear prior to the rollout of their latest product. And how can a good business analyst contribute to a successful release? Learn, confirm, and compare. These three words can guide you through an approach to identifying the requirements for supporting the newest product offering. Whether you are on the business or technology side, your role as a business analyst is to help provide the necessary processes for the features of the latest product released.
Learn – Your company has developed a product with a unique feature that will most likely help increase and distinguish your company’s standing in the marketplace. Get in early and understand what is new with this product. Evaluate why it is important to your company and what they hope to gain from this new rollout. To do this, make time to meet with representatives from Product Development, Sales, and Marketing. Getting their insight into the key differentiators of the product will provide you with a greater depth of information that you can use to guide your business customers to the right requirement solutions.
Confirm – Make sure that you completely comprehend all of the nuances that the new product will offer. Don’t just read the product specifications – ask for examples of the features. Spend time with the product actuary to be sure that you know the inner workings of the features and their respective calculations. This will allow you to adequately explain the product to your business customers. As a business analyst, you play an important role in helping both the business and technology areas identify, design, and build the support needed to administer the new product. As you work with the business, you need to share your knowledge to help the company identify how they can gain the assistance necessary for their daily processing. Finally, you can help the technology areas learn the pain points that the business will encounter if the technology is not properly in place at the time of launch.
Compare – Sometimes, the best way to highlight new things is to draw from what people already know. You can help your business and technology partners understand the new product and features by drawing out how the product differs from what exists today. It is easier to identify the new requirements by leveraging what is available instead of starting with a blank page. This approach can be a great asset to both the business and technology areas. When it comes to design and development, borrowing from existing code or processes can be a great starting point. By taking what exists today and making the appropriate modifications, you can fast-track not only the ever-important documentation effort but also other deliverables. With this approach, you will also be able to aid the learning curves that will come with the rollout and implementation of the new product.
It may sound simple, but your ability to maximize the “learn, confirm, and compare” model will greatly benefit your ability as a business analyst. Through the constant use of this approach, you can increase your ability to help your customers achieve success by ensuring that they are properly prepared for new product rollouts.