11/05/15

We are a Go for Launch!

We are a go for launch

…is exactly what executives want to hear prior to the roll out of their latest product.  And how can a good Business Analyst contribute to the successful release?  Learn, confirm and compare.  These key words can guide you through a three prong approach to identify the requirements for supporting the newest offering.  Whether you are a BA within the business or technology side, your role is to contribute to providing the necessary processes for all the features in the latest product released.

Learn – Your company has come up with a new product and more than likely there is a new feature in this offering that will help to distinguish or increase your company’s standing in the market place.  Get in early, and understand what is new with this product.  Value why it is important to your company, and what they truly hope to gain from this new roll out.  To do this, make time to meet with the representatives from Product Development and Sales / Marketing.   Getting their insight into the product, the key differentiators and the driving need for this launch at this time, will provide you with a greater depth of information that you can use to guide your business customers to the right requirement solutions.

Confirm – to make sure you totally comprehend all the nuances that the new product will offer.   Don’t just read the product specifications; ask for examples on the features.  Spend time with the product actuary, to be sure that you know the inner workings of the features and their respective calculations such that you can explain them to your business customers.   As a BA, you play an important role in helping both the business and technology areas identify, design and build the support to administer the new product.   As you work with the business, you need to share your knowledge, to help them identify what is needed to provide the necessary assistance to their daily processing.  And while working with the technology areas, you can aid them in learning the pain points that the business will encounter if the technology is not properly in place to maintain the launch.

Compare – sometimes the best way to highlight new things, is to draw from what people already know.  You can really help your business and technology partners ‘get’ the new product / features, by drawing out what is different than what exists today.  It is much easier to identify the new requirements, by leverage what is available, rather than starting with a blank page.  This approach can be a great asset not only to the business, but the technology areas.  When it comes to the design and development, borrowing from existing code and or processes can be a great starting point.  Just think of the advantage this can have for the launch by saving time and money.  By taking what exists today, and making the appropriate modifications, you can fast-track the effort not only for the ever important documentations, but all the other deliverables too.  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 BA.  Through the constant use of this approach, you can increase your skills and in turn help your customers achieve success in ensuring that they are properly prepared for any new product rollouts.