Every business owner desires an operations system that is optimal and seamless for efficient service provision. You can never be sure if your process meets such thresholds until you do a business analysis. A business analysis looks at a project and identifies how to improve its processes for better productivity and workflow.
The analysis can be broad or narrow depending on the nature and needs of your business. There are also essential guidelines you can use to obtain a credible assessment of your operations. You should first identify the objectives before assessing the processes. The next step is to involve all stakeholders and define the project requirements.
The last steps are to implement the solutions from the assessment and consequently monitor and review the implementation progress. Embarking on business analysis is a proven best practice that helps your organization avoid unnecessary costs and identify new growth opportunities.
Setting the objectives before delving into a business analysis sets the scope of the project and assists in measuring the achievements after implementation. When defining the project objectives, you need to ask yourself why the undertaking is critical or beneficial to the business. The answers form the basis of the project objectives.
It is essential to identify the desired outcomes or goals of the project. The Outcome is the resultant change as a direct result of implementation activities. The project will also have an overall Goal that splits into multiple objectives. Be sure the goals and expectations are specific and attainable, so no confusion or inconsistency reigns when implementing the project.
Assess the Situation
After the project objectives are in place, you need to assess the situation in line with the project scope. You should gather all the information available about the project up to this point. Examples of information aspects for a situation assessment include – data on root causes of the problem, severity of the problem, options of solutions, etc.
You can run any analytics or reports that give you further insights into the past and current processes leading to the problem. You must review all the information carefully and obtain other views, to understand the current situation. An error in assessment can result in inaccurate problem diagnosis and prescriptive solutions.
Stakeholder involvement is a critical success factor in project implementation. Involving stakeholders ensures that you get buy-in and cooperation for a successful implementation. The essential stakeholders to include in a typical project are the business owner/senior management (sponsor), project team, staff, etc.
You must get all the necessary parties involved to hear their thoughts and offer your insights. While you don’t want to have too many cooks in the kitchen, you also want to make sure all perspectives are heard and considered. The level of involvement from various parties depends on your project scope. Use your best judgment in deciding who should be involved and to what extent.
Detail Project Requirements
It is vital to have a project requirements template detailing activities, tasks, team members responsible, and due dates. You should assign roles and establish expectations for your team breaking down the project tasks. You can take advantage of technology to automate the project requirements schedule.
Agile project management can help to make this step more organized and efficient. Such tools/software schedules work seamlessly and team members provide updates that you have a view at the click of a button. You need to ensure all the project details have adequate detail and specific direction given to the team.
Implement the Solution
After setting the project scope, getting feedback & buy-in from stakeholders, and your project framework in place, it is time to implement the proposed solution. Depending on the solution that your analysis identifies, you may need to take time to train your staff on new processes or programs.
Training empowers the team members to utilize the new solutions seamlessly and helps resist change to new undertakings. You need not think of the training resource investment as an added expense or wasted time, but rather a venture that will pay back exponentially over time.
Review and Feedback
Project review and feedback is an essential exercise that monitors the project implementation progress to identify aspects for corrective action. After the project is complete, continue to review the process for further improvements.
You can ask your team members or clients for feedback on how the solution works for them and what they think could be improved moving forward. Also, offer your team feedback on how they can improve their work.
Conduct a Business Analysis and Continuously Improve Your Business
Business analysis can, at first sight, appear to be a tedious process but one worth the resource investment. The assessment helps you to reflect on aspects of the business which worked in the past but, the current events declare them irrelevant. You continuously improve and bring excellence to your business operations.