Unravelling the Business Analysis Services Framework: A Deep Dive into Business Analyst's services

Kenneth Gray

1. Situation Investigation and Problem Analysis


This is the foundation stage where Business Analysts (BAs)start their journey. It involves:

Understanding the Current State: BAs must uncover and assess the current business environment for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). I discussed what a SWOT analysis is in this post.   

Identifying Problems: BAs can identify problems through communicating with stakeholders, reading documentation, and monitoring processes. It’s important at this stage the BA does not make assumptions as to what the problem is, instead they must recognise that different stakeholders have different perspectives on the business situation.

Root Cause Analysis: Problem identification isn't enough. BAs must delve deeper to uncover the underlying causes of these issues. This is where a 'gap analysis' is crucial to identify the current (as is) state which is then compared to the future (to be). A POPIT analysis (People, organisation, processes, information, technology) can identify gaps where action is needed to deal with the gaps.

What is the key takeaway? It is impossible to come up with effective solutions without having a solid understanding of the existing situation and the root causes of problems.


2. Feasibility and Business Case Development


Once problems are identified, the next step involves:

Exploring Solutions: There may be multiple solutions to the identified problems. BAs must investigate all options. Remove unworkable options. Analyse the risks and impacts of each option. 

Feasibility Studies: Every option must be assessed for feasibility. This comprises financial, business and technical factors.

Building the Business Case: BAs summarise their results into a convincing business case that details each solution's benefits, risks, costs, and implications. Whilst also making sure they are aligned to the strategic goals of the organisation.

3. Business Process Improvement


With a clear direction set, the focus shifts to refining business processes:

Mapping Current Processes: By mapping current (as is) processes with Unified Modelling Language (UML) or Business Process Model Notation, Value chain / value stream analysis, BAs detail each step.

Identifying Inefficiencies: Mapping processes helps identify bottlenecks, redundancies, and areas of waste.

Redesigning Processes: BAs suggest streamlining processes to address identified inefficiencies.


4. Requirements Definition


This stage is crucial to connecting problems to technical solutions:

Gathering Requirements: BAs interact with stakeholders to elicit, analyse and define the requirements that are to be fulfilled by the new system. 

Validating and prioritising: Requirements are reviewed with stakeholders for accuracy, relevance, and whether they are aligned with the project scope and business goals. Traceability is then established based on business needs.

Documenting Requirements: BAs document requirements using process and data modelling - these requirements are then managed for traceability and change control. 


5. Business Acceptance Testing


Before solutions are fully implemented, they undergo rigorous testing: In this service, BAs support business staff in testing the solution.

Designing Test Cases: BAs assist the business staff in designing test scenarios and test cases based on the defined requirements.

Executing Tests: Defined tests are conducted to ensure the solution meets the requirements and doesn't introduce new issues with the business staff.

Feedback Loop: Discrepancies between the solution and requirements are fed back to the development team for resolution


6. Business Change Deployment


The final step entails deploying the solution across the entire organisation:


Training and Support: BAs train users and provide post-deployment support.

Monitoring Adoption: After deployment, it is critical to monitor how well the solution is being adopted and if it's delivering the expected benefits.

Review and Continuous Improvement: Post-deployment reviews ensure lessons are learnt and continual improvement becomes apart the organisation's culture.




The Business Analysis Services Framework, as described in the BCS Business Analysis 4th Edition, covers the services provided by business analysts and offers a holistic approach to tackling business challenges. Business Analysts can ensure they are bringing maximum value to their organisations by understanding and mastering each of the six core service, driving change that is both effective and sustainable.