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So, everyone seems to want to know “Just tell me what I need to create?”  and “What are my deliverables?”

This is a tricky question for a Business Analyst!  Why?  It depends!

My favorite way to think about “deliverables” and “artifacts” that BAs create is that we create them to help ourselves think, facilitate, and work the analysis process.  When you can embrace this, you are on your way to great analysis.  These documents may or may not be formal, approved, shown to anyone, reviewed, finished, or even pretty!  The most important part about them IS not just “checking the box” and “filling them out”, it’s all about the thinking process these lead you through, and this thinking process changes how you interact, think, collaborate, and the questions you ask.  All of this impacts the quality of your analysis work!

The term “Deliverables” often refers to what project teams deliver to the organization, and the BA role sits in the middle of the value stream of these team deliverables.  For example, teams deliver working software or operational process changes.  The BA deliverables, are part of the value chain, and may not be valuable on their own to the organization. Think about this: “How much would someone pay for that document?”  Not as much as they will pay for a completely working new feature!  Documents might be needed for compliance, process, or even future look back purposes, but what I usually find is many organizations that think the business analysis process takes too long, also are challenged with documenting far too much detail that is actually needed or even used later.

Different teams, organizations, and project approaches define “deliverable” differently; some have formally defined BA deliverables, and others will not have any defined at all.  No matter which situation you are in, or anywhere in between, it’s important to have the right mindset and ask the right questions.

Whenever you are asked to create something (deliverable, document, or preparing for a key meeting), its critical to understand and figure out:

  1. The purpose of the deliverable, artifact, document, or meeting
  2. The audience and what will they use this for

From there, you will need to keep a close eye and be collaborative with others on the appropriate level of detail for what you are working on.  The tough part here is that often your team or stakeholders will ask for a different level of detail.  Leaders will ask for more summary information and technical team members often ask for more detail.  This can be confusing to address.  If you do what everyone asks for, you will never be done and often create poor inputs to a downstream process without realizing it.

The trick is to honor your stakeholder’s needs and intent without compromising the BA mindset and role.

The best practices being taught in this course will help you:

  • Determine the right level of detail and purpose for what you are working on
  • Understand how to address requests for more or less detail

Let’s dig in!