Introduction to Business Analysis & Needs Assessment

Explore the role of business analysts in project and organizational environments, learn what effective business analysis can accomplish, and discover how to effectively identify and assess needs to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities.
Course info
Rating
(173)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Dec 22, 2015
Duration
2h 58m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Rating
(173)
Level
Beginner
Updated
Dec 22, 2015
Duration
2h 58m
Description

Business analysis is increasingly vital to today's business environment. By identifying problems and opportunities, discovering and recommending solutions, and fostering a comprehensive understanding of stakeholder requirements, business analysts can help organizations choose and structure projects and initiatives more effectively. This course introduces the work of business analysis, explores who undertakes business analyst functions, and the type of skills necessary to conduct business analysis successfully. Then, attention turns to needs assessment, where problems and opportunities are identified, organizational ability to respond is assessed, recommendations for action are developed, feasibility is weighed for various options, best options are selected, and business cases for action are developed.

About the author
About the author

Casey has experience leading projects in many fields, including healthcare, digital media, mobile app development, consumer product design, education, and event management. He's constantly in pursuit of new challenges and loves to share what he learns along the way with others.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi everyone. My name is Casey Ayers and welcome to my course, Introduction to Business Analysis and Needs Assessment. I'm the author of Pluralsight series of PMP prep courses, and it's now my pleasure to help you explore the world of business analysis. Business analysis is increasingly vital to today's business environment. By identifying problems and opportunities, discovering and recommending solutions, and helping to foster a comprehensive understanding of stakeholder requirements, business analysts can help organizations choose and structure projects and initiatives more effectively. This course is the first in a five course series on business analysis. In this course we'll look at introducing business analysis at a high level, how to identify problems and opportunities, how to evaluate your organizations current capabilities, and how to define the capabilities you'll need in order to leverage the opportunity or solve the problem that you've identified. By the end of this course you'll know what business analysts are responsible for accomplishing in their organizations, and what's required for them to be effective in their work. Before beginning the course you should have an interest in business analysis and at least a bit of exposure to project management or business analysis within your organization. This course, and others in the series, can help you not only learn more about business analysis, but also prepare for business analysis certifications like the CBAP or PMI-PBA or this course can also be helpful in earning continuing education credit towards certifications like the PMP. I hope you'll join me on this journey to learn more about business analysis with the Introduction to Business Analysis and Needs Assessment course at Pluralsight.

Identifying Problems & Opportunities
Welcome back. In this module we're going to start by discussing how we assess business needs, and what we need to keep in mind when we're doing so. Then we'll take a closer look at stakeholders and their role within needs analysis. Who are some of the key stakeholders that should be involved in almost any type of business analysis, and what type of information should we seek to get from them, and how should we interact with them in order to be effective in our role? Then we'll look at goals and objectives, and how these differ from the needs and requirements we spoke about earlier, what the formal definitions of these might be, and how we can set effective objectives as part of our work in business analysis in creating a proposal for action to be taken. Then, we'll look at ranking objectives, how we can determine which ones are most important, and where we should place our focus once work does begin on implementing a solution. Let's get started.

Comparing Organizational Capabilities & Requirements
Welcome back. In this module we're going to focus on comparing organizational capabilities to the requirements that we have outlined in order to reach our objectives. To do so we're going to look at a number of different concepts beginning with the business architecture, before moving onto understanding the state of the organization how it exists today. Then, we'll look at organizational assessment techniques that can be used in order to better understand what our capabilities are, and what will be required to get them to that desired future state necessary to complete objectives. After that we'll look at determining required capabilities, so that we can add some specificity to what that future state will require, and then how to compare those existing and required capabilities using gap analysis and other techniques in order to determine what we have to do to go from here to there. Let's get started.

Recommending Action
Welcome back. In this module we're going to look at Recommending Action. Now that we've defined where we currently are, where we'd like to be, and laid out some objectives it's time to make some decisions and recommendations that we can pass along to potential project sponsors, so that action can begin to take place. First, We'll look at some of what goes into Recommending Action, and then we'll look at gauging option feasibility. Here we're going to determine which of the several different methods that could get us to that future state we desire might be best. Then we'll look at how to rank and weight them based on the information we're able to find during that feasibility analysis. After that we'll look at value projection methods that can give us an idea of the cost benefit for each different alternative we're thinking about proposing. Then we'll look at creating a business case around the alternative or option that we think is best for the business and the organization moving forward. Let's get started.