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Why Defining the Business Need is Critical

defining the business need

Desigan Vandayar
6 November 2020

Defining the Business Need is Critical 

Defining the business need early in the process gives a clear understanding of why the change is being initiated. The process of defining a desired future state uses the identified business needs to evaluate potential solutions. Any solution option that does not satisfy the business need should be eliminated from consideration because it serves no purpose.

Identifying the business need is also necessary to understand the current state. Business needs related to the current state help to reveal existing constraints that need to be taken into consideration. Having this additional context upfront will lead to fewer problems and revisions as the project matures. Addressing business needs from a current state perspective helps present why the existing process is no longer viable.

defining the business need

Increased Motivation 

Goals and objectives are the core of any project or initiative. The ability to effectively communicate these can aid in getting buy-in from stakeholders and the project team. Understanding how the project’s goals and objectives satisfy a business need can motivate participants to put their best foot forward. That’s why defining the business need is critical. 

Reduces Conflict 

When changes to requirements are proposed an assessment must be made of the change’s relevance and value. Clearly communicated business needs allow the business analyst to quickly weed out change requests that are not in scope. They can then effectively determine requirement changes that sufficiently address a need. 

Denied change requests are better received when the business analyst can explain the change does not address the needs.

Stakeholder Satisfaction 

There is nothing worse than spending time and effort on a project to end up with stakeholders that are not satisfied. Projects that lose sight of the business need that initiated the change are destined to result in wasted time as changes are made that do not adequately solve a problem or seize an opportunity the way the stakeholders had envisioned. 

As a business analyst, you can increase the likelihood of stakeholder satisfaction by validating requirements, designs, and change requests against the business need throughout the life of the project to ensure that needs are being met.

Final Thoughts 

In closing, some of the benefits of defining business needs at the beginning of a change, project or initiative include presenting the purpose of the initiative as well as motivating stakeholders to buy into the change. In addition, a clearly identified and communicated business need reduces conflict and greatly increases the likelihood that stakeholders will be satisfied with the change.  

As a business analyst, you can assist in identifying business needs by performing a strategy analysis using tools such as a business case, balanced scorecard and SWOT analysis.


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