The purpose of Communicate Business Analysis Information is to ensure stakeholders have a shared understanding of business analysis information.
Business analysts must communicate appropriate information to stakeholders at the right time and in formats that meet their needs. Consideration is given to expressing the information in language, tone, and style that is appropriate to the audience.
Communication of business analysis information is bi-directional and iterative. It involves determining the recipients, content, purpose, context, and expected outcomes. Task Plan Stakeholder Engagement evaluates communication needs and plans anticipated messages.
Communicating information does not simply involve pushing information out and assuming it was received and understood. Business analysts engage stakeholders to ensure they understand the information and gain agreement. The business analyst acts on any disagreements. The method of delivering the information may need to change if the stakeholders are not receiving or understanding it. Multiple forms of communication might be required for the same information.
- Business Analysis Information: any kind of information at any level of detail that is used as an input or output of business analysis work. Business analysis information becomes an input for this task when the need is discovered to communicate the information to additional stakeholders.
- Stakeholder Engagement Approach: describes stakeholder groups, roles, and general needs regarding communication of business analysis information.
Figure 4.4.1: Communicate Business Analysis Information Input/Output Diagram
.1 Determine Objectives and Format of Communication
Business analysis information packages may be prepared for a number of reasons including—but not limited to—the following:
- communication of requirements and designs to stakeholders,
- early assessment of quality and planning,
- evaluation of possible alternatives,
- formal reviews and approvals,
- inputs to solution design,
- conformance to contractual and regulatory obligations, and
- maintenance for reuse.
The primary goal of developing a package is to convey information clearly and in usable format for continuing change activities. To help decide how to present requirements, business analysts ask the following types of questions:
- Who is the audience of the package?
- What will each type of stakeholder understand and need from the communication?
- What is each stakeholder’s preferred style of communication or learning?
- What information is important to communicate?
- Are the presentation and format of the package, and the information contained in the package, appropriate for the type of audience?
- How does the package support other activities?
- Are there any regulatory or contractual constraints to conform to?
Possible forms for packages may include:
- Formal Documentation: is usually based on a template used by the organization and may include text, matrices, or diagrams. It provides a stable, easy to use, long-term record of the information.
- Informal Documentation: may include text, diagrams, or matrices that are used during a change but are not part of a formal organizational process.
- Presentations: deliver a high-level overview appropriate for understanding goals of a change, functions of a solution, or information to support decision making.
Consideration is given to the best way to combine and present the materials to convey a cohesive and effective message to one or more stakeholder groups. Packages can be stored in different online or offline repositories, including documents or tools.
.2 Communicate Business Analysis Package
The purpose of communicating the business analysis package is to provide stakeholders with the appropriate level of detail about the change so they can understand the information it contains. Stakeholders are given the opportunity to review the package, ask questions about the information, and raise any concerns they may have.
Selecting the appropriate communication platform is also important. Common communication platforms include
- Group collaboration: used to communicate the package to a group of relevant stakeholders at the same time. It allows immediate discussion about the information and related issues.
- Individual collaboration: used to communicate the package to a single stakeholder at a time. It can be used to gain individual understanding of the information when a group setting is not feasible, most productive, or going to yield the best results.
- E-mail or other non-verbal methods: used to communicate the package when there is a high maturity level of information that will need little or no verbal explanation to support it.
4.4.5 Guidelines and Tools
- Business Analysis Approach: describes how the various types of information will be disseminated rather than what will be disseminated. It describes the level of detail and formality required, frequency of the communications, and how communications could be affected by the number and geographic dispersion of stakeholders.
- Information Management Approach: helps determine how business analysis information will be packaged and communicated to stakeholders.
- Interviews: used to individually communicate information to stakeholders.
- Reviews: used to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to express feedback, request required adjustments, understand required responses and actions, and agree or provide approvals. Reviews can be used during group or individual collaboration.
- Workshops: used to provide stakeholders with an opportunity to express feedback and to understand required adjustments, responses, and actions. They are also useful for gaining consensus and providing approvals. Typically used during group collaboration.
- End User: needs to be communicated with frequently so they are aware of relevant business analysis information.
- Customer: needs to be communicated with frequently so they are aware of relevant business analysis information.
- Domain Subject Matter Expert: needs to understand the business analysis information as part of confirming and validating it throughout the change initiative.
- Implementation Subject Matter Expert: needs to be aware of and understand the business analysis information, particularly requirements and designs, for implementation purposes.
- Tester: needs to be aware of and understand the business analysis information, particularly requirements and designs for testing purposes.
- Any stakeholder: all types of stakeholders will likely need to be communicated with at some point during the change initiative.
- Business Analysis Information (communicated): business analysis information is considered communicated when the target stakeholders have reached an understanding of its content and implications.