1. Who is a Salesforce business analyst? What are the main responsibilities?
A Salesforce business analyst acts as a liaison between business stakeholders and development teams. The BA's role is to analyze business challenges and needs and help the customer and development team to design and deliver the best-fitting solution. Salesforce BAs usually combine in-depth expertise in a particular industry or a domain with the knowledge of all things Salesforce, starting from the main clouds and platform capabilities.
As for everyday responsibilities, they vary from company to company, and depend largely on the stage of the project. However, these 6 type of tasks can be found in any BA's daily plan:
Сommunication. Business analyst conducts, organizes, and participates in meetings with stakeholders, project team members, and prospects, and collaborates with sales and customer success managers to ensure that customers get the best consulting we can provide.
Research. BAs need to collect and study information from subject-matter experts, end-users, and product owners in order to understand the context and purpose of the changes an organization is requesting.
Analysis and design. The objective of a BA during this stage is to apply complex analytical skills to "close" the customer's business pains with concise and effective solution design. He or she combines business processes into one large working system, or even reorganizes them, or creates them from scratch.
Requirements documenting. After that, even during the research stage, a BA has to depict all the acquired information in a way that stakeholders and all involved specialists can easily understand.
A business analyst rarely finds him/herself in the ideal context, with enough time and resources for requirements discovery and analysis. That is why it is crucial to identify and focus on core requirements that will form the basis of solution design and scope definition.
Quality Control. Here, a business analyst participates in beta testing and acceptance testing. He/She's like the source of truth for developers and quality assurance engineers, bridging them with the business. Moreover, a BA overviews and analyzes bugs and constraints that occur in development and helps the team to foresee such issues in the future.
Support. Analysts can support customers throughout the whole project cycle, consulting them on various implementation issues and tracing change requests and new details that should be added. Also, in some projects, analysts conduct training for end-users or champions from the client's team and knowledge transfer sessions for the development team or new members on the client's side.
2. Why are BA services required BEFORE starting a project?
Quite often, companies involve business analysts starting from the requirements' discovery stage. But having a BA who conveyed the initial discovery and was involved actively in the solution design and scope definition would bring more benefits in the long run.
Without BA, you risk returning to the starting point and adding to that a significant loss of time and financial resources.
To avoid the implementation of too complex and redundant or, on the contrary, too insufficient solutions, it's highly recommended to analyze business processes together with a specialist.
Salesforce consultants and/or business analysts with Salesforce expertise can also help you to estimate different solutions and plan a rollout strategy for your organization. This is a person who sees the needs of your business in advance, implementing Salesforce solutions that suit you.
Every project includes a so-called "management triangle", which consists of a completion date, planned budget, and scope of work. A business analyst is able to reduce the costs of all the listed components of the trio.
1. Poorly formulated business goals and product requirements lead to the failure of more than half of the projects
2. Reconstruction of processes after the start of the project can be about 40% of its initial cost due to the accumulation of technical debt
3. Time is money: the hours saved on the development and implementation of redundant functionality, ⅔ of which is not used in the future, can be spent on more important things
That is why time and resources invested in business analysis will definitely pay off.
3. Do you have any personal recommendations as a Salesforce business analyst?
Oh, sure. We want to mention the importance of documentation.
Without it, the team would lack a high-level view of the project, as well as the business goals and objectives of the ready system. Also, the documentation reflects an extremely important layer of context that describes the user experience – how the system should eventually look and be used, what key features it should have at the release stage.
Projects that require post-implementation support and minor implementations in some cases may only need an experienced technical lead. However, initial decisions and requirements for the project must be spelled out in accurate and concise documentation.
In any bad occasion, you will always go back to basics, and documentation is that basics in business analysis.
Another recommendation concerns the type of BA services that you may consider for your business. From our experience, complex Salesforce challenges are solved much more efficiently when you can hire a reliable contractor, able to provide a turnkey project with a team of in-house consultants, developers, and BAs.
Unlike third-party BA services, there are fewer risks associated with communication issues, a lack of Salesforce expertise, and time-consuming management in this scenario.
The Salesforce ecosystem is huge, and a business analyst is exactly the one who can guide you through it with minimum cost and maximum efficiency.
In our next article, we'll cover the BA competencies matrix that can be used as a roadmap for those starting their BA career or entering the Salesforce domain.
Feeling like teaming up with us at Twistellar? We are excited too!Whether you'd like to customize your org, build a bespoke application or integrate a third-party tool, Twistellar is ready to help you.