Effective Business Analytics (BA). Stop losing your time & money
If you’ve ever tried to google something about Business analysis, you probably went through a lot of research on the topic. You were taught to make complex graphics, think through models and analyze the audience. But I want to look on BA from the practical point of view.
I’m about to tell you how BA helps me to solve a lot of problems and issues that inevitably arise in through the development. process And share my experience how to minimize risks, save time and increase revenue.
Life In The Fast Lane
It so happened, that I started working with several small teams as a Consultant, Project Manager, and Business Analyst. As a result, I realized that I can lead a project from the pre-sale to the launch on my own, by supporting of mine or a third-party team.
However, I couldn’t help but notice that in many companies the estimate is made out of thin air, planning is missing completely, a design is done by artists and TOR is not written at all. It’s easy to anticipate what this leads to.
Companies are looking for designers who draw perfectly and perfect in case it is based on a Technical Specification. The fact is that the planner’s work is paid lower. Imagine that the person who is responsible for creating the system is considered useless and unclaimed. Thus, it’s also no wonder that the system becomes the same.
Too Many Gaps
If you are getting involved in the development process, probably, you have difficulty in solving next issues at the beginning of the project:
● a lack of time or unwillingness to spend a lot of time for a detailed estimation because a project might not start at all;
● the fear to take a project since a client has the poor quality specification or it’s not completely clear what actually should be done;
● difficulties in explaining reasons why it’s necessary to implement particular features, why you have such rates or why you set this price. Briefly, difficulties in selling.
● difficulties with subsequent work or a project from the side when you come across with lots of unknown facts, overtimes, work without profit and another “experience.”
These issues are well-known for everyone who is responsible for the start of development.They might cause you considerable discomfort. Let’s try to find out where they come from.
Communication With Clients Or What John Wants
In order to understand how it’s work let’s consider a few customers’ offers something typical related to the online shop and something more complex, such as a small CRM or a startup.
My name is John. I want a shop similar to shop.com but only for the shoes selling.
Our client will receive dozens of well-described and nice portfolio offers that will look about the same:
We’re developing the coolest e-commerce on Magento. Take a look at our 10K links projects. We can easily create a similar within 2 month and at a price of 10K.
We can create your shop based on OpenCart within 2 months and at a price of 3K.
The truth is, John doesn’t understand the difference between WP, Opencart, Magento and other technologies. He wants the shop and that’s all. As you don’t understand what the shop.com is hiding under the user-friendly interface and what John might necessarily need from it. You’re trying to offer him the template solution that you’ve been already selling.
As a result, you’re tasked with breaking through dozens of similar offers. Your employee benefits are not so clear as well because the client receives 10 alternatives.
What am I doing? What are my next steps?
I start communicating, asking a prospective client:
● Could you please tell me more about the product you’re selling? What is the specifics of your product?
● What do the customers ask you most often?
● Wouldn’t it be great if the buyer can get answers to these questions directly on the website?
It may seem like a waste of time, but in such a way you stand out from the crowd. You present yourself as a specialist who’s not willing to create just the 20th website in a portfolio, but something interesting and special instead.
There’s no need to shout how wonderful you are to a client. That you’re more professional than others in the current field and have a dozen years of experience. Sometimes within those dozen years, many still can’t create anything worthwhile.
It’s important to make the client believe that you’re highly motivated and can create something unique.
You should force him/her to doubt others and engage in a constructive dialogue. Go deeper. Think about the SWOT – analysis. Think about a value that you can give to your customer.
My name is Chris. We want to run real estate CRM in the Swedish market.
How much would such a project cost?
And again the client will get raw numbers or Agile (time and material) methodology.
Instead of that, you should ask some questions:
●What are your competitors? What do you think are their strengths & weaknesses?
●What will be unique about your project? What can make your product unique?
●What is the business model?
At the beginning, you don’t have to ask a lot of questions, but they should hit the point and fill the holes in the current description, technical requirements or features list.
What is it for? In order to proceed to Business Analysis.
Business Analysis Advantages Or Where To Begin
Everything starts with simply communicating with a client and asking questions in order to identify the key points. Next, I create a specification (Technical Requirements) and prototypes (wireframes). Also, together with my team, we estimate the project, which is divided into stages for a big project. Depending on the project type I also provide my client with additional documents (flowchart, sitemap, SWOT analysis etc.).
What my clients get:
● a budget that has a clear background;
● a plan for further project development (I always lay down a number of features and proposals for the future);
● clear structure and a features list;
● disposal of the hypertrophied risks pool;
● a team that wants not just develop and get rid of.
What I and my team get:
● clear estimate and documentation from the start;
● the opportunity to be remunerated while working on the project;
● understanding of a project’s, risks and complexities;
● visual proof of your expertise and rates;
● planned project’s launch date;
● a potential list of future functionality and food for thought.
It’s a rather short list, but overall, it reveals the main advantages of this approach.
What You Will Get As A Result
After a while, it turned out that all the clients who got my analysis wanted to continue work with me. Besides, the rate question was no longer raised after that. Clients understood that they wouldn’t find a person who would have had the understanding of the project and their pains as well as I had. Moreover, a person who would show empathy and offer ideas for improvement. Eventually, the teams I work with began handing planning and design of the projects over to me.
At the moment, several people help me in my endeavours and this is probably the most interesting experience that I have had recently.
I really enjoy plunging into every project, thinking about it, analyzing it and seeing my ideas come to life. Perhaps, that is why these projects become so successful.
One last thing…
If you liked this article, click the👏 below, and share it with other people, so they can enjoy it as well.
Comment and shares are welcome as well! I’d be glad to answer all your questions.
Follow me on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dkhvostenko/
Thank you for your time.