“Business Analysis (BA) is a research discipline of identifying business needs and determining solutions to business problems,” or so says Wikipedia. It’s also the most exhilarating part of any project, especially when we talk about mobile app analysis.
The Role of Mobile App Analysis
Business Analysis is the initial stage of any product development. Look at any vendor: app development always starts with Discovery, Q&A Session, or some other smart name for BA.
Mobile app analysis is a fundamental process since it ensures that an app will be implemented and run successfully. But what does, in particular, the role of mobile app analysis include and what benefits you can elicit from it?
When conducted in a comprehensive manner, BA helps:
- Increase the efficiency of the development process
- Reveal core features
- Generate new ideas
- Define metrics for success
- Align expectations with deliverables
- Foresee possible project gaps
- Flesh out an in-depth roadmap and speed up app delivery
Business Analysis Cycle
Generally, an effective business analysis cycle consists of specific actions that you should expect from professionals. Even if the BA is commonly considered as a separate stage, it isn’t just there.
This cycle continues throughout all development stages and helps keep the project on the right track. Let’s discuss the principal steps of the BA process and dive deeper into the role of a Business Analyst in successful project delivery.
The purpose of the discovery step is to understand the client’s app idea. A business analyst dives deep into the client’s area of expertise to find all aspects that may affect a mobile app. This step usually takes the form of a survey or Q&A sessions.
The more questions you get from a business analyst, the better. Be ready for a flood of questions even if you come well prepared, with a sketch or high-level requirements. Among general questions about the app functionality, you should also expect questions regarding:
- the target audience for your app
- what sets you apart from the competition
- why certain features are missing
- when notifications should trigger, etc.
If you spot at least a couple of techniques from this list by Richard Lannon, you are working with pros.
#2. Functional Requirements
All information that business analysts have unveiled during the discovery step becomes functional requirements. The document lays down all features that will be accessible to app users in the form of use cases.
Velvetech business analysts design functional requirements with iOS and Android guidelines in mind. Our business analysts look for familiar patterns in trending apps that the client’s app can use.
#3. Non-Functional Requirements
Non-functional requirements define general “app properties” as opposed to features and usually include:
- iOS and Android versions to support
- max number of users to perform the same action simultaneously
- screen resolutions, device models, etc.
This way the app’s budget and timeline become more realistic.
#4. Project Cost and Budget Estimate
Since business analysis primarily comprises putting together all essential data related to the mobile app development project, it surely helps define what budget you need to envisage.
As we covered above, business analysts explore app requirements, gather relevant statistics, build strategy, and determine project goals. Thus, these team members possess the necessary information to estimate the scope of work and, consequently, the cost of your app.
On top of that, they make sure your project is implemented within the original budget and time frames. However, in case if the development process entails any essential changes, business analysts will often be the ones to provide you with the cost update.
#5. Prototype, UI Storyboards, Screen Flow Diagrams
As soon as business analysts have described the app’s features, they can move on to the next stage of the mobile app analysis and put on their prototyping hats. All functionality should merge seamlessly into a unique, intuitive interface.
Velvetech’s BA process for prototyping relies on A/B testing and UX guides. We follow the best practices found in well-established and native apps on iOS and Android. Our analysts will never talk you into an eye-popping animation for the sake of aesthetics.Every action in the app should take place for a reason, be intuitive, and send positive vibes to the user. Click To Tweet
UI storyboards relay your users’ journeys in the app as they perform basic actions. Screen flow diagrams show the same process in the form of transitions between the app’s screens.
#6. Functional Design Specification
Functional Design Specification (FDS) is a single document with all requirements and prototypes.
In an average mobile development agency, a ready FDS is the end of the mobile app analysis. In Velvetech, analysts stay active through all stages: design, development, and QA. After all, it’s business analysts who know the app even better than a client.
#7. Project Implementation Support
As we mentioned before, the business analyst role in mobile app development doesn’t end at the planning and analysis phases. Sometimes indirectly, they continue to participate in the process throughout the entire lifecycle, attending the meetings with stakeholders.
Whenever new requirements or any possible deviations appear, business analysts take an active role again. Engaging these or those development team members, they make adjustments to the project scope, help solve tech, functional, or communication issues, and ensure the results meet initial goals.
By testing early versions of the app; discussing each app iteration with the client and the team; by looking for inconsistencies in user experience, our business analysts control that we develop what the client requested.
Top 5 Business Analysis Tools
There are several tools to streamline the BA procedure and make it more transparent for clients. We picked up the five best business analysis tools that help achieve the goals of prototyping, product knowledge retention, and, finally, communication.
1. Rational RequisitePro
Rational RequisitePro is one of the most powerful tools for managing project requirements. Its architecture supports a dynamic link between requirement documents and a project database for a powerful sort and query capabilities. Thus, it makes gathering and tracking the requirements easy for every business analyst.
Balsamiq is an ideal prototyping tool with ready-to-plug UI bits for iOS and Android. This tool for designing wireframes works well for both web and mobile prototypes. Balsamiq helps communicate the vision of the app to all stakeholders.
3. Microsoft Visio
Microsoft Visio is a leading tool for project management and business modeling. It can also be used to build UML diagrams and create flowcharts. It is a perfect way to explain to coders how an app should work.
Pencil is another powerful and easy-to-use tool for decision modeling and creating mockups. It helps business analysts work on the final product’s look and feel and test the real-world scenarios, delivering the idea to a customer and the entire project team.
5. Confluence and Jira
Confluence and Jira are robust collaboration tools. All knowledge about a mobile app — designs, test plans, requirements, etc. — are conveniently collected and stored in Confluence.
Besides knowledge retention, it is used to discuss the app’s status and the next steps. Confluence seamlessly integrates with Jira, where teams track issues during various project stages.
May the Best BA Be with You
When you engage with a mobile app development company, look for the signs that prove they are experts:
- well-structured and transparent BA cycle
- some of the mentioned BA tools or their alternatives
Velvetech has an experienced team of talented business analysts who always feel enthusiastic about diving into the project details. No matter the complexity, their competence leads to seamless app discovery and its further implementation.