“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 apps.
Business analysts are the most valuable team members on any project. They make sure a team develops what a client has requested to the letter and negotiate all changes to the scope.
Business Analysis Cycle to Build Apps
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.
Effective BA procedure consists of specific steps that you should expect from professionals. Let’s discuss the principal steps of the BA process.
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 functionality you should also expect questions about:
- 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 analysts have uncovered 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. Prototype, UI Storyboards, Screen Flow Diagrams
As soon as analysts have described the app’s features, they can 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.
#5. 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 BA phase. In Velvetech, analysts stay active thru all stages: design, development, and QA. After all, it’s business analysts who know the app even better than a client.
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.
Business Analysis Tools for Mobile Apps
We use several tools to streamline our BA procedure and make it more transparent for our clients.
We also use WebSequenceDiagrams to compose user story diagrams from text input. This solution tightly integrates with our knowledge base — the next item on our list of tools for BA.
Confluence for Product Knowledge Retention
Confluence is the essential part of our BA procedure. All knowledge about your mobile app — designs, test plans, requirements, etc. — ends up in Confluence. Besides knowledge retention, we use Confluence to discuss app’s status and next steps.
It also integrates with Jira, where we track issues during app development.
We use Slack channels and GoToMeeting sessions to communicate with our clients. Business analysts carry meeting notes over to Confluence. Therefore there is always a single hub for all project knowledge.
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
We are offering a free BA session until the end of April. Book your session today and let’s get your app rolling!