Picture this scenario where you are a part of a team tasked with developing a new application for a client. According to the client, the application is supposed to help them log customer complaints and feedback so that they can improve their customer engagement. How would you and your team approach this new assignment to make sure that your client understands what they are asking and that they are equally satisfied while also ensuring that your team does not suffer burnout by constant client demands?

An organisation’s needs usually fall within any of the following categories:

  • Problem of potential improvement
  • Opportunities or new endeavours.
  • Compliance requirements.

For the team to work effectively on this given assignment, they need to know what is required and what would happen if those requirements are not met. This requires us to go through the 5 steps of assessing organisational needs.

  1. Identify the problem – Before the first line of code is written for the online tool, the team must identify what problem the client wishes to solve. It would be frustrating to spend time, effort and resources designing a tool that does not meet the client’s expectation or solve their problem. So, the first thing to do is discuss with the client and identify their painpoints; this should help with stating the problem the tool is supposed to help them solve.
  2. Assess the current state – While eliciting information from the client, it is usually wise to identify the current state as it involves this new system. It would be tempting to dive into a rabbit hole and try to assess every part of their current system at this point, but a good Business Analyst would know exactly when they are veering off course.
  3. Determine the future state – Your ability ot use elicitation methods should help you determine ehat the endgame should look like to the client. This should be clearly defined and documented and must align with the organisation’s long term goals. As a matter of fact, both the BA and the client should reach a level of agreement on this before the process can continue.
  4. Determine the gaps – Gaps are determined by considering the current state and the future state as well as considering the requirements involved in taking the leap.
  5. Make recommendations – After all the data gathering, interviews and document analysis, it is the place of the BA to present a summary of the problem statement, the opportunites that need to be exploited and their impacts on the organisation.