Thursday, April 15, 2010

BA involvement in pre-sale support

As a BA you may be called upon to help the sales team with pre-sales support sometimes also called as Request for Proposal (RFP), although it is hard to generalise the content of the document they usually follow a standard format.

Sales people may not have the technical knowledge for the RPF and that is where the BA can be very handy, you may ask a question as to why not involve the technical people? The answer is very simple, most of the RFP are targeted to middle or senior manager and some may have the technical expertise but in my experience most don’t, so there is a need to represent the technical information in a business language.

BA will play a major role in designing and developing a prototype for the proposal, a good BA will spend reasonable time investigating customer’s business, trend and preferences to customize the demonstration that will make the customer more confident on your product/service.

Sales people are often stereotyped as commission hungry and income driven individuals , getting a BA involved in the sale gives customer the confident that your company is serious about the product/service and they are thinking of all the aspect of the sale like installation, implementation, training, support and maintenance.
There is one more advantage in this process, as a BA you experience firsthand the needs of a new customer this can be very handy to enhance the product and may lead to identify new opportunities and business sector.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Requirements Process - Three C Phase

Make sure you gather and capture as much requirements as possible, do not get too much worried about the format of the document or the structure, the focus should be more on completeness rather than tidiness or presentation. Involve the end-users or customers as much as possible during this phase. Make sure you record all the spoken and unspoken requirements, try to focus on what rather than how.

In this phase make sure you clarify the requirement with the SME or users, developing prototype or test cases can help you clarify the requirements, make sure that the requirements are measurable, this phase is very important as it also determined the completeness of the requirement by formally inspecting the documents as a group.

In this phase evaluate and agree which requirements will be done first, this phase will help you to remove those high cost but low value features. In this phase project scope will be identified and milestones will be defined.