Business Analyst Documentation – Bare Essentials

3 Jun 2016
Harish Mani

Apart from the various tasks that a Business Analyst(BA) has to perform, documentation is one of the most integral job functions of a BA. BA prepares numerous documents throughout the course of the project. All these documents are created to fulfill various project needs and they cater to audiences belonging to different domains of a project. The type and specifications of a BA’s document depends upon parameters like organization’s processes and policies, expectations of the business and the stakeholder requirements.
Every specified document has a pre-defined template (as agreed by all the parties in the project) and it’s a part of the overall project documentation. The list of common documents a Business Analyst creates which are extensively used throughout the course of any project are as follows:
Let’s understand these documents in a bit more detail.

1. Project Vision Document

Project Vision Document is mainly created by the Project Manager (Client Side) but Business Analyst is also expected to input his/her contribution to this document. A Project vision document encompasses the purpose and need of the product/software to be developed and also gives an overview about the required business objective.

The Project vision document mainly contains:

2. Requirement Management Plan
Requirements Management Plan is used to effectively manage requirements right from the start to the end of the project i.e. from Project Initiation up to Project Delivery. Requirement Management Plan contains all the necessary information required to that helps in project management. This plan is created in the Planning Phase of the project and its target audience are the Project Manager, Business Analyst, Team Lead and any senior leaders whose is entitled to carry out the plan.

The Requirement Management Plan basically contains:

3. Business Requirement Document (BRD)

A Business Requirement Document is used to describe the business requirements of the project and the end result that is expected from the Product/process. It is one of the most widely accepted and used project requirement document that is referred throughout the development life-cycle for any project. BRD mainly concentrates on countering the business solution and is mainly concentrates on the business requirements.

The Business Requirement Document contains:

4. Use Cases

The goal of each and every project is to implement the project as per the requirements and the document which explains these requirements elaborately is a use case. Use case is a methodology that is used in system analysis in order to identify, define, clarify and organize system requirements with the help of actors and system. Use cases are generally used to show the users perspective and contains all system activities that have significance to the users. It can also be a collection of scenarios related to a particular requirement.

The Use Case document contains:

5. Functional Requirement Specification (FRS)

Functional Requirement Specification gives an in-depth description of the system including data, input, operations, output and the other properties of the system. In a BRD, requirements are high level but in a FRS, they are described in much more details to capture all the aspects of the requirement. Hence a FRS is more technical, precise and descriptive requirement document. As the document is technical, FRS are usually used by developers, QA and the business stakeholders of a project.

The Functional Requirement Specification (FRS) also known as Functional Specification Document (FSD) contains:

6. System Requirement Specification (SRS)

A detailed document that has information about the how the product has to function and explains software, hardware, behavioral and functional requirements of the system. This document does not contain any major technical information and is only used to elaborate the requirement from the functionality perspective.

The System Requirement Specification (SRS) contains:

7. Test Case
Writing a Test Case does not explicitly come under a BA’s task list but a BA should have a fair understanding about how a Test Case is written. BA’s don’t create Test Cases but use them for testing functionalities of the product. Thus, a test case is a standardized document which is be referred when a requirement is implemented and ready to be tested.

The components of a test case are:

All the above documents that are created by a BA are a crucial part of the project. The documentation standard might change from organization to organization and project to project but the core content remains the same.

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