Business analysts are experts in business processes: mapping, improving and automating them. They are essential when you are undertaking service design, or putting together requirements for digitisation of a process.
The people who are involved in a process often don’t have the expertise (or even the language) to analyse what might be improved in the process, or how to define it more clearly. Often a business analyst, talking to multiple stakeholders in a process, can help them reach a common understanding of what the process does and what it needs to achieve. Any organisation that has processes can use a business analyst to define, automate or improve those processes. Call us to speak to a specialist about providing a business analyst to work in your team anywhere in Australia or NZ.
What can a business analyst do for me?
Clean up an ill-defined process
Over time, individuals involved in a process will evolve their own, unique, understanding of that process. Often this will lead to inconsistencies and even arguments about how the process operates. A business process analyst can work with a group like this and help them gain a common understanding of both the process and its aims.
Suggest areas for improvement
Often an external view of a process makes it obvious where it can be improved, particularly where the process crosses organisational boundaries. A business analyst can deliver this.
Where you are merging parts of your organisation, or combining different organisations, a business analyst can help everyone involved reach a common understanding and agreement on what the merged process should look like.
Define software requirements
You can’t automate what isn’t defined. The first step in automating a process must be to document a clear definition of what the manual process is. Without that, you’re paving the forest, not paving the path.
Help you define new processes and services
A business process analyst can work with you to define new processes and services, and help you define the outcomes you need from them.
Help set up or modify existing software
Most modern software is driven by a complex set of internal settings so that changes can be made without modifying the underlying code. An IT business analyst can make the connection between these settings and they way your internal systems and processes work.
Why use a business analyst?
Processes (even documented processes) tend to drift over time, and people accumulate their own interpretations of the steps in the process. Sometimes new people joining a team are told “the process says x, but in practice we all do y”. Having a BA work with the stakeholders to gain a common understanding of the process can reverse this drift.
Where people or departments involved in a process have differing priorities, and where the process itself isn’t completely clear, this can cause friction and rework. A business analyst can help deconflict this sort of issue by coming in from the outside and casting an unbiassed eye on the process.
Process improvement means reduced staff time to operate the process, and can also reduce issues like overordering and improve process outcomes. Often processes that cross organisational boundaries are the ones that need most work.
Where a process isn’t working properly, this often results in “rework”, where staff or managers have to manually intervene to make things work. This costs time and money, and is often a symptom of a poorly-designed or poorly-defined underlying process.
Reduce management intervention
Poorly-defined processes force staff to continually ask their manager (or each other) what to do next. Better-defined processes reduce the need for constant questioning.
Develop a new offering or service
A business analyst can work with you to develop new service frameworks or processes, driven by the needs of your (internal or external) customers.
Automate a manual process
Before you can automate a process, you first have to figure out what you’re automating. A BA will not only define your existing process, they can also help you develop a set of specifications for software to automate it. This is an essential step before you to go tender for a new system.
Don't take our word for it
Group Financial Controller
I am writing in my capacity as the Group Financial Controller of Australand Holdings Limited to thank HCi Consulting for a job well done in successfully documenting financial processes within Australand’s financial environment.
General Manager Human Resources
I would like to thank HCi … for your significant contribution to ‘Connect’, our intranet site within Boral Clay and Concrete
General Manager Human Resources
I am pleased to endorse the services provided by HCi in designing and developing the structure and content for Canon’s Human Resources intranet.
Product Supply Director
I would like to take this opportunity to thank HCi for your support in successfully concluding our recent project.
Senior Product Manager
I am writing to provide an endorsement for the work undertaken by HCi on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank for the Diammond Services produce, a software system used by our institutional banking clients.
I write to thank you for successfully completing the documentation projects undertaken for the NSW Fire Brigades.
As I have come to expect from other dealings with HCi at the Office of State Revenue, they provide an excellent level of service, and their specialist knowledge in documentation was of great value.
Information Technology Manager
As Information Technology Manager for Parramatta City Council, I would like to thank HCi for your work in developing our policies and procedures for the Records Management Section.
Sales Support Manager
I am writing to provide an endorsement for the work undertaken by HCi on behalf of Pfizer.
Project Manager Design
As the training Project Manager for this important Westpac project, I am writing to thank you for the outstanding job your people to delivered to me.
Frequently asked questions
A business analyst is a professional who:
- gathers user and business requirements
- consolidates information in a report
- makes recommendations based on rationale to assist an organisation with a business decision
- will be central to service design
- may also have a role as an Agile BA if Agile methods are being used
Business analysts can stay on to:
- write technical and functional specifications and procurement documents
- improve processes and documentation
- evaluate vendors with solutions
- manage/assist in project implementations and digital transformation
Business analysts spend much of their time talking to people, to find out what existing processes are, or to help design new processes or services. Flowcharting is a simple process mapping tool that a BA can use, often with a group of stakeholders in a group flowcharting session. Many BAs will also use advanced process mapping tools like UML. A number of other tools like fishbone diagrams can be useful in defining the process outcomes that you need.
Business analysts can deliver:
- Flowcharts of existing or new processes
- Specifications for software, that you can use in publishing a request for tender
- UML, use case, and other process definitions
- Fishbone diagrams and other operations consulting tools
Source material can include existing written processes (even if they’re out of date), software functional definitions, organisational policies, laws and regulations (particularly in industries like insurance and financial services). IT or ICT business analysts tend to focus more on technical rather than process documentation.
Business analysts need to have an analytical approach to their work, but they must also be able to talk to a wide range of people in your organisation: from blue collar to senior management. They will also need significant experience in working as a BA, preferably in multiple organisations and industries.
The cost of a business analyst services will depend on a number of factors including the length of the engagement, the location (and if all of the work can be done remotely), the particular expertise you require, and who’s available at the time. Typical rates from HCi are $150-250/hr plus GST.
You do. We provide the BA, but you as the client are totally in charge of what they do.
Just ask to talk to one of our business analysts and get their ideas on how long your project might take.
Call us. We currently have over 1500 on our database, and we can often have perfectly-matched resumes to you within the hour.
We provide business analysts in: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra (ACT), Adelaide, Perth, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Rates for BAs vary according to experience and capability. Specialists (eg BAs who need experience in particular types of systems) are often more expensive per hour than non-specialists.
Our clients normally need one or more business analysts for periods between three to twelve months. A longer engagement usually means a lower hourly rate. The rate that we give you for a particular person will be inclusive of all taxes, superannuation, insurance, except GST.
Generally, more experienced BAs cost more per hour, but tend to be more productive, so may reduce your budget overall.