There are only three levels of Business analysis:
- Strategic Business Analysis or Enterprise Analysis
- Tactical Business Analysis and
- Operational Business Analysis
Strategic business analysis is the study of business visions, goals, objectives and strategies of an organization or an organizational unit, to identify the desired future. It composes of existing organizational structure, policies, politics, problems opportunities and application architecture to build a business case for change. This analysis employees techniques such as variance analysis, feasibility analysis, force field analysis, decision analysis and key performance indicators, to support senior management in the decision-making process.
The primary outcome of this work is a set of defined prioritize projects and initiatives that the organizational undertake to create the desired future, if the initiative includes the development of software using an agile software development methodology. Strategic business analysis identifies teams and/or epics and initiates a product backlog.
Tactical Business Analysis is that the project or initiative level to flesh out the details on the proposed solution and to ensure that it meets the needs over the business community. Commonly used techniques at this level includes stakeholder identification, interviewing, facilitation, base lining, coverage matrices, bench marking business rules analysis, change management, process and data modeling and functional decomposition.
In an agile environment tactical business analysis heads to the product backlog and/or release plans, expressed in themes business ethics, architecture epics user stories and user story epics, in a traditional setting the primary outcome of tactical business analysis is a set of textual and/or modeled business and stakeholder requirements
Operational business analysts work on specific business applications, in an agile approach they are members of the development team, and will be heavily involved in user story elaboration, and iteration or Sprint plan. They will deal primarily with identifying how to manage the application parameters to meet evolving business needs. Their primary techniques include meeting facilitation, checklist management, prioritization, process mapping, business rule analysis, lessons learned analysis and interface analysis
Few organizations have all three levels of business analysis and even fewer organizations they use strategic, tactical and operational business analyst as job title. In many organizations they don’t use these titles.
In large organizations with job titles such as product manager, product owner, developer manager, subject matter expert etc. actually do business analysis at every level.
In smaller organizations a single individual is often responsible for all scales of business analysis regardless of who is wearing the business analysis hat, he or she may or may not have the title Business Analyst.