9 Important Documents created by every Business Analyst (Part 1)

Documentation is one of the integral job functions of a business analyst and he, throughout the course of a project, prepares many documents. These documents are created to fulfill the varied project needs and cater to audiences belonging to different spheres of a project.

The type and specifications a business analyst is expected to create in an organization depends upon many parameters like organization’s processes and policies, need and expectations of the business, and the stakeholder requirements. Detailed below are the common documents a business analyst is expected to create and they are extensively used throughout the course of a project. Each of these documents has a specific template and it’s a part of the overall project documentation. The documents are:

  • Project vision Document

  • Requirement Management Plan

  • User stories

  • Use cases

  • Business Requirement Document

  • Requirement traceability matrix (RTM)

  • Functional requirement specification (FRS)/ Functional Specification Document (FSD)

  • System requirement specification (SRS)/ System Requirement Document (SRD)

  • Test case

Let’s discuss each of these documents in detail.

1. Project vision document
Although mainly the client/project manager creates a project vision document, business analysts are also expected to contribute to this document. A Project vision document entails the purpose and intent of the product/software to be developed and describes on a high level ‘what’ business objective will be achieved.

The Project vision document contains:
– Introduction
– Description of users in the system
– Project stakeholders
– Product Overview
– Product Features
– Product requirements
– Constraints/Limitations
– Quality/documentation requirements

2. Requirement Management Plan
The Requirements Management plan is used to document the necessary information required to effectively manage project requirements from project initiation till delivery.
The Requirements Management Plan is created during the Planning Phase of the project. Its intended audience is the project manager, project team, project sponsor and any senior leaders whose support is needed to carry out the plan.

The Requirement Management Plan contains:
– Purpose of plan
– Responsibility assignment
– Tools and procedures to be used
– Approach to defining requirements
– Approach towards Requirements Traceability
– Workflows and Activities
– Change Management

3. Use cases
Each and every project is an endeavor to achieve ‘requirements’ and the document which defines these requirements is a use case. A use case is a methodology used in system analysis to identify, define and organize system requirements.

A use case is created from the perspective of a user and achieves the following objectives:
1. Organizes the functional requirements,
2. Iterative in nature and updated throughout the project life-cycle
3. Records scenarios in which a user will interact with the system
4. Defines other aspects like negative flows, UI elements, exceptions, etc..

The Use Case document contains:
– Actors
– Description
– Trigger
– Preconditions
– Normal Flow
– Alternative Flows
– Exceptions
– Special Requirements
– Assumptions
– Notes and Issues

4. User stories
In an agile development environment, a user story is a document describing the functionality a business system should provide and are written from the perspective of an end user/customer/client. The user stories are not very descriptive and only captures ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a requirement in limited detail. If any requirement is too big for a single user story it’s broken down into a number of user stories making it easier for estimation and discussion. In such cases, the main user story will act as an Epic (parent) user story.

Some examples of user stories are:
– The system shall be able to sort the values in ascending and descending order
– The application must allow the user to enter his name, date of birth and address.
– The system shall verify the login credentials of the user and redirect him to the dashboard in case of successful login.