The customer isn’t the only consumer

It is all too common for analysts to submit their artefacts only for customer review.

Certainly, the business SMEs have to confirm that the business analysis artefacts accurately reflect their business model and that the requirements artefacts accurately represent their business needs.

However, the business customer is often not trained to know what a well-formed statement of requirement looks like, or how to level requirements. In such cases, I have found that as long as the customer sees the right vocabulary in the requirements, they will give approval. Moreover, the business customer is only one consumer of analysis artefacts. The technical architect needs to be able to build a system from them, the developers need to be able to design and construct from them, the testers need to be able to write test plans and scenarios from them.

readersAll those people, in addition to the customer, need to sign off the analysis artefacts as “fit for purpose” from their perspective. Failure to get buy-in from all disciplines will result in the artefacts having to be re-worked over and over until issues are resolved, thus delaying the project and adding to the cost.

How does the analyst ensure that the artefacts produced fit the needs of all parties? It helps if the customer and the project manager commit to the expense of having a tester and a designer in the analysis workshops so that they can provide their perspective.

However, this is not always possible, so it is valuable to have an analyst who has full systems life cycle experience and so can understand the needs of his colleagues. This is especially true when using a configurable tool, such as Pegasystems’ PRPC. Knowledge of the toolset helps the analyst take into account “out of the box” features and design constraints early in the life cycle.


  • Analysts, ensure your artefacts are approved by all consumers
  • Customers, don’t assume that the analysis artefacts are fit for purpose just because you are happy with them – it will save you money to insist on getting formal approval from all disciplines as soon as possible

Kind regards,

Declan Chellar

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