You may have identified a genuine gap in the market, one you think your app could plug. You’re sitting on this million-dollar idea but don’t know how to shape that solution into a service, to distribute it with an app, make it presentable and convenient for your audience to use and reuse. Your idea could be full of potential, but not ready for development. The most obvious solution is often misguided: hire a development team and let them tell you how to shape your service before or while they develop the app.
This is your first mistake.
Your priority: provide users with a service that solves problem X through the medium of mobile phones.
Your development team’s aim: deliver an app that works and passes all technical tests.
Do you see the problem yet?
Sure, the development team is a vital part of your plan, but their priorities are not always aligned with yours. Your developers can make engineering decisions to answer this simple question: does it work? They are not necessarily answering this: does it meet the client’s business goals? What level of scalability is client likely to need a year after launch and does the system architecture allow for that future need? If you don’t have an engineering mind, this could be problematic.
This is where a Business Analyst (BA) comes in. A consultant of sorts who understands the software development cycle as well as your business needs. His input will help your development team fine-tune the idea for a clearer development plan. In short: A BA will work on your half-cooked idea and help you take it into development.
Businesses around the world hire consultants to plan their next venture. This in the long run saves them money. If you don’t have a background in software development and are planning a mobile based service, consider hiring a Business Analyst for at least a few weeks before start of development. This investment (Appdev360 BAs cost $20 an hour) could save you from losing millions by avoiding duplication of labor and in re-work costs incurred later due to bad planning.
You can expect your BA to analyze your business processes, any documentation about the product or service and investigate the cause behind any issue your app is faced with.
The end goal is to tweak your idea into actionable items. Typically, your BA will stick around to communicate and clarify the requirements to your development team. He or she will also ensure that the developers make the right engineering decisions that do not contradict your long term business goals.
Every entrepreneur has their own strength. The trick is to plan for the unknowns. Half cooked ideas and bad planning create wastage of resources. Waste costs money and if left unchecked, cause businesses to fail. While you focus on your strengths, your development team and Business Analysts form your support system helping you minimize that waste.