Feedback - Business Analysts

Agile - Feedback


The purpose of the feedback stage is to validate that the delivered product met its intended purpose when placed in its intended environment, i.e. has this met the business need? This cannot be done internally only, and as such must include the customers’ perspectives to ensure solution success. The outcomes of this may be inputs into further initiatives or product development.

1. Product Evaluation

The purpose of product evaluation is to ensure that solutions meet the business needs and facilitates a successful solution implementation. Stakeholders are looking for assurance that the solution meets what has been agreed in the business case.

Evaluation should be performed to assess the performance of, and value delivered by a solution in use by the enterprise, and to recommend removal of barriers or constraints that prevent the full realisation of the value.

The evaluation can be performed on a partial solution or a solution component, as long as it is implemented and operating in some form, the business analyst does not have to wait for the completed full solution to be implemented to perform an evaluation.

1.1 Techniques


Solution Analysis – Solution analysis focuses on the actual value being delivered by the solution, uncovering limitations which may be preventing the full value from being realised (both within the solution and within the business environment), and recommends options to increase enabler the full value, or more value to be realised.

When preparing your solution evaluation assessment, it should include the following tasks:

• Measurement – Determine the most appropriate way to assess the performance of the solution.
• Analysis – Unpack the information regarding the performance of the solution in order to understand its value.
• Identify Limitations – these will exist either within the solution itself, or the organisation.
• Recommendations – Identifies actions the organisation can take to increase the value of a solution.

1.2 Stakeholders


During product evaluation in an agile environment the product owner and business leads, are key stakeholders. They will work with the project team in providing feedback on the progress on the solution making sure the agreed features have been addressed in the solution.

1.3 Templates


Product Evaluation Report

Benefits Realisation Plan

Review Report

Solution Evaluation Assessment

2. Customer Feedback

The purpose of customer feedback is to gain an understanding on whether the solution has addressed the customer needs. Business analysts should target the organisation’s audience deciding who will provide the most valuable insights. Feedback provided will help with determining what actions and responses are needed. The information gained from surveys and questionnaires will help with evaluating the landscape and highlight areas for improvement.

All information obtained will need to be reviewed and played back to determine what actions will need to be taken by the organisation.

Feedback is also obtained during product showcases (within the Development Stage). It gives the project team an opportunity to gain insight into how they are tracking with building the solution and if changes need to be made. The feedback will come direct from the business and they may be also representing the external customer needs.

2.1 Techniques


Customer Surveys & Feedback – The aim of creating customer surveys/questionnaires is to gain insight into what customers think of the solution at a point in time. The business analyst identifies who to target to provide the feedback needed and provide the biggest value with their responses. It is always good to get a large demographic of people (i.e. stakeholders, SME’s, end users, customers) to participate in providing feedback.

When preparing the questions, the business analyst must make sure the questions do not influence the response. They should be expressed in neutral language and should not be structured or sequenced to condition the respondent to provide perceived desirable answers.

The business analyst picks a point in time as to when he/she wishes to receive feedback. It could be at the start of the project or post implementation of a solution. This will depend on when the information is needed. The business analyst should remember to set deadlines when he/she wants the feedback to be provided.

2.2 Stakeholders


The stakeholders for customer feedback will vary. They will include users of a system, process or anyone impacted by change. These stakeholders could belong to the business as end users or could be external customers who access the solution through portals and are crucial to the suitability of the solution. They must all be considered as key stakeholders and are invested in how the solution should operate. Their feedback will help the project team with designing the improvements.


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