The BABOK® Guide defines Business Analysis communications plan as “a document that describes the proposed structure and schedule for communications regarding business analysis activities. Record and organize the activities to provide a basis for setting expectations for business analysis work, meetings, walkthroughs, and other communications.”
When planning Business Analysis communications, you’ll want to take into account several factors, including how to receive, disseminate, and update information from your team and stakeholders. Consider these:
- What needs to be communicated
- How it should be stated
- What is the best way to deliver the information
- Who should receive it, and
- When they should expect communication.
You may already have templates set up for this purpose, so revisit them to ensure they are still relevant. Check your business plan for timelines, requirements, and deliverable communication needs. Know how much detail and content you wish to share.
The stakeholder’s role will affect your plan because you’ll want to communicate with them regularly, but you need to know what their needs are. What do they need from you as far as form and substance of communication? No matter where you are, you’ll need to include cultural considerations in your planning. Know the language that is expected, how the culture views time commitments, and how the culture views working with others and its relation to authority.
The Business Analysis techniques you use must be communicated clearly and often. Stakeholders and team members may not always understand your Business Analysis methods, so effective communication here is critical. The deliverables must be explained, because the end users and stakeholders may be expecting something completely different from what you’re planning to deliver. Communicate this as often as you can.
Let those you communicate with know how often you plan to report to them. There’s no faster way to upset end users and stakeholders than not communicating as frequently as they thought you would. Manage expectations here, and let them know ahead of time which type of communications you’ll engage in.
According to BABOK®, those who should be included in the Business Analysis communications plan are:
- Clients and vendors
- Domain SMEs
- End users
- Implementation SMEs
- Operational Support
- Project Manager
On small projects, your plan may be brief and informal. On more complex projects or those with many people involved, it may be much longer, more formal, and much more time-consuming to produce. It all depends on the project documentation and the overall project communications plan.
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