A stakeholder in any business analysis project can be a person who fills any of several roles, including anyone the business analyst interacts with, any team member, management and employees of the client company, and clients or customers. The BABOK® Guide offers several types of stakeholders, and they are briefly listed here.
Of course, the business analyst is a stakeholder in all analysis activities. Business analysis is responsible and accountable for the entire project, and the BA is often assigned to roles not strictly related to analysis, such as subject matter expert, tester, and project manager. Part of the BA’s value to the company and to the project is his or her flexibility.
Customer or client
A customer or client uses the products or services of the organization and may have contractual or moral rights that the organization must meet. They will help determine requirements and may serve as sponsors or testers. They may also provide subject matter experts when appropriate.
Anyone who will interact with the software or solution in its final release is an end user. These may include company employees, company clients and customers, and vendors. Every end user has requirements that must be met by the software or solution.
Subject matter expert (SME)
Anyone with specialized knowledge of a topic relevant to the project is an SME, often grouped in two classifications. A domain SME has knowledge of a topic relevant to the business needs. An implementation SME produces the design and construction of the potential solutions. Other SMEs include software engineers, trainers, solution architects, and usability analysts.
Project manager (PM)
The overall leader of a project, PMs are responsible for managing the work, successfully delivering a solution, and ensuring that the project’s objectives are met while balancing resources.
Testers ensure the solution meets the requirements with high quality performance and low failure rates. Depending on the risk of failure, the tester leads the team in managing the risk and communicating that to stakeholders.
Standards and regulations are monitored by regulators. Standards may include state and federal legislation and rules and corporate standards.
Sponsors have specialized knowledge of business needs and the requirements for solutions that meet that need. They may pace the work and control budgets.
A vendor-stakeholder, suppliers provide products or services to the organization and may have business needs that the solution addresses.
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