The Business Analyst must be sure that the project scope is clear and complete before he or she can begin detailed requirements gathering. The Business Analyst may be given the scope which has been defined by the project sponsor or manager or may be responsible for defining and documenting the scope as part of the requirements gathering task.
Defining and documenting the project scope requires the Business Analyst to understand why the project has been initiated (project statement of purpose) and the goals of the project (project objectives). An important contribution of the Business Analyst to the project is the discipline to analyze the business problem without “jumping” to a solution.
In addition, a complete project scope will name and define all of the organizations that will be involved with the project; this may include people, systems, internal departments, and outside organizations (project external interactions).
Other important components of the project scope documentation include the project viewpoint, project assumptions, and business risks. These components give the Business Analyst the information necessary to prioritize and focus their requirements gathering.
Finally the project scope should include a high-level description of the business processes that will be included. It may also include a list of items that specifically will not be included in the scope. This gives the entire project team a complete understanding of the work that the Business Analyst will be doing as they move into detailed requirements gathering.
One additional task required of the Business Analyst at this point is the creation of an organized system for maintaining project information. A glossary should be started along with a filing system for maintaining all of the information that will be gathered during the project.