Business Analysis Notes - CEN-3073-Organization/GrandIllusions GitHub Wiki

Business Requirements Specification

Reading Notes

SWEBOKwiki Business or Mission AnalysisLinks to an external site.

System-of-interest (SOI) is understanding the socio-economic and technological context in which potential problems or opportunities reside.

Mission analysis(MA) is a part of "Concept definition" activities, the set of systems engineering activities in which the problem space and the needs of the business or enterprise and stakeholders are closely examined. This usually happens before SOI is developed and may need review and revision through the SDLC. Concept Definition activities determine whether a businesses goals will be addressed by a new system, a change in the business' current system, a service, an operational change, etc.

This is where mission analysis activities and stakeholder needs and Requirements activities become important. MA's focus on identifying primary purposes of the solution (its "mission") whereas Stakeholder needs and Requ. identify what stakeholders desire in completing a mission. These two types of activities are performed over and over with each other in order to better understand the problem and possible solution.

MA is sometimes referred to as market analysis or business analysis

MA is the identification, characterization, and assessment of an operational problem or opportunity within an enterprise. MAs are used to define operational actions NOT hardware/software functions. The main outputs of MA are business or mission needs. These needs are then elaborated and formalized into Business or mission requirements.

MA may need mathematical analysis, modeling, simulation, visualization, and other analytical tools to figure out needed missions and form a path to fulfill them and best support the stakeholder's needs.

MA and the terms ConOps and OpsCon are broadly used in U.S. and UK defense and aerospace organizations to analyze and define how a system is intended to operate, as well as how the major operations or operational scenarios are intended to be performed.

ANSI/AIAA G-043A-2012 (ANSI 2012) identifies that the terms ‘concept of operations’ and ‘operational concept’ are often used interchangeably but points out a difference exists because each has a separate purpose and is used to meet different ends.

The ConOps is at an organizational level, prepared by enterprise management and refined by business management:

The ConOps informs the OpsCon, which is drafted by business management in the Mission Analysis activity and refined by stakeholders.

OpsCon has an operatioinal focus and should be supported by the development of other concepts, including a deployment, support, and retirement concept

In order to determine appropriate technical solutions for evolving enterprise capabilities, systems engineering (SE) leaders interact with enterprise leaders and operations analysts to understand:

the enterprise ConOps and future mission, business, and operational (MBO) objectives; the characterization of the operational concept and objectives (i.e., constraints, mission or operational scenarios, tasks, resources, risks, assumptions, and related missions or operations); and how specific missions or operations are currently conducted and what gaps exist in those areas.

Then the SE leaders explore and choose from various possible solutions. This involves understanding both the problem space and the solution space.

Analysis, modeling and simulation, and trade studies are used to choose alternative approaches to address the solution's needs.

ConOps and OpsCon are also used in industrial sectors, such as aviation administrations and aeronautic transportation, health care systems, and space with adapted definitions and/or terms, such as operational concepts, usage concepts and/or technological concepts.

Example: “mission analysis” is the term used to describe the mathematical analysis of satellite orbits performed to determine how best to achieve the objectives of a space mission

In the commercial sector, MA is usually used as market analysis. According to Wikipedia, market analysis is a process that: … studies the attractiveness and the dynamics of a special market within a special industry. It is part of the industry analysis and this in turn of the global environmental analysis. Through all these analyses, the chances, strengths, weaknesses, and risks of a company can be identified. Finally, with the help of a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, adequate business strategies of a company will be defined. The market analysis is also known as a documented investigation of a market that is used to inform a firm's planning activities, particularly around decisions of inventory, purchase, work force expansion/contraction, facility expansion, purchases of capital equipment, promotional activities, and many other aspects of a company. (Wikipedia Contributors, 2012)…

Wherever Mission Analysis activities are used, it is based on fundamental concepts, such as the operational mode (state of the system), scenario (of actions), the enterprise level ConOps and the system level operational concepts, functions, etc.

Iteratively, most businesses re-evaluate their process according to their mission, vision, and positioning to accomplish their goals.


As the process/strategy evolves, it is important to perform the supporting MA for each element of the enterprise to determine the ability to achieve future objectives.

Similar to the earlier text, this analysis examines the current state of the enterprise's system to identify any problems or opportunities related to any goals that help define the problems.

This examination involves the external environment and interfaces in search of impacts and trends, as well as the internal enterprise to test its capabilities and valuable traits.

(Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) SWOT analysis may be performed when the problem is defined. Here the stakeholder needs are transformed into stakeholder requirements that define the solution.

These requirements include the needs of the customer and the mission, the future state of core processes and capabilities of the enterprise, and the enablers to support performance of those processes and capabilities.

At the end, MA is used again to examine the solution space. Potential solutions of all types are identified and tested to find the best solution.

The MA Process:

  1. Review and understand the enterprise mission, vision, and ConOps.
  2. Identify and define any gaps and opportunities related to future evolution of the strategy: A. Examine the current state to identify any problems or opportunities related to the objective achievement, including any deficiencies of the existing system. B. Analyze the context of the actual political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal (PESTAL) factors, while studying sensitive factors such as cost and effectiveness, security and safety improvement, performance improvement or lack of existing systems, market opportunities, regulation changes, users' dissatisfaction, etc. External, internal, and SWOT analysis should be included as well. For the technological considerations, an appropriate architecture framework representation, such as the U.S. Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) operations view (DoD 2010), the Zachman Framework (Rows 1 and 2) (Zachman 2008), and The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) Architecture Development Method (ADM) (The Open Group 2010) Phases A and B should be included within the concept definition when performing mission analysis and stakeholders needs and requirements. C. Define the mission, business, and/or operational problem or opportunity, as well as its context, and any key parameters, without focusing on a solution.
  3. Examine and evaluate the solution space: A. Identify the main stakeholders (customers, users, administrations, regulations, etc.). B. Identify high level operational modes or states, or potential use cases. C. Identify candidate solutions that span the potential solution space, from simple operational changes to various system developments or modifications. D. Identify existing systems, products, and services that may address the need for operational or functional modifications. E. Deduce what potential expected services may be needed. The SoI is a potential and not yet existing product, service or enterprise. Additionally, the solution could be an operational change or a change to an existing product or service.
  4. Perform appropriate modeling, simulation, and analytical techniques to understand the feasibility and value of the alternative candidate solutions. Model or simulate operational scenarios from these services and use cases, and enrich them through reviews with stakeholders and subject matter experts.
  5. Define basic operational concept or market strategy, and/or business models. A. From previous modeled operational scenarios and operational modes, deduce and express the usage of operational concepts, or technical concepts. B. Collect and enrich needs, expectations, scenarios, and constraints. C. Validate the mission of any potential SoI in the context of any proposed market strategy or business model.
  6. Evaluate the set of alternatives and select the best alternative. A. Perform a trade study of the alternatives to discriminate between the alternatives.
  7. Provide feedback on feasibility, market factors, and alternatives for use in completion of the enterprise strategy and further actions.
  8. Define preliminary deployment concept, preliminary support concept, and preliminary retirement concept.

This process may create several artifacts, such as:

  • recommendations for revisions to the enterprise ConOps;
  • preliminary operational concept document or inputs;
  • mission analysis and definition reports (perhaps with recommendations for revisions of the mission);
  • a set of business needs;
  • preliminary life-cycle concepts (preliminary operational concept, preliminary deployment concept, preliminary support concept, and preliminary retirement concept;
  • system analysis artifacts (e.g., use case diagrams, context diagrams, sequence/activity diagrams, functional flow block diagrams);
  • trade study results (alternatives analysis);
  • market study/analysis reports; and
  • a set of business (or mission) requirements (often captured in a business requirement specification).

MA uses several techniques, such as:

  • use case analysis;
  • operational analysis;
  • functional analysis;
  • technical documentation review;
  • trade studies;
  • modeling;
  • simulation;
  • prototyping;
  • workshops, interviews, and questionnaires;
  • market competitive assessments;
  • benchmarking; and
  • organizational analysis techniques (e.g., strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT analysis), and product portfolios).


29148-2018 6.2 Business or mission analysis process

The purpose of the Business or Mission Analysis process is to define the business or mission problem or opportunity, characterize the solution space, and determine potential solution classes that could address a problem or take advantage of an opportunity

Results of successful use of the Business or Mission Analysis process:

  1. The problem or opportunity space is defined.
  2. The solution space is characterized.
  3. Preliminary operational concepts and other concepts in the life cycle stages are defined.
  4. Candidate alternative solution classes are identified and analyzed.
  5. The preferred candidate alternative solution classes are selected.
  6. Any enabling systems or services needed for business or mission analysis are available.
  7. Traceability of business or mission problems and opportunities and the preferred alternative solution classes is established.

Preparation for Business or Mission Analysis This activity consists of the following tasks:

  • Review identified problems and opportunities in the organization strategy with respect to desired organization goals or objectives.
  • Define the business or mission analysis strategy.
  • Identify and plan for the necessary enabling systems or services needed to support business or mission analysis.
  • Obtain or acquire access to the enabling systems or services to be used.

Define the problem or opportunity space This activity consists of the following tasks:

  • Analyze the problems and opportunities in the context of relevant trade-space factors.
  • Analyze customer complaints, problems and opportunities in the context of relevant trade-space factors.
  • Define the mission, business, or operational problem or opportunity.

Characterize the solution space This activity consists of the following tasks:

  • Define preliminary operational concepts and other concepts in life cycle stages.
  • Identify candidate alternative solution classes that span the potential solution space

Evaluate alternative solution classes This activity consists of the following tasks:

  • Assess each alternative solution class.
  • Select the preferred alternative solution class(es).

Manage the Business or Mission Analysis This activity consists of the following tasks:

  • Maintain traceability of business or mission analysis.
  • Provide key [artifacts and] information items that have been selected for baselines.

29148-2018 8.2.2 BRS example outline

The specific requirements clause of the BRS should be organized such that a consensus of the stakeholders agrees that the organization method aids understanding of the requirements. There is no specific optimal organization for all projects

IEEE 8 2 2 Table

29148-2018 9.3 Business requirements specification (BRS) content

BRS overview This section will cover the content of the Business Requirements Specification (BRS). The project should produce the following info in accordance with the project's policies with respect to the business requirements specification. Organization of this content such as the order and section structure may be chosen in accordance with the project's information management policies

Business purpose Describe at the organization level the reason and background for which the organization is aiming for new business or changes in the current business in order to fit a new management environment. This should describe how the the requested system will contribute to achieving business objectives.

Business scope Define the business domain under consideration by:

  1. identifying the business domain by name;
  2. defining the range of business activities included in the business domain concerned. The scope can be defined in terms of divisions in the organization and external entities that relate directly to the business activities, or functions to be performed by the business activities. It is helpful to show environmental entities that are outside of the scope;
  3. describing the scope of the system being developed or changed. The description includes assumptions on which business activities are supported by the system.

Business overview Describe major internal divisions and external entities of the business domain concerned and how they are related to each other. A diagrammatic description (diagram/model) is recommended

  • Major Stakeholders: List all stakeholders and how they will influence the project and business.

  • Business environment: Define internal and external factors of the business that may affect the product.

  • Mission, goals, and objectives: Describe what should be achieved through the development of this project.

  • Business model: Describe methods where the business goals should be achieved. This should include methods where the product is involved.

  • Information environment:

  1. project portfolio – when multiple system projects are running or planned to pursue the same business goal, the priority, relative positioning and possible constraints come from the portfolio management strategy.
  2. long term system plan – when common system infrastructure or architecture has been decided or planned, it should be described as constraints on possible design decisions.
  3. database configuration – an organization level database configuration plan and possible constraints on availability and accessibility of organization global data should be specified.
  • Business processes: Provide description of the procedures of business activities and possible system interfaces within the processes. This info shows how the product supports business processes.

  • Business operational policies and rules: The propositions may be conditions to start, branch and terminate the sequence of the business activities in the business processes.

  • Business operational constraints: Conditions that should be placed on business operations. Restraints like "the process should be completed within a day of the event trigger".

  • Business operational modes: Describe methods to conduct the business operation in an unsteady state. like when the process is extremely busy.

  • Business operational quality: Define the level of quality required for a process.

  • Business structure: Identify and describe the structures in the business relevant to the system, such as organizational structure (divisions and departments), role and responsibility structures, geographic structures and resource sharing structures.

  • High-level operational concept: Describe the proposed system in a high-level manner.

  1. operational policies and constraints;
  2. description of the proposed system;
  3. modes of system operation;
  4. user classes and other involved personnel; and
  5. support environment.
  • High-level operational scenarios: Describe how users/operators/maintainers will interact with the system in unique situations. These situations should be identified and individually labeled.

  • Other high-level life-cycle concepts: Describe how the system of interest is to be acquired, deployed, supported and retired.

  • Project constraints: Describe constraints to performing the project within cost and schedule.

The Business Analysis Process: 8 Steps to Being an Effective Business Analyst (through step 4)

Step 1 - Get Oriented:

Your key responsibilities in this step include:

  • Clarifying your role as the business analyst so that you are sure to create deliverables that meet stakeholder needs. (To better understand the BA role, be sure to check out our free workshop – Quick Start to Success as a Business Analyst.)
  • Determining the primary stakeholders to engage in defining the project’s business objectives and scope, as well as any subject matter experts, to be consulted early in the project.
  • Understanding the project history so that you don’t inadvertently repeat work that’s already been done or rehash previously made decisions.
  • Understanding the existing systems and business processes so you have a reasonably clear picture of the current state that needs to change.

Step 2 - Discover the Primary Business Objectives:

Focus on understanding and agreeing on the business needs first.

Your key responsibilities in this step include:

  • Discovering expectations from your primary stakeholders – essentially discovering the “why” behind the project. (Our BA Essentials Master Class covers 7 different business analysis techniques that can be used as part of this discovery.)
  • Reconciling conflicting expectations so that the business community begins the project with a shared understanding of the business objectives and are not unique to one person’s perspective.
  • Ensuring the business objectives are clear and actionable to provide the project team with momentum and context while defining scope and, later on, the detailed requirements.

Step 3 - Define Scope:

Your key responsibilities in this step include:

  • Defining a solution approach to determine the nature and extent of technology and business process changes to be made as part of implementing the solution to the primary business objectives.
  • Drafting a scope statement and reviewing it with your key business and technology stakeholders until they are prepared to sign-off or buy-in to the document.
  • Confirming the business case to ensure that it still makes sense for your organization to invest in the project.

Step 4 - Formulate Your Business Analysis Plan:

Your key responsibilities in this step include:

  • Choosing the most appropriate types of business analysis deliverables, given the project scope, project methodology, and other key aspects of the project context.
  • Defining the specific list of business analysis deliverables that will completely cover the scope of the project and identifying the stakeholders who will be part of the creation and validation of each deliverable.
  • Identifying the timelines for completing the business analysis deliverables.

Research / Information Literacy Links to an external site.

Quoted from Prof. Vanselow's Website:

CRI Skill: Research


Identifying and collecting credible, reliable information from many sources


  • Collect

    • Think about the information and resources needed to help find a solution before researching.
    • Collect information from different sources (such as books, articles, and websites).
    • Keep hypothesis in mind while collecting.
    • Keep track of where all information comes from.
  • Identify

When information is needed, know where to find different kinds of information.

Use the Internet to find information and evidence for research (e.g. scholarly articles).

Evaluate credibility.

Separate fact from fiction.

Use the library for research.

Action Steps

  • Explore library resources with an expert

  • Learn about academic databases and how to use them

  • Get help from the school's writing center to learn how to find and collect information

  • For research assignments, gather information from multiple credible resources that support different views

"Software Requirements" Weigers book Ch. 4 The business analyst

"Software Requirements" Weigers book Ch. 5 Establishing the business requirements

My Business Analysis