Silhouette of business analysts in a high-rise at dusk, overlooking a city skyline through large glass windows.

Top 9 Business Analysis Frameworks: Most Popular Techniques

Key takeaways

  • The top 9 business analysis frameworks offer a diverse set of tools and methodologies to address complex business challenges, uncover opportunities, and drive strategic initiatives
  • The frameworks offer structured approaches to problem-solving, enabling organizations to address complex issues and drive continuous improvement.
  • The diverse nature of these frameworks allows organizations to adapt their analytical approaches to various business scenarios and industry contexts.

Navigating the complex world of business can often feel like trying to solve a giant jigsaw puzzle, with each piece representing a different challenge or opportunity. That’s where business analysis frameworks come in handy!

If you are a business analyst, you know that understanding the ins and outs of the business is crucial for achieving successful results in business analysis activities.

In this article, we will provide you with a list of the 9 best business analysis framework techniques that will help you achieve clarity and most importantly, aid your professional development.

What Is a Business Analysis Framework?

A Business Analysis Framework is a structured approach used by Business Analysts to understand, assess, and improve various aspects of a business. It provides a systematic way to identify, define, and address business needs and challenges.

Frameworks serve as guides to help organizations define and reach their vision and goals. Using frameworks and tools at any stage of the strategic process can offer a competitive advantage.

A Business Analysis Framework is designed to help organizations analyze, strategize, and execute their operations. It provides a framework for thinking and communicating about various aspects of the business. It is a conceptual and real blueprint that involves and describes all the vital requirements of running a business.

A Business Analysis Framework typically includes the following steps:

  • Identifying the problem: This involves identifying the business problem or opportunity that needs to be addressed. This step is critical as it sets the stage for the rest of the analysis.
  • Defining the scope: This involves defining the boundaries of the analysis and determining what is included and what is not included in the analysis.
  • Gathering information: This involves collecting data and information related to the problem or opportunity. This step is critical as it provides the basis for the analysis.
  • Analyzing the information: This involves analyzing the data and information collected in the previous step. This step is critical as it provides insights into the problem or opportunity.
  • Developing solutions: This involves developing potential solutions to the problem or opportunity. This step is critical as it provides options for addressing the problem or opportunity.
  • Implementing solutions: This involves implementing the selected solution(s) to the problem or opportunity. This step is critical as it turns the analysis into action.
  • Monitoring and evaluating: This involves monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the solution(s) implemented. This step is critical as it ensures that the problem or opportunity has been fully addressed and that the solution(s) implemented are effective.

A Business Analysis Framework can be used for various purposes, such as:

  • Improving business processes
  • Developing new products or services
  • Evaluating and selecting software solutions
  • Conducting feasibility studies
  • Developing business cases
A group of business analysts sitting at a table in front of a large screen, using business analysis frameworks

List of the 9 Best Business Analysis Framework Techniques

Let’s have a closer look at the 9 techniques that are widely used and recognized

1. Business Process Modelling (BPM)

Business process modelling is a technique used to analyze existing or potential business processes in order to improve them.

An isometric diagram of a group of people standing on a staircase, illustrating a business process modelling framework

A process model serves as a reference so that everyone involved in the organization’s operations can have a common understanding of how things work and what needs to be done in order to reach desired objectives.

How is Business Process Modeling (BPM) Used?

  • Visualizing Processes: BPM allows organizations to visually represent their processes, providing a clear understanding of how activities, resources, and information flow within the organization.
  • Identifying Bottlenecks: By modeling business processes, organizations can identify potential bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas for improvement, enabling them to streamline operations.
  • Improving Communication: BPM facilitates improved communication and collaboration among stakeholders by providing a common visual language for discussing and understanding processes.
  • Supporting Decision-Making: BPM provides valuable insights for informed decision-making, enabling organizations to make data-driven changes to their processes.

2. Use Case Modelling

Use case modelling is a technique that lets you look at your system from the perspective of your customer.

Use Case Modeling is a technique used to capture and define the functional requirements of a system by illustrating how users interact with it. It involves identifying and documenting various scenarios that depict the interactions between users and the system to accomplish specific goals.

An isometric diagram of a group of people standing on a staircase, illustrating a use case modelling

It’s a great way to make sure you’re answering all their questions and making sure they get what they need out of your service or product. You can also use it to keep track of all the possible ways that different people and groups might interact with your company.

How is Use Case Modeling Used?

  • Requirement Uncovering: Use Case Modeling serves as a tool for uncovering and defining functional requirements through the identification of various use cases, scenarios, and user interactions.
  • System Design: Use Case Modeling aids in the design and development of systems by providing a clear understanding of user-system interactions and requirements, guiding the creation of user interfaces and system functionalities.
  • Communication Tool: Use Case models act as a communication tool between business stakeholders and technical teams, ensuring a common understanding of user-system interactions and requirements.
  • Testing and Validation: Use Case Modeling supports testing and validation activities by providing test scenarios and expected system behaviors, aiding in the verification of system functionality.

3. SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning technique used to identify and evaluate an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats. It involves the systematic analysis of these factors to inform strategic decision-making.

A group of people using a SWOT analysis to discuss business analysis.

Strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities are internal factors that affect the company, while threats are external factors that affect the company. The SWOT analysis is particularly useful in identifying areas that need improvement and areas where the business is doing well.

How is SWOT Analysis Used?

  • Strategic Planning: It provides a structured framework for organizations to assess their current position and make informed decisions about future strategies.
  • Business Assessment: SWOT Analysis helps in evaluating the internal capabilities and limitations of the organization, as well as the external factors that may impact its performance.
  • Risk Management: It aids in identifying potential risks and challenges in the external environment, allowing organizations to develop proactive risk management strategies.
  • Market Positioning: SWOT Analysis assists in understanding the organization’s competitive position and identifying opportunities to differentiate itself in the market.

4. MOST (Mission, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics) Analysis

MOST Analysis is a tool that can be used to determine an organization’s interest in entering a new market space or in determining if an industry is a good fit for its organization’s culture.

MOST Analysis focuses on four key elements:

  • Mission: The overarching purpose or reason for an organization’s existence, defining its fundamental role and aspirations.
  • Objectives: Clear and measurable goals that an organization aims to achieve within a specific timeframe, guiding its strategic direction.
  • Strategy: The approach or plan designed to achieve the defined objectives and fulfill the organization’s mission.
  • Tactics: The specific actions and initiatives undertaken to implement the chosen strategy and achieve the established objectives.
Icon for a business analysis framework discussions

How is MOST Analysis Used?

MOST Analysis finds diverse applications in strategic planning and organizational development:

  • Strategic Alignment: It helps in aligning organizational activities with its mission, ensuring that all efforts contribute to its overarching purpose.
  • Goal Setting and Evaluation: MOST Analysis aids in setting clear and measurable objectives and evaluating progress towards their achievement.
  • Resource Allocation: It supports effective resource allocation by ensuring that strategies and tactics are aligned with the organization’s mission and objectives.
  • Decision-Making: MOST Analysis provides a structured framework for making strategic decisions, ensuring that they are in line with the organization’s mission and long-term objectives.

5. PESTLE Analysis

PESTLE Analysis is a framework used to analyze the impact of external factors on an organization. The acronym PESTLE stands for:

An isometric image of a man looking at a PESTLE analysis on a screen
  • Political: Factors related to government policies, stability, and potential impacts on business operations.
  • Economic: Economic conditions, trends, and indicators that can affect the organization’s financial performance.
  • Social: Social and cultural factors, including demographics, lifestyle changes, and consumer behavior.
  • Technological: Technological advancements, innovation, and the impact of technology on the industry and organization.
  • Legal: Legal and regulatory factors, including laws, regulations, and compliance requirements.
  • Environmental: Environmental concerns, sustainability efforts, and their impact on business operations and reputation.

The components of the PESTLE analysis are then analyzed and given a score from 0-10, where 10 is considered favorable for the business and 0 is unfavorable. This technique is best used to identify existing threats and opportunities as well as to help understand what would need to change for the business to be more successful.

How is PESTLE Analysis Used?

  • Risk Assessment: It helps in identifying potential risks and opportunities arising from the external environment, guiding risk management strategies.
  • Strategic Planning: PESTLE Analysis informs strategic planning by providing insights into external factors that may impact the organization’s performance and objectives.
  • Market Research: It aids in understanding the broader market environment, including regulatory changes, technological trends, and societal shifts.
  • Business Expansion: PESTLE Analysis supports organizations in evaluating the feasibility and risks associated with entering new markets or expanding operations.

6. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a technique to be used when generating requirements and writing what-ifs.

Business Analysts brainstorm ideas

Brainstorming is a group problem-solving method that involves the spontaneous contribution of creative ideas and solutions. It encourages participants to think freely and express their thoughts without judgment, with the aim of generating innovative solutions and insights.

How is Brainstorming Used?

  • Idea Generation: It serves as a platform for generating a multitude of ideas to address business challenges, explore new opportunities, or innovate products and services.
  • Problem-Solving: Brainstorming helps in identifying and exploring potential solutions to complex problems by leveraging the collective creativity and expertise of participants.
  • Requirement Elicitation: It aids in eliciting diverse perspectives and requirements from stakeholders, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of user needs and business objectives.
  • Strategy Development: Brainstorming supports the development of strategic plans and initiatives by exploring various approaches and considering different viewpoints.

7. MoSCoW (Must or Should, Could or Would)

MoSCoW is a prioritization method that categorizes requirements into four distinct groups:

A group of business analysts engaged in a framework for business analysis
  • Must Have: Essential requirements that are critical for the success of the project or business objective.
  • Should Have: Important requirements that are desirable but not critical for the initial release or project delivery.
  • Could Have: Requirements that are considered as potential enhancements, but their inclusion is not critical at the current time.
  • Won’t Have (or Would Have): Requirements that are explicitly identified as not being included in the current scope.

This technique is used to determine which requirements must be met, which requirements should be met, which requirements could be met, and which requirements would be met if there is time and resources available.

How is MoSCoW Used?

  • Requirement Prioritization: It helps in prioritizing requirements based on their criticality and impact on project success, guiding resource allocation and planning.
  • Scope Management: MoSCoW assists in defining and managing the project scope by categorizing requirements into distinct priority levels.
  • Stakeholder Communication: It facilitates clear communication with stakeholders regarding the prioritization of requirements and the project’s focus areas.
  • Decision-Making: MoSCoW supports decision-making by providing a structured approach to evaluating and categorizing requirements based on their importance.

8. The 5 Whys

The 5 Whys is a technique used to identify the root cause of a problem. The technique involves asking “why” five times to get to the root cause of the problem. This technique is particularly useful in identifying areas where the business can improve.

A group of people discussing and planning business analysis frameworks

How is The 5 Whys Used?

The 5 Whys problem-solving technique finds diverse applications in business analysis and process improvement:

  • Root Cause Analysis: It helps in identifying the root cause of a problem by systematically asking “why” to trace the issue back to its origin.
  • Issue Resolution: The 5 Whys aids in addressing recurring problems by digging deeper into the underlying causes rather than addressing surface-level symptoms.
  • Process Improvement: It supports continuous improvement efforts by uncovering weaknesses in processes or systems and addressing them at their core.
  • Decision-Making: It assists in making informed decisions by providing a structured approach to understanding the factors contributing to a problem.

9. Gap Analysis

Gap Analysis is a method of assessing the performance of a business unit to determine whether business requirements or objectives are being met. It involves comparing the current state of the organization with its ideal state, highlighting shortcomings and opportunities for improvement.

Isometric icon for a GAP analysis in Business Analyst Frameworks

How is Gap Analysis Used?

Gap Analysis finds diverse applications in strategic planning and organizational development:

  • Performance Assessment: It helps in evaluating the current performance of the organization against its goals and objectives.
  • Identifying Opportunities: Gap Analysis aids in identifying areas where the organization can make improvements to bridge the gap between its current and desired state.
  • Resource Allocation: It supports effective resource allocation by identifying areas that require additional resources to meet the desired objectives.
  • Process Improvement: It facilitates the identification of inefficiencies and areas for process improvement within the organization.

Tips: If you are curios to learn more about business analysis and related topics, then check out all of our posts related to business analysis

Framework for Business Analysis: The Essentials

Leveraging the right frameworks and techniques is crucial for gaining valuable insights, making informed decisions, and driving organizational success.

The top 9 business analysis frameworks offer a diverse set of tools and methodologies to address complex business challenges, uncover opportunities, and drive strategic initiatives.

By understanding and applying these frameworks, organizations can enhance their analytical capabilities, improve decision-making, and achieve sustainable growth in dynamic business environments.

Key Takeaways: Business Analyst Frameworks

In short, the 9 frameworks we have looked at:

  1. Business process modelling (BPM) is a technique used to analyze existing or potential business processes in order to improve them.
  2. Use case modeling is a technique for visually representing how users interact with a system, helping to define system requirements and validate the functionality of a solution.
  3. SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that evaluates an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, providing valuable insights for strategic decision-making.
  4. MOST Analysis is a tool that can be used to determine an organization’s interest in entering a new market space or in determining if an industry is a good fit for its organization’s culture.
  5. PESTLE analysis evaluates the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors that impact an organization, providing a comprehensive understanding of the external business environment.
  6. Brainstorming is a collaborative technique that encourages the generation of diverse ideas and solutions to address business challenges and explore new opportunities.
  7. MoSCoW is a prioritization method that categorizes requirements into four distinct groups: Must have, Should have, Could have, Would have
  8. The 5 Why technique involves asking “why” five times to get to the root cause of the problem.
  9. Gap Analysis is a method of assessing the performance of a business unit to determine whether business requirements or objectives are being met.

FAQ: Business Analysis Techniques

What are the key steps involved in the business analysis process?

The business analysis process typically involves the following key steps:
Defining the problem: This involves identifying the problem or opportunity that the business is facing.
Gathering information: This involves collecting data and information about the problem or opportunity.
Analyzing the information: This involves analyzing the data and information to identify patterns, trends, and insights.
Identifying solutions: Based on the analysis, potential solutions are identified.
Evaluating solutions: The potential solutions are evaluated to determine the best course of action.
Implementing the solution: The chosen solution is implemented, and the results are monitored to ensure success.

What tools are essential for effective business analysis?

There are several tools that are essential for effective business analysis. Some examples:
Microsoft Excel: Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and modeling.
Flowcharting software: Flowcharting software is used to create process flow diagrams, which are often used in business analysis.
Requirements management software: This software is used to manage and track requirements throughout the project lifecycle.
Mind mapping software: This software is used to organize and visualize complex information.

Can you provide an example of a business analysis framework?

One example of a business analysis framework is Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model. This model is used for analyzing industries and considers the competitiveness of an industry in the market based on five different factors or forces, including rivalry among existing competitors, the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers, the threat of new entrants, and the threat of substitute products or services.

What are some common techniques used in business analysis?

Some common techniques used in business analysis include:
SWOT analysis: This technique is used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or project.
Use case modeling: This technique is used to identify the actors, goals, and scenarios of a system or process.
Data modeling: This technique is used to create a visual representation of the data and information used in a system or process.
Process modeling: This technique is used to create a visual representation of the steps involved in a process.

How can I create my own business analysis framework?

To create your own business analysis framework, you should:
Identify the problem or opportunity: Define the problem or opportunity that the framework will address.
Gather information: Collect data and information about the problem or opportunity.
Analyze the information: Analyze the data and information to identify patterns, trends, and insights.
Identify potential solutions: Based on the analysis, identify potential solutions.
Evaluate the solutions: Evaluate the potential solutions to determine the best course of action.
Implement the solution: Implement the chosen solution and monitor the results.

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Eric J.
Eric J.

Meet Eric, the data "guru" behind Datarundown. When he's not crunching numbers, you can find him running marathons, playing video games, and trying to win the Fantasy Premier League using his predictions model (not going so well).

Eric passionate about helping businesses make sense of their data and turning it into actionable insights. Follow along on Datarundown for all the latest insights and analysis from the data world.