What is the most important relationship to have as a business analyst?

Being a good business analyst is not just about eliciting requirements and delivering the right solution.  It is also about how well you manage relationships on the project team.  Developing and maintaining good relationships is hands down one of the most important tasks a business analyst must master in order to be effective.

Here is why!

As a business analyst, you are responsible for identifying organizational problems; eliciting, documenting and managing stakeholder requirements; recommending solutions and facilitating the successful implementation of those solutions.  In order to execute those tasks successfully, you must have good relationships with a number of people throughout the project lifecycle.

Here are a few people you should keep in mind:

  • Stakeholders
  • Development Team
  • Quality Assurance Testers
  • Project Managers


Stakeholders have a vested interest in the change, need or solution being proposed.  Stakeholders are a key part of the planning, requirements elicitation, analysis, user acceptance testing and implementation stages of the project, and it is critical to have their support and involvement throughout those phases.  Establishing yourself as a trustworthy, knowledgeable business analyst on the project with a goal to serve your stakeholders helps to establish a good relationship and foster high stakeholder involvement in the requirements process

Development Team

The development team has a vested interested in ensuring the solution meets the stakeholders’ needs.  As a business analyst, establishing and maintaining a relationship with the development team is critical during the design and development phase of the project.  It is during this phase that a business analyst may need to respond to requirements questions, evaluate potential solutions and participate in unit and integration testing with the development team.  Maintaining a good relationship with the development team helps to ensure an open dialogue so that the right solution is delivered based on stakeholders’ needs.

Quality Assurance Testers

Quality assurance testers are responsible for developing the test strategy, test cases and successful execution of the unit and integration testing of the solution prior to user acceptance testing.  As a business analyst, establishing and maintaining a good relationship with this group is critical during this phase of the project.  It is during this phase that a business analyst will need to review the test plans to ensure all the requirements and data needs are clearly identified, ensure all test cases are traced back to the requirements and assist in triaging the defects to ensure proper assignment for defect resolution and retest.  Maintaining a good relationship with the quality assurance team establishes a collaborative environment for the successful testing of a solution and helps to provide a transparent environment for feedback during testing to uncover and resolve as many defects as possible prior to user acceptance testing.

Project Managers

Project managers are responsible for the overall project success.  Establishing and maintaining a good relationship built on trust and mutual respect for each other’s profession is critical to the project.  It is imperative that the project manager trust the business analyst to meet deadlines and manage the development and communication of requirements as well as manage any issues and changes that may arise related to the requirements.  Having a good relationship with the project manager ensures the development and management of requirements is seamless throughout the project. 

Ultimately, a business analyst is involved in all aspects of the project and establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with all project team members needs to be a top priority for project success. 

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