Leveraging business analysis to drive customer-centric solutions 

When it comes to achieving business goals, there aren’t many things more important than making customers happy. However, amidst the multitude of competing business priorities, often this critical aspect is overlooked within current ways of working.

Let’s explore how your business can become more customer centric by leveraging Business Analysis.

To begin, let’s cover the basics of what it means to be customer centric. From Gartner:

“Customer centricity is the ability of people in an organisation to understand customers’ situations, perceptions, and expectations. Customer centricity demands that the customer is the focal point of all decisions related to delivering products, services and experiences to create customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”

Customer Centricity requires people in an organisation to ask, “how does this fulfil our customers’ needs and wants?” about various activities in the organisation. Note that this is not expected to come at the expense of:

  • Profit/Loss
  • Strategic direction
  • Legal requirements

On the contrary; often customer centricity can enhance these elements of business. Leveraging a Business Analyst (BA) in your project ensures effective navigation of your business priorities, all while maintaining focus on your customers.

Who is the customer?

“Who is the customer?” can be surprisingly difficult to answer, depending on the project you’re working on. The clearest answer to this is “someone who is buying the products your organisation produces”. There are however two cases to keep in mind which can make customer-centric thinking a little more complex depending on your project: 

  1. The person buying your product may not be the one directly using your product. This is an important distinction, since often technology platforms are built with the person actually using the product in mind. It is, however, necessary to remember that the things which make a user of your product happy may differ from the person buying your product. This could make them less inclined to make future purchases or recommend your business to others who will also buy your product. When analysing requirements, Business Analysts will often use personas to differentiate between these groups. 
  2. The project being worked on may not involve a customer who would provide revenue for your business. This is especially true for internal projects, including technology transformation projects around Finance, HR, IT etc. In this case, it can be helpful to look at the internal decision makers and the end users of the transformation as “customers”. While it is not entirely the aim of customer centric thinking, sometimes projects just aren’t directly connected to a customer. It is important to make efforts to link projects to a customer, but if it’s too far removed, that does not mean the project is unimportant. 

A Customer-Centric BA Approach

Business Analysts have a lot of tools at their disposal to identify pain points, motivations, requirements etc. Even with this toolset, consideration towards the customer can still be lost without reinforcement. While User Stories are particularly good at emphasising user needs, even they can miss the mark when it comes to prioritising customers. 

Let’s have a look at some of the ways a Business Analyst can help emphasise customer centricity within your project: 


A good measure of whether your project is customer centric is where the customer-focussed items are in your priority list. If you’re finding your high priority items are less relevant to your customers, you may want to revise your prioritisation.

Create a traceability matrix:

Traceability is often helpful to link a higher-level business requirement to a more detailed functional requirement, and then to a test case. Traceability matrices can also be used to link back to business objectives and personas, including your customers. 

Identify risks and issues:

While it can be easy to note down issues from a technical perspective, incorporating a customer-centric approach when assessing the risks and issues can help provide perspective around importance. It can also provide ideas on how to approach solutions for these challenges. 

For each of these examples of good BA practice, your BA can try to incorporate a customer lens. In order to gain a string understanding of your customers, BAs might use questions like the following: 

  • “How would your customer use this?” 
  • “How often do they perform this task?” 
  • “Which customers did you have in mind for this feature?” 
  • “Do your customers value ease of use or being able to customise?” 
  • “Would this customer rather have X or Y feature first?” 


Though a business will have many priorities, and a project will aim to achieve them, a focus on customers can be the difference between a project that delivers lasting results and a project which misses the mark. Embedding customer centricity into the project can be the difference, and Business Analysts are well placed to bridge the gap between a focus on technical excellence and a focus on what customers really want. 

Enjoyed this blog?

Share it with your network!

You may also like

Let us know how we can help