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Retail Systems Business Analyst

Australia, South Africa, or UK

Our vision

Our mission is simple - to make retailing easier. To do this, we provide our clients with retail solutions and services built around our leading end-to-end retail management platform. Our typical clients include general merchandise retailers such as apparel, sportswear, and homeware retailers.

Operating in a dynamic and competitive market, we pride ourselves on differentiation through 20 years of retail-specific expertise combined with out-of-the-box and tailored retail solutions that help retailers to achieve their goals. We offer our people a culture of innovation, agility, opportunity, and reward in return for dedication, passion, and proactivity.

Your role

The role of a Business Analyst is to establish and document Retail Directions’ understanding of a client’s (or potential client’s) system requirements at a particular point in time.

A Requirements Specification states in precise and explicit language the functions and capabilities the software must provide, along with any factors that have imposed limits on the solution to be produced by Retail Directions. Any assumptions and dependencies that may impact the scope of the solution are also listed.

A well-written Requirements Specification accomplishes several goals:

  • It assures the client that Retail Directions understands the underlying business need and the software behaviour necessary to help the organisation achieve its goals.
  • It provides a blueprint for completing a project and accurately defines the project scope and cost.
  • It serves as input to other activities and artefacts required to deliver the solution e.g. design, validation and verification, end-user documentation.

The role requires a high level of competency spanning requirements elicitation and articulation, analysis, and effective communication with all stakeholders, both internally and externally.

Clients must see the Business Analyst as the person who is competent and who can be trusted. This requires retail industry knowledge, understanding of technology and how to use it within a retail enterprise, and professional engagement at all times.

Reporting & Accountability

Within Retail Directions, a Business Analyst usually reports to either a Product Manager or the Client Services Manager.

Activities, Duties & Deliverables

Staying Informed

  • Maintain an awareness of the Retail Directions Product Roadmap.
  • Maintain an awareness of the Software Development Schedule; in particular, each planned software release for which requirements specifications (and related documentation) must be produced.
  • Understand the capabilities of the existing Retail Directions Platform, to make sure that already existing functionality is taken into account when defining the requirements.

Administration

  • Be familiar with the Requirements Specification Template and Requirements Specification Checklist.
  • Prior to commencement of work, check that the proper commercial arrangements are in place (e.g. approved work orders) and that the scope of work has been clearly stated. If the commercials are not approved, work must not commence.
  • For client work, report promptly to the client’s Account Manager any potential overrun to the agreed effort or cost.
  • Ensure that high-quality time sheet entries are created for all commercial activities, within two working days post the activity.
  • Control requirement creep attributable to requirements that are missed or outside of the original scope of the project, ensuring that change control procedures are strictly adhered to.
  • Ensure that all software specifications undergo an internal formal review and approval prior to release to a client.

Requirements Elicitation and Communication

  • Provide estimates of the effort, in hours, for gathering requirements and producing a Requirements Specification.
  • When working with a client, understand the client’s current systems architecture, current business processes, and their strategic objectives, making every effort to engage with the key stakeholders within the client’s organisation.
  • Elicit client requirements using research, onsite visits, interviews, workshops, analysis, and interpretation of various forms of client documentation, etc.
  • Research the subject matter to ensure that the requirements are aligned with the applicable standards and industry best practice.
  • Ensure that standard industry terminology is used, with proper understanding of the meaning of key words.
  • If required, prepare business cases/return on investment (ROI) analyses, to justify the proposed projects.
  • Prepare software Requirements Specifications (using the Retail Directions Requirements Specification Template).
  • When applicable, augment the requirements specification with use cases, business process models (as-is and to-be), data flow diagrams, user interface (UI) mock-ups, data entity diagrams, and schema (table) definitions.
  • Identify and document dependencies and interrelationships between requirements, as well as any assumptions and constraints.
  • Wherever possible, the Business Analyst must ensure that generalised solutions, aligned with Retail Directions product strategy, are proposed.
  • When writing a Requirements Specification, consider and document how the new feature can be implemented without disruption to the client’s business.
  • Implement ways to reuse requirements across projects.
  • Act as an information resource e.g. respond to queries from colleagues concerning requirements or client business processes that are unclear.
  • Work with system designers, to assist them in converting requirements into system designs.
  • Perform peer review of Requirements Specifications, in accordance with the Requirements Specification Checklist to ensure that they adhere to the standards.
  • Participate in reviews of artefacts, which have been derived from requirements specifications (e.g. designs, test cases), to ensure that the requirements were interpreted correctly.
  • Create and review Release Notes, User Guides, Deployment Instructions, and the Retail Directions Glossary of Terms.
Subject Matter Expertise

  • For areas of the Retail Directions platform in which the Business Analyst has established a thorough working knowledge:
    • Participate in pre-sales workshops, to assess a prospective client’s business objectives and the degree of fit of the Retail Directions Platform.
    • Present functional areas of the platform to existing/prospective clients.

Professional Development

  • Continually expand your knowledge of the Retail Directions Platform (RMS, SMS, WebShop, RMSmx, SMSmx, DCM, Web services, EHOI, etc.)
  • Develop a good knowledge of the RMS data model.
  • Whenever possible, participate in scheduled training sessions relating to the Retail Directions Platform.
  • Keep up to date with new developments and events in the retail industry and wherever possible document gaps and new ideas that may be of benefit to the Retail Directions Platform.

Capabilities, Skills, and Knowledge

Personal Qualities

  • The Business Analyst must be trustworthy, disciplined and have a well-structured, process-oriented approach to their work.
  • An enthusiastic, pro-active, person who maintains a positive attitude and works well under pressure.
  • Able to maintain high energy and have a confident approach when dealing with people inside and outside the Company.
  • Flexible in accepting work assignments and capable of following directions.
  • Able to work responsibly with and without direct supervision, to adhere to a plan and meet deadlines.
  • Strong administrative skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills - to help negotiate priorities, resolve conflicts among project stakeholders and work effectively in a team.
  • Strong problem solving and issue resolution skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills - to convey information effectively and professionally at all levels. The ability to communicate clearly in English is essential.
  • Able to handle multiple tasks and balance the workload based on priority of assignments and consistently deliver outputs within the quality standard on time.
  • Excellent personal presentation, commensurate with the Retail Directions Corporate Dress Code and with high professional standards.
  • Able to travel interstate and internationally.

Skills & Capabilities

  • Interviewing skills - to talk with individuals and groups about their needs and ask the right questions to elicit essential requirements information.
  • Listening skills - to understand what people say and to detect what they might be hesitant to say.
  • Facilitation skills - to lead requirements gathering workshops.
  • Observational skills - to validate data obtained via other techniques to ensure that all of the requirements have been gathered.
  • Analytical skills - to critically evaluate the information gathered from multiple sources, reconcile conflicts, translate high-level information into details and vice versa, distinguish presented user requests from the underlying true needs, and distinguish solution ideas from requirements.
  • Modelling skills, to represent requirements information in graphical forms that add value to and support written requirements, including using modelling lanmodelingready established in the development organisation.
  • Organisational skills - to work with the vast array of information gathered during elicitation and analysis and to cope with rapidly changing information. To understand priorities - and organise/execute work accordingly to meet deadlines consistently.
  • Strong understanding of commercial software processes and principles.
  • Strong understanding of the retail industry, information technology and its use in retail.
  • A thorough working knowledge of business process modelling tools and techniques.
  • Working knowledge of the Microsoft Windows Platform, Microsoft Office applications and relational databases.

Education and Experience

The Business Analyst is expected to have:

  • Either a tertiary qualification in Information Technology, Business or related commercial field or demonstrable equivalent experience.
  • At least 3 years commercial business analysis experience.
  • Proven experience writing software requirements specification and business process modelling.
  • Recent retail industry experience with both consumer-facing systems and Head Office management systems.

If you feel you have the skills and experience to excel in this role, and would like to join our Retail Directions team, we would love to hear from you.

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