BA - choice

Business Analysis – By Choice

BA - career choiceDo you aspire to be a business analyst?

Do you think you have taken enough steps but still not got right opportunity?

Have you prepared yourself to grow in the field of business analysis?

Have you thought of other opportunities which better fit your goals?

These are some of those important questions which should be answered before a career plan for a business analyst is followed. Believe me there are certain scenarios where after working for many years people don’t find relevant profiles and this is only because the right approach of growing was not followed. Once you have decided becoming a business analyst, you need to do some introspection to prove your skills to nobody else but to yourself.

With the growth of technologies and techniques, every sector is now growing and the intellect of the people working in these sectors is increasing. With the involvement and growth of outsourcing industry the platter is always full with different ideas and a volunteer is needed to segregate the most correct ones (as no idea is right or wrong till the brainstorming is done on the same). This need of having someone skilled professional is catered by business analysts. Business analysts act as a liaison between different stakeholders and maintain the spirit of collaboration by managing the ideas and requirements. They need to take care of every idea pitched during different sessions of elicitation and document the most correct ones in understandable format. Business analysis is not inbuilt ability and certainly it can be taught and learned. There are different knowledge areas for business analysis which can be learned with course of time but I firmly believe that self-evaluation is needed before stepping into the career of a business analyst. Recognize your skills and groom them to grow in the field of business analysis instead of dying like an elephant whose hind leg is tied with a chain since he was an infant and he could not recognize his strength. Think like that golden eagle which despite of grown with the chickens recognized its strength and have flown in the sky.

If don’t get create an opportunity:

Julia was a software developer in her organization but she had an inclination towards the requirements management and elicitation. She spoke to her manager about her aspirations but there was no profile in the organization matching her aspirations, so she started taking up the tasks of requirements management and documenting the business requirements. In the course of time, her manager started involving in different stakeholder meetings and Julia used to document the gist of the meetings and this practice had made her grow her skills and later on when the development process was streamlined and the customer feedback was above expectations senior management realized that someone with such skills was always required for that role. Julia cracked the nutshell and she became the full-time BA in her organization. Thus Julia has created an opportunity for herself. Do remember switching your career in other organization is difficult then finding relevant role in your current organization.

Own the tasks and perform:

Business analysis is not only about documenting the requirements and sharing the details with the development team after getting sign-off from the business (typical requirement management process) but it’s also about taking ownership. BAs most of the times work independently and they do not have to directly report to project managers and thus the skill of taking ownership is of prime importance. Once the task is taken it should be delivered on time with certain mandate points. The certain tolerance levels are acceptable but not always and also the delays must be alarmed and informed to all the responsible stakeholders to avoid any communication gaps. BA plays very vital role in maintaining the pace of the project development and thus the regular follow-ups are required to understand the growth and development.

Think beyond the role:

The above story of Julia inspires me a lot as she has taken a step ahead from her routine tasks. She never thought of her role only as a developer but worked to grab the opportunity to live with her aspirations. When she thought of getting herself involved in different meetings to understand the requirement, she actually has thought beyond her role and instead of getting stick to one profile she was doing multiple tasks. And she never gave up till the management realized that a full-time BA was required. The BAs have to do multiple tasks and they need to be present in every phase of the development. So right from the project kick-off till the project is live, BA has to play different roles. With different roles comes different responsibilities and a BA has to live and grow with that.

Domain knowledge is not the only factor:

The different industries have different processes and same applies with different domains as well. The experts in different domains are always in demand and anyone who is expert in any of the available domains can switch to the BA profile easily as a functional consultant or domain expert but this is not the end of the world. Having domain experience is not the only gateway to be a BA but the more important factor is to have the understanding of the business processes and how to cater the business needs. Someone worked for several years in any specific domain need not be able to understand the business logic and then comes into the picture the knowledge areas of Business analysts. If one follows the pragmatic approaches and have fair understanding of tools and techniques the domain knowledge can never be a barrier in his growth. I don’t undermine the importance of the domain but it can be learned with the course of time and it is not the only factor.

Think of niche practices:

Not all the techniques taught in different BA skills grooming classes are followed in the real life. Most of the times BA has to follow the set trend being part of one organization but there are certain skills and practices which are often required when you want to switch the organization. Thus understanding the current trend in the market is pretty important. Awareness of those skills which are comparatively niche but can sometime be a trigger to promote you in the role is necessary. When Robert decided to move to the BA role he was not domain expert and also his current profile doesn’t allow him to groom his skills outside the limited boundary but one thing which separated him from the crowd is the knowledge of a niche tool and with the growth of that tool his skills became his prized possession and soon he became the master of that tool and later he got a BA role in an organization where that particular tool was majorly used. You never know which practice can act as a stepping stone in your career path so never close the door for the learning opportunities and try to figure out the responsibilities and job roles required for the BA role in local market. Discuss with the seniors and experts to understand the demands in the market and plan your career accordingly.

Learning is a continuous process:

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely” — Auguste Rodin

You are the best judge of using your experience. There is nothing right or wrong until it is proved and thus the doors to learning are always open. We start learning right from the day we are born and the process keep on till we die and thus you never know which experience you can utilize in what form. As a BA this fact should never be undermined and instead of pontificating it’s always recommended to listen, engage, evaluate, observe and perform. With the continuous learning the incompetence converts into competence and invisible becomes clearly visible.

Business analysis is about being curious and inquisitive about the requirements. It’s not easy to suffice the demands of everyone involved in the brainstorming sessions and to present the precise requirements is the art. Follow pragmatic approaches and be affable to avoid the chaos during the development process. Remember you are the spine to any project development and its your responsibility to get the things done on time and with quality.

Happy Reading!!!

 

 

4 thoughts on “Business Analysis – By Choice”

  1. sir really the message is very positive for the people who are looking as a Business Analyst.
    I have domain knowledge (Life Insurance) with some knowledge of BA through IIBA and some basic techniques of BA like UML, SDLC etc.
    Could you suggested me how to get a entry as a Business Analyst.

    1. Hi Natarajan,

      I feel glad to see your aspirations for Business analysis. You are a step ahead than others by having domain knowledge. Try to utilize that knowledge and check in your organization if there is a need of someone who can understand the business requirements and convert them into more understandable formats for developers.
      Try to do that part for free and it will help you in gaining experience and grooming your skills.
      If you are not able to find any relevant option in your organization, learn some more techniques and knowledge areas of BA and then apply for BA profile in other organizations. You can always get benefit of having experience in life insurance.
      Best of luck, for any other queries you can write to me: mail@expertbusinessanalyst.com

      — BR/Aniket

  2. Hello

    My name is Shane kirwan. I recently graduated college with a degree in business information systems. Over the past few years I have worked in jobs that came up short of what I expected and lost touch with my analyst skills I had learned. I would like to get some advice on how to redevelop my skills and get that chance again to try for an analyst job. Since leaving college I did become more technical with computers doing maintenance courses such as Comptia A+ and apple repair technical courses. I now feel its time I get back to becoming what I wanted to be but am unsure how to start. Any advice would be greatly appreciated from you.

    Many Thanks
    Shane

    1. Hi Shane,
      I would advise you to give sometime to yourself in doing some introspection. First think of your skills and list down those in which you have got expertise. Try to compare the level of your expertise with the full time analysts in your surroundings. Later you can develop those skills which you lack. Remember business analysis is not by birth it can always be learned with time.
      I can see you have hands-on experience in some tools but those tools do not have much importance with reference to analyst career but you can be a consultant or techno-functional utilizing this strength (remember Knowledge is like energy which can be transformed from one form to another). Check for the organizations looking for people having expertise in the tools you worked on and then try to represent yourself as a consultant for them. In parallel don’t forget to read about the knowledge areas of an analyst and learn the different techniques (remember learning is a continuous process) and other tools which can help you in grooming your career as a full time analyst.
      I wish you best of luck for your endeavors and in case of further queries please write to me at: mail@expertbusinessanalyst.com or use “contact us” option in the website.

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