Roles and Responsibilities of a BA

Over the last few decades the role of Business analysts has been evolved from just eliciting, managing or documenting the requirements to gap analysis, risk analysis, strategy and enterprise analysis and many more. The BA is now more prominent and has developed himself in certain other areas where he can utilize his skills in several other fields which are important for the successful completion of the project and to avoid any zany decisions which may lead to the delay in the completion of the project.

The roles and responsibilities of a BA is quite wide and scattered. A BA has to work with different teams and act as a liaison among different stakeholders to mitigate any ambiguity in the requirements. On one hand a BA works with the business owners to pull out exact requirements and on the other he helps the development team to grasp the requirement completely.

The area of BA’s work is vast and challenging. Depending on the organization, the responsibilities can be varied. In some organizations a business analyst is more inclined towards technical details and has very less business knowledge, on the other hand there are some organizations which hire Business analysts with very strong hold on business understanding. I believe a successful business analyst is one who can not only see “the larger picture” of the business scope but also able to understand the technical and architectural catalysts.

In short Business analysts must be comfortable working with “specialists” in diverse roles and to understand the business from many diverse perspectives. Business Analysts skill-set can be defined as in the below picture:

BA-rolesandresponsibilites

                                                                                                    Business Analyst Skills [Courtsey: http://business-analyst.net]

In the words of Debra Paul, MD,Assist knowledge development ltd and chartered fellow of BCS the core business analysts’ role can be defined as:

An internal consultancy role that has the responsibility for investigating business situations, identifying and evaluating options for improving business systems, defining requirements and ensuring the effective use of information systems in meeting the needs of the business.

 

A business analyst can handle any of the above mentioned roles but there are some guiding principles as well which all Business analysts should follow in order to specialize in the given position:

  • Focus on the root cause, not the symptoms of the issue.
  • Should always be ready with the options, instead of solutions as sometimes solutions may take longer time in implementation.
  • Always be ready for negotiation with all the stakeholders as sometimes you need to convince the business owners and sometimes the developers.
  • Look at the big picture in order to define the strategy as may be your small decision can have an impact at the enterprise level.
  • Instead of writing the requirements in a plain English text, try to use some prototyping tools in order to have a clear understanding of the requirement.
  • Have an eye on the full business life cycle, i.e. right from the requirement elicitation to the go-live of the project.
  • Continuous interaction with the development team, testing team and preparation of the UAT documents.

Happy Reading

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