Seven sutras for Business Analysis

Sutra:  Sutra is a Sanskrit literature which means rule or short instructions prepared for memorization. It is well accepted word around the globe and world of dictionary explains it as “A rule or aphorism in Sanskrit literature or a group of aphoristic doctrinal summaries prepared for memorization”

With the advancement of the technologies and the development of different domains, a job title which developed exponentially and the most prevalent is business analyst. Business analysts are the people who can be the spine of any organization and has the potential to think of the profits during the losses. Business analysts (BA) are like the warriors for any organization who have to keep away the worries throughout the project life-cycle. A business analyst is a renowned and process oriented individual who has to live with certain conditions which sometimes are unacceptable to him but as he is considered as a most important aspect of any project he has to work selflessly with an inspired heart and steady mind to give his best during the odd times. He is the person who has to use his intellect without being egoist and thus he has to show an altruistic commitment to the work and behave like a sage to achieve the best results out of the work.

An individual either develops or possesses habits of a business analyst but there are certain sutras which I think should be followed while performing the routine activities, some of them are listed below:

  • Educate yourself: Education always plays a very vital role in the personal and professional development. It is the most important aspect and it doesn’t matter what the source of learning is. The same formula is applied to business analysts as well. A business analyst should always be in learning mode and it helps him in increasing the intellect and referring the live examples of senior business analysts act as a catalyst in the growth of junior analysts.  There are certain techniques and skills which should be groomed regularly in business analysts. The set of knowledge areas as defined by BABOK is also a necessary field to be learned by business analysts.

  • Believe in Integrity: A business analyst act as a liaison among different stakeholders throughout the project is the well known fact and BAs while working with the stakeholders should believe in integrity as well. The sense of integrity rules out the possibility of distinction and thus the trust factor always remains in the stakeholders. Lakshmi Raj Sharma in the book “The Tailor’s Needle” says “Be the tailor’s needle which passes through every cloth without making any distinction”. This fact should also be followed by business analysts while working with different stakeholders in any of the projects. Working in a team with different people is not so comfortable and thus having the sense of integrity helps the individuals working in different teams with different people. And a BA whose prime task is to interact with different people including customers should posses this factor and believes in integrity.

  • Overcome the Fear: Fear is the greatest obstacle in the path of success. Fear as described by Debashish Chatterjee in his book as False Evidence shown As Real, is nothing but the state of mind. Fear begets nervousness and in turn performance gets degraded. Everyone in this immortal world has at least one fear in his mind which sometimes cannot be avoided and thus impacts the growth. The leaders around the world suggest overcoming such fears to achieve what you want. In the field of business analysis a BA might have some fears in his subconscious mind while working with different stakeholders. The fears of these BAs may be of different types which may include speaking in the meetings, putting forward ones ideas in public. These fears are sometimes so intense that they impact the confidence and in turn degrade the performance while working. Thus to be a confident BA it is always advised to wield the fear factors. His mind should not swing between the fear of losing and allure of winning but he should overcome the emotional turmoil.
  • Act on your conviction: Business analysts being an integral part of any organization’s growth and success should have the ability to work on his convictions. He should be the one leading from the front and should don the shoes of a doer and not of the participants. The decision making is not that easy if the future of any business depends on that and thus a business analyst is successful who has strong belief on his actions and decisions. A person can act on his convictions if he knows about his strengths and the weaknesses and continuously work on it to improve the behavior.  A BA acts like a seer to understand and visualize the requirements and believing on his illusions he comes up with certain convictions and in turn acts on it. A BA has to act like a leader sometime who work with evenness of mind to endure the value and selfless commitments. While acting on certain convictions and taking decisions a BA has not to consider his ego. Ego which is wrapped in skin, flesh, blood and bone sometimes controls the mind and results in taking wrong decisions. A successful BA is one who never allows his ego to come in the path of his career growth and the well renowned and sage leaders have always recommended controlling the ego while taking decisions which is for the masses. A BA has to take decision not for him but for the organization and thus he should think like a visionary and act like a mentor. Supporting the convictions and acting on one’s convictions Thomas Carlyle has once said, “Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.” Thus thinking and not acting is not sufficient. In order to be a trustworthy, believe in what you think and act on your beliefs. To support this Dr. Seuss also says, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant.”
  • Work-Life Balance: A balance is always necessary in any part of life. It is needed in actions and reactions. In today’s life where an individual has to work really hard to support his life standards the balance in the work and life is gradually disappearing. Normally we hear people saying about work-load and work-pressure but where exactly that load is, its in the back of the mind. Due to continuous thinking of only work, the pressure keeps on developing in the subconscious mind and it results in many unwanted diseases thus the balance in work and life should always be maintained. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy is very old and popular saying but how many of us really believe on this. A BA who holds the gravity of the project throughout its life-cycle should not get involved in it so deeply that he forgets his personal life. Thus maintaining a balance is always recommended. Fulfilling the potential and always winning is not the only option but believing in what we do and engagement in work are also important factors.
  • Power of Wisdom: A BA is successful if he is the knower of his field. The knowledge in any field or domain comes with experience but the wisdom comes by articulating the knowledge with head and heart both. Wisdom gives the power to knowledge and develops the confidence in beliefs. A BA should look beyond the usual pattern and deepen his vision to look with the eye of wisdom. This wisdom gives him freedom from boundaries and limitations of mental beliefs. Utilizing the power of wisdom a BA can use his knowledge in certain fields and can change the way which affects the organizations growth. Wisdom develops the patience of listening and a BA is successful when he listens completely before taking any decisions.
  • Integral vision and self-organization:  A famous Chinese proverb, “No matter it is a white cat or a black cat, if it catches the mice it’s a good cat” (please avoid the exact wordings here)  explains the gist of being visionary and learned professional. A BA sometimes is not provided with complete requirement and there is always a variance in the requirements thus in that case he should take help of his experience and integral vision while taking any decisions for future. Prioritizing the work or the requirements is also an important task for them. This organization of the work is of utmost importance as work itself never exhausts us but the worry and anxiety that we associate with work says Debashish Chatterjee in his book on timeless leadership.

Happy Reading!!!

8 thoughts on “Seven sutras for Business Analysis”

  1. Dr. Lakshmi Raj Sharma, writer of “The Tailor’s Needle” who had been an inspiring man in my life has always been great at analyzing different facets of life and put them in words. All of us who have been blessed by his teachings at some point in our lives are thankful to you for quoting his great work here. I work as Business Analyst too and your thoughts deeply convince me on how a business analyst should work keeping in mind the interest of all the stakeholders of the project.

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