Seven threats to Business analyst

Business Analysis is now very familiar in IT industry and different organizations have now started creating a separate position for an individual who can act as a bridge among different stakeholders. Before the introduction of this position, the project managers or team leaders were asked to act as a single point of contact for different stakeholders to solve the queries and to maintain the pace of the project. But with the advancement of the techniques, it started becoming difficult for them to manage multiple tasks and thus the productivity was hampered. Then business analysts came into existence who not only have fair understanding of the requirements but also understand the methods to maintain the pace of the project and now IT industry is relied on the business analysts to fulfill the increasing demands and BAs are now the part of the core team.

With the inclusion of business analysts in the core work force, many organizations believe that the implementation rate is much higher than before and this not only matters with the quantity but also with the quality of the work delivered. Business analysts being the liaison among different stakeholders remain in touch with all stakeholders and in case of any variance in the requirements mark them and escalate it with the dependent parties. That is they always intend to manage the requirements throughout the project life cycle or SDLC.

While working with different stakeholders, business analysts have to take care of certain processes and organization’s policies which sometimes beget the threats for them. Business analysts being renowned individuals have to live with certain processes with the altruistic commitments towards the work but there are certain threats to business analysts and they have to live with them sometime.

1. Frequent change in requirements

Joseph has conducted all possible sessions with the stakeholders to understand the business requirements, he elicited the same, documented and shared with the development team after proper sign-off but the new project has some unclear requirements and they are getting changed frequently.

This frequent change in requirements results in rework and burden on teams and in turn delays the completion. This normally happens with the introduction of the new functionality or the development of the unplanned applications. The introduction of sprints and agile methodologies for development has reduced the chances of rework and these methodologies have the property to cater the changes in the requirements. BAs are advised to document the requirements after proper elicitation done and techniques followed.

2. Error comes in live environment only

David always sits with the QA team while the test cases being executed in the non-production environment to confirm that there is no gap in the requirement implementation but the error which come in the live or production environment amaze him always and to cover up this he always try to maintain the sync in the prod and non-prod environments.

The story of David is normal and it happens in most of the cases. BAs who write test cases and responsible for UAT facilitation are well aware of this as the error which comes in live environment only is very critical and takes time to get resolved. Also these types of errors are sometimes difficult to explain to the end users or critical business users as they bother only about the end results. In such cases BAs are advised to think proactively about the infrastructure of the prod and dev environments and then plan to implement the requirements. Replicating the issues coming in live environments only is one of the biggest threats for developers as finding the root cause in that situation is always difficult.

3. Stakeholders not convinced with the solution

Wilson is very smart and proactive in finding the solutions but he lacks the convincing power which hinders him to get go-ahead with the final solutions from different stakeholders.

The solution assessment and validation is one of the important tasks for the business analysts include the solution proposal and evaluation. The threat which comes to BA’s mind is to convince the stakeholders about the credibility of the proposed solution and also the same will not hamper the performance. What happen if a key stakeholder is not convinced with the solution; try to convince him using supporting solutions and stories including some genuine reports.

4. Overloaded and unnecessary Communication

Steve is comfortable in communicating with stakeholders but sometimes due to the extra involvement of stakeholders the communication becomes overloaded which also hampers his performance.

Managing the requirements throughout the project life cycle is pretty important and thus streamlined communication is of utmost importance to avoid any gaps. But if the business analysts are overburdened with sending mails, attending calls and convincing the stakeholders all the time, there will certainly be performance degradation and the probability of the delay increases and in turn the BA has to be ready with his defence. Thus overloaded and unnecessary communication can be harmful for a BA.

5. Dependency on the dormant stakeholder

George was happy working with his team and stakeholders till a important part of the project is outsourced to Alan’s company under his supervision which changed George’s life completely. While George believes in instant response, Alan has its own style of working. Alan is kind of dormant and this always delays George’s work. George can’t do anything as his work is totally dependent on Alan’s response.

This story is quite common and many BAs can relate it with their routine activities when they have to work with different stakeholders and one of them doesn’t work as per the expectations. In such cases, BAs can initiate the communication proactively to get the work done in time.

6. Clash of the titans

Andy is not egoist but he doesn’t believe in suffering due to others’ ego. This sometimes results in clashes during the solution assessment and he being a BA should always be ready with supportive examples to defend his points.

Business analysts being a liaison among stakeholders have a threat of opinions getting clashed. The clashes should not result in delays is the objective of the BAs which can be met if they drive the situation towards the conclusion.

7. Demolition of real-self

Ronald believes that his image is pretty good among the stakeholders and everyone understands his points. Due to this he sometimes becomes defensive to protect his image preventing him to present his views and opinions. Should he believe in real self the solutions can be better.

BAs instead of protecting their image believe in getting things done on time to add value. Self-image getting demolished is a threat to BAs but the point is to be real and maintain the standard.

Happy Reading!!!


3 thoughts on “Seven threats to Business analyst”

  1. Very Well written with real scenarios….I would like to understand more about the first scenario that client usually wants worlds best thing to implement in his project and it leads into frequent requirement changes.
    The agile approach is the best for such cases but as a BA how you would convince your SDM or PM or Client your place as a BA in Agile Environment. Please Advise.

    1. Hi Nutan,

      Being a BA is itself a challenging and for Agile methodology it sometimes become really a risk to maintain the credibility throughout the project. Here are few pointers:

      1. Proactively decide the items to be included in different chunks and then discuss it with the business owners to materialize it.
      2. work closely with development team to get the changes accommodated before the final solution delivers.
      3. Maintain the backlog and regularly change the priority of the items.
      4. User stories are the key for defining the requirements in Agile, create the same in more understandable format.

      Best wishes,

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