Business Analysis metaphysics
In my own head I know what I ‘do’ – and at the risk of getting all philosophically, I know what I ‘am’. I am a Business Analyst, a Bee-Ay, I work in IT, but I’m not very technical. My job is to translate business needs into computer systems, or better processes, or anything I’m asked to do really. No I can’t fix your computer. What is it you do again, something to do with requirements?
You see my problem, the world of Business Analysis has a PR problem, part of a whole industry (IT) that has a PR problem. I have spent my whole career trying to explain what I do. Even this week 2 fellow IT professionals (no names no pack-drill) seemed confused…one thought I did something with statistics or data, another thought I was a systems analyst, which is a whole different thing!
To try to explain, in lieu of an escalator speech, here is my list of “do’s” and “don’ts”.
Top 10 – What Business Analysts do:
- We understand, document and analyse requirements, except on Agile projects where there are no requirements!
- We are experts in a company’s business but are not Subject Matter Experts.
- We are technically aware but are not technicians (see also Don’ts)
- We are excellent communicators, empathisers, problem-solvers, conflict-resolvers, politicians, critical thinkers, team players, and self-starting, self-motivated individuals.
- We are independent, except when we are a champion or a stakeholder.
- We can be generalists or specialists.
- We are strategic big picture blue sky thinkers with a methodical mindset and a good attention to detail.
- We can work on projects or be part of a business unit, or both (matrix) or neither.
- We can be permanent or freelance.
- We are the bridge between the business and IT. We make a difference!
What Business Analysts don’t do:
- We don’t manage projects, design, code or test, except when we are called on to do all these things!
- See Do list above
So, that’s cleared up that confusion then! What’s next rocket science 🙂
There is a longer definition of the role of a Business Analyst in the Table of IT Elements.
As always thank you for your questions, feedback and comments.
(c) 2015 Antony Lawrence CBA Ltd.