Dispelling the myths of the Business Analysis Role in Senior Management
“A business analyst is any person who performs business analysis tasks described in the BABOK® Guide, no matter their job title or organizational role”. (IIBA – Business Analysis Book of Knowledge v3.0)
In my career I have had many roles and from the most junior to the more senior and all have required business analysis skills. I can appreciate from experience that business analysis skills are good foundational skills that can be applied universally across all roles and disciplines.
Why is this relevant and how can I apply this learning?
When you are hungry for success in your business or you want to progress through an organisation, you have to identify the tasks that give you the best results from your investment of time and energy. The key learning for all business analysis activities is to perform the most suitable tasks to satisfy the business need and perform the task as though you are an independent consultant. This will ensure that you apply an impartial view throughout any business analysis to remain objective and accurate.
In my experience the foundational business analysis skills that you learn in the more junior roles are still relevant and sometimes more critical as you progress up the ladder. Therefore, understanding these skills and refining them overtime gives you an edge over other people applying for the same roles.
Business Analysis skills are relatively easy to learn on the job. This is enhanced if you have good mentors and you are keen to learn. A good rounded BA is a BA that has had the opportunities to experience all forms of learning over a period of measured BA activity.
The most effective people that carryout business analysis tasks are the people that apply best practises. There are a number of organisations that promote best practises and a good example is the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). This international organisation provides the BA Book of Knowledge (BABOK®) as it’s best practise guide to business analysis.
What is a good rounded Business Analyst?
Being part of a professional affiliation – The IIBA Adelaide Branch is part of a world-wide association that focuses on the BA discipline, providing vast resources of best practises.
Study Groups – The IIBA Adelaide Branch offer places on Study Groups to IIBA Members twice a year. At these study groups, trained and experienced BAs facilitate a 12-week course for around 20 people. This is a highly interactive and hands-on training opportunity and adds to the training points for the IIBA professional certifications.
Mentoring on the job – Many consultancies like ASTAL have Adelaide-based consultancy practises that provide mentoring opportunities in paid or volunteering positions. Also, many companies in Adelaide welcome the opportunity to entertain graduate Business Analysts.
Work Experience – The most beneficial input to your Business Analysis skills is to gain as much experience as possible performing BA skills in your role. Many roles in business require good BA skills to perform that role. However if you do have a BA role then your progression should be accelerated through constant use of BA best practices.
Working in Teams – Working in project teams or teams of Business Analysts increases your chances of gaining new skills at a faster rate and in a more comprehensive way. The larger the organisation or project team, the more diverse the team and that is important for your own personal learning.
If you want to understand the real value of BA skills and how they can support you in current of future roles within the business of your choice, then come along to the BA Professional Day on 26 October 2019 and listen to one person’s perspective on what good looks like.
By Adrian Leadbeater, Business Analyst and mentor