With the advent of the COVID epidemic, the need for quality Business Analysts has grown significantly. All sorts of criteria and expectations are published. It is often the case that the HR department answers that you do not meet the criteria or that you do not have knowledge about their business segment, and that is a mistake!
A real business analyst doesn’t care if you count medicines, beer cans or telecommunications services! Good BA have experience from previous business segments and applying them in a new business segment!
The fact that you don’t have some “basic” knowledge and experience in a new business segment is just an advantage, because you can see things that people in that segment bypass or simply skip.
One of the most important facts is how your brain works! What do you see, what do you conclude?
As a person coming from the sidelines into a new business segment, it is important to notice facts, figures and connect data that may not seem relevant, but can be significant!
- BA must be good communicators, problem-solvers, and think critically. They can create requirements specifications, analyze requirements, create visual models, facilitate elicitation sessions, and use the necessary business analyst tools.
2. Business analysts know how to find the answers to questions and don’t wait for the answers to come to them. They find alternative paths through the organization and involve the right people at the right time. Great business analysts rarely get stopped for long and can often work through challenging situations to come through to a solution.
3. Good BA select the right tool for the job instead of relying on their go-to tools and making it work for every situation.
4. It’s really easy to be the one who writes down what the stakeholders ask for. And as a new BA, you might be in a role where you are expected to do this or where it’s the biggest contribution you can make at first. But you must give much more! And this means that you are in the middle of resolving conflicts and ensuring that when the solution is delivered, the business truly owns that this is what they wanted and is prepared to use it.
5. A great business analyst doesn’t rely on sign-offs and hundred-page documents. They use analysis techniques to drill into details and ask relevant questions. They get buy-in, not just sign-off, during the verification and validation process and they get into the appropriate details to ensure true clarity emerges.
6. Good BA are not only not project manager but they understand with perfect clarity why they are not project managers. That being said, good business analysts know how to manage within business analysis.
- They are proactive and dependency aware.
- They manage themselves to commitments and deadlines.
- They get stakeholders involved at the right times and in the right ways and keep everything moving.
And more than all of this, good business analysts have a strong eye for scope. While it can be fun to figure out what we might pack if everything but the kitchen sink fits into the car, good business analysts realize that implementation constraints nearly always get in the way of achieving the full vision the first time out. And so they keep a close eye on value and feasibility and guide their stakeholders toward a set of requirements that can actually get implemented.
7. Good Business Analysts are not content to do the same things, in the same way, in every situation. They are sensitive to the needs of their customers, who include users of the process they seek to improve but also developers, testers, implementers, post implementation support staff (such as the service desk) and managers at all levels. Having the flexibility to adapt to the needs of these different audiences improves the effectiveness of a BA.
What makes a good Business Analyst great is having the interest to continually expand their analysis toolset, but also to keep up to date on their understanding of the business and its market, and to keep abreast of the changing face of technology.