Business Analysis Career Success Factors
Do you have these capabilities which make up 5 of the key success factors in your Business Analysis Career?
Business Analysis is a very diverse set of expertise whilst also being quite a specialized skill set. This can in some cases make it hard to define specifically what you should be focusing on to be a successful Business Analyst especially when you are starting out.
This blog article outlines the five success factors that any Business Analyst with any subject matter background should incorporate into their career development plans to ensure they develop into or remain a well rounded and effective Business Analyst with a bright and success career in future.
Success Factor #1: Big Picture, Small Picture
All Business Analysts at any stage in their careers must develop the capability to understand the business objectives and drivers at an enterprise level. This is an important aspect of business analysis and often overlooked. It is important because it enables the Business Analyst to incorporate enterprise level direction in their decision making and focus points when analyzing, prioritizing and validating detailed business requirements and other analysis activities. The Business Analyst that develops a clear ability to comprehend and appreciate the organisations overall strategy and objectives will be capable of delivering focused and relevant business analysis deliverables and outputs that benefits the organisation. The Business Analyst that only focuses on a detailed level deliverable without this appreciation of the big picture will often fail to deliver business focused and hence successful outcomes.
The capability for a Business Analyst to establish and maintain strong stakeholder relationships whilst focusing on business drivers and objectives during the requirements elicitation and analysis activities on a project or program of work is a key Business Analysis skill to develop and cannot be emphasized enough. When a Business Analyst performs requirements elicitation, prioritization and validation tasks on a project it is very important for the individual to appreciate and understand the different perspectives and motivators for each stakeholder they engage with. The Business Analyst must work on techniques and simply listening skills to draw out all the relevant perspectives, motivations and drivers for individual stakeholders and their contributions. The better the understanding the Business Analyst has of these elements of stakeholder engagement, the more likely it will be that the Business Analyst will yield great quality requirements packages, documents or any Business Analysis deliverable in their end results.
Success Factor 3#: Tools of the trade
There is a raft of different Business Analysis tools and techniques which is important for a Business Analyst to be familiar with in order to perform within an industry standard level Business Analysis team. It is common for larger organisations to have established Business Analysis tools, templates and best practices in place which is often also aligned with the industry standards. It is recommended that each Business Analyst have a working understanding of how to apply these Business Analysis tools and techniques to ensure they have the capability to apply the most relevant tools or techniques in any given situation where it may be applicable and useful. By having the ability to apply tools and techniques in the correct situations and at the most appropriate times is a very valuable skill which can make a huge difference in the end results achieved.
If the Business Analyst is not surrounded by an established Business Analysis team with Business Analysis tools, templates and processes in place it is recommended that they search for this knowledge outside of the organisation through self study, research, doing online training courses and being part of professional Business Analysis groups in their area. Regardless of how the Business Analyst choose to acquire the practical skills to apply Business Analysis tools and techniques, it is essential for all Business Analysts to have practical knowledge and experience using at least the most common Business Analysis Tools and Techniques.
Success Factor 4#: Professional backbone
The profession of Business Analysis is becoming a very well established and clearly defined profession as time goes by. It is becoming essential for every Business Analyst to continuously develop their professional skills to stay ahead and remain competitive with their professional and academic Business Analysis knowledge and skills. Many organisations are recognising the CCBA ® and CBAP ® certifications as the industry professional certifications for Business Analysts to have and are recruiting accordingly. This is why Business Analysts must ensure they work towards a professional business analysis certification which will help them to remain well qualified with relevant industry level business analysis knowledge and skills.
As many experienced Business Analysts can confirm, the ability for a Business Analyst to develop a well matured capability to be adaptable and flexible when it comes to the unique work style and dynamics that each project team bring, is essential. Each new project or assignment that a Business Analyst get involved with, will have different demands, team dynamics and working styles. The professional Business Analyst will develop this capability to fit into a new team with relative ease and minimal personal disruption during their careers. Depending on the nature of the Business Analyst this skill can come naturally and easily or may require some dedicated personal development and effort. It is however important for every Business Analyst to master this capability to the best of their ability to ensure a successful and harmonious career ahead.
Although the profession of Business Analysis can seem abstract to some and perhaps as if it consists of a myriad of intangible skills, it is in fact very well defined as part of the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (BABOK Guide) produced by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA). What is not that clearly stipulated or defined is how every person who chooses to embark on the journey of being a Business Analyst need to develop the intangible and softer skills that goes hand in hand with being a successful Business Analyst.
This blog article has only touched on the conceptual areas of Business Analysis and why each part is important but hopefully it also provided a good starting point of any level Business Analyst to take charge of their professional careers as Business Analysts and make the most of achieving their own individual career successes.