The Business Analyst Role – The Business Analyst’s HATS
As Business Analysts we wear so many different “hats” every day, we should really be hat models! We play a different business analyst role with every hat simply to get our day’s work done effectively. Our careers are about learning how to really wear each hat with comfort and confidence. The better we are at wearing all the different hats, the better we are when performing the Business Analyst role.
Let’s discuss some of the most common hats Business Analysts wear everyday.
The Interpreter Hat
As a Business Analyst you work with many different types of people all of which has a different way to communicate what it they want from a new solution or initiative. Some people describe their needs in the form of problems they experience and others might be explaining what they need by telling you what they believe the solution should be. Your role as Business Analyst require that you interpret all this information and distill it into succinct, clear and aligned stakeholder requirements.
The Negotiator Hat
Then of course the negotiator hat that we all wear at least every couple of days if not everyday! This is when the Business Analyst has to negotiate with a stakeholder about a requirement’s validity, priority or meaning. The Business Analyst often also needs to negotiate time to delivery or in a workshop environment ensure the participants can agree on the same requirement for a solution in the first place!
The Documenter Hat
All Business Analysts are perceived to be documentation experts and in most cases we are! This is a hat every Business Analyst wears at least some of the time. All Business Analysts must document the requirements in various ways and formats, which means that every Business Analyst must wear this hat as part of the ‘bread and butter’ of the Business Analyst role.
The Relationship Builder Hat
Every Business Analyst is dependent on this hat to be successful within their Business Analyst role. They must take care to get to know people in terms of their individual needs and perspectives. When the Business Analyst understands where each stakeholder is coming from with their needs, opinions and requirements they have achieved the ability to be an exceptional relationship builder which will enable them to achieve success so much quicker and easier.
This hat is the hard hat that every Business Analyst must be able to take off the shelf and wear when they need to fully understand the reasons for stakeholder requirements. The Business Analyst must ask “why” a stakeholder is asking for a particular requirement to make sure the requirements are sound and solving a real business need. When the Business Analyst make good use of the Relationship Builder Hat then it is much easier to wear the hard Interrogator Hat with the Business Analyst role.
Now this is the hat that makes up the essence of what a Business Analyst is all about. People talk to the Business Analyst about their ideas, their needs, their problems and what they believe the solution would be and once the Business Analyst wore the Interpreter Hat it is time to wear the Translator hat with grace, intelligence and clear purpose. This is the hat that makes or breaks the Business Analyst’s level of ultimate success in the business analyst role on the project.
There are many other hats that the Business Analyst has to wear to contribute to the wholeness and complexity of the Business Analysis Profession but this is what makes the Business Analysis role so exciting, challenging and valuable to everyone in the organization. The more hats you can wear with confidence, the quicker you will achieve your Business Analysis career goals.