Friday, June 15, 2012

What makes a business analyst stand out from the herd?

This is the second part of a six-part series on business analysts - why we need them and what makes a great one great. 

Quality 1:  A great BA focuses on business value and solving real business problems. 
Effective BA’s focus on business value before solutions, and always ask questions about the value of their work and the work of their teammates.  They understand that activities (even difficult ones) that don’t relate to the strategic goals of the organization have little value.  Great BA’s understand why what they’re doing has value and can articulate that value to any coworker or stakeholder on demand. In addition, they are always looking for ways to uncover more value for the organization by thinking the strategic goals of the business.   Whether that means merging two projects that overlap, or simplifying processes to cut development time, great BA’s are the voice of the goals of the company to functional groups across the organization. 

Because BA’s rarely have the authority to take unilateral action, the way they voice these needs and goals is critical.   Great BA’s are willing to develop compelling arguments for superiors to take action.  They are brave – being vocal may place them at a slightly higher level of risk (since they may be going against popular opinion), but they do this for the improvement of the company.


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