Monday, June 25, 2012

What Makes a Business Analyst Stand Out From the Herd?

This is the third part of a six-part series on business analysts - why we need them and what makes a great one great.
Quality #2: Great BA's are great with people.

Establishing trust, both with the business team and the technical team, is critical to the success of a BA and it comes down to communication. A BA needs to be able to drive diplomacy, guide conversations, ask great questions, and funnel accurate information in such a way that multiple different personality types can understand it. Trust, once it is established, can be seen when a BA becomes the "go-to" guy or gal for both the business stakeholders and the developers. Once a BA is viewed as the universal problem solver, that's when you know that trust is strong.

A BA's job is tricky. They need to convince people to commit their time and effort to a project that is often not their top priority. It is rare that a BA has enough availability from stakeholders to elicit perfect requirements, follow a perfect schedule, or gather information in order. Average, even good BA's learn to cajole, coerce, and otherwise convince stakeholders to accommodate them – but great BA's make stakeholders want to participate.


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