You are reading this post because you are interested in learning or mastering business analysis for a number of reasons like
- You may have read the US Bureau of Statistics report which predicts that the business analyst role will be one of the fastest growing occupations through 2012
- You are a computer programmer or software tester who is getting burned out on the monotony of coding or testing
- You may be interested in learning business analyst because you will gain more visibility by interacting with users and managers
- You feel that gathering requirements for software projects would be a better fit for you than your current IT position
What Does It Take To Become A Successful Business Analyst?
You may also have read a few business analyst job descriptions or observed successful business analysts at work and because of that, you feel that you can easily succeed at business analysis.
What do you assume that business analysts do or what do you think that it takes to become a business analyst?
Do you assume that business analysts just gather requirements, or that business analysts are essentially MBA graduates or that knowledge of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) or even Quality Assurance makes you a business analyst?
There is more to business analysis than having a knowledge of the software development lifecyle (SDLC) or a college degree like an MBA, or even learning how to gather software requirements.
Business Analysis is really not like computer programming and it is not equivalent to project management or having an MBA.
Business Analysis is a specialized profession just like Law, Medicine or Engineering.
Here is more information on what it takes to become a successful business analyst:
So, What Does A Business Analyst Do?
Computer programming and business analysis while being related, are still worlds apart.
Programming is a wholly technical discipline while business analysis focuses on the business side of managing software or project requirements.
A business analyst does more than just ask users what they want from a software system, type up the requirements in a pretty document and hand it off to the developers.
Business analysts liaise between stakeholders to understand business problems and the requirements for a successful solution using strategic thinking and excellent communication skills.
The business analyst also has to follow best practices for planning, gathering/eliciting, managing, modeling and validating user requirements.
So, you need to thoroughly understand the business analysis profession if you want to make the leap from programming (or any other career) to business analysis.
Business Analysts Don’t Just Gather Requirements!
You do not need an MBA to become a business analyst and getting an MBA is not the same thing as learning business analysts … the two disciplines are separate!
To start learning business analysis, you will need technical skills, business skills, industry knowledge / domain skills and analysis skills.
In addition to the following: Requirements Elicitation, UML, Use Cases, Requirements Modeling and Facilitation skills.
How Do You Demonstrate Business Analysis Skills?
There is no such thing as a new IT career without new IT skills. In the same way, you can’t become a successful business analyst without learning business analysis skills through training and hands-on experience.
If you have been applying to business analyst jobs without any response from potential employers, here is the reason: Your resume does not show that you have real-world business analysis skills.
Many project managers or business managers have been in the situations where they hired persuasive candidates only to regret the lack of understanding of the business analysis role or the lack of BA skills needed to get the job done.
- The bad news is that too many managers have been burned, so the chances of getting hired without real business analysis skills are not as high as one may assume.
- The good news is that as we head out of the recession, there is a demand for professionals who have the business analysis skills required to successfully take an IT project to completion.
So, the first and most important step towards a successful business analyst career, is making sure that you have the required business analysis skills.
Yes, there is a real shortage of good business analysts. If you will simply take the time to get trained and get hands-on experience, you can go places in your career!
How Do You Gain Business Analysis Skills?
The traditional way to gain skills in other careers is to get a college degree. But does having a business degree qualify you for a business analyst career?
What if you have a family and can’t take the time off work to go through another two to four years of college?
The problem with traditional college degrees is that they keep you on the theoretical path of learning, where you may spend two to four years in college and still lack the skills, experience or insight needed for a successful business analyst career.
In addition, traditional college degrees are extremely costly. If you’ve worked in the IT industry for any length of time, you would have met successful business analysts or computer programmers who couldn’t afford to go to college and yet succeeded at each of their professional careers.
What Are Your Options For Learning Business Analysis?
There are several alternatives to traditional business colleges. For example, many training companies squeeze the business analyst training program into a few (three to five) days.
You fly or drive in to the location, sit for a few days and then get back to work the next day!
The problem with these three to five day training programs is that you simply will not retain or understand new technical information that is crammed in a short period because real life professional skills are not learned in a hurry!
If you’ve ever crammed for an examination, you know that once the exam is over, most of the information is gone from you because you only studied to pass the examination!
The challenge with short term business analyst training is that you will not retain, understand or apply the information effectively on your job.
You need to learn business analysis concepts in a way that helps you retain it or use it to advance your career.
Learn Business Analysis – The Effective Way
This is how you learn business analysis at the Business Analyst Boot Camp
- Mentoring / Coaching: The Business Analyst Boot Camp is designed more like a mentoring / coaching program.
You get case studies that allow you to practice the real-world business analysis skills before using them on the job.
- Skill Building / Career Focused: The Business Analyst Boot Camp is designed like a series of examinations.
You are quizzed or examined on concepts, skills or ideas so that you are able to think creatively / of the box.
- Natural Learning Pace: The Business Analyst Boot Camp is designed to walk you through beginner to advanced business analysis topics in a series of steps.
You are not expected to learn or master business analysis in three days but over weeks, so that you have time to internalize, understand, appreciate or learn business analysis material in a paced, natural or productive way
The Business Analyst Boot Camp is designed to provide practical training or real-world skills for the IT Business Analyst role and it can be accessed through our online Learning Management System (LMS) from any location and at any time by registered business analysts!