Janet, an Australian Software Developer wrote us about her fortunate experience in transitioning from Software Development to Business Analysis after 17 years as a Software Developer.
In Janet’s own words:
My employer offered me a BA position after recognising that I had certain “soft” skills such as communication, diplomacy and tact.
These combined with a background in analytical skills from my development days, and some agile skills from my days as a scrum master made for good potential as an agile business analyst.
So I would say that if you are often complemented in your performance reviews for your soft skills then you probably have the potential to be a BA. Approach your employer and express an interest, they may agree!
Lessons Learned About: How To Become A Business Analyst?
- Becoming A Business Analyst May Be Easier Than You Think:
Don’t make things too hard for yourself in your quest to become a business analyst by looking for an overly complicated formula.
Remember Janet’s advice: if you are often complemented in your performance reviews for your soft skills then you probably have the potential to be a BA. Approach your employer and express an interest, they may agree!
But first things first, Read More on: “How To Become A Business Analyst”
- Your Non-BA Background Can Help:
Don’t treat your non – business analysis (BA) background as if it is a liability.
Your past experience can count towards your future career as a business analyst because it provides you with relevant industry / domain experience.
- Identify Your Skills Gap:
You can’t become a business analyst without first taking the time to learn or identify what business analysts do.
Next, identify the gaps in your resume, experience background and then bridge that gap through training, self-study or any other means.
What matters is that you bridge your competency gap and not necessarily, how you bridged it (e.g. self study versus certification)!
- Soft Skills Matter for Business Analysts:
Business Analysts need to have the soft skills for their profession. If you overlook the importance of soft skills, you may not succeed at becoming a business analyst.
- Yes, Software Developers Can Be Business Analysts:
If you have software development experience, you can definitely become a business analyst by developing both your soft skills and the technical analysis skills required for business analysts.
- Pitch Your Current Employer:
Develop both your soft skills and your technical business analysts skills and then, pitch your interest in business analysis to your current employer.
Pitch your value as a business analyst by taking on smaller business analysis roles and responsibilities within your organization even if you are not going to be paid to do so.
If you can’t pitch your current employer successfully, it may be hard for you to pitch a total stranger on your value as a business analyst.
- Learn How To Perform:
Learn how to perform at your current career because that will recognize what employers are looking for in new business analyst hires (not certifications or educational titles like MBAs), but proof that you can perform!
- An Information technology / Software Development Backgrounds Helps:
Contrary to some speculation, an information technology / software development / web programming background can help and not hinder in the quest for a business analyst job!
It is important for you to note this because Business Analysts with an Information Technology (IT) Background can work in virtually any industry (Financial, Mortgage, Banking, Healthcare, Government, Software Development, Operations, etc.).
Why? Because virtually every industry makes extensive use of information technology / software programs for automating their business.
- No Software Program Makes You A Business Analyst:
If you are thinking that learning a specific software programs, UML / Use Case can make you a business analyst, you are on the wrong track!
And yes, you are having the wrong conversation in your mind because learning a specific software tool will not make you a business analyst.