Guidelines for Improving your Business Analyst Career

Part 18 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
Guidelines For Improving Your Business Analyst Career
Guidelines For Improving Your Business Analyst Career

Before you can improve your business analyst career, you must answer some questions like; which direction should you go and what steps should you take to get there?

If these questions aren’t answered at the beginning of your career, you may wrongly focus on skills or competencies that will take you in the opposite direction of your goals!

To help answer these questions, I have provided you with some guidelines that will come in handy as you move forward in your business analyst career.

The Sought-After Personality Traits of Successful Business Analysts!

Part 2 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
The Personality Traits of a Business Analyst
The Personality Traits of a Business Analyst

Are you concerned that you don’t have what it takes to succeed as a business analyst because you lack extensive paper qualifications, certifications or certain college degrees?

Well, you may be surprised to know that succeeding as a business analyst has as much to do with intrinsic factors like your personality as it has to do with the extrinsic formal qualifications you feel are lacking!

A Review of Impact Analysis for Business Analysts

Impact Analysis for Business Analysts
A Review of Impact Analysis for Business Analysts

You have heard that hindsight is 20-20 but what you will also learn in this article is that insight can be equally as effective because it helps you see the impact of changes before they are implemented.

Face it; as a business analyst, you have experienced changes in software features, systems or business procedures that created confusion or hindered your ability to do your job.

Therefore, you understand the anxiety or frustration of users whose job duties will be impacted by major changes in their systems, right?

Are You A Systems Analyst Or Just A Business Analyst?

Are You A Systems Analyst Or A Business Analyst?
Are You A Systems Analyst Or Just A Business Analyst?

The short, cut and dried answer is that both the systems analyst and the business analyst work on gathering, documenting, validating, managing requirements but the Business Analyst is more likely to do this with the objective of meeting business requirements while the Systems Analyst will is focused on analyzing, documenting or managing how the Information Technology (IT) software / hardware systems will be designed to meet functional / system requirements.

In a real-world project, the business analyst is more likely to be in charge of documenting the Business Use Case while the systems analyst will be responsible for documenting the Systems Use Case.

How To Overcome Negative Perceptions of Your Job Title / Background

How To Overcome Negative Perceptions About You!

As humans we all process information through filters and one of those filters is your current job title / background!

Though your job title may work well for you right now, the moment you try and take on a different role, job title / background / responsibility, you end up running into a brick wall! … it is like people fold their hands and adopt a challenging, prove-it-to-me attitude!

So, in today’s post, I will answer a question submitted by (Jan) who has worked 15+ years for one of the largest IT Corporationsbut still feels boxed-in / walled-in” by his current job title!

Non-Traditional Careers for Business Analysts – Part 2

Non-Traditional Careers for Business Analysts - Part 2
Non-Traditional Careers for Business Analysts – Part 2

This article is Part 2 of a series on Non-Traditional career opportunities in the IT Industry..

Now is a good time for business analysts to “consider or understand all the different career paths available for earning a living” because all the changes that are taking place in our marketplace, technology and culture have fundamentally transformed the way we work or the opportunities available to us.

with this in mind, I will address a question submitted by a reader (Kintu Vicent) about “how to earn an income as a business analyst without regular, traditional employment!“.

Your Resume…The Missing Link To Business Analyst Job Interviews!

Part 1 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
Your Resume ... The Missing Link To Business Analyst Job Interviews
Your Resume … The Missing Link To Business Analyst Job Interviews

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again“, is a saying that generally works. However, if you want to increase your chances of entering the business analysis field, you will need more than “trial and error” to get a job interview!

You will need to have in hand, a resumé that shows how you qualify as a business analyst, even though your past positions were not specifically in business analysis.

How Good Are Your Problem Solving Skills?

How Good Are You At Solving Problems?
How Good Are You At Solving Problems?

I know a Vice President (VP) who hangs a sign outside his office that says: “Don’t Bring Me Problems … Bring Me Solutions!”

What he really meant by that sign is: “if you don’t know how to solve problems, then you don’t have a place in the organization” … makes sense now, right?

Problem solving is one of your most important professionals skills because regardless of your job description or position, “you are hired to solve problems“.

How well you deal with problems will be a determining factor in how successful you are at work or in life.

The Secrets of Successful Software Projects In A Nutshell

How To Avoid The Pitfalls of IT /  Tech Project Failure
How To Avoid The Pitfalls of IT / Tech Project Failure

Key findings from several reports have shown that up to 60% of Software / Information Technology (IT) Projects fail because of cost / budget overruns, and missed or poorly delivered functionality.

In this article, I will show you how to prevent that from happening to you or your projects …

When Is Networking Really Important In Your Career?

Part 9 of 9 in the Series: How To Start A Business Analyst Career
When Is Networking Really Important In Your Career
When Is Networking Really Important In Your Career

This question about the value of networking in one’s career was submitted by Reba from (Olympia, Washington). Here is Reba’s question:

I have a strong interest in entering the business analyst field as a career path, however, it is very difficult to access this field as a state government worker.

Many individuals have entered this field by knowing someone or networking.

How An Australian Software Developer Became A Business Analyst

Part 15 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
How To Become A Business Analyst
How To Become A Business Analyst

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.

Which Comes First Certification Or Skills & Experience?

Part 8 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
How To Boost IT Skills Rapidly Or Get Hired Fast
How To Boost IT Skills Rapidly Or Get Hired Fast

Stephen Covey advises us to put “First Things First”

But, when it comes to our careers or jobs figuring that out or prioritizing the most important things proves to be a surprising challenge for many IT Workers!

For example, while some believe that certifications are required for getting a job, others put more value on hands-on skills and experience!

So, the question is, which comes first in your career, “your hands-on skills & experience” or “your certifications”?

Which Documents Do I Write To Become A Business Analyst?

Part 14 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
Which Documents Do I Write To Become A Business Analyst?
Which Documents Do I Write To Become A Business Analyst?

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Newsletter for Information Technology (IT) professionals including business analysts, computer programmers, data analysts, database developers, technical writers, project managers and software testers.

If you, have a challenging question about your career, submit it here and we will answer yours just as we are answering this question submitted by a reader titled: Which Documents Do I Write To Become A Business Analyst?

Tool Minded Business Analysts Can’t Be Solution Minded!

Part 22 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
Tool Minded Business Analysts Can't Be Solution Minded!
Tool Minded Business Analysts Can't Be Solution Minded!

You are a tool minded business analyst, if the first question that comes to your
mind on hearing the words: “Use Cases, UML or User Acceptance Testing” is: “what tool
should I use to create my Use Case / UML / User Acceptance requirements document
with?”

Tool minded business analysts are more interested in learning the intricacies, features
or behavior
of the software tools used in their requirements elicitation, analysis or documentation tasks than in correctly
analyzing, validating or defining business requirements.

How To Get Extensive Hands-on Experience In Information Technology

How To Gain Hands-on Experience in-Information Technology
How To Gain Hands-on Experience in-Information Technology

When it comes to the Information Technology Industry, getting more hands-on experience is one of your most important professional development activities.

In this post, I will explain how information technology workers including business analysts, computer programmers, database developers, data analysts, project managers, software testers and infrastructure / networking professionals can gain extensive, high visibility, career defining hands-on experience!

More Opportunities To Get Hands-on Experience

By far, the number one place to find hands-on project experience in the information technology industry is in web or software development projects!

What Software Do I Learn to Become A Business Analyst?

Part 6 of 9 in the Series: How To Start A Business Analyst Career
what software should you-learn to become a business analyst?
what software should you-learn to become a business analyst?

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Newsletter for Information Technology (IT) professionals including business analysts, computer programmers, data analysts, database developers, technical writers, project managers and software testers.

If you, have a challenging question about your career, submit it here and we will answer yours just as we are answering this question submitted by a technical writer titled: What Software Do I Learn to Become A Business Analyst?

Which Software Development Life Cycle Is Best?

Part 1 of 1 in the Series: How To Lead Or Manage Projects
Your Guide To Software Development Methodologies (Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, SDLC, Extreme ...)
Your Guide To Software Development Methodologies (Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, SDLC, Extreme ...)

Models like Agile, Extreme Programming, Scrum or Waterfall are used by project managers, business analysts, software developers or quality assurance analysts to describe how a project is managed or a software product is built.

The software development life cycle determines how risks are managed, business requirements documented, resources estimated and allocated, stakeholder expectations or customer feedback is managed and when software / quality assurance testing is performed.

Each software development model recommends a set of guidelines or best practices for developing software.

Is Business Analysis A Good Fit For My Personality Type?

Part 16 of 21 in the Series: Career Advice - Ask IT Career Coach
Is Business Analysis For Me?
Is Business Analysis For Me?

[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career situations.

In This post, I will answer questions on business analysis and software developer careers. Here is the first question:

Is Business Analysis A Good Fit For a Programmer With An ENFP Personality Type?

This question was submitted by Brenna (a computer programmer from South Africa), whose personality type on the Myers Briggs Personality Test is: ENFP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving).

Writing Better Requirements: Why Projects Fail

Part 6 of 7 in the Series: How To Become A Project Manager
Write Better Requirements
Write Better Requirements

Why Do We Need Better Requirements?

The following article is a frank, open and surprising discourse on why we need better requirements.

According to Standish or Gartner reports and other case studies, nearly “two-thirds of all IT projects fail” because of poor requirements and other causes.

Why Do Projects Fail?

Consider that a project fails when it overruns the budgeted allocation of resources, time or money or fails to deliver the intended business requirements or value.

Bridging the Gap between Business and IT: The Case for Business Analysts

Part 4 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
bridging the gap for business analysts
business analysts build bridges

In some organizations, the technical lead or senior software developer is also asked to gather, analyze or document the software development requirements.

This may be the case when:

  • Cowboy Coding -The Organization has not fully embraced any formal software development methodology
  • Cost Cutting -The manager wants to cut costs by not hiring for full-time business analysts
  • Role Differentiation – The IT / Software Development manager combines the business analyst role into the software development role

Career Tip for Senior Business Analysts: Become The Lead Business Analyst!

Part 20 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description

Career Tip For Senior BAs: Become The Lead BA
Career Tip For Senior BAs: Become The Lead BA
This post answers questions received from senior business analysts asking about how to carve out an upwardly mobile career path in their company or organization.

The answers in this post are presented as tips, solutions or ideas for business analysts looking towards a better career path.

If you have a question about your business analyst career, be sure to post it as a comment on this post and I will be glad to answer it for you.

How To Handle Recruiter’s Phone Calls?

Part 18 of 26 in the Series: Why Can't I Find A Job?
How To Handle Recruiters Phone Calls
How To Handle Recruiters Phone Calls

Recruiters are the gatekeepers for business analyst jobs.

They are in touch with more employers, consulting or full-time engagements than most business analysts.

This post answers the question of how to handle or deal with recruiters calling about business analyst jobs.

If you need help with a Question or Challenge, be sure to submit your question as a comment on this page and I will answer it fully just as I am answering this reader’s question below!

Why Is Requirements Management A Top In-Demand Skill?

Part 19 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
Requirements Management Skills In Demand
Requirements Management Skills In Demand

Is Requirements Management Helpful?

If you work in an office where requirements management is a low priority, an afterthought or a process imposed by senior management, you may begin to lose sight of the value that requirements management offers.

In between chasing down your stakeholders for interviews, wrestling with your use cases or managing conflict and corporate politics, you may decide to abort what sometimes seems like meaningless meetings or endless paperwork.

What Does It Take To Learn Business Analysis?

What Does It Take To Learn Business Analysis?
Part 18 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
Highly Paid Business Analyst
Highly Paid Business Analyst

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

Getting Back Into The Job Market: How To Start A Business Analyst Career

Part 2 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
starting a new business analyst career
starting a new business analyst career

The good news is that the economy is adding on jobs because it is the time of year when budgets have been approved and employers traditionally post more jobs and because the economy is also beginning to recover.

This is as good a time as any to dust off your resume, polish your act and start the career you have always wanted.

This article tells you how to do that … get back into the job market and start the business analyst career you’ve always wanted!

A Day In The Life Of An Agile Business Analyst

Part 6 of 21 in the Series: Career Advice - Ask IT Career Coach
Questions for Agile Business Analysts
Questions for Agile Business Analysts

In response to the post: Is a Project Manager or a Business Analyst Career, a Better Fit for You?, a reader sent in the following comments about his experience as an agile business analyst.

In both Iterative and Agile methods, the BA is (or should be) involved with requirements gathering, project communication and facilitation, translating technical and business jargon, holding development to the business needs during the execution phase through Alpha Testing, demos, walk-throughs and issues management.

The Business Analysts Role In Facilitating Data Warehouse Projects

Part 15 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
Business Analyst Role In Data Warehouse Projects
Business Analyst Role In Data Warehouse Projects

The Business Analysts Role In Bringing Data Warehousing To Your Office

Today’s business executives spend a ton of cash on data warehouse projects because that is a big, key, strategic business initiative; the success of which weighs heavily on their minds.

Data warehousing is important because it saves or aggregates information in a manner that allows executives, management or office users to make strategic business decisions faster, better and more easily!

The Agile Business Analyst, A Customer Advocate?

Part 12 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
The Agile Business Analyst
The Agile Business Analyst

The Agile Business Analyst plays a key role in facilitating conversations between stakeholders, quality assurance / testing teams, customers, subject matter experts (SMEs) and software developers in an incremental, iterative fast-paced product development environment.

So, who is the Agile Business Analyst and why should business analysts who are already comfortable with the process of eliciting requirements in a traditional product development environment be concerned about becoming more agile?

5 Steps to a New Business Analyst Career

Part 12 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
business analyst in 5 steps
business analyst in 5 steps

5 Steps to a New Business Analyst Career

I talk to a number of business analysts interested in changing careers to new domains.

They come from diverse backgrounds (insurance, sales, financial, etc.) and they all share a common goal … that of switching careers to new domains.

So, when one of these business analysts asked; if I would like to throw more light on changing BA careers / domains at job interviews, I was glad to say yes 🙂

The Six Sigma Business Analyst

Part 13 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
Six Sigma Business Analyst
Six Sigma Business Analyst

The Six Sigma career path intersects or shares a number of tools, processes, goals and techniques with the business analyst career path.

So, in this post I would like to introduce you to the … Six Sigma Business Analyst.

Ask IT Career Coach

This post answers the question submitted by a business analyst who is enrolled at the business analyst boot camp.

If you have a question or challenge, be sure to send it using: Ask IT Career Coach and we will answer it for you, just as we are answering the question below!

Can a Developer Make a Good Business Analyst?

Part 11 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
Computer Programmers Learning Business Analysis
Computer Programmers Learning Business Analysis

I have been talking to a number of software developers, interested in changing roles to business analysis. If you are one of those software developers, then this post is written to show you how to switch careers from software development 🙂

There seems to be some bias against switching roles to business analysis from software development. It’s a subtle form of discrimination from folks who stereotype all software developers as nerds with poor presentation and communication skills!

But is that really true? Are you poorly suited for a business analysis role just because you’re a software developer?

On the contrary, software developers can make good business analysts and I will dedicate the rest of this post to debunking this myth … just as I have done with several urban legends on this blog 🙂

How To Answer Business Analyst Job Interview Questions

Part 10 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
How To Answer Business Analyst Job Interview Questions
How To Answer Business Analyst Job Interview Questions

I’ve taken dozens of IT job interviews with various IT departments ranging from small IT shops to Fortune 500 IT departments to non-profits to consulting firms to staffing or recruitment agencies!

I’ve been interviewed and hired for both management and non-management IT positions. I’ve personally interviewed, hired and also coached IT Professionals who’ve gone on to wow their interviewers or ace the IT positions they wanted.

I’ve been in several situations where to get the next consulting assignment, I interviewed with several firms and also received multiple, competing job offers!

Develop Your Personal Brand And Become a Leader!

Part 2 of 13 in the Series: Become a Leader
Develop Your Personal Brand - Become A Leader
Develop Your Personal Brand - Become A Leader

Develop Your Personal Brand And Become a Leader

This course teaches you how to develop and use your competitive advantages in the workplace, job market and industry using the PULL method.

You will learn how to become a leader in your industry by developing and taking advantage of your personal brand using PULL techniques.

By the end of this course, you will have learnt how to select the best leadership projects for your industry based on your background, skills, education, training, job history and interests.

Become a Leader And Get The Job You Want!

Part 1 of 13 in the Series: Become a Leader
become a leader get the job you want
Become A Leader-Get The Job You Want!

Become a Leader And Get The Job You Want!

Getting a job by sending out resumes to employers is known as the push method because it depends on you pushing the employer to hire you!

The problem with the traditional method of getting a job is that everyone who is out-of-a-job is probably doing the same thing … pushing their resumes to hiring managers or employers!

Getting hired in a competitive job market doesn’t mean … “do what other job applicants are doing” … it means “do more than your competition!

How Important Is Domain Knowledge For A Business Analyst?

Part 7 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst

The Domain Business Analyst Career Path
The Domain Business Analyst Career Path
Is a business analyst with domain knowledge more valuable than a business analyst without domain knowledge?

By looking at how business analyst job descriptions are written, you may be tempted to say yes!

Business Analyst job descriptions are written as if there is a distinction between IT oriented business analysts with skills in UML, Use Cases, Requirements Elicitation, Requirements Modeling and domain oriented business analysts with knowledge in specific domains like sales, marketing, customer relationship management, insurance, finance!

The Most Valuable Business Analysis Skills Are ??

Part 1 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
What Are The Most Valuable Business Analyst Skills?
What Are The Most Valuable Business Analyst Skills?

One of the toughest challenges facing business analysts today is building the domain experience required for business analyst jobs.

Acquiring business analyst domain experience from scratch is hard because you need to get a job before you can build domain expertise … yet no-one will give you a job without that required domain experience!

This post however discusses how to get around the business analyst domain experience required for business analysis jobs.

How To Become A Healthcare Business Analyst

Part 3 of 20 in the Series: How To Become A Business Analyst
healthcare business analyst career path
healthcare business analyst career path

This question was posted by a Healthcare Business Analyst looking for work!

If you have a Burning Question or a Challenge that you need help with, be sure to ask your question as a comment on this page and I will answer it fully just as I am answering the question below!

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You provide valuable information or advice to others each time you use the Share This Post Link.

Is the Job Market Good Or Bad For Business Analysts?

Part 7 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description
Ask IT Career Coach
Ask IT Career Coach

This question was posted by a Business Analyst in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.

If you have a Burning Question or a Challenge that you need help with, be sure to ask your question as a comment on this page and I will answer it fully just as I am answering the question below!

Please, send this post to your friends using the “Tell a Friend” Button button below. You earn points or cash each time you refer an article to your friends using the Tell a Friend Button.

Bonus Use Cases Training In The Business Analyst Book

Top Paying Skills in High Demand
Top Paying Skills in High Demand

Use Cases skills are in-demand for documenting or communicating the functional requirements of a system

Use Cases skills are employed in product design roles, software development or architecture roles and are among the most sought-after skills for business analyst jobs

Why Use Cases Training for Business Analysts?

Here are some of benefits of Use Case training for business analysts:

  1. Use Cases are effective for documenting the business processes, requirements (business or system), features and functionality of a system. So Use Cases skills are needed at the problem analysis or requirements gathering phase, software design or development phase or testing phase

How To Succeed at Business Analyst Job Interviews

Part 5 of 22 in the Series: The Business Analyst Job Description

How To Succeed at Business Analyst Job Interviews
How To Succeed at Business Analyst Job Interviews
Do you wish to know how to succeed at business analyst job interviews? Here is the secret.

Business analyst interviews are designed to evaluate two things:

  • Your business analyst skills
  • Your business analyst experience

How Sharp Are Your Business Analyst Skills?

At your business analyst interview, you are evaluated based on the correctness, promptness or comprehensiveness of your answers.

Give the correct answers

Your answers are evaluated based on how precise or correct they are.