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.
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 Corporations “but still feels boxed-in / walled-in” by his current job title!
Now is a good time to “consider a more flexible career” because all the changes taking place in the marketplace are fundamentally transforming the way we work as well as the opportunities available to us!
This is great news for anyone interested in a more flexible career or employment including options to work from home, consult for companies or retire or travel while earning an income!
Have you ever contacted a company by phone and before ending the call, the representative asked if you wouldn’t mind taking a survey at the end of the
Or, in a restaurant, noticed a box near the register with feedback cards saying … “Tell Us How We Are Doing“?
The purpose of these surveys or feedback cards is to give you (the customer), the power to influence or change how an organization does business!
“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.
I’m going to ask you a question you may not have been asked before. The question is are your skills portable?
What Is A Portable Skill?
By portable I mean can you relocate from one country to another and get a job without having to retrain yourself?
If you are living in the 21st century you’ll have heard an earful by now of the global phenomenon known as outsourcing which is the relocation of projects or work to geographic locations where the work can be done cheaper or better.
A recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) suggests that the information we need to do our job is doubling every 18 months, and that we are running harder and harder to keep up with the required knowledge for our specialized fields.
In this post, I will present 10 techniques that will help you keep ahead of the competition and / or changes in your industry.
[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? …
How do I learn or get the software knowledge that would make me a business analyst?
I get questions all the time about the suitability of technology careers for those who’ve never worked a tech job.
I understand those asking are anxious about their future.
However, making a career change to Information Technology is in many cases a better financial investment than taking on debt to buy a house or go to college!
If you are one of those, here are some of the best reasons why changing jobs to Information Technology (IT) is a sound financial decision.
The Process For Changing your Career Path Starts With Your Current Employer
Here is a real-world example of how to do just that.
The current challenge facing me is how to find the right process for re-orienting my career from Web Producer to an introductory Junior position as Business Analyst.
I don’t hold any qualification in Business neither as Business Analyst but I am fully dedicated to becoming one.
I have just started reading books and doing research about this position and the responsibilities it entails.
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.
Some teams are so deep into this, that throwing more money, people or extending the shipping date is their default solution to scope creep, budget overruns or project failure!
Statistics show that the majority of software development (web, IT, desktop, mobile…) projects are doomed to fail from inception.
The challenges facing technical leads, project managers, software development, IT managers or project sponsors are often under-estimated leading to less than successful projects.
While some software teams may argue or live in-denial of the risk facing their projects, the facts are that more than 60% of software projects fail!
The effects of poorly managed software projects are also obvious. They include:
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 you may not know is that the reason you’re chasing down stakeholders or having so much trouble gathering requirements is that you don’t have an effective Requirements Management framework in place.
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!
No More Silos In The Workplace
Data warehousing is critical to business success because it presents a way for executives or management to view or manage their corporation as a whole unit instead of in silos.
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?
Introducing The Agile Business Analyst Role
The Agile Business Analyst’s role includes facilitating communication, reducing the reliance on extensive documentation and reducing the length of the feedback loop in product development projects.
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!
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!
This question was posted by Victor who needs advice on “how to change careers from a banking domain to business analysis.”
If you need help with a Question or Challenge, be sure to ask it as a comment on this page and I will answer it fully just as I am answering Victor’s questions below!
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!
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!“
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.
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!
If you find this article helpful then share it with your friends using the “Share This Post” Link.
You provide valuable information or advice to others each time you use the Share This Post Link.
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!
Here is the Question:
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:
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
I am writing this post to answer a question posted by a business analyst on “How To Become A Contract Business Analyst”.
If you have a question or challenge about your business analyst career, post it as comment at the end of this article and I will answer it for you as well 🙂
Here is the question on how to become a contract business analyst.
Having recently started in my first permanent position as a Business Analyst, I find the toughest challenge for me currently, is getting up to speed with the systems I have to analyse and develop (Risk Management and Finance Systems).
What is the “Toughest Challenge Facing Your Career Right Now”?
Your challenges may be about how to get a job or how to improve your skills or how to get promoted on the job
Perhaps your challenges are about how to transition out of or into a business analyst or computer programming or database developer career. Whatever they are, go ahead and post your comment and we will deal with them for you.
Post your challenging issues as a comment on this post and I would be glad to answer it for you. I may answer it by writing a new article that addresses your concern or by posting a comprehensive reply to your comment
The discussion of requirements elicitation tools and techniques rarely seems to include a discussion of the best way to document your findings.
Lifehack has written an insightful post on How to Take Notes like Thomas Edison.
Thomas Edison’s diary contains five million pages and is maintained as an important part of the United States historical record. Two of the criteria for Edison’s record system are crucial to the Business Analyst:
Item #3 -The Records must be Rearward-looking. Basically, you should always keep requirements traceability in mind as you take notes.
What is Requirements Elicitation?
Requirements elicitation is the process of identifying the sources of requirements for a new system and obtaining those requirements from those sources.
Potential sources of requirements include users, documents, regulators and even legacy software code.
Requirements elicitation is a crucial part of the Requirements Gathering, Documentation and Analysis Process.
It is a critical business activity that requires the focus of a skilled business analyst.
Regardless of the elicitation techniques you choose or how you implement those techniques, you need to do whatever it takes to understand the real needs of your customers.
What should you do when you decide you want to become an IT Business Analyst?
You may have been a software developer, data analyst or even someone who has never worked in the Information Technology industry at all.
Perhaps you have an MBA or other business degree, but you have an interest in technology and you think IT Business Analysis is something you’d like to try your hand at.
It is common knowledge that the biggest reason for IT project failure is poor requirements. If the requirements that the developers are working from are wrong, incomplete or otherwise inadequate, that project is doomed to join the 70% of IT projects that fail every year.
So why not simply gather good (SMART) requirements? Ask any business analyst and they will tell you that the biggest problem they face is getting users to tell them what they really want out of a new system or process. Why? The reasons are varied. Sometimes it appears that users simply won’t communicate what they really want. Sometimes it appears that the business analyst is asking all the wrong questions. Sometimes it appears that the users change their minds all the time.
Happy New Year!! Here are some technology predictions for 2009 that are worth a read for software developers, business analysts and database developers who want to position themselves for success in 2009:
1. Pay attention to Social Media says CapGemini:
“2009 will be the year when use of social networking tools within companies will be the talk of the town. Yes, it has been around for a while but to be honest, nothing much has really happened apart from that Serena Software uses Facebook internally.
Business analysts come from a wide variety of industries and from varying backgrounds. Because of this, you need to be flexible in your expectations of the type of work you will perform as a business analyst.
More than 50 major domains or industries that hire business analysts including the web development, web design, e-commerce, software development, information and marketing industry.
As the business analysis industry matures, software developers, database designers, software architects, project managers and professionals with diverse backgrounds are taking on formal business analysis jobs.
If you are interested in registering for Business Analyst Boot Camp, you need to consider the following information:
Business Analyst Career Roadmap Or Career Planning
BUSINESS ANALYST BOOT CAMP is for business analysts, data analysts, software developers, managers or IT professionals who want to master the core business analyst skills including:
b. Requirements Gathering and Analysis
c. Use Cases
d. How to define Business Cases
e. How to define Project Vision and Scope
f. How to plan the Business Analysis Work
g. The Requirements Process, Definition and Documentation
Would you be interested in getting additional business analyst training on how to get business analyst jobs or begin a business analyst career?
What I have in mind is a step-by-step online and email based business analyst training program that provides you with the opportunity to gain marketable business analyst career skills, real world experience and the courage to get your dream job.
The Business Analyst Internship Program
If you are wondering if this online business analyst training program is for you, here are some criteria for helping you decide:
One of the reasons why you may find yourself struggling with your career is that you have too many goals. So, I’m writing this article “pick a technology and master it” to help you achieve your goals more easily.
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the number of choices you have to make?
Perhaps, you’re married, you have 2 kids, you have a job, your spouse has a job, you spend quality time with your family every day and you want to become a better software developer or business analyst.
If you are having a hard time choosing between a business analyst career and a computer programming career, perhaps it is because you can’t tell the difference.
I want to help you out by explaining the major differences between business analyst and computer programming careers.
These differences include:
1. Technical Skills
2. People / Leadership Skills
3. Educational Requirements
4. Learning Curve
5. 2007 and 2008 Job Market Outlook
6. Salaries, Wages and Compensation
7. Job Satisfaction
It’s Proven Difficult to Prepare for Business Analyst Job Interviews
Presently, it’s challenging to study for business analyst interviews because job boards, job descriptions, hiring managers and human resources (hr) specialists are not consistent in what they are looking for in a business analyst.
While some emphasize communication skills, others emphasize leadership skills in business analyst job postings.
While some business analyst job openings emphasize requirements gathering, analysis and documentation, others emphasize software development skills, reporting skills or data analysis skills.
The business analyst career is one of the most misunderstood professions in the information technology or software development industry.
The majority of software development professionals who understand the network administrator, database administrator, web developer, computer programmer, IT manager or IT director’s role fail at understanding or appreciating the roles, responsibilities and career opportunities available to business analysts.
Announcing The Ultimate Guide to Careers and Jobs for Business Analysts
The Ultimate Guide to Careers and Jobs for Business Analysts solves this problem by opening wide the doors to success in business analyst careers and jobs.
ON BECOMING A BUSINESS ANALYST – THE BUSINESS ANALYST JOB DESCRIPTION
A business analyst is an information technology worker who improves the efficiency and productivity of business operations.
The business analyst achieves this by closely analyzing the business processes in an organization for inefficiencies.
When inefficient business processes are discovered, the business analyst makes recommendations for business process improvements.
If the recommended solution is approved, the business analyst works with computer programmers, lead software developers, software managers and other information technology workers to implement the recommended solutions.