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!
Identifying your transferable skills is the first step towards successfully transitioning, changing or starting a new business analysis career.
Though this article is written for those starting a business analysis career after having worked as a computer programmer, the principles presented here are helpful to anyone interested in starting any new career.
The first step in starting a new career is building self-confidence by recognizing that the career you are transitioning to has some relationship or similarity to the jobs you have performed in the past.
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.
Here are the tips for business analysts looking for a better career path:
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.
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
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 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 🙂
This question was submitted by Merry who wants to know “how to become the best business analyst in a competitive business analyst job market.”
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 Merry’s questions below!
Here is Merry’s Question on Becoming The Best Business Analyst
I recently graduated from university with a BSc degree in Computer Science. I am now doing a Business Analyst Internship at an IT company in RSA. My contract with the company is expiring in the next four months.
This question was posted by Sri who needs advice on “how to transition careers to customer relationship management (CRM) 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 Sri’s questions below!
Please, send this post to your friends “Using this Link” .
Here is Sri’s Question on Becoming A Domain Business Analyst
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!
Are database development, computer programming, data analysis or web development required skills for Business Analysts?
Perhaps you’ve seen, heard about or applied for jobs asking for a broad or seemingly impossible range of skill sets?
Like those job descriptions for business analysts requiring computer programming skills or those for PMP Certified Project Managers with 5 years of software development experience!
This post addresses “how to bridge the gap between business analyst skills and unfair job descriptions written-up by Information Technology (IT) departments”
Granted, changing careers is challenging but you must learn how to believe in yourself before expecting employers to believe in and hire you!
Eleanor Roosevelt words; “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” rings true for career changers.
Begin your career transition by first discovering yourself. Look for the gold in your career, put yourself in an employers shoes and transition from a position of strength. Finally, get your foot in the door at any cost 🙂
This post addresses the challenges facing marketing and sales professionals “changing careers or transitioning to the business analyst profession”!
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!
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.
One of the biggest hurdles facing business analysts in the current job market is the challenge of demonstrating the hands-on experience required in business analyst job descriptions
This article explains “how to improve your marketability as a business analyst by targeting business analyst job descriptions.”
Let me start by saying that there are two types of hands-on experience required for business analyst jobs:
General Business Analysis Experience: This type of experience is gained by practicing or using
general business analysis skills including Use Cases, Requirements Gathering, Requirements Modeling, Requirements Elicitation, UML etc.
On of my readers needs help with finding a business analyst job, so I am posting the information I provided to him in this article.
If you have any questions about this or about your business analyst career, post it as comment at the end of this post and I would also answer or address it for you.
Here is the business analyst career question posted by my reader:
Hi – my greatest challenge is the fact that I’ve never held an IT Business Analyst position.
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.
You can find out “what employers look for in a job candidate” by browsing business analyst job descriptions.
However, you will notice that some business analyst job descriptions are poorly written!
A weak business analyst job description does not provide enough information for you to compare your skill set against the requirements posted on the job posting.
A Well Written Business Analyst Job Description Is An Effective Hiring Tool!
Here is an example of a weak or ineffective business analyst job description:
Once you’ve determined that Business Analysis is your dream job your next steps will be to get trained, get networked and get your entry level business analyst job.
SigningUp For The Business Analyst Boot Camp
The next thing you will need to achieve your goal of becoming a business analyst and at the minimum, getting an entry level job, is to get trained.
If You Are Alive, You Want More Money! or you’ve been thinking of ways to increase your salary as a business analyst … yes, you have.
If you’re human and still breathing, what you get paid and how to make more money crosses your mind ever so often.
For good or bad, it is human nature to always want more.
We want more money, more love, more space, more friends and more fun.
This can be a bad thing, if it becomes an obsession that overtakes the desire to do a good job.
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.