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!
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.
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 🙂
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!
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.
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
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.
You always want to make sure that the training programs your attend match your career interests and aspirations, right? … so pay close attention to what I am about to say next.
Effectiveness of Traditional Class Room Training
Late last year I was mentoring, coaching and training a software development team. One of the members of the team had paid more than $6,000 (Six Thousand USD) for a class-room based training & certification program.
To fund the training which required an upfront, full payment, he raided his savings account and took on additional debt.
If you want to advance your career plan to attend the next Boot Camp.
The IT professional Boot Camps are designed for business analysts, software developers, data analysts, report writers or other software developer professionals interested in taking their career to the next level.
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.
How you value knowledge tells me a lot about who you are … because knowledge capital is the most important resource in any organization.
In the digital age, what makes one employee more valuable than the next employee is simply stated … the amount of knowledge, skill, expertise, training and learning they have managed to acquire and put to use.
Now, managers are not interested in employees that know it all … only in employees that constantly put their knowledge capital to work by solving corporate problems or challenges … those employees are the gold mines in any organization.
Looking for a new business analyst job can be intimidating whether you are a seasoned business analyst looking for a challenging business analyst position or you are applying for entry-level business analyst positions.
If you do not handle your business analyst job search correctly, you may be passed over for positions that you are really qualified for or your resume may never get to the desk of the hiring managers or you may get discouraged by the lack of interest in your resume from potential employers.