• Atifa Shah

7 Secrets of a Business Analyst

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

#1 – Good Business Analysts Have the Basics Covered

Every Business requires a Business Analyst who are good communicators, problem-solvers, and think critically. This allows a Business Analyst to create requirements specifications, analyse requirements, create visual models, facilitate elicitation sessions and use necessary Business Analyst tools.

This is the foundation, allowing you to do a bit more.

#2 – Good Business Analysts are Resourceful

Being resourceful isn’t a skill you buy, but instead you learn! A Business Analyst should know how to discover the responses to questions and not sit tight for the responses to come to them. Be proactive rather than reactive! They find alternative paths through the organisation, involving the right people at the right time.

#3 – Good Business Analysts Grow their Toolbox of Skills

Business Analysts should find intuitive and new ways to implement processes to a project. Applying use cases in every requirements situation may not always be feasible. You should gain confidence to apply wide variety of Business Analysis techniques. This will help you create efficiency in a work place and increase your marketability.

Efficiency is achieved by selecting the right tools for the job, instead of relying on your go-to tools in every situation

#4 – Good Business Analysts Create Alignment and Ownership Around the Solution

It's extremely simple to be the person who records what the partners request. Especially as a new BA, you may be in a role where you are relied upon to do this or where it's the biggest contribution you can make at first.

Yet, great business experts accomplish more. This implies you are highly involved with settling conflicts for when a solution is delivered (trust me, it happens!). You must ensure the business complies to your processes and confirm they are prepared to use them.

Understanding the business process or the underlying issues to be solved can lead you toward this path as well as creating clarity, which we'll discuss next…

#5 – Good Business Analysts Create Clarity

How to create clarity between conflicts, you ask?

Well, a good Business Analyst would bring a unique mix of soft skills and analysis skills. Combining these two skills helps you create clarity – This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get sign-off on your business case or the project specification you’ve provided.

To get the right information from the right person, you should use analysis techniques to drill into details and ask relevant questions. You should be able to get by without sign-offs at times to provide clear and concise information. Information that isn’t signed off should be kept internal, unless you’ve run it past a Manager to share with any clients. 

#6 – Good Business Analysts Don’t Rely on Others

Everyone loves cookies, right? From Clients to Stakeholders and even Developers. Feeling appreciated for your work is always good. But a good Business Analyst shouldn’t rely on others to owe them something, even though they’re in a position of authority bridging gaps.

-       You should use active listening techniques to ensure stakeholder’s views are voiced.

-       Honour confidentiality between others, and stay above the office gossip.

-      You should always set clear expectations to build trust, follow through on commitments and never make promises that can’t be kept.

Aim to under promise and over deliver!

#7 – Good Business Analysts Have a Strong Dash of Project Management

Even though Business Analysts slightly play a role of a Project Manager, they should remember that isn’t their actual role in the company.

You are there to analyse the business for their needs, manage expectations and bridge the gap.

-       You should work towards taking the proactive approach.

-       Manage yourself to commitments and deadlines.

-       Get the stakeholders involved at the right times and going through the right channels.

Above all a good Business Analyst should have a strong eye for scope. You’ll be faced with many constraints so keep a close eye on value and feasibility. This will help guide your stakeholders towards set of requirements that are achievable.

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