When I coach clients who are thinking of taking the ‘leap’ to become a Business Analyst, I’m often asked ‘what does a Business Analyst do, exactly?
Here’s the rather lengthy definition from The International Institude of Business Analysts (The IIBA) from the Business Analyst Body of Knowledge (V2)
Business Analysts must analyze and synthesize information provided by a large number of people who interact with the business, such as customers, staff, IT professionals, and executives. The Business Analyst is responsible for eliciting the actual needs of stakeholders, not simply their expressed desires. In many cases, the Business Analyst will also work to facilitate communication between organizational units. In particular, Business Analysts often play a central role in aligning the needs of business units with the capabilities delivered by information technology, and may serve as a “translator” between those groups.
However, at BASimplified, we like to find more straightforward approaches. So I really think that Business Analyst.com have got the essence of an answer in their article titled ‘What Does A Business Analyst Actually Do? They have made a good attempt at breaking down where a Business Analyst can add value at different stages of a project, and come up with a new definition:-
It’s the role of the BA to clearly identify the problem that the business is experiencing and to map out what a possible solution would look like.
The analysis phase is the period during which the Business Analyst defines the requirements in detail, stating clearly and unambiguously what the business needs in order to resolve its problem.
A BA will need to step up their meetings with the development team, attend daily meetings and generally be the eyes and ears of the business, constantly looking for deviations in course that would otherwise go undetected.
There is a process to follow as the testing team go through the process of testing and identifying bugs and the BA can work with the business to set defect fix priorities. The mere existence of this documentation is often enough for one side of the other to admit a mistake and for the issue to be resolved amicably.
It’s the last chance for things to go awry and for goals to be missed.
What BA.com have taken from this breakdown is a common theme – and have re-worked the definition as this:
A Business Analyst is responsible for knowing what the goal of a project is, how to achieve it, managing any changes to the goal and ensuring that all deliverables are aligned with the goal.
What I suggest you do is copy and paste this sentence somewhere you can refer to it – as a screensaver, on your phone or device, or print and stick it infront of your desk – so the next time someone asks you – you have a simple answer.
BA Simplified can help you to discover the most critical business analyst skills – in a simplified form so you can get the edge. We are here to make becoming and excelling in business analysis as simple and easy to understand and implement. We also help organisations to implement effective business analysis practices in delivering successful projects.
Let us know if you found this useful – and what you would add. We’d appreciate the feedback!