As the job market becomes increasingly more dynamic and demand for new jobs and skills arise, we will provide you with a series of career plan articles.In this way, we attempt to give you a sneak peek into new career opportunities and what trainings there are to help you stay competitive and progress in your professional development.
Career Plan: Business Analyst
Business analysis was considered an upcoming profession but in the course of the past few years, an increasing number of project roles started calling for business analysis activities and larger projects started defining dedicated business analysis roles. By now it is a mature profession with increasing demand for professionals and opportunities for further career development in the area for senior specialists.
Many people tend to associate business analysis only with gathering and managing requirements and well-crafted requirements are essential for the success of the final outcome but the field of business analysis covers more than this. IIBA® (the International Institute of Business Analysis) defines it as “the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.”
First of all, what does a Business Analyst exactly do?
If you have experience with IT projects, chances are you have seen a number of different business analysis titles and descriptions due to the different specializations within the role. However, broadly speaking, the business analyst can be called a “liaison between the project manager and the technical team” (BA Times).
On daily basis, the business analyst needs to analyze information, communicate with many different stakeholders and assess the impact of changes. Then, they need to document with great accuracy and detail the final product requirements. However, as mentioned earlier, the job of the business analyst goes beyond requirements gathering and management. During implementation, they remain involved as they provide support and information whenever needed and evaluate whether the solution has achieved the desired result.
So, what skills are necessary for the job?
The business analyst is a change agent, so they need a combination of technical and soft skills. On hand, technical knowledge of the project area is highly beneficial as it is important for the detailed documentation of requirements and collaboration with the technical team. On the other hand, a business analysts are involved in a lot of stakeholder management and therefore, should have excellent communications skills and ability to facilitate meetings and conflicts.
Key skills to have:
- Stakeholder management
- Strong analytical skills
- Critical thinking and ability to evaluate options
- Attention to detail
- Excellent communication and facilitation skills
How to become a Business Analyst?
If you are transitioning to the role and do not have experience as a fully dedicated business analyst, it is recommended to start with a foundation course which will provide you with an understanding of the fundamental knowledge areas of Business Analysis.
For experienced business analysts who have proven track record in the area, there are official certifications preparation courses for the CBAP® Certification as well as for the PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)® certification.
Here’s a short intro of the domains in PMI-PBA® training that will give you a glimpse of the whole PMI-PBA® framework.
Based on a case study, Business Analysis Foundation will cover the fundamentals in the key areas of stakeholder identification, requirements elicitation and analysis, documentation, prioritization and traceability.
PMI-PBA® Certification Preparation Training will provide you with the essential information, skills and knowledge you need to prepare for and pass the PMI-PBA® certification exam on your way of becoming an all-star business analyst.
Writing User Stories will provide you with the hands-on knowledge on everything you need to know on how to write good user stories which the developers will love.
Agile Business Analysis is based on a business case and enables participants to apply knowledge of business analysis while practicing the principles of agile methodology. During the training you work on real situations, discuss issues and possible solutions.
PMI-PBA is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
IIBA is a registered mark of the International Institute of Business Analysis.
CBAP is a registered mark of the International Institute of Business Analysis.