Tuesday, 05 August 2008 03:23

Hug a Business Analyst Today!

Written by David Barrett

As I sit on this flight from Sydney, Australia to Wellington, New Zealand I am thinking about the Business Analysts I met in Sydney and Melbourne and that I am about to meet in Wellington at two day symposiums I am running for BAs in each city.

These folks are really struggling – for recognition, for job security, for a well defined career path and for a recognized set of defined core competencies.

Most of their organizations are just now figuring out what a BA is and can do but unfortunately this recognition is limited to a few departments or individuals. Most of their peers have not got a clue what they do.

If you are a project manager working on construction, engineering or any other large capital project, it’s not a problem. You have your architects, you appreciate them and you support them. Thank you.

But all other PMs reading this – it is time to wake up and realize how valuable a BA can be to you. I am declaring this to be ‘Hug a Business Analyst Day’ – actually let’s make it ‘Hug a Business Analyst Month”!

If you want good, solid, detailed specs for your project, find a BA. If you want to work on a project that has complete customer sign-off before you even get on the scene, find a BA. If you want to walk into an environment that all stakeholders have defined, consulted and stroked, find a BA. If you want a ‘partner’ on your project to help you when everything changes in mid stream, find a BA!

Business analysts are out there, and every IT and non-IT business project needs one. Not every project will get one – but they need one! BAs are being educated; they have conferences to go to; they have their own association(s) to belong to; a body of knowledge or two, and a few certification programs to aspire to.

For years you have been complaining about lousy customer specifications, weak links to the stakeholders and no blueprints whatsoever. Well, here’s your answer. They are called Business Analysts (BA), Business Systems Analysts (BSA), Requirements Managers, Systems Analysts and many, many more titles – but they all mean roughly the same thing. They will tell you exactly what you are to build. Nice!

And by the way, if you can’t afford a BA, maybe you should take a few BA courses to be able to help yourself.

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