business analysis for anyone wearing the BA hat

In 2013, Kupe Kupersmith wrote an article in the BA Times Business Analysis Is Dead, Long Live Business Analysis. He comes to the conclusion that “… it (business analysis) is dead as we knew it.” In another, more recent article in the Modern Analyst (Top 10 Trends in Business Analysis for 2016), Joseph R. Czarnecki writes “The techniques and tools of BA (business analysis) will be applied more, but there will be fewer with the job title of business analyst”.

We at BA-EXPERTS couldn’t agree more with those two statements. We have been in this field since the early 90’s and have experienced the evolution of business analysis from being a developer’s (system analysis and design) job to the emergence of the professional Business Analyst (BA).

Tom and Angela Hathaway, the principals of BA-EXPERTS come from both sides of the isle. They met on a project in the mid 80’s where Tom was the IT guy and Angela the SME (Subject Matter Expert). Both were in charge of implementing an automobile insurance system from scratch (yes, really, there were companies in the mid 80’s that did not use computers yet).

Tom and Angela learned very quickly (and sometimes the hard way) that both, the IT side and the business side need to be “equal opportunity contributors”. Tom married Angela to get the user sign-off (just kidding) – they did get married and made it their life’s mission to bridge the gap between the developer and the business community.

BA-EXPERTS is the latest incarnation of these efforts. At BA-EXPERTS, we believe that the time has come where EVERYONE needs business analysis skills regardless of their role, title or job function. That is why our slogan is “Business Analysis for Anyone Wearing the BA hat”. This includes

  • the SME who knows the job and workflows best,
  • the Product Manager, Product Owner, or Line Manager who have the expertise in the business strategy and goals,
  • the Project Manager who directs the effort, and lest not forget,
  • the Business Analyst who will help the company forge its course into the future.

Business Analysis and Software Development Methods (SDM)

Let us shift the focus to Business Analysis and Software Development Methods (SDM) for a minute. After a difficult start in larger corporations, Agile has now gained wide acceptance. The majority of our clients are trying to integrate or at least experiment with Agile development approaches.

At BA-EXPERTS, we believe that each project is unique and the people who deliver the outcome are unique. These two factors should be a major decision point in the methodology you chose. Sometimes an Agile approach is the best approach, other times Waterfall, and often it is some kind of a hybrid. The CIO magazine has an excellent article pertaining to this topic Which is best – Waterfall or Agile?

So, what does this mean to us folks in the business analyst role? It changes very little. The biggest change we have is the timing and detail of our deliverables. Granted, in the beginning of the Agile movement, many of the early “Agilists” were convinced that we no longer needed business analysis. They have seen the light! Today’s Agile team has people with strong business analysis skills as part of their team. If you would like to know more about the business analyst role in Agile, we recommend reading “Role of Business Analysis in Agile”.

If you would like to know more about Business Analysis and Software Development Methods, watch the following video:

In Summary

Many different roles and titles need to be able to communicate requirements for an Information Technology solution. This makes business analysis techniques one of the most important job skills in today’s world. At BA-EXPERTS, we made it our mission to make business analysis training easily accessible to individuals, small businesses, and corporations alike. We believe that all of them will increase business success by using business analysis skills.

In the future, we will post many of our self-paced business analysis techniques on our BA-EXPERTS company and showcase pages (LinkedIn). We will also post discounts for our instructor-led training (on-line as well as on-site) that we do not post anywhere else. Please follow BA-EXPERTS for exciting and helpful business analysis skills and industry news. If you want to get a taste, check out our FREE business analysis training page.