Are you familiar with the term, ‘Requirements Analyst’? It is sometimes used interchangeably with the term, Business Analyst (BA). Granted, Business Analysts are the go-to project resources for in-depth requirements analysis, communication and tracking, but these same skills benefit far more activities within a project than only those centered on requirements. According to Adrian Reed, Principal Consultant and Business Analyst at Blackmetric Business Solutions Ltd, the Five Top Trends in Business Analysis for 2018 are as follows:
- Increased Focus on Organizational Agility
- Recognition of the breadth of the Business Analyst’s Role
- Early Engagement Becoming the Norm and Outcomes Matter Most
- Focus on ‘T-Shaped’ BAs that have deep analytical and organizational understanding as well as a broad appreciation of a range of different disciplines
- BA Activism in the Community
Let’s focus on trends 3 and 4 above. Reed recognizes that the BA’s analytical and communications skills are transferrable – they don’t apply merely to one situation or one process group within a project. In fact, Requirements Analysis is only one aspect of what an experienced Business Analyst can contribute to a project. Just as BAs successfully work with stakeholders to identify requirements, they can work with stakeholders to identify and document, among other things, the Business Need and the project Goals and Objectives as well. In addition, the analyst can take away essential knowledge from these endeavors to apply to later activities.
Having performed in a Business Analysis role for a variety of financial and insurance organizations over many (I’m hesitant to say how many!) years, I am excited that key stakeholders, as well as project managers, are recognizing the importance of the early onboarding of Business Analysts, with ‘early’ being defined as a point in the project prior to creating the Business Requirements Document. As a BA, my first exposure to many projects was at the Kickoff meeting, after the Project Charter and much of the project planning activities had been completed. I believe, without question, these projects would have benefitted from my analysis and documentation skills during Initiating and early Planning processes and I would have gained greater insight into the project to use in the Requirements documentation process and subsequent activities.
Because some leaders are still working to define the BA role within their organization, I would encourage the definition to reflect the variety of skills BAs can contribute to the entire project lifecycle. For those organizations that have a clearly defined BA role, I would suggest you review your definition to ensure that you are fully utilizing your BA resources. Both the Business Analyst and the project team will benefit from the BA’s expanded role.
If you are trying to decide when to bring your full-time or Business Analyst Consultant into a current project, NOW is the time to maximize results by taking advantage of the analytical, communication and leadership skills the BA has to offer.
So, to answer the question: ARE YOU FULLY UTILIZING YOUR BUSINESS ANALYST? You are if you are enhancing project success if you are extending you BA’s analysis, communication and leadership skills to ‘early’ (pre-Requirements) project activities.
At iSeek, we can provide valuable business analysis support and guide you toward full utilization of your Business Analyst. To learn more, contact us today; stay tuned to our blog for future insights.