As we have seen, there are many benefits to being a professional business analyst. However, no one ever talks about dark side. Here are few points that you need to watch out for if you wish to build a successful career in business analysis.
Getting it done without Authority: Being positioned in a central role, the business analyst has to be a Jack of all trades and juggle numerous duties and responsibilities. These duties can range from managing stakeholders (from the CEO to the end user who is generating a report in some corner) and maintaining an IT department along with balancing a unique set of requirements specific to the task.
It sounds difficult, but that’s the fun. Not everyone is a people person.
Value Creator: Sometimes you need to elicit requirements, confirmation and enter into communication with stakeholders when they each have their own BAU and other priorities. Beware that at times, stakeholders do not always see value in business analysis efforts and respond accordingly.
Know it all: While joining a new role, the hiring person/line manager mentioned that they knew I was new to the domain and they were fine with it. However, after 3 months, the same person suggested I obtain more knowledge than the SMEs and senior director who had been working there for over 10 years.
It is an unrealistic expectation to require business analysts to have a deeper and wider knowledge of the domain than the stakeholder. To elicit the requirements in the correct way, boil down the question to its simplest and purist form, and manage the scope at the right place.
If the BA changes the domain, then it is like starting all over again.
Super Dynamic: The business analysis is very dynamic profession as they are the first to react to new changes in business/industry such as new regulations, laws, codes of practice, business processes and methods.
The business analyst often has to walk on a challenging path through both the academic and practitioners’ world, acquiring new knowledge and skills and implementing them effectively in real life situations.
If you are not quick to adapt to new circumstances and conditions, it will invariably lead to frustration.
Superman(woman)’s Confidence: A good BA must have the confidence to stand up for their points to present, negotiate, and manage conflict (if it arises) using logic and every weapon in their arsenal. Remember, the audience could be anyone in the organization.
Unsung Hero: Think of the person who provides ideas to integrate business with technology to create a million (or billion) dollar enterprise. For example, the iPod that changed the music industry or airbnb who revolutionized the hotel industry. The identity of these individuals remains largely unknown, unless he/she happens to be ‘Steve Jobs!’
Most modern inventions that applied technology and innovation to industry are a direct result of business analysis that created billions of dollars of revenue, but many are yet to get their dues.
However, the situation is changing. Being a professional BA is now considered a proper career and many organizations, both profit and non-profit, are working towards making it even better.
Apart from these pitfalls, being a BA is fun!