I was reflecting on how impenetrable the role of the BA can be to a newbie when I was designing the Break through into Business Analysis programme last year.
We used to have no single definition so it was open season for anyone to decide what the BA should do (that hasn’t gone away completely!).
Have you ever felt that you are too flexible such that whenever an unsual job needs doing on the project, it comes your way because everyone else’s role is so well defined?
Now that we have one definition of the role in BABOK, the problem should be starting to disappear shouldn’t it?
Well, yes, but if you are new and you start reading BABOK, it is very easy to get confused and lose sight of what your responsibilities are. There is a very good definition of the role but it is still a little ambiguous and doesn’t give you a really solid list of responsibilities to answer the important questions such as:
Am I fulfilling my responsibilities on this project (and, therefore, being of value to the business)?
So what is your list?
That was my justification to come up with a list which is shown below and should act as that important point of reference:
i) Understand the business need
ii) Agree how to meet the business need to achieve the best results for the business
iii) Ensure requirements are understood by business stakeholders to ensure they are complete and correct
iv) Ensure requirements are suitable to ensure delivery of a solution that meets the business need
v) Ensure the business need and requirements will be met by the proposed solution
vi) Ensure any risks and issues that arise from the solution are understood and accepted by affected stakeholders
I’m sure that you are reading this and saying what does he mean by xxx and but you’ve missed out xyz.
However, I’ve found it useful to check back with this list at several points during the project to make sure I am offering all the value that I should. And if I’m not delivering that responsibility I can ask myself ‘why not?’ and do something about it.
I’d love to hear whether you think this list ‘nails’ the BA responsibilities. Does it need rewording? Are there any glaring holes?
As an aspiring BA, does it make sense? I wanted to make sure it was jargon free.
Please add your comments below.
By the way, if you would like to become a BA and would like to hear about our Break through into BA programme when we launch in June, please add your name to the list here.