Uploaded by Abhishek Agrawal

Business Analyst

This is a very frequent request that we come across.
“I have been a software developer for quite some time and would like to learn about a new role. I am
excited about a business analysis career, but I have no idea as to how to transition into the new role. “
Technology today offers tremendous opportunities to improve businesses. The business analyst is a
role where one can contribute to organization’s strategy, its offerings, its revenue and its margin. It
offers great opportunity to interact with many stakeholders, develop innovative solutions and
improving existing solutions. Business analysts are the bridge between business stakeholders and
technology architects. The International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) de ines business analysis
as the practice of enabling change in an enterprise by de ining needs and recommending solutions
that deliver value to stakeholders. Business analysts enable an enterprise to articulate its needs and
the rationale for change, and to design and describe solutions that deliver value.
However, a new role requires new skills to hone. Being a developer, one has the advantage of already
knowing the technology side of the story, however, for some they feel more inclined to the business
side of the story after spending some time in technology. So it's the time to learn about business and
become successful business analyst. Here is the 8-step approach for someone to become a successful
business analyst from a developer.
Learn the Basics of Business
The very irst step is to understand is how businesses run and what they do. A good starting point
would be to go through the generic process classi ication framework provided by APQC. You can
download the free personal version of APQC process classi ication framework from APQC website.
The framework enumerates 1000+ tasks that organizations perform irrespective of their size,
location, or domain. It also would be a good idea to read up foundational books on business strategy,
marketing, inance, HR, and operations. That gives one a high-level view of business, its operations
and the objectives of the various functions.
Develop Behavioral Skills
The second major aspect where the business analyst role differ signi icantly from a developer role is
the amount of interaction expected from business analysts. Typically, developers work under the
instruction of a project manager. The business analyst and the project manager seal the developer
from interaction with stakeholders. As a business analyst, one must learn how to interact with a
sponsor, domain SME, end users, and all other business-side stakeholders, including suppliers. This
requires honing one’s skills in behavioral aspects. Key skills for business analysis are communication,
stakeholder interaction, active listening skills, facilitation, presentation skills, and problem-solving
skills to name a few.
How does one hone behavioral skills?
One way is to practice the skills any opportunity that one gets.
Be proactive to communicate, to speak out. You can record your own communication using a mobile
phone and then analyze that to see if you are communicating clearly, in the right language and
Your organization may already be providing behavioral trainings on communication, negotiation
skills, assertiveness and facilitation skills. Take advantage of these behavioral training available within
your organization and be better in the skill.
Learn Business Analysis Process
Like any other activity, business analysis also follows a process. Many guidebooks say that the
business analysis process can't be standardized. But that's not true. In most of our project
experiences, we have observed business analysis has a fairly well-de ined approach.
The best part is you can go ahead and lay your hands on the Business Analysis Core Standard from
IIBA. This is available without any cost, and is a fairly short document of about 50 pages. This will give
you a good idea of how business analysis is actually performed.
Learn Requirements, Modeling Tools, and
Management Tools
Like most other professions, business analysts also use many tools as part of their work. Some of the
tools popular tools are for business process modeling, state modeling, and use case modeling. You
can lay your hands on a trial version of Microsoft Visio, a tool very popular in many organizations.
You can also learn other free tools such as Lucidchart and BizAgi Business process modeler. You can
learn to model some processes within your workplace.
Learn Domain of Your Organization.
The best place to start your business analysis journey is your current organization. You are part of
the organization, you know people, processes, and tools. But at the same time, your business
stakeholders would expect you to understand the speci ic nuances of your organization’s domain.
There are good resources available on the internet on almost all domains and may be within your
own organization. Another good advice we suggest is to look for a handbook on your domain. So for
example, if you are in retail domain, to look for a book by name Handbook of Retail. Go through the
handbook, you will get a fairly good idea about how retail domain functions. When you understand
your domain and you understand your organization, your stakeholders’ acceptance for you as a
business analyst will increase.
Get Involved in The Requirements Gathering
Now that you already have learned some basics of business analysis, the best place to learn and
practice would be to get involved in the project requirements. Be a shadow business analysis for the
current business analysis of your project. This would allow you to practice the concepts that you have
learned. Make a proactive effort to get involved in the requirements gathering activities.
Practice makes perfect!
Any skill can be learned if you are willing to put in the effort to learn!
Participate in Professional Groups and
Conferences on Business Analysis
There are many professional groups, virtual and physical conferences on business analysis.
Participate in these events to understand how business analysis is changing, what are the trends in
business analysis and how you can bring new business analysis concepts to your organization.
There are many professional special interest groups as well on LinkedIn and also forums on the web
where you can discuss, participate, contribute and learn the skills also.
Get Certified as A Business Analyst
Finally, to prove your own competence as business analyst, the best way to do that is to get yourself
certi ied in business analysis. Many organizations provide a business analysis certi ication and the
most prominent one among them is IIBA. About a couple of years back, IIBA did not have any
certi ication for new business analysis professionals. It required that the business analyst to have
about two and half years’ experience to take the certi ication.
But in late 2016, IIBA came up with Entry Certi icate in Business Analysis (ECBA), a new certi ication
scheme spotting the need of the hour and catering to the aspirations for many. ECBA caters to those
professionals who would be making an entry or begin their career in business analysis domain. It
doesn’t require any experience in business analysis to take this certi ication. It focuses on those
knowledge areas of business analysis domain which are going to be of use for the new business
analysts, such as requirements analysis, requirements life cycle management, elicitation and