Career as a Business Systems Analyst

Mar 04, 2018
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How do you become a business analyst and where do you begin?  So you want to cross over to the land of analysis? A land of ‘schizophrenic’ people who need to possess multiple skills and make meaning out of ambiguity. You'll need to break down complex problems into bite-size chunks that can be easily understood. You'll also need to manage different stakeholders and break down knowledge barriers formed by these stakeholders. (Most having been in their organisations for decades) Finally, you'll need to develop a thick skin to stand in the firing line.

 

Jan 27, 2018
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In his classic book Flawless Consulting, Peter Block described three types of roles that consultants might take on: expert, pair-of-hands, and collaborator. Each of these represents a different kind of interaction when working with clients and a different source of satisfaction for the consultant. Business analysts can engage with clients in the same three modes. This article describes some of my experiences with these three modes of consulting engagements.

Oct 09, 2017
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The experience age will force the business analyst, more so than ever, to be closer to business. The focus will have to move from how the IT landscape looks at the architectural level, to how it can be best utilised to provide the most compelling and efficient customer experience.  The success of business will now be determined by how well the customer journey and user experience has been translated to offer real and/or even perceived value for money through ‘virtual experience’.  It will be difficult for the business analyst to be a credible advisor to business without understanding the customer’s needs.

Jul 23, 2017
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Trying to secure a business analyst job interview in an area in which you don’t have prior experience can be a huge challenge. It’s common for recruiters and hiring managers to screen out applicants--no matter how accomplished they seem to be from their resumes--simply because the candidate’s job history doesn’t include work in the target industry...  But how do you get your foot in the door when so many recruiters and hiring managers tend to ignore applications from a candidate whose background doesn’t match the role they are trying to fill? The following tips may help.

Apr 02, 2017
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You see, I am a business analyst (BA), and more precisely the lesser-spotted, lazy beta alpha, the evolutionary pinnacle of my profession, at the tip of the BA spear. While the work of throwing or stabbing with the spear requires an effort by the arm that wields it, I prefer the sharp bit to do the work for me. In other words, doing as little as possible apart from…well, being sharp. While the sharp bit does all the work I am able to still the get the glory and recognition of a job well done. While the spear tossers return with painful shoulders, weary and, hopefully sometimes with a degree of success.
Mar 22, 2017
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When asked what my secret for Business Analysis success is, I indicate fundamentals first. You can acquire skills related to Agile, the latest modeling language, and software development tools but you will fail if you have not mastered fundamentals.   The following fundamentals are crucial to success...
Mar 19, 2017
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A business analyst is a person who analyzes, organizes, explores, scrutinizes and investigates an organization and documents its business and also assesses the business model and integrates the whole organization with modern technology. The Business Analyst role is mostly about documenting, verifying, recording and gathering the business requirements and its role is mostly associated with the information technology industry.

Mar 09, 2017
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My inclination is the smarter and harder approach but again I am asking you to contribute your thoughts. Channel your inner Justin Timberlake and consider how do we get sexy back to Business Analysis? How do we get the attention of the decision makers when we are no longer the shiny new product that every one wants.
Mar 06, 2017
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Congratulations! You have been asked to act as the lead Business Analyst (LBA) on an important project. It is more than likely someone recognizes the good work that you have done in the past and their hope is that your past success can be replicated with multiple Business Analysts on this new initiative. Like any new experience, you may have some anxiety or nervousness regarding this new role. It is important to you that what happens turns out to be a future success story and not an experience that stays in the closet.
Feb 11, 2017
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This is the time for the BA community to expand its capabilities and provide critical value to the organization. With a massive 86% of global CEOs reporting a lack of time to think strategically about the forces of disruption and innovation shaping their company’s future, businesses leaders must lean on the evolving capabilities of the business analysis community.
Jan 15, 2017
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Is your team struggling with the transition to modern requirements practices? As many teams explore and experiment with modern practices and agile, they often jump to apply tactical methods and techniques. But does anything really change?

 

Most teams work really hard and don’t see results. Or they find a few early benefits, but get stuck on a low plateau. They often give up and slide back into their old habits. Why? Because they’ve modified surface-level tactics, but haven’t modified mindsets.

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Many business analysts fail to achieve top performance while starting to work on a new domain simply because of their fear of making mistakes. I’ve heard analysts freely admit that looking less than competent is what they fear most. “I don’t know what I don’t know” they will tell me, “and in particular in a domain I’m not very familiar with, I’m always afraid I will miss an assumption or an avenue I must address.”
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Chaos, by its very nature, is impossible to control completely, and so a business analyst who enters into their own chaotic Wonderland will be presented with difficulties immediately. Throughout Alice’s adventures down the rabbit hole, she is confronted with a complete absence of structure, a lack of clear information, and a cast of frantic characters. In their role, a business analyst must strive to find order in the chaos, just like Alice. As Alice is faced with riddles, the business analyst is faced with information that is either unclear or unavailable. They must solve the riddles and establish structure, all while appeasing the residents of Wonderland.
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Visit any active discussion forum for business analysts and aspiring BAs, and invariably you will find at least one thread asking how to develop domain knowledge, either in a new industry, such as health or insurance, or a new business function, such as marketing or supply chain management. Alice just got a job working for the first time in financial services, and is worried that her lack of experience in this domain will get in the way of her doing a great job. Bob keeps getting his resume ignored for analyst jobs in government agencies because most of his experience is in ecommerce applications. What to do?
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Business analysis is an indispensable function in all business organizations, performed at myriad forms and scales.  Maintaining high quality of business analysis consistently is a challenge to many organizations. Inconsistent business analysis output quality results in undesirable project outcomes, poor decisions, operational disjoints and missed opportunities.  This article uses an actual case to discuss how low quality business analysis impacts an organization and what improvement initiatives the organization implemented to address the problems.

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