Why a Business Analyst?

At one point or another, you have been asked why you want to be a BA or you have asked someone that question.  I guess it is natural curiosity for one to ask (at least that is the case for me) to see if that person has the same view as yours or has completely different outlook on what being a BA means.

Do you enjoy being a BA?

I definitely do and there are several reasons as to why.  I believe it is one of those few, unique roles where you are expected to put on several different hats.  You are expected to act as a liaison between your external and internal stakeholder.  You are the face of the company because of constant client facing communication required (that might not be the case here for all the BAs.

I took introduction to telecommunication class while at college.  It was interesting to read how telephone networks evolved over time. One of the early network established was called the star network.  As we have seen in old movies or heard from our parents, a person would dial 0 to connect to an operator; he/she will give the number and name of the person he/she is trying to reach; and the operator would then establish the proper connection.  In all of this, the operator would sit at the center of the network.

The star network model perfectly depicts the position of the BA - you are talking to the clients to understand their needs and requirements; you are then dispersing their needs and requirements to your internal clients (Engineers, QA, etc.).   It is one of the visible roles within an organization.

The role puts one in a situation to better understand the product.  Whether that be researching to have a better understanding of an existing product/functionality as you strive to come up with effective solution, or testing to validate a possible bug or help troubleshoot it.

As the features you are working on gather momentum, you are setting up review sessions with the Engineers, QA, Design Leads, and other internal stakeholders.  As a BA you are making sure that all the parties involved have a clear understanding. Even though you do not realize it, you start taking on an active leadership role.

Once the project/enhancement is under way, you are thrust into the PM role as you keep a keen eye on how things are progressing.  Are we going to meet the deadline?  Will QA have adequate time to test the features? Is anything going to fall out as an out-of-scope item?

As most of the BAs, I like to test the features I am working on to ensure the solution, developed based on my requirement specification document, meets client needs. It also helps to have extra pair of eye to catch any bugs or missed requirement. I strongly believe having a keen QA instinct helps with writing effective requirements.

As a BA, you are coming up with a solution that adds value to the product as well as meets the clients’ needs.  You have a direct influence on the shape of the product and the direction it will take. As any other job, it does have its fair share of challenges but it is also gratifying to see features you worked on finally make it to production and utilized by clients while knowing that it has added value to the product as well as to your clients.  So if you ask me, I do love being a BA.