Divya is a business analyst – working with clients, understanding requirements and ensuring that is understood by the team when they build. She has eight years experience and has been working in teams that you manage for the past couple of years.
She has reached out to you, and as part of the conversation you find that she is bored with the usual cycle of writing requirement documents and getting them signed off and then working with teams only to face questions, ideas, suggestions from the team and clients – many of which she had also expressed during the initial stages.
She thinks her only next step is to start slowly managing teams; but prefers to work on solutions than managing projects. She then proceeds to ask what she can do differently in her role.
You and she are planning to catch up in another couple of days. Can you give her a ring-side view of what she can do differently in her teams and what kind of skills she can plan to pick up, to enjoy her business analyst role better?
While the traditional role of a business analyst has been reduced to collecting requirements from clients, documenting them and then coordinating to get them developed by the team – things are changing pretty rapidly.
Business Analysts will now need to don the role of facilitators in the solution development space. For this, they will need to actively develop these new areas:
1. Facilitation skills – Bringing teams together, so that relevant stakeholders agree on problems and solutions, with each stakeholder (development, product owner, sometimes end user too) providing their perspective – ideas, approaches, risks, challenges
2. Design Thinking skills: Techniques that help in unearthing problems and validating solutions end to end, thereby reducing wasted software creation
3. Release & Development Management: As the proxy owner of their project from a functional perspective, Divya can and must develop abilities to come up with options on releases that will create value to end customer (not just based on constraints in development)
These are areas where traditional Business Analyst role is not taken in to; and will require focus on developing skills in multiple areas. Apart from this, is the ‘taken for granted’ domain awareness (I , however, feel this awareness is confused with expertise, which may not be necessary)