Business Analyst Manifesto

Out of chaos, we create order.

Out of disagreement, we create alignment.

Out of ambiguity, we create clarity.

But most of all, we create positive change for the organizations we serve.

Business analysts lead teams from the inside out. We create positive change for our organizations. We inspire others to follow us on our path toward positive change. We help everyone understand exactly what that change is and how they can contribute to it. We help teams discover what the change should be.

Ask yourself, are you focused on:

  • Leading a team toward the best possible solution to the problem we’ve been tasked with solving?
  • Leading a team to balance our goals with our constraints to achieve a valuable result?
  • Developing a shared understanding of what needs to be accomplished?
  • Helping the business own the solution?

On every successful project you’ll find a business analyst. Their title might be director of technology, product owner, product manager, requirements analyst, business process engineer, VP of operations, development lead, team lead, project manager, or CTO. The title is rather irrelevant. The activities of creating alignment around a clear understanding of “done” that creates positive change is what it means to be a business analyst.

If you’ve helped a team focus on alignment, clarity, and positive change, it might just be time to let your inner business analyst shine, even if you’ve never had the job title.

We build our profession one BA at a time.

Let us go forward together and discover what it is to do business analysis at its best. Let us come together as professionals who care about doing our best work and help each other take more confident steps forward.

Believe what we have to say? Please join us.

Click here to join our email course on business analysis

Comments

  1. Hi Laura,

    I am really interested in your 8 lessons. This is my lesson. I have IT background and out of job for 2 years and would like to work as BA.

  2. Wanda Bartlett says:

    Hi Laura,
    I am so glad to have been connected to this website. The Business Analyst Manifesto (BAM) is wonderful and has given me a new energy in my search for a new job as a Business Analyst. Somebody had mentioned in a previous comment that they have found it difficult to obtain a job as a Business Analyst without previously having had a job as a business analyst. I just want to make the comment, it’s also difficult finding a job as a Business Analyst when you have had the title before if your is experience is less than 3 years. Before actually obtaining the title of IT Business Systems Analyst, I have held the title of Programmer Analyst, Software Engineer, Development Lead and Tech Lead and have always performed some portions of the business analyst functions in these roles. Needless to say, your paragraph starting “On every successful project you’ll find a business analyst. Their title might be ………” really hit home for me because performing “The activities of creating alignment around a clear understanding of “done” that creates positive change” is exactly what I did and believed in most. I have found during the last few weeks of my job search I have been having to basically remarket myself to show hiring managers I really do have the skills and experience of a BA even though I technically did not have a BA title for a long period of time and did not necessarily talk the “BA Talk”. With going through the remarketing process, I would like to say I am now finding I am getting more positive feedback in that I’m getting more interest in my experience and starting to move past an initial conversation. I have joined your “Free E-mail Course” and it is my sincere hope I can start pulling more of my BA experience out and speak the “BA Talk” and become an even better Business Analyst candidate. I love the BAM and this website and can’t wait to read and learn more on my path to becoming an even better BA. I will keep you updated on my job search and in the meantime, I will just keep reading what I feel have been some wonderful words of wisdom so I can keep learning and moving forward in the profession I have chosen to make my career path.
    Sincerely,
    Wanda Bartlett

    • Hi Wanda,

      Thanks so much for sharing. You are very much right that this is really a marketing process – often without the title, it’s about rephrasing the experience, talking the BA talk, and showing how you can be successful in BA type situations. I hope you are enjoying the free email course and do keep us updated!

      Laura

  3. Jan Willem Knop says:

    Hi Laura,
    I’ve had the honor to read a lot of your stuff in the past and have enjoyed it. Revisiting this manifesto recently, I realized that it really describes what I want to instill on my colleagues. So I’m going to translate the manifesto in Dutch and hang it above everybody’s bed ;-).
    Thanks again and good luck in the rest of your career. Please keep inspiring new BA’s, one at a time.
    Regards,
    Jan-Willem Knop

  4. Rose Poruthur says:

    I have discovered my passion for BA work in the past three years. And though I have been restricted into a technical position all my life, I have always found it satisying to help Clients understand and align their business needs. I have taken a break from work for the past one year and is now trying to get back into the workforce with the intention of finally getting the “BA” designation. Your posts are really inspiring and helps me hang-on to my plan of action. Thank You.

  5. Opemipo Oyadiran says:

    I heartily support the BA Manifesto! If only more in our profession would embrace this philosophy. Please continue to spread the word that it’s not about what you do, it’s about why you are doing it. I am learning real fast with this forum as a Business Intelligence developer who wants to stand out with a difference.Thanks so much for sharing this.

  6. Hi Laura,

    Just came across this site by chance and feel real lucky. The fact is I’m moving from a Sr. Consultant role to BA role. Wanted some confidence badly that I got from ‘Bridging the gap’. Just reading few articles last couple of days has given me good confidence and inspiration to move on. Excellent stuff!! Thank you.

  7. Laura, Manifesto sounds really inspiring! Business analyst is strongly characterized by the attitude, not only the applied tools and techniques. Optimistic, but realistic, improve-driven and open to surrounding views and ideas – that what I feel about business analyst professionals.

  8. This is very inspiring. I am a very driven person always looking for the best possible way forward in any situation. I am new in my role and look forward to being part of this great network. I feel very honored.

  9. Andrés Almansa says:

    Hi Laura,

    Wonderful description of our profession. In fact, I’m involved in this profession for almost 11 years, when I started my career as a IS Manager, I discovered that there are more things than pure technology, since then, I’m loving this profession day by day, so I’m really identified with your description, we are the “change by itself in companies”, we are always ecouraging the people to think for the improvement, to see how the organization will evolve for better eficiency.

    I think that I will get a lot of positive information from this web.

    Regards
    Andrés Almansa

  10. Wow. Have been working for years towards the same goals outlined in your manifesto, but have always struggled with how to articulate my “job”. Now, I have a label for my skills!

  11. I am a new BA. And your website became a great treasure box for me. Looking forward to getting them.
    Thanks for your help.

  12. Olubunmi Wayne-Okhiria says:

    After working actively for about ten years as a business development/sales executive and taking a break in between for my MBA and returning to work for a further three years and finally resigning to pursue my dream as an entrepreneur, I have finally found my real profession. Ironically, I started out as a BA on a project in my very first employment fresh from college, apparently didn’t know much about what I was doing even though I found it very interesting then. And after the project roll out the team was disbanded and so I moved on to another department, but not without a full understanding of how everything is linked together. Somehow I just tended to understand the rationale for some very top executive decisions in the organization and broke it down to my colleagues/peers and they were ever so amazed why and how I understood the goings on. I have decided once again to be a BA for my own business and help organizations discover value that will positively impact their bottom-line through ‘BAsis’. As I was researching I came across Laura’s Bridge The Gap endeavor. What a Nobel effort!!! Putting it all together for the benefit of folks like me to rediscover themselves. Thank you very much Laura Brandau!!! I sign up to the manifesto too!!!

  13. I am a new BA. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can.
    Thanks for this website. All the Best!!

  14. Varun Dewan says:

    Hi Laura,

    Great platform , I just got lucky that someone passed me the link of your portal. Expect to see me around from now on. And hail the holy BA Oath. I stand by it. Describes BA role perfectly.

    Regards

    Varun

  15. This manifesto goes together with my vision, as a business analyst we need to ensure we are the lean management champions. Ensuring we support efficiency by highlighting the waste in the businesses.

    Patrick

  16. Hi Laura

    Its a great relief knowing what you are doing exists, that is, giving BA’s a platform to better define and re-position not just the profession as a whole but the individuals who make up the profession.

    I have just finished an MBA and I have a legal background, but making plans to divert fully into being a BA and a Business Development Specialist. I thrive on Ideas and developing them and my MBA dissertation also centered on Idea Generation. Though I am presently looking for a Voluntary work as a BA/Business Development, would you recommend other ways of developing myself in this area?

    Cheers

  17. Adeshina Omopariola says:

    That is a great manifesto. It gives proper definition of what the resposibility of a business analyst is in an organisation.
    Anyway, to whom it may concern, i am looking for how to acquire experience as a business analyst. I will so much appreciate it if someone can help me .

  18. This is really enlivening. Go for the leverage!

  19. Thanks everyone! It’s so exciting to see this message resonate with other BAs and talented professionals. If we all keep moving towards the big picture, the profession as a whole will grow with us.

  20. The manifesto focuses clearly on how to start business analysis..Thank u very much..

  21. Srila Ramanujam says:

    You create frontiers sometimes in your tutoring, mentoring and presentation of BA stuff.
    Thank you Laura, and I am really SO GLAD I happen to walk by this website.
    Great content, absolutely helpful, and so damn resourceful. It is truly a ONE stop shop for all BA guidelines, and very very interestingly presented too…

  22. Love this Laura, I will print this and hang it in my cubicle!!!

  23. Hi Laura,

    This is wonderful. I really liked the manifesto. It forces you to think you are not just a technical writer or someone supporting on high level activities in a project. Thank you for sharing it with the masses. It will really help everyone in this profession.

  24. Eileen Kane says:

    Hi Laura,

    I am new to your site and the group on LinkedIn. I love this manifesto. I especially like the descriptive words that will help me articulate how my past experience might translate into a business analyst role. I look forward to remaining active with your site. Thanks so much for your dedication. Eileen

  25. MOHAMED JAMEEL says:

    The Manifesto sounds great and thought provoking, thanks Laura

  26. Hi James,

    Welcome to business analysis! I love to hear these stories as it is evidence there are strong, committed professionals everywhere just looking for a professional home, so to speak. Good luck on your new journey. There is so much support within the BA profession and I am happy to hear that Bridging the Gap will be part of your new, growing tool belt.

    Laura

    • Kristen Monroe says:

      Hi Laura,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to develop a site that supports those who have a passion for being a business analyst!! Your writing is so helpful. Call it perfect timing if you will, but it just so happens that I can definitely identify with James above, as he mentions that your blog has helped him identify some very important professional endeavors (thank you too, James, for saying it so well). I too, have always done what is described as business analyst work but never was able to obtain the title as such (and could never really put my finger on exactly what it would be called). What is so coincidentail about coming across your website Laura, is the fact that I am in a new job and have been expanding upon my position title and doing more business analyst work because soon I would like to propose the idea of getting the title “Business Analyst” to my supervisor during my upcoming review period (because I have identified this as the career path I would like to transition to within the past year or so). I have just been researching more lately what “Business Analysts” can be responsible for so that I can propose this title to my supervisor. Your site has given me more inspiration to do so, especially because it is hard to obtain this title in another job if you do/did not already have this title in a previous position, which seems to be the case in most operational areas.
      Anyways, I just thought I would let you know that I appreciate your site and others’ comments. Keep up the great work! I look forward to seeing more.

      Best,
      Kristen

  27. Laura,

    I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for your website and postings. I have never been formally trained as a “business analyst” but in the past several months came across the term while surfing around on the web. When I first stumbled upon the term, my reaction was, “Oh My God! This has been what I have been doing my whole life! I didn’t know this was what it was called!” I never was able to clearly define or reference it as clearly as it is mentioned here. I have only just been introduced to this new collection of people, knowledge, and resources but I plan to further integrate it into my professional tool belt. I look forward to getting to know you and the business analyst community further. Thank you again. Just finding this at this moment in time has been already tremendously helpful in finding identification and reference for my professional endeavors. Regards, James Droskoski.

  28. Hi Mary,

    Excellent points. Thank you! I tend to favor business analyst over analySIS because I tend to focus on individuals. Perhaps it’s a bit of an intellectual short-cut to say “I want to help business analysts” as opposed to “I want to help professionals who do business analysis work.” I do fully appreciate the difference between the two. But there is something special about those who embrace being a business analyst over and above incorporating business analysis work into their role. It doesn’t mean you have to have the title in your job, but to stand up and say “I want to be a business analyst” or “I am a business analyst” is the kind of career self-identification that’s important to the profession of business analysis. Many people do business analysis work and don’t know it. I want them to think of themselves as business analysts!

    Wonderful comment on the use of the word ‘creating’. I too hold myself accountable to ‘enabling’ positive change. I don’t think the two concepts are necessarily inconsistent and emphasizing enabling over creating might be a direction I should consider. My hesitation lies in the fact that when a business analyst is part of a project, there is something there that wasn’t there before. “Through enabling we are creating” might be the way I think about it. But I would not want to make this change and lose the emphasis on what we as professionals bring to the table that helps us facilitate collaborative processes.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

    Laura

  29. Laura,
    My preference would be to call it the Business Analysis Manifesto – focus on the work and the value of the work, not the role or title of “analyst”. After all it is the International Institute of Business AnalySIS, and the Certificated Business AnalySIS Professional.

    Based on my most memorable, positive experiences doing business analysis work, it was not always me ‘creating’ the order, alignment, clarify, positive change, but rather ‘enabling’ and ‘serving’ (servant leadership) the larger group/organization to collaboratively do so.
    Mary

  30. Oh, really nice! This must go viral!!!

  31. Thanks all. Inspiration came from reading Seth Godin’s Tribes. I expect the phrasing has been percolating for a very long time.

  32. Laura, I missed this on the first pass. Great work. What gave you inspiration for this particular turn of phrase?

  33. Sue Diederichs says:

    I heartily support the BA Manifesto! If only more in our profession would embrace this philosophy. Please continue to spread the word that it’s not about what you do, it’s about why you are doing it. Well done Laura : )

  34. The manifesto wonderfully captures the essence of business analysis. Very inspiring Laura!

  35. Wonderful Tom! I am honored!

  36. Laura,
    I have taken the privilege of copying the first six lines of your manifesto and printing it out as landscape. It looks lovely. I did center the title and your byline.

    Tom

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