Am I doing this correctly?

If you are relatively new to the business analyst profession, you might be wondering if you are actually doing things correctly. The business analysis process appears to be so nice and neat and linear until you are actually inside your first project. Then things tend to be much more messy, organic, and, well, unclear.

silence is not goldenI vividly remember my first project. I’d be flying along, thinking that this whole new BA role was so fun and amazing. Then an unexpected issue would pop up. I’d feel like I was taking 5 steps back as we muddled through balancing business desires within technical constraints.

What I needed were some touchstones to gauge if I was really on the right track or not. Having gone through dozens of projects as a business analyst, I now have some touchstones that ease my concerns, even when it feels like everything is incredibly messy.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself week to week, which will help you feel more secure in whether or not you are doing this right, or whether it might be time to invest in some training or engage a mentor to help you out.

  • Is my work moving the project forward in understanding? What are some of the concrete decisions we’ve been able to make based on the analysis I’ve done and the discussions I’ve facilitated?
  • Am I receiving questions from my stakeholders, showing that they are really understanding the requirements and working from them? Silence is not golden! Silence often means you are out of the communication loop, which means your work is not being seen as essential.
  • Do I see people taking action around the requirements? Action could be design, code, testing, or even research. Any sort of resulting action is a sign that you are on the right track and your work is having an impact.

Of course, even when you are moving forward and doing things right, issues will come up. No matter how well it’s done, business analysis does not happen in a perfectly linear way. Click the link below to read an article from our archive with quick tips for managing requirements issues:

http://www.bridging-the-gap.com/quick-tips-for-managing-requirements-issues/

As always, I wish you the absolute best success as a business analyst, and I look forward to helping you in any way that I can.

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