How to Be a BA Without Giving Up Your Favorite Non-BA Responsibilities

You’ve probably heard or read a lot about what a “Business Analyst” IS.  But when you think about the kind of BA you want to be, the kind of role that you will find personal fulfillment in and that will make the most of the transferable skills you’ve spent years cultivating, you might feel like it’s not quite “BA” enough.

  • Perhaps you want to stay focused in your particular industry; will you be a BA?
  • Perhaps you’d like to keep a hand (or just a pinky finger) in software development; will you be a BA?
  • Perhaps you’d like to leverage your expertise in usability or user experience design; will you be a BA?

Yes! As long as your role includes some business analysis, you’ll be a BA!

You can be a business analyst without having a “pure” business analyst role.  In fact, very few of us do have pure roles. It’s the dirty secret of being a BA.

If you absolutely love project management (someone has to!) and want to fill combined roles, then as long as the job market continues to support this, there’s no reason to stop. If you love your industry domain, want to stay within it, and it shows no signs of decline, there’s no reason to let it go.

You are still a BA. Thank you for being here. We are lucky to have you as part of your profession.

There’s lot of support outside Bridging the Gap behind this philosophy:

  • The IIBA Competency Model specifically defines hybrid and specialist roles and includes them within the realm of business analysis.
  • Definition of a “Business Analyst” in the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge includes anyone who performs business analysis activities, regardless of their job title.
  • When you go to apply for the CCBA or CBAP – any business analysis experience, regardless of your title, can be counted.

Your special blend of business analysis is yours to own and grow. Our profession thrives on having a community of diverse and talented professionals. By cultivating the skills that set you apart, you help us stay an active, growing, and thriving profession, one that learns from its own members and avoids stagnation. And, for you, cultivating your own special blend can lead to opportunities that are rewarding – both because you find fulfillment in the work and because you are appropriately compensated for doing valuable work.

For example:

  • If you have years of experience as a software developer, you have valuable technical understanding that can help you explore different solution options with effectiveness.
  • If you have a strong background in usability or user experience design, you can bring many of your techniques to improve an organization’s requirements elicitation practices.
  • If you have deep expertise in a particular domain, you may be able to spot trends or opportunities that no one else is seeing.

The question is not: Are you doing only business analysis? The question is: Are you applying the techniques and practices of business analysis in an ever-evolving and increasingly effective way? Are you growing as a business analyst even as you cultivate your own special blend?

>>Start Your BA Career

Leverage a step-by-step process to start your business analyst career, regardless of your career background. How to Start a Business Analyst Career will walk you through the BA job role in detail, help you identify transferable business analyst skills, and hone your BA job search process. It’s available in print, PDF, Kindle, and Nook formats.

Click here to learn more about How to Start a Business Analyst Career

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