I think therefore I am … a business analyst

Do you remember your grade school teacher asking you to put on your thinking cap? I recall that anytime we were going to tackle a particularly complex subject, solve a difficult problem, or weren’t giving the academic challenge our all, a teacher would say, “Now, put on your thinking cap.” It was a call to action to think more fully and clearly and bring your best mental energy to the task at hand.

I got to thinking about thinking caps because last week Aaron Whittenberger (a long-time Bridging the Gap guest author) shared a thought-provoking quote by Heather Mylan-Mains:

“The more I think about it, business analysis is a thinking profession. BAs are professional thinkers!”

This got me to thinking about how we think and what we do as business analysts. Obviously, we think about requirements, but we really think about much more than that.

  • We think about people – we contemplate what they expect, what they really need, and what we anticipate their reaction might be to a certain situation.
  • We think about solutions – we look at what technology makes possible, what business process changes will be necessary, and how the different components fit together into a cohesive whole.
  • We think about how to communicate – we consider whether email, a short meeting, or a full-fledged requirements workshop is the right approach for a topic.
  • We think about how to help others think – we consciously choose analysis models, prepare carefully worded questions, and use a variety of different techniques to discover the best possible information.
  • And most of all, we think about change –we evaluate what can we change, what should we change, and how do we change.

While requirements documents, business analysis processes, and elicitation techniques are important aspects of business analysis, the best business analysts put on their thinking caps each and every day and bring their best mental energy to create positive change for the organizations they serve.

To your thinking success!

What do you think about the idea that business analysts are professional thinkers?

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  1. Thatchakorn Kositbanterng says

    That’s amazing article! I came from the software developer career and has been assigned as the business analysts to the projects. I used to think that BA is just the person who gathers the requirements and document them, and used to think about to quit this career as it’s quite opposite to what I did before.

    But after reviewing the BABOK and your several articles in here, I start to feel that BA is more than that!! Your articles and inspiration here makes my career becomes more visible. I’m now proud to be the business analyst!

    Thank you!!

  2. It was so useful, actually I encouraged to check your posts and I found it such a nice and knowledgeable trip.

  3. Critaa Jindal says

    Well thought Laura! We analysts really think beyond the scope and that is what makes us essential for any project start. Great to be part of BA community!

  4. Bukola Kasomo says

    So glad i came across this article……………….proud to be business analyst ( Professional thinker)

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