A technical writer is a professional who creates technical documentation that helps people understand how to use a product or service. Documentation includes work like user guides, help files, as is business processes and procedures, and technical design specifications.
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The Skills Technical Writers Bring to a Business Analyst Position
Because of their strong written communication skills, it’s common to see technical writers transition into business analysis roles. Technical writers tend to be very comfortable with the requirements documentation and visual modeling aspects of the business analyst role.
They tend to be analytical, and rely on their critical thinking and analysis skills to discover the information they need to incorporate into their documentation. Some of the documentation they create may even be very similar to the types of requirements specifications a business analyst creates.
Opportunities for Technical Writers to Expand their Business Analyst Experience
To grow into a business analyst role, technical writers need to explore the following types of opportunities:
- Build more collaboration into their process, for example, by facilitating working meetings to review your technical specifications or receive direct feedback from end users about your specifications.
- Start defining needs and requirements for the technical specifications you do, essentially treating your writing work as a project inside a project where you are the business analyst.
- Champion a project, such as a new way to provide help documentation or solve another problem you’ve gained visibility into through your technical writing work.
In general, as a technical writer, you need to start transferring ownership of your work from you to a team, as that’s where the juicy BA type of work happens.
Case Study: From Technical Writer to Lead Business Analyst and a $20K Salary Increase
Amelia McHenry went from reaching the ceiling of her Technical Writer role to a Lead Business Analyst Role making $90K/year in Brentwood, Tennessee. This move represented a $20K salary bump in less than a year. You can learn about her path into business analyst by watching her case study interview below.
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