How to Move from Technical Writing to Business Analysis

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.

how-to-move-from-technical-writing-to-business-analysis(By the way, this article is one piece of a multi-part series titled, “How to Leverage Your Career Experience to Get Started in Business Analysis” where we explore the specific transferable skills professionals in various career backgrounds bring to business analysis, and what opportunities they have to grow their business analysis experience.)

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.

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.

To further explore how the transition from technical writing to business analysis works, check out these career transition success stories:

  • From Technical Writer to Business Analyst – This reader shows us how you can showcase relevant experiences into a business analyst resume that lands you interviews and a job offer. She expected her career transition to take years but instead found a business analyst job after submitting just 10 targeted applications.
  • From Technical Writer to Business Analyst through an Internal PromotionMichal harnessed an opportunity in her current role to do business analysis work, setting up an opportunity to do business analysis within her current organization.

If you are interested in learning more, click here to receive our free step-by-step career planning course and map out your transition into business analysis.

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