Are you wondering what a business analyst does? Do you find conflicting definition of a business analyst job role in different job descriptions? Or perhaps even among different employees with the same job title in your organization?
You are not alone. There are many definitions of a business analyst role.
In this post, you’ll discover the key responsibilities of a business analyst, and why, although business analyst roles can vary widely, there is still an essential core of what makes a BA.
(By the way, if you think you might want to start a career in business analysis, you are probably going to want join our free workshop – Quick Start to Success as a Business Analyst.)
Defining The Business Analyst Role
Out of chaos, we create order.
Out of disagreement, we create alignment.
Out of ambiguity, we create clarity.
But most of all, we create positive change for the organizations we serve.
Business analysts lead teams from the inside out. We create positive change for our organizations. We inspire others to follow us on our path toward positive change. We help everyone understand exactly what that change is and how they can contribute to it. We help teams discover what the change should be.
On every successful project you’ll find a business analyst. Their title might be director of technology, product owner, product manager, requirements analyst, business process engineer, VP of operations, development lead, team lead, project manager, or CTO. The title is rather irrelevant. The activities of creating alignment around a clear understanding of “done” that creates positive change is what it means to be a business analyst.
Source: Bridging the Gap’s Business Analyst Manifesto.
In essence, if you’ve helped teams focus on alignment, clarity, and positive change, you are filling the essentials of a business analyst role.
The Key Responsibilities Included in a Business Analyst Role
The Business Analyst Role includes taking the requirements aspect of the project from start to end, by executing on the business analysis process.
At Bridging the Gap, we teach an 8-step business analysis process framework that includes the following steps:
- Step 1 – Get Oriented – Start actively contributing as quickly as possible.
- Step 2 – Discover the Primary Business Objectives – Ensure the right business problem is solved.
- Step 3 – Define Scope – Gain agreement from stakeholders on the scope of the project.
- Step 4 – Formulate Your Business Analysis Plan – Identify the deliverables, stakeholders, and timelines for a comprehensive solution.
- Step 5 – Define the Detailed Requirements – Establish an efficient and collaborative rhythm.
- Step 6 – Support the Technical Implementation – Ensure the technical solution meets the actual business objectives.
- Step 7 – Help the Business Implement the Solution – Support business stakeholders so that the solution ultimately delivers the intended result.
- Step 8 – Assess the Value Created by the Solution – Assess the ROI of the solution.
Depending on the role, the BA professional may also take on more senior-level business analysis responsibilities, such as such as strategic analysis, learning new domains, and project portfolio management.
But Business Analyst Roles Can Vary Widely
The definition of business analysis allows for many different approaches to the role. It brings in professionals who work on software projects, business process changes, logistics, or ensuring compliance with regulations.
It brings in professionals who work on projects focused on integrating multiple software systems, building new software systems, and modifying existing software systems, or migrating from one software system to another.
Sometimes specific industry expertise is required to be successful. Pick any attribute of a project, organization, or stakeholder group — oftentimes the business analyst role in that context is shaped around multiple attributes.
Hybrid Business Analyst Roles Are Incredibly Common
What’s more, it’s common for a specific business analyst role to be a hybrid role, meaning that you will have responsibilities beyond the core of business analysis.
Common hybrid roles include:
- Business Analyst / Software Tester
- Business Analyst / Project Manager
- Business Analyst / Product Manager
- Business Analyst / Software Developer
Because business analyst job titles are used inconsistently, it’s not uncommon for these hybrid roles to be under the title of “Business Analyst”. It’s also not uncommon for a role like Project Manager or Software Developer to simply include business analyst responsibilities.
The Difference Between Business Analysis and Related Roles
And, there are many roles that are closely related to business analysis. Here are a few posts in which we look at the lines between business analysis and other roles:
- The Difference Between a Systems Analyst and a Business Analyst
- The Difference Between a Product Manager and a Business Analyst
- The Difference Between a Subject Matter Expert and a Business Analyst
- The Difference Between a Project Manager, BA Lead, and Business Analyst
>> Get Your Quick Start to Success as a Business Analyst
If business analysis is a career that you want to pursue, the absolute best next thing to do is to join my free Quick Start to Success workshop. You’ll learn how to avoid the most common pitfalls faced by new business analysts and the step-by-step business analysis process to create predictable, consistent project success.
>>How to Learn the Foundational Business Analyst Skills
When you join The Business Analyst Blueprint® certification program, you’ll gain real world experience in the industry-standard techniques and business analysis processes. You’ll create work samples vetted by experienced instructors and have the opportunity to become a credentialed business analyst as a recipient of the Applied Certification in Business Analysis™ (ACBA).