Your guide to The Way of the BA

Welcome to The Way of the BA

After spending more than fifteen (!) years in the field of business analysis and change management working with a number of large clients, I’d like to think that I’ve got a little bit of experience behind me. I’ve found that no matter what I’m working on, or who I’m working for, there’s a question that I’ve consistently had to face as a BA:

What exactly is it that you do?”, which I usually meet with an erudite and knowledgeable response such as, “I analyse businesses.” (always a winner), or “I help clients understand what they want and the best way to achieve it.” (not strictly true), or perhaps even, “I provide insight and clarity to a problem a client might be facing, and help to evaluate and select potential solutions.” (not bad at all). While all of the above may be true to a degree, that’s also not the entire picture.

What do you do?

It’s a regular occurrence for me to be asked that question from friends, family and acquaintances. I admit I do find it a bit strange to have colleagues and clients ask me the same thing. Having mentored and coached a number of business analysts over the years, it saddens me to find there’s quite a few of you BAs out there who have also been asking that question too, and haven’t actually found an honest answer yet.

The International Institute of Business Analysis (www.iiba.org) define the practice of business analysis as:

The practice of enabling change in the context of an enterprise by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders.”

and a business analyst as:

Any person who performs business analysis, no matter their job title or organisational role.”

These textbook answers are great but still don’t really demystify the role. Moreover, it doesn’t explain in simple terms who we are, what we do and the hows and whys behind it. Nor do they help you find a way of balancing your business analysis career and your wellbeing.

And that’s why this blog exists.

Our journey starts here

I’m offering my experience and knowledge to everyone visiting here. Hopefully I’ll be providing useful information, techniques and guidance to BAs of all abilities and experience. This should help to unpack and define what I’m calling ‘The Way of the BA’. And through doing that, I’ll be able to come up with a better answer the next time that question gets asked.

If you have any feedback or questions, please leave a comment below. Alternatively, head to the Contact page for further information.

⁃ André

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