Skip to main content

BA Opportunities in the New Economy

For the last six months, I have been working in a very different kind of environment, on a very different kind of opportunity. It made me realize that there are career paths for BA skills that are not obvious (and potentially quite lucrative), so this month I share a few.

First of all, I am having the time of my life. My new venture is an entrepreneurial opportunity in the bowling and family entertainment businesses (think family fun, arcades, boardwalks, bowling centers).

In this process, in just six months, I have had to:

  • Understand and communicate requirements to integrate different vendor technologies (coin and credit card acceptors with bowling accounting control systems). Integration was implemented even before I knew, just based on the essential (not detail) requirements I developed, in less than three months (instead of over three years with 300 meetings).
  • Design and implement a nationwide customer database using online service providers.
  • Build a new product cost model (miniature bowling) in preparation for negotiating with suppliers and manufacturers.
  • Build a new business model identifying resources and feasibility plans for marketing the new product.
  • Facilitate industry product SMEs to help them identify improved, lower cost, higher quality (i.e., way more competitive) approaches to miniature bowling.
  • Write magazine articles describing the new business, its mission, and its advantages to potential customers.
  • Draw business organizational models involving seven different vendors, and their contributions to the business overall.
  • Learn a new system, the choices it offers and the choices it is missing.
  • Develop Return on Investment models for the new business and for the customers of the new business who would buy the product.
  • Change the business model twice (each time with the support and enthusiasm of the principals).
  • Negotiate with suppliers and manufacturers (and trademark attorneys!) based on detailed, mutual understanding of the requirements, leading to creative solutions and agreements.
  • Make decisions, not just recommendations.
  • Visit customer locations to understand requirements (what a change from the federal government people, who are reluctant for anyone to talk to their stakeholders, who are universally unhappy – as if ignoring the unhappiness would fix it).
  • Implement web based on line banking and accounting, and processes for those with a need to know.
  • Brainstorm product names that communicate the essence of the product (i.e., the essence of the requirements that have been assembled.
  • Outsource other business processes, with the goal of creating an extremely lean organization, including marketing campaigns, demographics analysis, payroll.
  • Start a Use Case Model for bowling and family entertainment businesses (this is an intellectual property that could eventually be published as an industry reference, making me an instant expert).

So, what I have learned from this is that BA skills (see BABOK) lead to numerous possible job titles/positions, quite different from the usual IT production of lengthy, unread requirements documents. These jobs, which I encourage you to consider, include:

  1. Product Developer
  2. Product Manager
  3. Entrepreneur
  4. Small Business Web Outsourcing consultant
  5. Small Business consultant, period
  6. CEO staff
  7. CEO
  8. Writer
  9. Industry Guru (modeler)
  10. What else in inherent in the above that I didn’t think of? Oh – I could get the raise of MY LIFE, as current plans (conservative) indicate that profits for the two main partners (including myself) could reach $1.67M by year three.

Anyone who wants to explore career alternatives can contact me anytime.

Don’t forget to post your comments below

Marcos Ferrer, CBAP has over 20 years experience in the practice of business analysis and the application of Information Technology for process improvement. While still a student at the University of Chicago, he developed a consulting practice with local property management and accounting firms. Following graduation in 1983, Mr. Ferrer joined IBM in Chicago, where he worked on requirements and systems implementations in diverse industries. In 1990, Mr. Ferrer became an independent consultant, again working with a variety of clients in the family entertainment industry and then for 10 years at the U.S. Department of Labor, converting legacy COBOL systems into real time client server systems. His recent projects include working requirements for the Veteran’s Administration, introducing BA practices at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, and creating bowling industry models for NRG Bowl LLC. In November 2006, Marcos Ferrer became one of the first 18 CBAPs certified by the IIBA. He has served as an elected member of the DC-Metro chapter of the IIBA, most recently as President, and assisted in the writing of the BOK 2.0 test. He can be reached at [email protected]!