Defining Roles Cycle in the BA Life

Last time I asked “Can a senior BA really be skilled in all aspects of the solution life cycle?”. My humblest apologies to those of you who have shown such capability – hats off to you! I did not mean to imply impossibility, just that it is a long haul to get to that point.

I’ve always thought end-to-end ownership of an initiative, by a single person, results in a high level of “conceptual integrity” – having a single BA own a set of requirements and its corresponding solution(s) has great benefits. However, finding those BAs who are strong in all areas of the BABOK poses a challenge for many organizations, especially when so many BAs (by other names, to be certain) have specialized in a particular solution area.

It is easy to envision multiple roles with the BA life cycle, allowing someone to focus on a particular set of tasks/techniques, for example: 

  • Enterprise Analyst 
  • Business Case Specialist 
  • Elicitation Specialist 
  • Survey Designer and Psychometric Analyst 
  • Validation Specialist

If those activities and others were carried out by BAs with special focus, there would still be value (indeed, a need) for a BA with overarching responsibility for the team of BA specialists.

What about your organization? Do you have BAs who specialize in a particular aspect of the requirements life cycle? If so: 

  • What are the specialties? 
  • What is in place to ensure continuity in their handoffs from one phase of the life cycle to another, and how sophisticated are the tools underpinning that process? 
  • Has your organization defined career paths that manifest those specialties?

Even if your organization does not distinguish such specialties but you have given it some consideration, we’d love to hear your thoughts.