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What Do Business Analysts and Rockstars Have in Common?

Well, quite a lot actually. I’m not saying we’ve all got the swagger of Liam Gallagher, or the Ziggy Stardust fashion sense of Bowie. Nor, do we all play guitars, or know our way around a recording studio (although some do). And I’d confidently say, none of us are going around with diva-like demands or are smashing up hotel rooms. Most likely we’ll be littering the walls with post-its, hand-written using Sharpies.

But there are many aspects of being a Rockstar, that BAs do share in common. So much so, at Herd Consulting — we refer to ourselves as a Rockstar business analysis consultancy.

Here’s our top 5 reasons to convince you that good business analysis, really is rock ’n’ roll.

You wouldn’t see a Rockstar, ditching their genre. They love what they do. And that’s no different for most BAs. Sure, we could easily go on and become the next CEO of a major global firm, as many do. But they’re still using their inner BA and BA mindset day in, day out. Organizations, and the world around us is constantly evolving in its complexity. That means lots more challenges, and lots more opportunities. With our change know how, curiosity, and BA toolkit — we’re often best placed to take on the role of lead singer in any delivery team, as well as providing the backing rhythm when needed.




Now I’m not suggesting we should charge £100 a ticket to come along to one of our gigs (also sometimes known as workshops, show and tells, or presentations). But the most impactful BAs know who their audience is and engages with them. Equally as importantly, they keep them engaged. Maybe even some of their stakeholders and users, end up becoming fans too.


There’s no point recording the best songs if no-one is ever going to hear it. Similarly, business analysis shouldn’t be confined to just artefacts. It needs to be brought alive, it needs to be seen and heard. Without it, how will it ever challenge thinking, solve a problem, or guide and enable decisions to be made. Business analysts at the top of their game, make an event out of sharing their analysis, they make it easy and memorable to engage with. They provide recommendations or calls to action. Dare I say, it might even be the beginnings of a catchy hit.


Lyrics are a subjective topic, so we’ll steer away from the taxonomy of what good lyrics are, other than to say — the best usually tell a story. As professional business analysts, we’re always telling a story albeit likely with more precision and clarity than a song does. We’re discovering and writing a story (not necessarily just user stories), to guide delivery teams on what it is we’re doing and why we’re doing it. To have a clear specification of what’s required, and what’s not. Ultimately to ensure we’re all thinking about the same thing and are heading to the same destination.


Vinyl, cassettes, CDs, MP3s, streaming services. The world of music is constantly evolving. Remember music video channels? Rockstar’s are always having to keep up with the world of technology, and the changing commercial landscape around them. Business analysis is no different. Given most of us work in Digital or Change environments, we’re often at the forefront of progression and new thinking, whether that be Tech led or not. Therefore, to survive and thrive, we’re having to regularly invest in our knowledge and skills, broadening our experience, and expanding our networks.

Part 2 coming soon…


Jamie Toyne

Jamie is an experienced Business Analysis Leader and community of practice builder, with over 14 years’ experience in transformational change in numerous sectors covering automotive, telco, financial services and more recently public sector. Currently interim Head of Business Analysis in a major UK Government department – Ministry of Justice (MoJ Digital & Technology) and formerly Head of Business Analysis of DWP Digital, where he led one of the largest communities of practice made up of 250+ BAs across the country. An advocate for developing others, he has previously launched the BA apprenticeship in DWP Digital, co-designed and launched an in-house Senior BA Development Programme and have successfully moved large communities to be fully virtual during the pandemic. Jamie is an active and influential member within the Cross-Government BA Leaders community, sits on the IS BA Level 4 Apprenticeship Standard review group, regular guest speaker as well as occasionally reviews new BCS publications.