Monday, 14 May 2012 00:00

The Six Key Characteristics of a Senior Business Analyst

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In our profession there is a lot of discussion about what makes a business analyst a senior business analyst.  To help better delineate between the levels of BAs the IIBA® has recently released a business analysis competency model which includes five levels of business analysts. 

For today's post, I wanted to share my thoughts on the key characteristics of a senior business analyst.  Before I unveil the list I want to say that number of years as a BA is not an indicator if someone should be classified as a senior BA.  I don't think you can get to the senior level without a number of years of experience, but number of years alone is not an indicator. 

1. Business Analysis Techniques: Breadth and Depth of Knowledge and Experience

As BAs we need to have knowledge and experience in the various techniques to elicit, analyze and communicate requirements.  We need a large tool box which we can pull from to meet the specific needs of each project.  Without this large tool box your ability to perform at a high level for any project type that you are a part of is limited. Take a look through the IIBA's BABOK® to see how large your toolbox is.   

I have been asked by BAs who focus on specific areas, like facilitation or process modeling, if I felt they were senior BAs.  My answer is no.  They are most definitely senior facilitators or senior process modelers, but senior BAs need a broader, deeper skill set.  

2. Project Types and Business Area Experience

Senior level BAs need experience working on multiple project types.  At the highest level there are three types of projects I feel are necessary, COTS (commercial off the shelf), new development, and enhancements/support.  Each of these project types requires some different techniques and skills.  Having worked on different types of projects gives you the knowledge of which techniques work best for each project type. This will aid in planning which is characteristic number three, coming up next. 

Working in multiple business areas within a company helps lay the foundation for strategic thinking, characteristic number four.  By being involved in multiple business areas you start to see overlapping functions and interdepartmental dependencies. This allows you to start recommending solutions that benefit the whole company, not just the specific business area you are involved in.

3. Business Analysis Planning

How do you answer the following question when you are first assigned to a project? "How long will the analysis effort take?"  Senior BAs respond to that question with an intelligent business analysis work plan. They think through the people they will be working with. They identify the stakeholders, get to know them and understand key characteristics to best work with them.  They think through critical project characteristics like the size of the project, the business risks involved, and how many interfaces the project will include.  They think through the processes that need to be adhered to for the project.  They make sure they understand what project methodology is being used for the project, project roles and responsibilities, and what deliverables are required.  Thinking through the people, project, and process gives you the ability to outline the tasks and deliverables needed for the project, to estimate their time needed, as well as the time of the stakeholders involved.

4. Strategic Thinking

A senior BA needs to see the big picture and do a deep dive for the project.  Senior BAs will try to see the bigger picture before heading into the details trying to understand where this project fits in with the organizational goals.  They will also be aware of, or try to determine how the project they are assigned to impacts other projects or business areas.  They also take a look at the big picture during the project.

In an earlier post, Get Your Head Out of the Weeds, I highlighted the need for BAs to find ways to pull themselves out of the detail during a project to ensure their project is still meeting the needs of the organization.

5. Advocate and Advisor

Many BAs report into IT departments, but still need to be viewed as part of the business team they support.  You work for the business and need to truly be an advocate for the business and their needs.  I'm sure many of you can tell stories where there was conflict between the technology team and the business.  A senior BA steps up to resolve the conflict to provide the best solution for the business. 

A way to know you have this characteristic is if the business calls you for advice before and after a project.  Do you have discussions with the business to determine what's most important for an upcoming project? Do you attend their staff meetings to find out their pains and to understand their values and goals?

6. Ability to Learn a New Domain

The need to have domain experience for BAs is one of the biggest debates in our profession.  I do think you need some domain knowledge prior to starting a project, but that does not mean you need to have worked in that domain for years.  I believe a senior BA needs to be able to learn a new domain to be effective.  Here are three ways that I primarily use to learn new domains prior to an interview or starting a project.

  • Google: There is so much information out there at your finger tips. Google the subject you need and take an afternoon reading.
  • My network: I am a big believer that I don't need to know everything; I just need to know the people that have the answers. I use my network to help answer questions I have to learn about a domain. Continue to build your network.
  • Personal experience: I may not have worked in banking, but I do interact with banks as a consumer. I draw from my personal experiences to help understand a domain.

Please share your thoughts around the characteristics I've outlined and provide one or more of your own.

Kupe

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Kupe Kupersmith

Kupe Kupersmith, President, B2T Training, possesses over 18 years of experience in the business analysis profession. He has served as the lead Business Analyst and Project Manager on projects in the energy, television, sports management and marketing industries. Kupe is a trained improv actor, a mentor for business analysis professionals, a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and an IIBA Board Member. He is a big believer that we can work and learn while having fun. Kupe is a connector and has a goal in life to meet everyone!

Comments  

+10 # Marcos Ferrer 2010-06-22 07:23
Like the article very much - one comment - domain knowledge - If the experts knew how to do it, they would be doing it already. The value of an outsider view is MUCH undervalued. Slow, non-learning outsiders are not much use, but an intelligent person who is curious and learns fast can get whole organizations "out of the box".
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+5 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-06-22 07:34
Thanks for the comment. In regards to domain knowledge...abs olutely. The ability to learn a new domain quickly is the key.
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0 # Rakesh 2010-06-22 07:58
Well said Mr. Jonathan. Thes e are v imp characteristics of a Senior BA.
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0 # Simon Papson 2010-06-22 09:58
Thanks, Kupe. That's very helpful. Now I know what to aim for! Simon (aka simonjp)
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+2 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-06-22 10:14
You're very welcome Simon.
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0 # Charu 2010-06-22 11:05
Very well said. Ability to learn a new domain quickly is very important. It is agreed that BAs cannot be domain experts in all domains - but they definitely need to pick up the domain knowledge very quickly. It is also satisfying that you have nailed the 3 different project types - I am in full agreement. Grea t article and very useful for many who ask questions on how to become a BA.
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0 # Ramachandra 2010-06-22 14:56
Dear Kupe, Wonderfu l article Had a query, I work as a Business Analyst with one of the top companies in India, I work with the Corporate Departments of that company. Example Corporate Treasury, Corporate Legal, Corporate Insurance etc. My query is how do I manage my profile as a Business Analyst ? I mean which domain should i subscribe to ? In my resume what should be my title ?
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0 # Kerry Allemann 2012-05-23 04:22
Rmachandra: to my mind, your title in your resume should describe what you actually do, not what the company calls your position on its org chart; in your case, it's probably something like Corporate Services Consulting Analyst, or similar. You're the BA - get creative! :)
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-4 # Sergio Korban 2010-06-22 19:26
Kupe, a good list of skills. I would like to add one more esential skill for all BAs. A BA should be an architect of a solution because doing this piece of work he/she paves a road for the whole project. My recent experience demostrated it in full force. Great time savings for projects with a tough deadline! And yet, it enables building integration links within the project team. The item #6, in my opinion, is more about being an explorer of a new domain rather than just a learner of new domain knowledge. Why? Because exploring the domain, a BA takes in a good deal of best practices, lessons learned and so on. Cheers, DALE X
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-1 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-06-23 01:39
@ gram28, Thanks for the feedback and question. As for your title, you are a Business Analyst. So that should be your title based on levels your company has. As for domain: There are two ways I view domains. First is industry. So you now have industry experience in whatever industry your company is in. The second is business areas within a company. You have experience in the corporate side. I started my career in the same manner then moved into the operations of the organization. I hope that answers your questions. Tha nks, Kupe
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+3 # Cindy McCain 2010-06-23 08:57
I agree completely with your assessment of the characteristics listed above. Another comment on the domain knowledge piece is this: learning about a domain is one of the key factors to be able to communicate to and understand your 'customer'. I also use the philosophy that you don't have to know everything, you just have to know where to find the answers. But some understanding of the domain will assist you in correctly assessing your customer and their requirements. Also, not noted here but are unlying in all the characteristics , are the soft skills. I also appreciate all of these skills in a Project Manager. They don't have to get into the weeds of the requirements etc, but PMs that understand and display of all these characteristics has made a big difference in the success of a project. Thank s for the info! Cindy
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+2 # Laura Brandenburg 2010-06-23 23:37
Hi Kupe, What a great article. I like how you separate senior "business analyst" from senior "specialist of some sort". I think that's an important distinction that is often missed. Within any given organization, we tend to find senior level roles that depend heavily on specializations specific to that organization over the general business analyst competencies you articulate here. At Denver's BAWorld last year, one hiring manager came out and said, "I could never hire a senior business analyst from outside my organization -- they wouldn't know enough." This was a clear indication to me that his view of a senior BA was sensitive to organizational context. With that in mind, I think we all as BAs need to be striving to hit the mark you describe here, but also staying very aware of our organizational contexts as they will impact the senior level positions that are available to us. Laura
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+2 # Paul Mulvey 2010-06-24 03:04
I, for one, am very happy to see the support for BAs that feel that NOT having to know a particular domain is a good thing. I have been in that camp for a long time, and have tried to preach that to the chior with varying degrees of success. It seems that most hiring requisitions are looking for people with the exact domain experience. I feel that a good BA can pick up on the business domain quickly, and as Kupe mentioned, there's always Google to help you learn. Heck, even Wikipedia can give you a decent overview. My take on the domain is that a BA's domain experience may constrain solutions to stuff that has already been done before. A BA that has not been involved in the particular business domain may come in and suggest a solution that had previously not been discussed. I am not saying that a BA within the business domain could not do this, but sometimes we go with what we know and are blind to the alternate solutions that are out there. For example, if I had only been on new development projects, I would probably be biased to work on those and find a solution by developing something new. I would be blind to thinking about a COTS package that could solve the business problem as well. But, being a BA with the three project types that you mentioned (COTS, New Dev, and Maint), one can look to a different solution outside of the domain "constraint."
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-2 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-06-24 03:59
@Laura, Great point. Can you clarify what you mean by org. context. With that manager did he mean some one form the outside would not know enough about the specific company if if they had industry experience?
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+3 # Brenda Kerton 2010-06-25 00:51
Kupe - I think you have a great list and could not argue with any of them. I might add that underlying all those there needs to be curiosity. Analysts have to ask questions, they have to want to dig into things and unsurface things. It is hard to do that with any passion unless you are curious. And, curiousity matched with the ability to learn really helps analysts gain domain knowledge quite quickly. To add even more, that sense of curiousity shows your business partners you care and the analysts is likely to get better quality information. C heers!
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+1 # Laura Brandenburg 2010-06-25 01:38
Hi Kupe, I don't have much more context for that particular manager's comment, but I thought the sentiment was interesting and something to be explored. When I think about organizational context, I am thinking about any sort of domain knowledge or specific project experience that's required. While I fully agree that a senior business analyst can pick this up quickly, there is still the perception by managers that prior experience or existing knowledge is part of being "senior". So my advice to BAs is to put yourself in a position to be aware of what makes a senior business analyst in your organization and include that (if it fits with your career plan) in your concept of a senior business analyst position.
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-1 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-06-25 01:47
Absolutely @bkerton! Thanks for chiming in!
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0 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-06-25 01:51
Laura, That is what I thought and yes this perception is very real. Great advice for BAs. Thanks for sharing. I believe the perception will change over time as senior BA's "surprise" these managers by being effective without deep domain knowledge.
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-1 # Andre El Khoury 2010-06-25 02:02
I tend to agree with Cindy about learning a new domain. You do not need to be a matter expert, all that you require is common sense and where to look for information. On e thing that caught my attention in the recent past and that is enterprise architecture. I am embarking in getting certified in enterprise architecture (TOGAF). I feel this is the next step in a senior BA future where you would now advise an the enterprise level instead of at a business unit level.
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-1 # Peter Rankin 2010-06-28 22:22
Kupe, great article...I think you have hit the nail on the head with the domain debate. Interesting read throughout, thanks for sharing
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-1 # Aaron Whittenberger 2010-06-29 01:39
Kupe, excellent article! I agree with Pete, you hit the nail on the head. On all 6 points not just the domain debate. I caught in particular the Advocate and Advisor message. I realize how much I am talking to the business outside (before or after) my project work. I recently had a conversation with a development team member who asked me "What is the 51 screen?" That is what the business calls it because it is option 51 on a particular menu, but the developer knows it by the program name. People are comfortable talking with people that they easily understand. You have to understand and use their lingo (jargon) not expect them to use yours. So Kupe, what advice do you have for junior- and mid-level BAs who strive to become Sr. BA? Do I hear another blog post coming on?
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-1 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-06-29 02:02
Pete and Aaron, Thanks for the feedback. One never knows what the next blog will be! That's a great idea though. I'll put some thought around it. My plan for the next is how to best utilize a senior BA. Stay tuned!
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-1 # Robert Merrill 2010-07-06 02:38
Kupe, I would suggest extending #3 to include overall project planning and expectation (re)setting. In some larger shops I've worked in, BAs are often the first "boots on the ground" before a project is even approved and a PM assigned. I've found that my knowledge of early-lifecycle project estimation has enabled me to reset impossible scope/schedule/ budget expectations before they solidify. Robe rt
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-1 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-07-06 03:29
Hey Robert, Thanks for your comment Robert. I do not disagree where you are going. I agree many BAs are brought in before PMs or play the PM role as well. This pre-project work I view as another role. The Enterprise BA or Strategic BA. In my opinion, individuals, like yourself, have moved into a role beyond senior, but get to play in the project level BA work as well.
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-1 # Holly Martin 2010-07-20 08:58
Great points in this article! These are things I've been thinking about lately but have never been able to articulate. Thanks for doing it for me. :) I particularly like the comment about Sr. BA's having experience in multiple project types. Getting exposure to each of the 3 types you mentioned has been huge for me, and makes it easier for me to take on other types in the future. The first time I worked on a COTS implementation it was definitely hard work, but now that it's under my belt I can safely say I know what it takes and can taken on others, regardless of domain.
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-1 # Graeme Cartwright 2010-07-26 20:44
Strong points all. And I am trying to define how they take the next big leap to becoming Architects. Business and Solutions Architects. What other capabilities need nurturing. Also I missed a mention of an entrepreneurial approach.
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-1 # Holly Martin 2010-08-02 03:46
Ha, good segway Graeme_c. I would love to hear about that too. It's definitely a career path I'm considering but I'm not sure how to go about it. Are Business and Solutions Architects a well-defined skill set and career option in the marketplace yet? It took a long time for the BA role to become standardized (and still evolving as we all know). I hear about business architect role in seminars/webina rs all the time, but I have yet to find that any companies in my metro area that are actually defining it as a job role or support it as a career option.
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-2 # Kupe Kupersmith 2010-08-02 04:37
@hkmartin, sorry for the delayed response. I took a vacation...imag ine that. I'm glad I could help with articulating your thoughts. You didn't know i read minds did you?! The strategic BA role or business architect role is gaining momentum. I am starting to see it pop-up in companies. I assume there are probably not a lot of external job openings because good candidates internally with a wide business area experience are qualified or consultants are being used.
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0 # Khaldoun shanter 2011-03-28 20:22
“The need to have domain experience for BAs is one of the biggest debates in our profession. I do think you need some domain knowledge prior to starting a project, but that does not mean you need to have worked in that domain for years. “ totally agree... But as a BA I noticed that most employers asking always for BA’s with certain years of experience in their business domain ,,,
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0 # Kupe 2011-03-28 23:36
You are not alone @ Khaldoun. I just wrote another post coming out today 3/29 relating to this topic. Progress is being made to change this mindset!
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-1 # Rodolfo Meda 2011-05-21 02:26
Excellent article. I made a review on spanish of it that I posted on my blog. www.analysarena.com
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-1 # Kupe 2011-10-23 19:33
Thanks @Chris!
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-1 # Mark Fraser 2011-10-23 20:12
The Characteristics of successful business Owners are strong sense of Initiative, ready to act and react quickly, very dedicated to the business and desire Independence. Going into business with the right people and subsequently recruiting and retaining good people is vital for a business’s success. A business needs not just adequate capital, but the right type of capital for the business, its goals and objectives. Thanks. Mark Fraser
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-1 # Darlene Schulz 2012-05-16 10:55
Very helpful article I plan to use / reference for our BA development. We have struggled with getting some BA's the opportunity to obtain experience on different types of projects. We are a smaller shop (6 BA's) and business areas, PMs' tend to want to work with the BA they worked with last or who they know worked the particular type of project before. Slowly but surely they are getting the opportunity. Thanks again for the help! Dar. .
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-1 # Kupe 2012-05-17 04:41
@Darlene - Glad the post could help. Getting the PMs to realize they need a great BA practice is the key.
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-1 # Jim 2012-05-16 21:24
That's great and all, but if the business leads see giving you opportunities to grow to achieve these attributes you mentioned, they may see this as a threat to their position. Your article does not Adress the political side of some organizations that think giving a BA that much influence could threaten their leadership position. your attributes are great, but other leadership roles may see it as a threat. I'd like to see wut your viewpoint is on this having been a Sr BA myself for the last 10 years.
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-1 # Kupe 2012-05-17 04:51
@Jim - There are a few things. One, check out this post, http://www.batimes.com/kupe-kupersmith/becoming-a-senior-business-analyst.html. I dipped into this a little especially in the area of being persistent. Managers would love if their good people kept doing what they are good at forever! Reality is people need to be challenged. The best managers I had pushed me to grow, even doing some of their job so that they could grow.

I need to ask you. Are you not getting the opportunities I outlined in the post? Is someone else doing them and doing them well?

Business leaders have a choice. They can help grow their BA teams giving them opportunities beyond project BA work or those great BAs are going to find that opportunity some place else.
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0 # Jim 2012-05-17 22:16
Hello Kupe,

Thanks for the response. I left my former employer a couple months ago and now currently looking to find other opportunities else where because the BA team I worked with was limited in its ability to interface with the client and not able to get the answers the engineering team needs. The director who had relationships with the clients (and different opinion on what analysis should and shouldn't be) would interface with the clients directly and then would tell the BA's what the requirements are to document. The BA's would then ask more questions and had to rely solely on the director's input to be the subject matter expert. However, being that the director isn't always asking the necessary questions such as "how many users and what are their roles?", The director comes back and says it could be anyone and indicates its not important. The engineering team when presented with the requirement then asks the same question again, which the BA originally asked, however was dismissed by the director which is their direct manager. More importantly, the director is one of the few who knows how the software works, in addition to poor documentation, which the BA's are not getting good training on. Thus the BA's have limited system knowledge, as well as business knowledge because the Director decides what they should know, and whom they should and shouldn't interact with.

In this case, how can a BA thrive in an environment where the manager felt that telling you how to do you your job is their job?


Regards.
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-1 # Mark Fowler 2012-05-23 12:22
Enjoyed the aticle, one piece I would add to your list though, which seems to have been missed : Leadership and mentorship In this I mean; A BA who has learned through experiance how to work with people individually and within a team will natrurally be seen as a leader within the team, without the need for a title. In some cases, this will extend beyond team leadership, where certain members of the team / project will look to the SNR BA for mentorship and career guidance.
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-1 # Vash 2012-06-20 11:26
Interesting Article - Thank you.
"Working in multiple business areas lays the foundation for strategy' - so what if you have worked in different companies for each of the project, they may not all be in the same industry - so you can't clearly see all the inter-departmen tal dependancies and know all the business processes to think strategically. The natural progression would be to be become a senior given the number of projects worked on over time.
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-1 # Sanjay 2012-07-31 20:20
Not much to add to a great article, my feeling is that QA/ Testing experience is a definite must for a BA to mature into a senior BA. Like the business analysis role, testing/ QA is also a bridge between user/ business and the system. A tester has to think like a user interacting with a system, while also going beyond in trying to break the system. It is quite common to see a tester used as a proxy for the user, particularly in UAT.
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-1 # Kupe 2012-08-08 04:39
Interesting thought Sanjay. First let me say you are right that a tester is used as a proxy for the user in UAT. This is a terrible practice. As people on the implementation team, QA, BA developers, etc. are not using the system day in and day out. The users of the system need to test or don't complain when something isn't quite right.

I do feel it could be very beneficial for a BA to have QA experience. I don't agree it is a definite need. I feel there are things about testing that a BA can learn to be more effective without doing the job.

Thanks
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-1 # Rao 2012-08-28 14:30
It was good but after ba only pm , I was done pmp
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-1 # Kupe 2012-08-28 14:34
Hi Rao, I am not sure what you mean. can you explain. Thanks
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-1 # Meena 2012-11-06 14:53
Hi Kupe,

First of all, Excellent article!

Is Master's degree a must for a Senior Business Analyst? I have not done a well defined BA role, but I have immense (8 years) experience in testing, req analysis, planning etc. which I guess are the responsibilites of a BA as well. So am I eligible for this position? If not, could you please throw some light as to how to make myself eligible for this?
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-1 # Catherine Loughlean 2012-12-03 21:30
Hello Kupe ~ I really enjoyed reading your article! I am making a career change into the world of Business Analysis and am thrilled to read your comments as they reflect the reasons that I am interested in this field. There are so many diverse opportunities that are available to a business analyst. Your article has helped to motivate me as I finish up my BA courses. Thank you!
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-1 # Namratha 2013-05-23 01:45
Hi,Kupe,your article was interesting to read through. I'm an engineer currently interning at an LBO and I get to interact with one or two senior analysts. I'm interested in shifting my career line to the world of investments and want to know the certifications, exams and preparation I'm going to need to do.the groundwork,so to speak. Would it require the ability to learn new domains quickly ,on an entry level?
If anyone else would like to share their thoughts with me , I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!
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-1 # Kupe 2013-05-23 16:11
Namratha, I think you may be in the wromg place. Are you looking to be an investment analyst? What I am writing about is a role mostly found in IT and consulting companies.
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0 # ben 2013-05-25 21:48
This is one of my fav blogs to check out. I have a site also dedicated to BA as well in hopes of inspiring others more analyst training information
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-1 # Namratha 2013-05-26 01:39
Hi Kupe,
I actually wanted information on what qualifications are needed to apply and work as a business analyst.what course of study is required and how lucrative it is as a career.
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-1 # Suze 2013-09-17 13:11
This is kinda late, but I think it's important to add Enterprise, Crossfunctional , and application-lev el to the types of projects BA's must have worked on, to be truly called senior. I have observed many otherwise-reall y-good BA's fail on cross-functiona l and enterprise projects, because they are unable to recognize and address the breadth of project scope.
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-1 # kathleen gillis 2013-11-19 17:37
the link to the competency model at the top is broken. ...
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0 # Ashish 2014-03-18 13:36
Hi Kupe, nice article. just want to know that at BA entry level does prior knowledge to software development is required ?
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0 # Deepika 2014-05-07 04:24
Good list to start build upon the skills to become senior business analyst
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0 # Jbug 2014-06-02 17:36
I have a comment/questio n? In general, how long do you think the learning curve should be for a new senior business analyst in this type of position for the first time?

Thank you,
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+1 # Toni 2014-06-25 16:29
Too many organizations expect domain knowledge/exper ience when you walk in the door. This limited view would definitely eliminate good candidates before the interview. More organizations need to consider the ability to learn and learn quickly as an indication to learn the industry/domain . If having all skills on day one is a requirement, then none of us would ever find a job/project! Thanks Kupe for the article.
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+1 # Timothy Thatcher 2014-11-03 10:39
Aptly said.

- Timothy Thatcher, MBA
Senior Analyst, HCL
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0 # pavaniq 2014-11-19 01:14
good article its really helpfull
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0 # Renato Milan 2015-06-12 10:16
Very good one!
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0 # Manju 2015-06-24 16:47
First place getting to know clear vision of what to know before taking up a senior role gives lot of confidence when we start the role. Going to Join as a Sr Business Analyst. Your Article is thorough, to the point and really helpful..
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0 # Sarah 2016-03-01 13:58
Re: #5

I agree that the BA must be an advocate for the Business, but I have a consideration for you based on some current scenarios in my work environment. (For context: I'm a Sr. BA by title and according to your list here too, and I manage 3 other BAs, all reporting to IT and supporting the entire organization.)

IT is also a key stakeholder of the Business. I do not believe that IT is entirely separate, nor do I believe that "Business Always Wins." There are very good reasons to push back on Business if they are asking/pushing for a solution that would lead the organization down a bad path technically. Often, IT is the only group best positioned to make that call because they're immersed in technology all.day.every.d ay, or they must at least be held accountable to bring that insight to the table. For example: over-customizat ion of platforms that make them more costly to manage changes to later. I can't tell you how many times the Business has insisted that they need something, the BA wasn't strong enough to know HOW to bring IT's voice to the table and therefore sided with Business, then Business stampeded over IT with the BA at the helm, and a terrible solution was delivered (and developers quit out of frustration...) because the needs of the Business prevailed. I also think that those scenarios have resulted in Business not respecting IT as much because there's then a perception that IT delivers crappy solutions, which then just perpetuates the cycle of Us v. Them. As long as the BA is fighting for what's RIGHT for the Business as a whole - including the IT Team - then I am in agreement with your point that we must be advocates for the Business.

It is so important for Business and IT to be partners, and I try very hard not to make it "Us v. Them" with a BA as the middle-man. That helps no one and certainly isn't fun for the BA!
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0 # Kupe 2016-08-08 07:34
Hi Sarah,
Being an advocate for the business is making sure they understand the impact to decisions being made. Being an advocate means, as you say, making sure they understand the IT side of things. Being an advocate for the business also includes making sure that the voice of the customer is part of the conversation. If you have the business, technology and customer lenses covered...then you are helping the business make good decisions.

Thanks for chiming in!
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0 # Interestedinnewthing 2016-10-18 22:28
A wonderful post.

Quote from www.iiba.org/Careers/What-is-Business-Analysis.aspx
Business Analysis is the practice of enabling change in an organizational context, by defining needs and recommending solutions that deliver value to stakeholders. The set of tasks and techniques that are used to perform business analysis are defined in A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®Guide).

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To enable change in an organization and its success the business analysis planning under third point in this post will be very vital.

Are we saying the above characteristic is specifc to a Senior BA or more than one Senior BA to achieve the change?

Secondly, I can see "They" is used in this post I interpret this as any successful change will exist only by Senior BA who are possessing those characteristics alone. However in every large organization there will be lot of experts which Senior BA must need to work through (please let me know if any one single senior BA has performed it in any part of the world), if so how these are coming out in the above six points? or Your "They" is going to be only the group of senior BA and not any experts, interested parties in any large organization?
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