We tend to do the same thing when it comes to business analysis. We use the same techniques to elicit requirements, analyze requirements, and present them. It makes sense. The more we do it, the better we get, and the more we want to keep doing it. All of this sounds great right? Wrong! I say this a lot so I apologize if you've heard me say this 100 times before. Every project is different. Every stakeholder we work with is different for each project, even if we have worked with them for years. A stakeholder's involvement and excitement for projects may be different. Their availability may be different, the list goes on. If every project is different we need to approach each one differently.
"The only person who never makes mistakes is the person who never
does anything." - Denis Waitley
As analysts we can't stick with what we know. We must find ways to add more tools to our tool box. If we stick with what we know, that's what you'll be known for and be called on when those skills are needed. What happens when you stop getting called? You need to stay in the mode of constant growth and learn new techniques. I'll be the first to admit, I am still growing and learning.
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy
The fact that we need to know so many different techniques goes to the core of why it is almost impossible to develop consistent job descriptions for BAs; why you can't just say a Business Systems Analyst position at company "A" is the exact same job at Company "B"; why it is so hard to distinguish between a junior level BA and a Senior BA; why companies struggle with career paths for BAs.
So how do you continue to grow? The easy answer is to take training classes, read books and read the check the reams of information online. Anyone can do that, and I know you don't want to be doing what everyone else can do. That's the easy way. You want to be in the top 10% of people that every company wants.
RT @ PaulVHarris If Columbus gave in to his fears, no one would have blamed him. Of course, no one would have remembered him either.
Every now and then you need to jump off the easy road and take risks. I promise you will not die. Yes, it's scary sometimes just going for it, but what is the best way to learn? Right, by doing it over and over again.
"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." - Pablo Picasso
The mindset to have is like a politician not running for re-election. They start saying it like it is because they are no longer worried about losing their job. When you know a certain technique will be best for a situation, do your homework, then go for it.
"Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is." - H. Jackson Browne
Another thing you can try is volunteering for projects in relatively unfamiliar business areas. Will it be as easy as the business area you have worked in for five years? No, but think of how you added to your knowledge base. Now you can be the one they'll call on for other business areas.
"The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
How far you can go is up to you. You can sit back and enjoy the ride. Or you can take the more difficult path now and then.
"Those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed." - Lloyd Jones
Enjoy your ride,
Don't forget to leave your comments below
Jonathan "Kupe" Kupersmith is Director of Client Solutions, B2T Training and has over 12 years of business analysis experience. He has served as the lead Business Analyst and Project Manager on projects in various industries. He serves as a mentor for business analysis professionals and is a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) through the IIBA and is BA Certified through B2T Training. Kupe is a connector and has a goal in life to meet everyone! Contact Kupe at email@example.com