Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts

Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.


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What are some of the challenges you face in your role as a Business Analyst?
Question: What are some of the challenges you face in your role as a Business Analyst?

Statistics:Article Rating (28332 Views) (5 Additional Answers/Comments)
Posted by: cadams5
Categories: Business Analysis


Answer:
 
1. The Business Analyst must always maintain a reasonable balance between technology constraints and business needs. Often due to technological constraints the technology team argues for a particular solution that avoids certain technology pitfalls while maximizing performance and maintainability. While these are important concerns that should be addressed, the business analyst must always remember that technology exists to support and facilitate the business need. So business needs must carry a higher weight when determine acceptable trade-offs between business and technology. This can be summarized as “technology is important but business in essential”.
 
2.  The Business Analyst must always ensure that his or her personal assumptions about how a process works do not interfere with their ability to listen and accurately document the requirements of the business. While challenging, a few techniques can be used to accomplish this. The easiest to implement is the “3 Whys”. While documenting a business process, anytime a subject matter expert explains a step of the process ask why that step occurs—what is the necessity or benefit of the action. By asking why no less than 3 times the analyst ensures that they arrive at the root cause or need of the step. This helps identify the true requirements. This technique also overcomes the challenge of a business analyst’s personal assumptions of the process obscuring the true process and requirements since they are asking the “3 whys” even if they believe they know the answer to the question.
 
3. The Business Analyst must ensure that the written specifications clearly represent what the developers must code. Often any written description of business logic to be implemented end up being ambiguous, specifically it can be interpreted in several ways. To avoid this, the business analyst can use a more structured approach than simply writing the specifications in common everyday English. Structured English or Pseudocode is one approach.  These are relatively synonymous terms that refer to logical control structures that are applied to everyday English. An example of this would be:
 
IF condition written in plain English THEN
       Action written in plain English
ELSE condition is not true then
       Action written in plain English
END-IF
 
While all of the conditions and actions to be taken are written in English, the logical control structures provide a consistent and unambiguous way of understanding the intent of the information being conveyed.
Additional Answers/Comments
By Bayo @ Monday, December 15, 2008 9:04 PM
Interesting question and the answer will depend on the 'type' of Business Analyst a person is.

Here are some of the common challenges:

Getting Clarity

Clarity could be regarding requirements, it could be about scope, it could be about the boundaries of the role

Methodology

More often than not, there is a methodology in place however, it's not being followed fully or not at all. Even though this situation exists, the BA is still supposed to 'follow' the methodology.

This creates a challenge because some people want to stick to the methodology while others on the project team or the business might not give a hoot!

Role

This is more about perception.

A BA is seen as 'lower' than a PM ... Not correct but its the reality. This can, at times make working effectively on projects difficult when you encounter a PM (even a Junior PM) that has a chip on their shoulder.

Tools

So many tools, so little time to learn the ones that are necessary to perform well i the role...Enough said!

Lack of good tools is another challenge related to this topic.






By Mikel @ Friday, August 21, 2009 7:53 AM
So the next question that follows:

How do you go about solving the problems being problem solvers ?

By hemant_chandurkar @ Tuesday, September 15, 2009 1:45 AM
Impact analysis is one of the main challenge. For any change or enhance in system, would impact worse on another modules. This should be done carefully.

By ashishb @ Sunday, October 18, 2009 1:58 PM
I think the most difficult and challenging task for a BA is to understand the stakeholder requirement and needs. There could be scenarios where two internal stakeholders from business team(who have some internal conflict) are not agree to go ahead with the next phase of the project because according to one of them the requirement does not compatible to there needs.

In such scenario BA need to use his / her interpersonal skills and find out the third solution of the requirement and then present it to the business team. This might be a time consuming process and may lead delay in project delivery. AND if BA failed to resolve this issue then project might fails.

Thanks,
Ashish

By sendlokesh @ Monday, February 22, 2010 6:05 AM
I think the most difficult and challenging task for a BA is to understand the stakeholder requirement and needs. There could be scenarios where two internal stakeholders from business team(who have some internal conflict) are not agree to go ahead with the next phase of the project because according to one of them the requirement does not compatible to there needs.

In such scenario BA need to use his / her interpersonal skills and find out the third solution of the requirement and then present it to the business team. This might be a time consuming process and may lead delay in project delivery. AND if BA failed to resolve this issue then project might fails


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