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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How would you convince management that a business analyst is needed within a team?
Question: How would you convince management that a business analyst is needed within a team?

Statistics:Article Rating (7517 Views) (2 Additional Answers/Comments)
Posted by: cadams5
Categories: Business Analysis, Leadership & Management


Answer:
 

Answering a few key questions and summarizing the results can help you objectively present to management the need for a business analyst.

  • What are the key tasks a Business Analyst would perform within your organization?
  • How well is the team performing on each business analysis task?
  • How much time/money is lost due to poorly performed Business Analysis tasks?
  • Which tasks could the existing team improve on and which should be completed by an experienced business analyst?
  • Perform a summary level cost-benefit analysis based on your findings. 
What are the key tasks a Business Analyst would perform within your organization? 
Depending on the size of the organization these tasks may vary, but might include:
  • Interacting with users and stakeholders to elicit requirements.  These can be documented as user stories, use cases, requirement statements, etc. 
  • Writing functional specification documents
  • Documenting AS-IS or TO-BE process flows
  • Writing test cases
  • Performing various types of environment analysis and cost benefit analysis
  • and more
How well is the current team performing each business analysis task?
Obviously, these tasks don’t have to be performed by a business analyst.  Some might currently be performed by developers, QA testers, and project managers, while others might not be performed at all.  But the team should be rated in each area on their overall effectiveness.

How much time/money is lost due to poorly performed Business Analysis tasks?
One could make a case that some of the typical business analysis tasks aren’t that important. Until you apply an associated cost of NOT performing the task, it will be difficult to argue otherwise.  Estimate the time and money that is lost on each poorly executed task or the associated cost of not performing the task at all.

Which tasks could the existing team improve upon and which should be completed by an experienced business analyst?
Business analyst tasks are often performed by other team members in the absence of a BA.  If a non-business analyst is underperforming on a task they could be given some direction and potentially improve on their execution.  However, several factors should be considered.  The skills that make a good developer don’t necessarily make for a good business analyst.  Consider whether the person can significantly improve on the task based on their skill set, personal characteristics, and interests.  Furthermore, it’s sometimes necessary to separate certain tasks across roles.  For example, it’s usually difficult for a developer to be responsible for both coding and requirements elicitation since during the elicitation process their inclination is to think about the technical limitations of what is being requested.

Perform a summary level cost-benefit analysis based on your findings. 
Add up the associated cost due to each of the tasks that are being underperformed or that aren’t being performed at all.  By bringing on a business analyst you are making the argument that this is your savings or benefit. Then, there is the cost of bringing on a full time business analyst to consider.  But keep in mind, the business analyst will increase the overall capacity of the team.  Team members who were doing BA tasks before will now be freed up to do more of the non-BA tasks they were already doing.  This is important to consider for the decision making process. 

By answering each of the questions above and performing a thorough cost benefit analysis you will have what you need to present the benefits of a business analyst to your management team.
Additional Answers/Comments
By Datalover @ Sunday, March 3, 2013 9:55 PM
Excellent answer!

By Datalover @ Sunday, March 3, 2013 9:56 PM
Excellent answer!

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