Interview Questions for Business Analysts and Systems Analysts


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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

What steps do you take to familiarize yourself with a new organization or assigned project?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 19256 Views // 1 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Systems Analysis, Roles and Responsibilities, General

ANSWER

In addition to any formal new hire procedures, there are a number of things that a Business Analyst can do to acclimate to a new organization, and prepare to tackle new project assignments.

Company protocols – in addition to basic administration and office protocols, find out about policies and procedures that affect what you do as a BA and how you do it, such as:

  • Information security policies – how is information classified within the organization, what information are you authorized to collect, what procedures need to be followed when disclosing confidential or protected information, what information can and cannot be sent through email, etc. Does the company have a clean desk policy where everything has to be put away or locked up before you leave?
  • Record retention policies – what types of information are classified as transitory records (that can be shredded or deleted when no longer being used), and what types of information have to be kept as official records?
  • Communication protocols – there will be more informal protocols than formal ones in this category, for most organizations. Find out which audiences you can / should contact directly, and what forms of communication they prefer. Find out which types of communications need more formal controls, such as review or approval of messages before they are sent. Some organizations have more formal controls on communications to external stakeholders, for example.

Project protocols – Find out how time is to be tracked and reported on your project, and get familiar with the project governance structure (who reports to whom, and who is responsible for what). Find out where documents are to be stored and which documents need version history. Ask if there are established protocols for contacting and engaging stakeholders, and confirm any boundaries for your communications with stakeholders. Become familiar with all project protocols for risk reporting and management, issue reporting and management, change control, quality assurance and deliverable approvals.

Project information – Learn as much as you can about any projects assigned to you. Read any existing project documentation, and ask if there is additional background or reference material that might be useful for your project. Learn as much as you can about project stakeholders, their needs and interests, and their work-styles as this will help you engage them more effectively. Find out about any constraints or competing priorities that might impact their availability for participation on your project. Also find out if key stakeholders have experience with this type of project, as this is an important factor in effective engagement and communications.

Business analysis standards – find out about any standards (formal or informal) for business analysis techniques, tools and deliverables. If possible, look at similar deliverables produced by other projects and find out what worked well – and what didn’t.

Relationship building – last but not least, is to begin establishing relationships and rapport with stakeholders, project team members, organization team members (if different from your project team) and your BA peers. Strong relationships are key to successful business analysis, and the strongest relationships combine both formal and informal interactions.

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Sandy Lambert
Business Architect
LinkedIn Profile

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ADDITIONAL ANSWERS / COMMENTS

kumar posted on Thursday, January 15, 2015 10:16 PM
Nice one
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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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