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Russell Brewer
Russell Brewer

Are You a What or a Who?

“Who is the project manger?” “Who is the developer?” “What is a business analyst?” I received a business card at an Agile event one time, and I wish I could find the card or remember the gentleman’s name to give proper credit, but he listed his title as Agile Evangelist. If the role of business analyst is new to your company, and sometimes even if it isn’t new, then you not only need to be a business analyst, you also need to be business analyst evangelist.

Too many times stakeholders that business analysts initially encounter on a project do not really understand the role of the business analyst. I have seen attitudes that suggested the business analyst was viewed as simple overhead between the business needing something and IT actually beginning meaningful work. I have also known project managers that would treat the assigned business analyst as a glorified administrative assistant - asking them to pre-read documents and type meeting notes but nothing else. Finally I have seen upper-level managers requesting the requirements be completed in one day because they really needed to get to work on the project.

In the role of the business analyst you will ask questions and get responses, those responses hopefully being the foundation of requirements. But you also must be prepared to answer a series of questions that may be asked of you. “What exactly do you do?” “Why are you here?” “What value will you bring to the project?” If you cannot answer those questions then you should not expect (nor do you deserve) a warm welcome to the project team. Before you can explain who you are, you may first have to explain what you are.

This entry was published on Aug 28, 2013 / Russell Brewer. Posted in Business Analysis. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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