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New Post 12/19/2007 11:48 AM
User is offline Adrian M.
764 posts
3rd Level Poster

Re: Advice Needed Please 

Hi Frank,

Here’s a quick, off the cuff roadmap (I’m sure there are many other options):

1. LEARN: First of all, you should definitely do everything you can to continue to improve your knowledge of business analysis. This may include taking a business analyst course, reading new books on the topic, finding a mentor, etc.

2. PRACTICE: Next – the fact that the company you are working for is very small is doesn’t mean that you’re not doing business analysis. You are doing just that! Most operations departments have business analysis which map out and analysis the existing business processes and determine ways to improve upon them.

So – try to do as much business analysis as you can in your current position (create a catalog of all business processes, map all of them out, find out how you can improve them). Use some of the accepted requirements gathering and discovery techniques such as: questionnaires, workshops, interviews. Find articles/books/courses on these topics, learn and apply them. For example: create a questionnaire that you can provide to the 12-15 employees and, to start, ask some general questions such as: What could we do better and how?, What problems do we have today in our operations area and how could those be solved?, How can we reduce out cost?, How can we improve our productivity?, etc. You’ll be surprised what you will find.

Once you have those findings, document them in a spreadsheet by category, who gave the feedback, etc. Then you can identify the biggest problems/opportunities from a cost/benefit perspective and organize a number of Workshops with a group of employees to further elaborate on the given problem and potential solutions. Document your findings and then setup one on one interviews with key stakeholders to get the details and gain consensus (this can include the CEO).

3. BRAND: Change your title: put “Business Analyst” or “Business Analysis” in your title since you are performing and you will continue to perform business analysis tasks and activities. Here are some options:
- Operations & Business Analysis Manager
- Business Operations & Analysis Manger
- Operations Manager & Lead Business Analyst

Create yourself a resume and add all the business analysis activities you have performed as well as all the training courses you’ve taken as well as your membership to

4. JUMP SHIP: I realize that this may sound sacrilegious but I would suggest that after doing all of the above, go and get a job as a Business Analyst (maybe at the junior level) with a different/larger company which has an established business analysis practice. Yes, I am asking you to leave the family business and I realize that might be hard for you and for your parents however you need to get a variety of experience and work side by side with other business analysts. Hopefully you lend a position with a team which has an experienced manager who is willing to mentor you.

You should consider companies in a related field/industry (tools/manufacturing) – maybe go work for a larger competitor. This will also give you a better insight into what other companies are doing.

Hope this helps!
- Adrian

Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
New Post 12/19/2007 1:48 PM
User is offline Craig Brown
560 posts
4th Level Poster

Re: Advice Needed Please 

There are two things I want to say at this point;


Firstly, be sure you want to be a business analyst before you jump ship.  Large companies, where most BAs work, have very different cultures to small ones for example, and the bureaucracy often becomes very hard for small business and entrepreneurial types to handle. Frankly it even gets us corporate professionals down from time to time.


Secondly the BA role is more than just managing requirements for software projects and you have a great opportunity to exercise some of these other skills right now, which will lead to more strategic BA roles later (and better pay.)



·         Business strategy

·         Enterprise architecture

·         Project portfolio management

·         Continuos improvement projects

·         Opening new channels and markets

·         Launching new products


Each of these things has a blend of technical and non technical work.  Each requires in depth analysis prior to action, and each requires the execution of the BA skills at a high degree of competency – eg stakeholder management (trying to convince your parents to change!!), financial cost/benefit forecasting of good ideas, defining requirements, validation them with customers, etc.


Even if your business is in good shape there are a couple of things it could do with. For example

·         An online sales channel where people can order and track their jobs through to delivery.  If it’s a goo idea it’s an opportunity to work with their part vendors (eg a tech savvy courier firm.)

·         Off-shoring low value admin work

·         Improve your sales leads tools,

·         Improve your customer database and implement a retention project or cross selling project

·         Etc


Just a few ideas.  The great thing about where you work is you can strongly influenfce the degree to which you play a role, and what that role is. 




New Post 12/20/2007 6:01 AM
User is offline Frank19
20 posts
9th Level Poster

Re: Advice Needed Please 

Thanks everyone!  All very good ideas and I will take each into concideration and put as many into action as I can.  I will redefine my roll here a bit and start to more formally document our processes.  As you all had mentioned that will be good practice as well as help define the depth of my interest in a future BA roll with another company.  I guess my main concern when I began looking through BA jobs online was how heavily most seemed to rely on an IT background which I don't have.  Should this be a major concern of mine?

New Post 12/20/2007 11:54 AM
User is offline Chris Adams
323 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Advice Needed Please 


I started a new tread for your Purchase Orders to Vendors example.

Chris Adams
Core Member –
LinkedIn Profile
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