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New Post 6/26/2013 6:38 PM
User is offline anonymous
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Help/ideas required to becoming a competent BA with minimal effort 
Hi,
I’m looking to become a competent BA and I’m not sure where to start.
I’m in the education industry in the tertiary sector. If you are able to answer my questions that would be great and if they have a tertiary bent, even better. Especially examples.
I’ve had a title of business process analyst for 5 years now and I still regard myself as a novice. I’ve had 1 weeks training on business analysis and the rest has been occasionally looking at places like Modern Analyst to see what they’re about and playing with modelling software, but all this has been quite insignificant to be honest. 
I don’t follow any methodology unless you count “good enough” to be one. I’m not interested in being the best. Just good enough to get by. To get the job done with little effort on my part covering, say, 80% of the work.
 
I guess the first thing would be what IS a competent BA? How do I measure it?
So there’s my first Question.
1. How to I measure where I am on a scale of BA knowledge to see if I’m competent?
 
I’m interested in getting there quickly without putting too much effort into it so the next questions would be.
2. Are there any quick wins I can adhere to in order to bump myself to being closer to the level of just above average?
3. Are there any Skeletons/Templates/Cheatsheets you use that prompt you when going about your BA work?
4. What have you found to be a ‘best tool’/Book/idea to use when gathering requirements, documenting details, creating processes?
5. What areas should a BA cover? Eg. Gap analysis, Business case, Process mapping, design, other areas I don’t know?
 
I don’t want to have to invest a large amount of time or money into this. There are people who want to be great and enjoy pushing themselves to be the best. Good on them. If that’s what they want. Life for me is not like that. Work is not important but as I have to do it, I would like at least to do it better than I feel I do already.
 
So, there are my ‘requirements’. I’m sure you have questions which could lead to more questions.
 
Help would truly be appreciated.
 
Peter
 
 
New Post 6/28/2013 2:47 AM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Help/ideas required to becoming a competent BA with minimal effort 

 Bet the BA Trainer advises getting some training. Maybe he didn't log in today but he'll be jumping all over it tomorrow. Watch this space :)

Kimbo

 
New Post 6/28/2013 2:52 AM
User is offline Kimbo
454 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Help/ideas required to becoming a competent BA with minimal effort 

Hi Peter,

After making my previous facetious post, he's a serious one.

Your comment "I’m not interested in being the best. Just good enough to get by. To get the job done with little effort on my part covering, say, 80% of the work."  filled me with horror. 

If you aim for mediocrity, that's the best you'll ever achieve.

I always try to be positive in my posts but on this occasion I respectively suggest you look for another profession. There are way too many mediocre BAs out there already.

Kimbo

 
New Post 6/28/2013 11:07 PM
User is offline Sandy
74 posts
8th Level Poster




Re: Help/ideas required to becoming a competent BA with minimal effort 

Peter,

I had the same reaction to your post as Kimbo. In my experience, competent BAs put in the effort to be the best they can - so ifyou want to be better than average, you will have to work harder than the average BA. There are no cheat sheets or quick wins. If there were, then everyone would have them and you would still just be average anyway.

It's not surprising that you've only achieved 'insignificant results' by 'occasionally looking at places like Modern Analyst' and 'playing with modeling software'. Speaking honestly to you, the results you've achieved reflect the effort you've put in. If you don't want to put in more effort in future, your results won't change. You said that you've been a business process analyst for 5 years and still consider yourself a novice. So you may want to ask yourself if you still want to be exactly where you are another 5 years from now. No one / nothing can magically 'bump' you up a level in skill - you have to take the time to learn, acquire new skills and continually try to do each new task better than the one before. Or you can just stay where you are.

Business Analysis simply isn't a job that can be done with only minimal effort aimed at doing just 80% of the work. You've chosen a career that demands more than that. You've been quite honest in the self-assessment you've posted here, and only you can honestly answer whether you're willing to work or whether you choose to remain at the novice level. There are no other options open to you on this career path.

Respectfully,

Sandy

 
New Post 6/30/2013 6:26 PM
User is offline anonymous
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Re: Help/ideas required to becoming a competent BA with minimal effort 

 Kimbo,

Thanks for that. I do appreciate it.Honesty is important and I do take your answer seriously.

Profession..That's a hard one to choose. Picking another one and halving my salary is a difficult choice, certainly. One reason for not doing much about this in the past. Also, possibly a reason for not doing much about it in the future either.

I will certainly "take your comments onboard" and think about them. I guess one reason for me posting this is to have  someone else perhaps say what I'm thinking.

Cheers,

Peter

 
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