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New Post 10/23/2008 3:22 AM
User is offline TankFish
25 posts
www.store.co.za
9th Level Poster


Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 
Hi,

 

Just wanted to get some opinions here. Been reading up on the roles and responsibilities of the Modern Analyst. There is one part which I am not sure that I agree with and that is the Business Analyst part. Described here. http://www.modernanalyst.com/TheProfession/Roles/BusinessAnalyst/tabid/183/Default.aspx  

 

I understand that the role of the BA is morphing into two key areas. The BA that is Business orientated and the BA that is IT orientated but I just don’t know how feasible it is for a BA, whether IT or Business related to be able to legitimately and confidently offer Businesses advise on how they should be running. That type of role and a position with that much responsibility, for me, needs to be done by a person who is completely Business orientated and has years and years of experience. Not just in running and managing a business, but in running and managing a business within the same vertical market. We wont even talk about how even different business’s within the same vertical operate differently.

 

So for me, any team, should essentially be made up of these people. The Business BA and the IT BA, I would even advocate for the importance of the SME, as without an intimate knowledge of the Vertical I think mistakes will easily be made. It just feels like to much responsibility for 1 person to handle and to much knowledge for 1 person to gain.

 

Or is it just me?

 
New Post 10/23/2008 3:37 AM
User is offline Guy Beauchamp
257 posts
www.smart-ba.com
5th Level Poster




Re: Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 

Hi Tankfish,

I have commented against your original post below...

Guy

 

 TankFish wrote

Hi,

 

Just wanted to get some opinions here. Been reading up on the roles and responsibilities of the Modern Analyst. There is one part which I am not sure that I agree with and that is the Business Analyst part. Described here. http://www.modernanalyst.com/TheProfession/Roles/BusinessAnalyst/tabid/183/Default.aspx  

 

I understand that the role of the BA is morphing into two key areas. The BA that is Business orientated and the BA that is IT orientated but I just don’t know how feasible it is for a BA, whether IT or Business related to be able to legitimately and confidently offer Businesses advise on how they should be running. That type of role and a position with that much responsibility, for me, needs to be done by a person who is completely Business orientated and has years and years of experience. Not just in running and managing a business, but in running and managing a business within the same vertical market. We wont even talk about how even different business’s within the same vertical operate differently.

Guy: It is not my experience that the role of the BA is morphing this way - this is where BAs came from rather than where they are going. If the role is morphing at all then it is towards combining PM and BA (yuk). IT orientated BAs are Systems Analysts. See my definition of Business Analysis. If my definition holds true then the Business Analyst needs analytical skills rather than IT or knowledge of the Business (in fact knowledge of the business is often a disadvantage as it allows the BA to assume they know the answer to a question without asking and that is always dangerous).

 So for me, any team, should essentially be made up of these people. The Business BA and the IT BA, I would even advocate for the importance of the SME, as without an intimate knowledge of the Vertical I think mistakes will easily be made. It just feels like to much responsibility for 1 person to handle and to much knowledge for 1 person to gain.

Guy: You are so right!

 

Or is it just me?

 
New Post 10/23/2008 4:18 PM
User is offline KJ
243 posts
6th Level Poster


Re: Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 

Tank,

 

Valid points. A BA needs to know his/her domain, that is why BA ads ask for certain Business Experience .. eg. we need a BA with insurance experinece or we need a BA with Retail banking experience etc. This in part, covers the business side. The IT side is important too, because the BA sits between the Business and IT, and therefore what the BA "records" needs to be implementable by IT. 

I have worked on projects where none of the BAs understood the business and it took us 18 months to learn the business and in the process we created reames of paper. We had NASA and SWIFT advise us on how to do very large projects. To allay the clients fears, we built a prototype and showed them how it will work. In the end, we were 250 programmers and designers on the job and we delivered; and to-date its probably one of the most successfull large scale projects.

Nowadays, when I do assignments, I sometimes use 3 people (or split myself into three). One to listen for process (me); one to listen for structure and business rules (seasoned data analyst) and a person-friday to take ruff notes during our initial interviews.For example the customer might say " we only sell to plumbers on our books and at month end we create invoices and they pay us 7 days later" My data analyst would model this. I would then qualify the statement " so if someone comes off the street and wants two of your little do-dats that you sell, do you first capture their customer data? If the business manager says "no we dont capture their data , we do have cash sales". I would then qualify "so you do sell to people that arent your regular plumbers?". While all this is happening my data analysts will draw linkages between entities (associations: optionals,  mandatory, 1-to-many, crows-feet etc, ). Occasionally my data analyst will interject and ask, "so you have cash clients and normal debtors for whom you only capture the billing address, is that so?".   Sometimes the client would reply, "no, we have corporate clients that allows their local offices to buy from us, but they want a consolidated invoice by region" This statement introduces a few new data modelling entities. To get a feel for the process, I would then ask things like "so, what happens when a plumber, who is already a customer turns up at one of your shops, step me through the process?" Later I might ask, step me through the process when the plumber is not a customer; and later still, I will ask what happens if the plumber is from Joe National Franchise, a corporate client, you know the one where you have to give consolidated invoices to. Note I ask the questions about the norm first, then I deal with the exceptions (Cash and Corporate customers).  And off we go ...

When we huddle after the interviews, we compare notes. But principally we check whether the process and data represent  the business domain and the clients needs

It works!

warm regards,

K

 

 

 

 

 

 
New Post 10/24/2008 5:30 AM
User is offline Tony Markos
493 posts
5th Level Poster


Re: Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 

Hi:

Don't be impressed with years of hands-on business experience.  An analyst, properly skilled in functional modeling  can, in a years time, easily obtain a much more comprehensive,  integrated understanding of how the business works than the typical manager - who has never performed a formal analysis of his operations.  I have experienced this time and again.   

Tony

 
New Post 10/24/2008 9:02 PM
User is offline David Wright
141 posts
www.iag.biz
7th Level Poster




Re: Business Analysis by the Business Analyst 

 

Tony, you beat me to it.  A good Business Analysis is the expert in the Analysis of any Business, for the purpose of eliciting, analyzing, documenting and reviewing Business Requirements that can be used in solution delivery. I have forgotten more domains than I remember, because the next project may be in any domain.

 

 ajmarkos wrote

Hi:

Don't be impressed with years of hands-on business experience.  An analyst, properly skilled in functional modeling  can, in a years time, easily obtain a much more comprehensive,  integrated understanding of how the business works than the typical manager - who has never performed a formal analysis of his operations.  I have experienced this time and again.   

Tony


David Wright
 
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