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New Post 2/6/2013 6:07 AM
User is offline qwertyjjj
17 posts
9th Level Poster


Re: career path for a BA? 

 Anthony Chen wrote
 

 My experience has been that business stakeholders dont have time to "own" the product because they typically have a day job. The subject matter experts dont generally have the inclination to write anything down or ensure it all gets delivered properly.

 

The problem is that in most cases the software is owned by a department other than IT. Maybe it's the accounting team or maybe it's the HR team, or maybe it's the Learning & Knowledge team. To be a product owner in a bigger company, which product do you own? ...and if you own one of them then why not become product owner of the others as well?

I can see how a BA might move onto Enterprise BA, Senior BA, or Business Architect but the jump from Senior BA to Enterprise BA is quite a big step that misses out a range of mentoring and management jobs in between where you manage people like a PM, etc.

 
New Post 2/8/2013 2:57 PM
User is offline Chris Adams
313 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: career path for a BA? 

 Qwertyjjj,


I think the progression that Anthony points out is a reasonable one.

I would also agree with you that most BAs don't have the breadth of experience to jump to a Business Architect or Enterprise Architect role without rounding themselves out a bit.

Remember, career progressions and titles really depend on how each company defines its roles.  But there are some fairly consistent trends.  For example, a good Product Manager should have a solid BA background, but should also have experience in User Experience and Usability.

I think it could be helpful for you to think about the different disciplines or skill-sets you enjoy and then determine which roles incorporate most of those that you enjoy.

Can you share with us the stuff that you like doing versus don't like doing?  Then maybe assess your skill level in each area.
 

Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
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New Post 2/11/2013 4:45 AM
User is offline qwertyjjj
17 posts
9th Level Poster


Re: career path for a BA? 

 Chris Adams wrote
 

 Qwertyjjj,


I think the progression that Anthony points out is a reasonable one.

I would also agree with you that most BAs don't have the breadth of experience to jump to a Business Architect or Enterprise Architect role without rounding themselves out a bit.

Remember, career progressions and titles really depend on how each company defines its roles.  But there are some fairly consistent trends.  For example, a good Product Manager should have a solid BA background, but should also have experience in User Experience and Usability.

I think it could be helpful for you to think about the different disciplines or skill-sets you enjoy and then determine which roles incorporate most of those that you enjoy.

Can you share with us the stuff that you like doing versus don't like doing?  Then maybe assess your skill level in each area.
 

Let's start with what's not for me and that is a PM role - I fin it too far removed from the actual work and thinking needed to be a BA. I think PM's are important but it's the interaction between the PM and BA that makes projects successful and I find PMs have to much paperwork to do on the side of budget and timeline.

Now, to get to a Business Architect or Enterprise Architect, I don't think you need to have ben a PM but you definitely need to have been in some sort of management role or mentoring people as well as having experience on big corporate wide system implementations. The BA generally doesn't always manage people apart from perhaps the developers a bit but not in a direct leadership role, it's more just part of the daya to day business. So, how as a BA do you get into a management role when most of your work doesn;t necessarily require leading teams...that's the PM's job.

In terms of a BA role, yes I like looking at some enterprise level projects, everything to do with definition and modelling, background search into RFP and software recommendations, close discussions with business experts.

 

 
New Post 4/24/2013 1:33 PM
User is offline dldelancey
61 posts
8th Level Poster


Re: career path for a BA? 

Sorry for the late reply.

Back to your last question to me specifically regarding the curriculum for CBAP, there is nothing equivalent to the Microsoft or Cisco kind of certifications that explicitly name the courses that you must complete.  The education requirement for CBAP is a minimum number of professional development units that fall within the BA umbrella of topics.  You can get these hours through college courses, online training, professionally presented classroom training, etc.  Having said that, there are IIBA-endorsed courses out there.

Regarding the secondary discussion of career path, I suspect that the path described which leads to Product Manager is one within a software development organization.  That is, a company that is specifically in business to develop a widely marketed software product or suite of products.  That career path doesn't necessarily apply to those of us BAs who work for companies that are in business and use software to support the operating of that business.  Microsoft has product managers.  John Doe & Associates who sells widgets probably doesn't.  (That's not to say they shouldn't or couldn't, just that they usually don't.)

The career path for a BA in this second circumstance really depends on your organization.  I'd suggest discussing it with your management.  Personally, I have my sights set on CIO.  haha

 
New Post 4/25/2013 12:27 PM
User is offline Sandy
74 posts
8th Level Poster




Re: career path for a BA? 

As a consultant, I've had opportunities to take my BA career in a variety of directions over the years.  And I've seen many different career paths at client sites too.  I've also found it necessary over my entire career to switch companies (and to switch between employee and consultant roles) to build experience and skills I wanted.  I've seen BA paths that remain on the requirements definition and management side, or move into PM or Program Manager roles, or move into general IT management, as well as BA team leads.  Consulting gives other opportunities to focus on strategic planning, business / solution assessments, etc. - those are areas that I've found most interesting and have been able to make the focus of my career over the past several years.

My career has moved from systems analyst to PM to senior BA to Business Architect.  As Chris noted, there are some key skills needed in this path that require more breadth across the BA skillset.  'PM' skills such as people management have not been most important in my career - other skills including strategic planning, working at the executive manement level, business process design and business re-engineering have been most valuable. Roles such as BA team lead within projects have given the people management side without a specific PM role.

As far as certifications go, I am actually pursuing TOGAF certification rather than CBAP as a Business Architect.  But I continue to actively support IIBA and BABOK in standardizing and building the BA profession regardless of career path. 

The best advice I would give is to actively look for and take advantage of opportunities anywhere you can find them - dont' wait for them to be officially given as part of a role, and try not to limit to just one path or option.  Even if you're not exactly where you want to be right at this moment, try to find any chance to learn something new and go for it. You've probably already acquired a lot of skills that you hadn't really planned to acquire - and with luck, that will never stop happening no matter where your career goes.   

 
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