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New Post 7/22/2014 4:21 AM
User is offline igbtys
1 posts
No Ranking

Where Can My Experience Take Me 

Hi All,

This is my first time posting, but I have been browsing for quite a while thinking about posting.  I am hoping for some advice on my career direction.  Whilst I enjoy my current role, I have been doing the same thing for quite a while, and I fear that the longer I keep going the harder it may be to switch should I become unsatisfied with the same role, or the company take a negative turn.

My previous title was a Systems Analyst, and I am now a Consultant.  I have varied experience in Information Management and Process Improvement.

We use predominantly one software program to solve business problems using interrelated forms, with automated workflow.  A typical example would be a case management system, where an electronic form is completed by one party, with automated multi stage workflow directed to other parties,  conditional to that case.  Many sub-processes (such as investigations, actions, document approvals etc.) may arise from a case.  

Now my role is very varied.  I liaise with clients/potential clients to listen to their business problems.  I will analyse these problems and develop requirements, providing a scope of work/proposal to the client, and then implement the solution.  Now the software that we use is quite user friendly, so the forms designer and workflow integration is mainly drag and drop.  I write SQL queries to interrelate data between forms.  I also write basic javascript/jquery functions, but any complex development work, I will deal with developers who will then conduct this development work on our behalf.  I liaise with customers throughout their entire use of their software, acting as a contact point in case of issue or if they require system enhancement.

My previous role years ago was varied aspects of system support.  Assisting in the development of a framework and maintaining and administering a document management system for a large company.  System Administration of an asset and maintenance management system etc.

Now, I think I really have two strengths.  Firstly I provide an excellent customer experience.  I actually really care that the customer is happy in their solution, and this shows when I deal with them.  I think I am quite sincere, and this comes across.

More importantly, I think I have very good analytical and lateral thinking skills.  A potential client will come up with a complex business problem, and I have a great ability to analyse their needs and develop a system to meet those needs.  I have associates and colleagues who are excellent developers and managers, however I believe my ability to think out and design a system to suit someones requirements is excellent.  I am not always the one who deals with the client initially when they are explaining their problem and needs, but I am almost always the one that will come up with the idea of how best to solve said problem.

I don't have any formal software/business analyst training, I have a Mechanical Engineering degree.

Most of our implementations can be conducted by a few people, so we don't use agile or lean methodologies/techniques or official BPMN, but I am aware of them.  This is where I think I am disadvantaged, as I have not worked in large teams with many developers, analysts, project managers etc.

I am early 30's and have been working in systems for ~ 8 years - started part time a couple of years into my degree.

So, how difficult would it be for me to find a typical Business/Systems Analyst role based on my skills and experience?  Does my experience and skills sound like something that would be valued, and if so, what type of role should I be seeking if I decided to/was forced to move on?  Any advise or just general thoughts on my experience and potential employment opportunities would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!!


New Post 7/27/2014 3:20 PM
User is offline Chris Adams
323 posts
5th Level Poster

Re: Where Can My Experience Take Me 

Your experience sounds quite well rounded for a business or systems analyst position.  I don't think you will have any more troubles finding work in this environment than the next guy.  The fact that you feel like you've only worked with tiny teams and don't have formal Agile or traditional SDLC experience isn't as much of an issue as  you might think.

With that said, anything you can do to gain some of this experience is a plus.   We all need to try and fill gaps in our experience.  It sounds like you are currently working as a consultant.  Why don't you find a small company using Agile and do some work for them.  Gain exposure to the Agile process (which isn't rocket science).  For smaller companies you will likely not be looking for formal Systems Analyst roles but rather a Product Manger role which is more focused on Customer Requirements, Usability and User Experience, and some informal Systems Analysis.

Chris Adams
Core Member –
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