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  • How to Go from Being a Regular Business Analyst to an Awesome Business Analyst

    Brad Egeland

    If you need the “best of the best”, then what skills or characteristics are you looking for?  What defines the best for your organization’s project needs?  While BAs are not project managers, the most successful BAs manage the entire business analysis effort. This means that the BA is proactive and dependency-aware. It also means they manage themselves well, they stay on track with respect to commitments and deadlines, and can handle task delegation, decision making and issue management as needed on the project.

    I’ve thought about the overall skill set and characteristics needed to pull this role off efficiently and productively and coupled it with my experience leading projects, working in combined project manager and business analyst roles I’ve come up with my list of a few characteristics of an awesome business analyst.  As you are reading through these, please be thinking of your own personal experiences and comment with your additions to this list…

    Add certification.  Project management certification is for project managers right? Wrong.  So many times project manager and business analyst is combined into one role – so project management certification makes great sense and can lead to great pay increases, increased job opportunities, new consulting roles and definitely better leadership positions on high profile, complex projects.  There are PMP options, hybrid certification options and some PM certification and training options that really help in personal development and leadership.  Like being a business analyst? Get this training and you’ll love it and be even more awesome at it.

    Skilled communicator.  I’ve often said that communication is Job One for the project manager.  However, communication skills are possibly the most important characteristic of the awesome business analyst if for no other reason than the vast responsibilities this position has on the project and with the team and customer.  Miscommunication can lead to so many problems on the project and this role ends up interfacing with all stakeholders…making accurate and thorough communication necessary.

    Great customer interface.  The great business analyst is a critical liaison between the project manager and the technical team.  This person is often the driving force behind the accurate, complete and detailed documentation of the final project requirements. Why?  Because the organizational to tech cross-over ability and skills that many project managers will lack must be handled in this role.  And they help the tech lead interpret those functional design ideas into technical design specifications for the design and development work on complex technical solutions.

    Summary / call for input

    There are more ways BA’s can be awesome… this is just a few. I’ll come back with more ideas in future articles and please feel free to share your own thoughts on this list and other characteristics and skills

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