Sunday, May 27, 2007

Business Analysis Career Path

The Business Analysis Career Path has been an ongoing discussion within IT circles for quite a while. If you browse through the blogs in the ‘Business Analysis’ category here, you should find more information on Business Analysis and how it fits into the overall IT organization and project structures. Assuming that all the readers have some background understanding, I am discussing some of the career path related matters here.

To start a career in BA, a person needs to have either business background in the specific industry domain or a broad IT knowledge. Given that this basic foundation exists, someone can step in to the BA world! This starting step would be something like Systems Analyst or Associate/Junior Systems Analyst. After the systems analysis skills are fully achieved, the person can move to be a Business Analyst. Progressively, this could start from something like Associate/Junior BA and then move to be a BA and when at a highly skilled autonomous level, a Senior/Lead BA.

Around this area, it becomes quite a discussion where a person can/should go. In a way, it’s a business decision based on what can be taken out of such individuals based on the skills they posses and also a personal decision what each individual want to do in their careers and also what they want to achieve in their respective lives. I personally see two branches from here onwards and upwards and also notice that most organizations have adopted these two progression paths.

One is to grow within the same line but take on more challenging opportunities. Becoming a Business Consultant would be the next best position to move in this path. The second branch is to move to Project/General Management. The knowledge gained on scoping projects, managing projects, change management and extensive business knowledge will be highly helpful for a successful career if someone decides to take on this path. If someone decides not to move onto management, Business Consultancy would offer a great amount of opportunities and exciting challenges as it’s a career path of its own and as most people would say, the sky is the only limit! It’s a highly autonomous position where you get to lead people, manage client expectations, propose solutions and involve in negotiations etc. As a consultant, avoiding management wouldn’t be possible, but still you would be a leader who understands what’s being done which makes it easier to stay on top of things and lead others to success.

Last but not least, this is a very interesting, challenging area within the IT industry which offers so many opportunities even though we find fewer people interested in it comparatively. If I have been able to create some interest and awareness, I can be happy......

16 comments:

Fazli Sameer said...

One may also look at the Business Excellence Model which is related at the following links:-

http://www.saferpak.com/business_excellence.htm
http://www.quality-foundation.co.uk/ex_description.htm
http://www.quality.nist.gov/

Vijesh said...

good job on the career path...really helpful

Anonymous said...

Nice writeup..Can u please throw some light on how a programmer can get on to a BA role..

Thanks
Srinath.

Yasas Vishuddhi Abeywickrama said...

Srinath, This post and some other posts unders the 'Business Analysis'category in this blog cover your qerry. However, I will briefly cover it up.

As mentioned in the post, I re-state:

starting step would be something like Systems Analyst or Associate/Junior Systems Analyst."

A programmer has the background and knowldge and exeprience in IT, however, his mentality could be kind of technical, but a BA needs to have a more busness approach as well as a holistic view on systems/IT. So, I see this as an experince and indset shaping process to move on from prgramming to BA.

Leave alone desgnations, but roles wise, I think SYstems Analysis is the best stepiing stone, so that its not totally away from development/implmeentation but gives some exposure into design and documentation. After you are comfortable in SA level work, you can try to get roles with more BA kind of work, iniotally may be to do design compnenets of BA documets and gradullay move towards requiremnts gathering and analysis.

Hope this helps.

If there are more specifc questions, please feel free to contact me through blog or directly.

muhammad salman said...

Yasas,
I am currently working as a SQA engineer and have programming background as well, also I m doing MBA so do you think that it is the right time for me to move to BA role?

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