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Central Virginia Chapter of the IIBA. “The Industry’s View of the Business Analyst Position” David Mantica President, ASPE Technology Wednesday, May 23, 2007. Presentation Agenda . Dynamics driving the growth in Business Analysis Specific conditions making a BA essential

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Central Virginia Chapter of the IIBA

“The Industry’s View of the

Business Analyst


David Mantica

President, ASPE Technology

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Presentation Agenda

  • Dynamics driving the growth in Business Analysis
  • Specific conditions making a BA essential
  • Art verse Science
  • Critical BA Skills
  • BA -- PM Engagement
  • Certification and the IIBA
  • Future of the Business Analyst Role

Translation is needed…

How is alignment achieved?


Specific Conditions Making

a BA Essential

  • User demands and requirements are increasing
  • Business need for data driven decision making
    • Speed of business
    • Can’t trust your gut (gut will get you fired)
  • Continued corporate profit taking
    • Outsourcing continues to grow (off-shore or on-shore)
  • Project failures rate continues to grow
    • Complexity and sophistication of projects increases
  • Technology adoption requirements
    • Speed of technology

Look at it this way: AS….





Speed Continues To


Complexity Continues To


Budgets get smaller

Something has

to be done more effectively &

efficiently or failure is guaranteed

Scope & Requirements Definition


The challenge of constant change resides here.

The science of business resides here.

The potential for increased effectiveness & efficiency resides here. Managing this arena is an art.


Art verse Science

  • Art: Creative, inventive, flexible, understanding, with an underlying process or method
  • Science: Specific, exact, precise, focused, with following the specific steps critical to success

-- Science type IT jobs are being outsourced, it is a specific tangible skill highly transferable. It is easy to find at a less expensive cost.

-- Art type IT jobs are remaining, it is an intangible skill which includes flexibility and domain knowledge and when put together is not very transferable. It is difficult to find at a less expensive cost.


Art verse Science

  • Art type positions: Business Analyst, Business Systems Analyst, Project Manager, Program Manager, System Architect, Business Process Professional
  • Science type positions: Programmer, Developer, Systems Engineer, Tester, Help desk, Systems Administrator

In the end it is not about the position, it is about your skills



The closer your positional ties are with the business/business needs the more valuable the business perceives you


Critical BA Skills

-First, what the industry sees as the BA responsibility area

  • Project Scope—“Tightening” and defining the scope based on Project sponsor requests
  • Requirements Definition — Determining specifically what is required to ensure user needs are met
  • Process/Data modeling— How work flows happen and how data moves in those work flows. Adjustment of those work flows based on requirements

Review of Critical BA Skills

  • Domain knowledge—Close enough to business, knows what business needs
  • IT knowledge—Close enough to IT, knows what IT can do
  • “Translation skills”—tech talk to business talk and vice versa
  • Questioning—asking the right type of questions
  • Listening—knowing what to listen for and how to catch it
  • Negotiation—hammering out a match between user needs & IT capabilities
  • Critical thinking—looking at options, finding the “right” solutions
  • Leadership—standing up for what the user needs with the SDLC process
  • Communication—relates to translation skills
  • BA tools & techniques—Specific processes/tools of requirements definition and process/data modeling

BA – PM Engagement

  • Functional overlap comes with Project Scope
    • Could lead to major “problems” if scope responsibility not defined
  • Small to mid-sized companies
    • PM will be responsible for BA skills and conduct BA tasks—big responsibility with big risks
      • This assumes PM / BA profile the same, is it?
    • Or, move to Agile methods and drive Developers & Programmers to conduct BA tasks—Again big responsibility with big risks
    • Key: THE SKILLS ARE STILL REQUIRED!!!!! Regardless of position
  • Large Companies
    • Both roles — Where will the BA live (within the Business Unit or IT) and how will project scope responsibilities be broken out
    • Agile push — Developers will need BA skills

Certification and the IIBA

  • Task Definition Critical—Does the BA BOK meet what the industry needs the BA position to do? Industry will let you know quickly if it doesn’t
  • Pragmatic Evangelization of BA BOK—Watch out for becoming too focused on the letter of the law, ensure it is not only memorization but skills. PM BOK push back happening, “paper PMP” All started with “paper CNE” now “paper MCSE” when the paper becomes more important than the skills.
  • Certification push starting with Practioners—Business Analysts have been around awhile, the ground swell of certification interest is at the practioner level right now
  • IIBA must get employers mindshare—Employers must be shone the value of a BA BOK skilled professional, this will drive the adoption much quicker

Critical: Focus on the skills not just the position, it is proper requirements engineering, project scope and process modeling not that a company have a BA


Future of BA Role and Skills

  • Outsourcing will continue to fuel need
  • Alignment of needs vs. capabilities will continue to fuel need
  • Can’t make the role too much of a science
  • Can’t make the role too much of an art
    • Must stay pragmatic, focused on user and business value
  • Employers must be shown the value of a IIBA certified professional
  • Developers have a great potential of being successful Business Analysts than they do being Project Managers--embrace the Developer community, embrace Agile

Biggest Question: Are employers looking for the BA position or the BA skills within multiple positions?