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Business analysis: myths and misconceptions

“A business analyst is not there to capture a client’s requirements, create a wire frame and then go to sleep after handing everything over to the in-house developer. A business analyst is there to analyze what the client thinks rather than what the client wants.”

In this article on GrayMatterAnalytics.com, Shail Choksi deals with some of the common misconceptions associated with business analysis, stressing that business analysis is not a branch of IT, but in fact is the bridge between technology and business. Adrian Reed further elaborates on these points in this BridgingTheGap.com article, again stressing that contrary to popular belief, business analysis is in fact quite distinct from technical development.

If you are just starting out on your career path and are confused about what a business analyst really does, don’t lose heart; Tom Emmerson, a business analyst, reports on his frustration with his own colleagues being essentially unaware of what he does!

“…this week I felt quite disheartened when I came to a startling realisation: currently, some of my team seem to have the impression that the role of the business analyst mostly involves taking notes, documenting actions, and arranging meetings. In short, they think that business analysis is largely synonymous with project administration, and nothing more complicated than that”  he writes in this blog article. He concludes with this working description of what a business analyst does: ” In my opinion, a Business Analyst is responsible for defining clearly the goals of a project; agreeing the deliverables needed to achieve those goals; and ensuring that all deliverables are met, in alignment with the goals.”. He follows this article with another excellent post on the responsibilities of a business analyst, namely

  1. Advocacy of teams
  2. Challenging current plans and ideas
  3. Elicitation of information
  4. Enterprise analysis
  5. Facilitation
  6. Planning the business analysis process
  7. Requirements analysis and validation

One of the most comprehensive treatments of the topic to be found online is in this white paper from Texavi, a “Social & Behavioural Technology start-up” that offers “Consulting, Training and Development of Web & Mobile Solutions.”. The major myths that they debunk in this paper are:

  • Business analysts must be able to create and implement solutions
  • Business analysts and Project Managers are one and the same
  • Business analysts are not required in the latter phases of a project
  • Business analysts must be strong domain experts
  • Business analysts are product specialists, who don’t need people skills
  • Business analysts are not needed for this type of project
  • Business analysts are only good at writing requirement documents

Most people agree that most misconceptions stem from there are two basic ideas that are not very clear:

  1. The business analyst works in the context of an organization (not necessarily a business); and
  2. The role of the business analyst is NOT confined to just business solutions or just IT solutions.

This article from ModernAnalyst.com explains very clearly, with the help of flow diagrams, what the role of the business analyst really is.

This article was contributed by Arjun Sivasundar. To find out more about Arjun, go to http://goo.gl/4NeV9T.

This article was published by Maslowed.Me – a career portal

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