The practice of business analysis is gaining recognition and attention. Business analysts (BAs) continue to show their value in enterprise, and we’re steadily seeing the number of career paths for BA’s grow. With this in mind it’s an interesting time to watch development in the sector and many within IT are beginning to discuss where they think BA will go. Without further hesitation we bring your Wolf’s top 10 trends in Business Analysis:
- We’ll see increasing crossover between the skill sets of business analysts and systems analysts
Increasingly often BAs are being tasked with analysts’ roles and vice-versa. The implication is two-fold: systems analysts will require greater soft skills to be effective in eliciting requirements, and BAs need to hone their technical competencies in order for business and IT to co-exist.
- People will begin to realise that “Agile” is a capability, not a practice
An Agile skill set necessitates being operative and resourceful in order to get the correct requirements in quantity, quality, and representation. More BAs are embracing Agile as a different and often better approach to managing a project as well as analysing, gathering, validating, and communicating requirements. Many would argue however that Agile is a more of a way of working, a framework if you will. Not a template or a checklist. A good BA will recognise it’s the culture not the method.
- The role of the BA and PM will continue to overlap in SMEs
SMEs are under frequent pressure to load balance, especially within IT. Resources are often scare and thus stretched to the limit in these environments. This means BAs need to gather requirements and put them into production. Likewise, PMs need to adopt a “just do it” approach, sharpening their skills on elicitation techniques and developing SMART requirements — those that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
- BAs will get in on the action from the start
Significant benefits can be found by bringing in BAs from the off. Providing a project with context BAs become far more invested in the “journey” and, as core members of the project team not just an addition to it. Projects will benefit from more continuity and from more opportunities to influence, persuade, and lead stakeholders from the very beginning. This is particularly true when using an Integrated Project Team (IPT) approach. More and more, IPTs are proving their worth, and getting the BA in early can help ensure that the project gets off on the right foot.
- Requirements management enters the 21st century
Businesses are opting against the lengthy business requirements documents these days. Technology is changing crucial information is being more efficiently managed and shared through Web-based portals like SharePoint that allow for easier access, review and feedback. Crucially, these Web-based portals allow requirements to be collected and managed interactively for better traceability and quality control. Due to the relatively easy scalability of technology now, SMEs can also reap the benefits.
- Larger organisations emerge as the most promising opportunities for BAs
In 2015 more and more organisations are recognising business analysis as a career path with defined tracks — junior, senior BA, enterprise analyst, enterprise architect, etc. Further integration of into other trajectories within the business means that BAs are finally being rewarded for their business knowledge.
- More and more, decision makers will learn about BA
New research suggests a greater number of senior stakeholders such as sponsors, decision-makers, and executives realising that solid requirements are the foundation for a successful project. For BAs this is great news because better educated decision makers is likely to result in a greater level of support and a higher level of compassion for the requirements process.
- BAs become flavour of the month
As systems become more complex and integration increases, getting the project’s requirements right the first time becomes key. Trends in mobile computing, big data, and security all put the BAs front and centre – BAs now’s your time to shine!
- Enterprise architecture makes a comeback
The global recession had a bad effect upon highly paid enterprise architects. But now more than ever, organisations require staff skilled in big data analytics, data architecture, and data management. BAs looking for career progression will increasingly find opportunity in enterprise architecture positions.
10. There are few cloudy days ahead for BAs
The European App economy employs 800,000 people and the increasing number of cloud-based applications can only stand to benefit BAs who understand the tough job of requirements analysis for cloud applications.
Find out how BA can create value for your business by visiting our Business Analysis page.