If you pay close attention, you are likely to find opportunities in your current position or company to take on tasks that fall within the sphere of business analysis. These may not land in your lap. Instead, you’ll need to be proactive in seeking out additional or different work assignments. Talk to your manager. Talk to trusted colleagues. Find out who needs help and offer up your new-found passion and knowledge.
What follows are some ideas of the type of activities to be on the look-out for. This list is by no means complete nor is it definitive. Instead use it as a guide or to trigger ideas that fit within your current organization or profession
Look for customer-facing or internal-user facing exposure
The idea is to get is to get in contact with people who actually use the system you are currently building or, as a second-best option, the people who are responsible for marketing and selling to them. Get creative here. Maybe the business analyst is facilitating a meeting you can sit in on it. Maybe a product
manager is facilitating a focus group you can observe. Important consideration: If you are still making this transition and you have implemented or know a lot about the code in this system, you might be tempted to respond to observations and questions in tech talk. If you are able to attend a meeting like this it is better to say nothing at all than to start talking code. You should be trying to learn to see the system and process from the viewpoint of the people who use it.
Demo your software
Look for an opportunity to demo a piece of software you have built for anyone in the organization. Put your defenses aside and ask for honest feedback and new ideas. Throughout the demo ask questions to get their perspective on the software and better understand how it will be used. Not available in your organization? Conduct a demo for a friend or professional contact. You’ll gather experience explaining your business and the product.
Become a critical consumer of requirements
Leverage your position as a consumer of requirements to learn more about the requirements process. You probably have already noticed that some requirements artifacts are much more helpful than others. If you are a developer, you likely find some requirements provide a crystal clear path and along with freedom to make important implementation decisions. Others constrain your efforts in challenging ways. As a QA professional, some requirements make it clear what and how to test, while others make it a challenge to identify what functionality would pass a test case.
Help select new software
Is your team or your business looking to select a new software package? Common needs include project tracking, time tracking, bug/issue tracking, source control repositories, intranet portals…the list goes on and on. Get involved in these projects in any way you can.
Offer to analyze multiple tools against your teams needs. Be sure to take some time and interview your teammates for requirements, analyze the process that the tool will support, develop a features or requirements list, and conduct a gap analysis. Common mistake: Do not treat this as an opportunity to get your own way but instead focus on facilitating discussion and agreement among multiple team members.