This chapter is intended to help you see yourself in a business analyst’s shoes. Decisions become easier if we can see and feel what the end result will be like. I invite you to absorb what’s written here and see yourself in various aspects of the role. You will also have the opportunity to do more exploration in this area when you talk to business analysts, as suggested in a later chapter
What typical day? There is no typical day as a business analyst. Rather, there are multiple different kinds of days, some of which tend to repeat themselves throughout project lifecycles and some of which bear no explanation. Business analysis is not the type of career where you need to necessarily be prepared for anything, but expect the occasional surprise or unexpected situation.
In most business analyst jobs, you’ll experience a fair amount of variety in your day-to-day work. And while this is not a role like IT support requiring near constant interaction with others and real-time prioritization, priorities shift and a certain amount of flexibility and responsiveness is important. Of course, if your company experiences a catastrophe or uncovers significant unexpected opportunity you will most likely be called in to help on short notice, but that’s the exception not the rule.
During project initiation
Project initiation mainly involves eliciting requirements to understand the scope of a potential solution. Elicitation days are fun and many business analysts enjoy elicitation days the most. These days occur early in the project or possibly even before the project starts and involve meeting with stakeholders to understand what they want to achieve in a project.
You will spend the day drinking from a fire hose because you will be learning so much and handling so many different perspectives about the project. You’ll often spend the afternoon or evening typing up your copious notes and analyzing what you learned
During requirements elaboration
Once you’ve defined the project scope, your days may take on a more syncopated pace. You’ll be working from a requirements management plan (whether written or not, by this time you’ll have a plan of sorts) and exploring specific sections of the overall scope in more detail, creating visuals, and requirements documents, and reviewing them with your team. These days tend to break up into about one-third meetings and two-thirds independent work. As a new business analyst, you might start a project at this phase under the wing of a senior business analyst or project manager.
Read more: Business Analyst Skills 2022
But then again..it’s different in an agile environment
All of the above is true in a traditional environment. In agile environments many IT roles change. Given how this trend is gaining increasing acceptance it is very likely you will be working within an agile environment at some point in your career. The BA role in agile is fairly ill-defined. There are portions of the product owner role that are clearly business analysis activities. Oftentimes the business analyst either fills the product owner role or directly supports the product owner.