Business Analysis as a Strategic Force

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Barrett Roos distinguishes a good senior business analyst from a “typist or scribe”, and looks at adding value with business analysis as a strategic force.

Barrett Roos is a Managing Consultant and BA Competency Lead at IQ Business, with over 16 years’ experience as a BA working for three of the four major banks in the country as well as the country’s largest open medical scheme.

Barrett has achieved numerous certificates in Business Analysis as well as Project Management, including a Certificate and Diploma in Business Analysis from UJ. In order to supplement the analytical training, Barrett is also an internationally registered TOGAF 9 Business Architect and CBAP recipient from the International Institute of Business Analysts.

Congratulations on your recent talk at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa, it was well received by many. For those who weren’t fortunate to attend, could you give us a synopsis of what your presentation was about?

The session detailed the strategic value a Business Analyst should be adding to an organisation. It highlighted that

not all Business Analysts are created equal and that if you are not trying to understand the business need and ensuring that the business need is aligned to Business strategic goals then you may as well call yourself a typist.

If your focus is on typing requirements and trying to be the bridge between business and IT then you are doing yourself and the profession an injustice.

The topic is clearly an area that you are personally passionate about. Why do you feel this subject is relevant and important for the business analysis profession?

I think “Business Analysis” as we know it is long gone with the dinosaurs if we do not adapt to the changing face of business and the new role we should be playing, we as the business analysts will go the same route.

I am tired of the old mantra we enable IT to understand business speak and visa versa, …

I have news for the Business Analysts that like to live by this, most of the business people you deal with have IT qualifications so they are more than able to do this with no need for you.

You are therefore an expense that they can do without. “FIND YOUR VALUE ADD”

Having shared your ideas with the business analysis community. What key points would you like people to take-away, reflect and act upon?

Understand the value you can add in the business and then actively seek opportunities to act on that, and add the value.
Consider how many projects in your company or department have failed and understand the root cause of those failures,

… once you have taken the time to understand the root cause you can apply your analytical mind to resolving those failures …

this is where your value lies.

Business analysis summit spoiled in terms of the learning and networking opportunities. What was your greatest personal insight taken from the business analysis conference?

That perhaps surprisingly everyone is singing from the same sheet music. The message was clear

… as a Business Analyst, we are part of the team to facilitate change in an organisation yet we are not prepared for the change that is heading our way.

If we continue to try to be the bridge between business and IT we will be washed away with the flood heading our way. We need to adapt or die.

As a first time speaker at BA Summit, what words of encouragement do you have for people who may be considering presenting in future?

I have 16 years experience in Business Analysis and have had the opportunity to present across internal and external teams to a diversity of people and levels. During this, I was never as nervous as I was before the BA Summit talk. It is very different talking to a group of Business Analysts thought of as leaders in the field and peers. Having said that – nerves were good they assisted me in ensuring I was prepared for the talk. I think

… if you have something to say and you passionately believe in your message, then come, talk, share but ensure you prepare, prepare and then prepare again.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

As Business Analysts we are on the endangered species list, if we do not change, if we do not adapt there will be a tomorrow with no Business Analysts.

Business Analysis As A Strategic Force with Barrett Roos

Download Barrett Roos‘s slide-deck from BA Summit SA 2016 to get more guidance on training from Business Analysis As A Strategic Force. Share your thoughts on business analysis as a strategic force with with @Barrett_ZA and @Newbert over on Twitter.

About Joe Newbert

Joe is a consultant, a writer, a speaker and above all a teacher, who spends most of his time at the Business Change Academy helping people to grow their skills, bring meaningful change and see their career soar.

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