From Fresh Graduate to Entry Level Business Analyst

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Ronak Sanghavi shares a case study with Joe Newbert, of how to design and implement a program to groom people from graduate to entry level business analyst.

Ronak Sanghavi is the co-founder of BA ValueBASE and passionate thought leader with the vision to shape the future of business analysis as a strategic asset for organisations and individuals. 

Ronak has 20 years of experience in business consulting and IT-enabled business solutions. This includes 15 years in all aspects of business analysis including process consulting, requirements engineering, developing & delivering training, and setting up & managing Business Analysis Centre of Excellence (BACOE). 

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?

Thank you. It was a case study about a “grooming” program outsourced to my company. The objective was to prepare 10 fresh graduates to perform a billable junior business analyst role in one of the largest US banks. In a nutshell, I answered two questions:

  1. Why you should consider running a program like this in your organisation? and
  2. How you should design the program for success?

The presentation started by listing the benefits of such a “grooming” program to all stakeholders. Then I shared the program roadmap, from preparation through to on-the-job support. The majority of the presentation was a deep-dive into each phase of the roadmap and the related critical success factors. At the end, I shared the outcomes of the program – spoiler alert: it was very successful :).

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?

The supply of “quality” business analysts has not kept pace with the demand for business analysis. Consequently, most organisations struggle to find “right-fit” business analysts. This gap is bound to continue to widen. Let me use a “farming” analogy: we have become good at hunting (recycling) business analysts, but we need to also become good at growing business analysts. They will grow anyway, but the yield may not be good.

To meet the increasing demand for “good” business analysts, we need to ensure that individuals have strong foundations.

We need to equip graduates with a broad, standards-aligned framework and vocabulary, which allows them to not only hit the ground running but also assist them in accelerated value-creation.

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

The thematic take-away is that grooming fresh graduates into the business analyst role can be done and should be done! The benefits are too significant to ignore. The key take-aways from the perspective of a how to design such a program are:

  1. Involve hiring stakeholders early and often,
  2. Discover stakeholders’ expectations from the junior business analyst role, and then walk backwards to customise a competency model, design the training curriculum, and hire candidates who are most matched for success; and
  3. Simulate the “corporate environment” in the classroom by employing experiential and multi-dimensional training pedagogy.

Now that you’ve had time to better absorb Inter-View Volume II, what are your thoughts on this initiative and the value it adds to the business analysis profession?

I am impressed with the content and presentation of the magazine. The survey results give me a good idea of the current state of business analysis in South Africa. This will help me customise and introduce transformational business analysis solutions and services to the local market. Additionally, I expect the insights by thought leaders to create new possibilities for all the readers. Some of these possibilities will eventually become inspirational moments, which will lead to growth.

Gear Up:
Get The Diverse Range Of Business Analysis Knowledge and Techniques
(And Kick-Start Your Business Analyst Career)

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

I came to South Africa with a blank state. I didn’t know enough to form opinions and expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed the BA Summit.

What stood out from the summit is the awareness of global trends and best practices in business analysis.

The BA Summit topics, insights offered by the speakers, and questions asked by the audience were no different than what I would expect from conferences in a mature market like USA, where I have spent a lot of time performing and governing business analysis function.

If I’m not mistaken, this was your first experience of South African business analysis. What impressions do you leave with of the local business analyst community?

This was my first immersive opportunity to interact with the local business analysis community. I leave impressed with the competency and vibrancy of the community. Everyone seemed hungry to continue to improve, and were not shy sharing their experiences. Their energy was infectious, and I can’t wait to return.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

The business analysis profession has come a long way, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

Some of the most significant reasons for project failure (70% of IT projects still fail) can be mapped to ineffective business analysis.

So let’s continue to improve. Besides honing skills of experienced business analysts and helping them get certified, we also need to invest in raising a much better next generation. I firmly believe that business analysis has the power to change the world. Let’s work together to make it happen.

Fresh Graduate To Entry Level Business Analyst with Ronak Sanghavi

Download Ronak Sanghavi‘s slide-deck from BA Summit SA 2016 to get more guidance on training from Fresh Graduate To Entry Level Business Analyst. Share your thoughts on the training path from graduate to entry level business analyst with @SanghaviRonak and @Newbert over on Twitter.

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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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