Brian Lawrence, Systems Manager at Ackermans, talks about some challenges for business analysis with Rafieqah Isaacs, in business analysis: the job, the role and the career.
In your opinion, is there a threat to the business analyst role becoming redundant?
The role of the business analyst has changed over the years, but in my opinion, the importance of the role has increased significantly. For sure companies have come to the realisation that business analysts are strategic enablers to drive performance and business efficiencies within organisations.
This being said, there is a danger of the business analyst role being fused and merged into other cross-functional roles that are further removed from the traditional business analyst role.
What would be the one thing you would change about the business analysis role today and why?
There is a theory that business analysts should be subject matter experts for the areas that they work in. This view is often enforced on business analysts, even when they are new to a particular area of work.
My view is that this normally places additional pressure on the business analyst and forces them to look at systems and processes with a one-dimensional and subjective view.
What does “success” mean to you as a Business Analyst?
Success for me as a business analyst is the ability to deliver in a consistent and predictable manner, enabling business/es to function at optimum levels. Deliverables of the business analyst must improve profitability, efficiency, growth and other key performance areas of businesses.
Why did you become a business analyst?
I have always dreamt of impacting business success and contributing to building sustainable businesses. With the role of the business analyst, you can play exactly that role, by directly impacting the way businesses are run, drawing from the strengths and knowledge of business leaders and key stakeholders assigned to projects. The most rewarding part is to see how dreams are turned into reality through the various business analysis toolsets, effectively decomposing blue-sky ideas and breaking it into bite-size chunks (specs) that make logical sense for technical engineers to build technology solutions.
Also, I love to listen to people’s problems and playing a facilitator role in assisting them to own up and find the solutions themselves!
What has been the most difficult part of your job?
The most challenging part of being a business analyst hands down has to be to obtain buy-in from disengaged stakeholders. Another challenge for me is dealing with decision-makers that cannot make or finalise their decisions (i.e. keeps on changing scope).
‘The Threat To Business Analysis with Brian Lawrence‘ was first published in the 2015 Inter-View Report. Talk more about the threat to business analysis on Twitter with @LawBassOriginal and @Raf_Sunshine.