A Business Analyst is responsible for eliciting business requirements and communicating them to the development team so that they know exactly what is needed. They are more than just the conduit between the IT department and the business. They are also translators. It is their job to not only clearly communicate with both but also ensure that they are able to understand the information without any confusion. But, this sounds easier than done. The fact is that many beginners in the field of business analytics make a lot of mistakes that can be easily avoided. Read on to find out what these mistakes are:
- Not communicating extensively
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a business analyst is not communicating or listening properly. As a business analyst, you are not just responsible for passing the information between the IT department and the business, but also translating that information in a way that all the stakeholders can understand. Stakeholders usually work with rough ideas and expect them to be polished to perfection. The simplest way of turning this rough idea into an actionable plan is by asking questions. But, communicating with stakeholders is not an easy task as they can be difficult to get hold of or deal with. This is why communication skills are key.
A business analyst will have to isolate people and work with them to figure out their exact needs. Some stakeholders might not prefer giving detailed answers in person and would want communication over email. A Business Analyst should know how and when to deal with them. If there is a lack of proper communication, for any reason, it might lead to serious issues. So, it is better to sort the communication problems so that fewer requirements are missed.
- Relying heavily on templates
Templates can be very useful in deciding the relevant questions and structuring thinking. However, it is crucial to understand and recognize the techniques, tools, and elicitation activities such as Business Analytics with Excel used to achieve the desired project outcome. Many amateur business analysts use templates frequently as they are able to produce deliverables without a lot of effort. A quick search will yield thousands of business analysis templates covering everything from requirements discovery, day-to-day email communication, decision-making, and requirements prioritization. If used the right way, they can be useful as they offer a high-level conceptualization of what a deliverable must look like.
Even though they are a convenient option, relying heavily on templates hinders creativity and discovering actual problems. The best way to use them is by using them as a guide and customizing them to suit the project’s requirements. It is important that a business analyst does not see template as an end goal as their focus will shift from the collaborative discovery of solutions along with missed requirements, analysis paralysis, and untimely deliverables’ submission.
- Doing too much
Yes, doing too much can be a mistake. Business analysts who have just begun their careers often try to demonstrate their capabilities. And for this, they work on multiple projects simultaneously and bombard stakeholders with constant deliverables and status updates. But, this activity can be perceived as low-value by many stakeholders. While there might be an occasional positive recommendation, it might get hidden somewhere deep under the pile of documents and emails and go unnoticed. That is why they have to remain focused on the primary objectives of the project and figure out the most effective and direct ways of accomplishing them.
- Making assumption
Everyone involved in the project will make an assumption, especially during the early phases of the project. But, if a business analyst makes assumptions, it is highly likely that the project will, one day, take a nose-dive. This might be because of wrong assumptions, treating assumptions as facts, and ignoring them as risks to the project. If a business analyst has to make an assumption, it is crucial to determine the assumption’s validity. Apart from this, a business analyst should also document the assumption along with the consequences, in case the assumption is wrong. This information should be provided to all the people involved in the project. They can also put a date for resolution along with the assumption in an activity list.
Apart from their own assumptions, a business analyst is also at risk from undocumented assumptions made by everyone else. Verbal communication is not going to work. All the statements must be made in writing so that they can be reexamined. Memory won’t be enough in eliciting, managing, and documenting requirements. Interpreting information without doing any follow-up with the source won’t work either. A business analyst’s job is not guessing, but asking exactly what the stakeholders want. In most cases, a bad assumption is only recognized long after it was made and when it has started to impact the work. That is why it is crucial to uncover them at the start of the project. While eliciting requirements, a business analyst needs to understand the assumptions every stakeholder is making.
- Ignoring the stakeholders
Many times, stakeholders are almost impossible to contact and even if a business analyst can get in contact with them, they might be difficult to deal with. But, a business analyst cannot and should not ignore them, just because working with them is not what they expected to be. Problems won’t resolve themselves and ignoring them will only make them grow bigger. So, if a business analyst is working with difficult people, it is best to deal with them one-on-one, if possible.
In case someone is not available for a meeting, the business analyst can use emails to get in touch with them. But, this can be a bit trickier than communicating to them in person or by phone. That is why they have to prioritize the statements or questions that must be confirmed or answered respectively and address them accordingly. One email should be addressing only one question or confirmation. Also, the language of the email should be easy enough to understand and respond to. If not, it will just end up in a to-do-later pile.
A business analyst who has just started their career shouldn’t be scared of what is expected of them and what they can do to work efficiently. All they need to do is focus on their goals and the means they can achieve them. Checkout the information about employee monitoring software from here. employee monitoring software