New Business Analysts (BAs) often have to contend with steep learning curves from day one. This article discusses what new BAs should be aware of to hit the ground running.
1. Build a strong foundation of basic BA knowledge: While nobody expects any new and upcoming business analyst to be the master of all, every employer expects them to have a strong theoretical foundation of what business analysis is about. New BAs should have a very clear and comprehensive knowledge of business analysis concepts and techniques, which may then be reinforced with experience. See A List of Free Business Analyst Training Online to learn key business analysis concepts.
2. Strive towards effective communication: One of the main responsibilities of a business analyst is to act as facilitator among stakeholders. The quality of the BA’s Interaction with stakeholders can serve as a test of their verbal and nonverbal skills. Strong communication skills are indispensable to successful projects. See Soft Skills for Business Analysts: Communication.
3. Develop strong business acumen: New BAs should focus on developing a strong and clear understanding of the business as a whole. They should be prepared to do some groundwork to understand the strategic goals and objectives of the organization. See How to Improve Your Domain Knowledge.
4. Harness your analytical skills: The ability to critically analyze the problem area and a visible willingness to learn new things can set the business analyst on the right path towards achieving relevance within a short span of time.
5. Be innovative and concentrate on adding value to the organization. BAs should keenly observe the business environment with the objective of improving existing systems. A new BA should constantly be on the lookout for fresh ideas and recommendations for improvement supported by facts and logic. See Creativity, Innovation & The Business Analyst.
6. Be Calm: The new BA should stay calm no matter the situation, and avoid getting into arguments with peers. This is particularly essential when relating with stakeholders who in a sense, are the customers.
7. Understand the role of a BA within a Project: A new Business Analyst should be able to understand their role in the project and work within the boundaries of proposing solutions and recommendations for improvement. See The Project Manager and Business Analyst Collaboration
8. Always focus on growing knowledge and skills: Continuous learning should be the mantra. Activities geared towards professional development can have a huge impact on how well and quickly the business analyst can learn and start making a difference. Education of the new BA should be ongoing to continually add value to the business.
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