Real Words that Work - Editors and writers can be friends (with work)

By Patricia Davies, President, Patricia Davies Communications

Editors and writers can be friends (with work)

Many business analysts become attached to their words and view those who muck with them as ignorant, evil or misguided.

For their part, editors (the person in charge of approving a BA’s words, whether their title is “editor” or not) throw up their hands in despair at the documents they receive that are long, convoluted and devoid of useful information.  The writer/editor relationship is fraught with possibilities for misunderstanding and confrontation. Here are some ways for avoiding physical harm on either side.


  • Don’t send back a complicated “track changes” document without telling the BA (by phone or in person) why you altered the copy. You must have a logical reason for every change.
  • Use a firm pencil but gentle attitude. You are responsible for cleaning up sloppy writing and guiding your BAs, not for eviscerating egos.
  • Don’t take the editing process personally. It’s not about you, but about making your words work better. 
  • Admit someone else might have valid ideas to improve your writing.
  • Stakeholders’ needs for clear and concise information trump all other agendas.

Patricia Davies is an award-winning writer and editor, an Endorsed Education Provider with IIBA®, and a regular panelist on the IIBA “Being a BA: Effective Communication” Webinar (first Tuesday of every month). Have you got a writing question? Please email to and we’ll try to address it in a future column or Webinar.