12 Challenges faced within my Business Analysis Career
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Business Analysis is an ever-growing profession and gives you ample opportunities to explore and grow. This field helps you develop transferable skills which can be applied in varied domains across all industries.
A Business Analyst Professionals is seen as an individual who can be approached for solving problems, guidance, designing solutions and so much more... Business analysis has taught me a lot, professionally and personally and I highly recommend this career to others as well. There are many benefits of being a Business Analyst Professional, however, with the glitz and glamour comes some not so shiny aspects of being a Business Analyst.
Here are a few challenges which I have personally faced within my career journey as a Business Analyst:
1. You have a chance of feeling left out
There might be instances when you could feel you have not been involved in the discussions, which might result in feeling demotivated and lost - Which has taught me to stand up and use my voice when I know that my recommendations to move strategy forward is needed.
2. You can find yourself amidst stakeholder conflicts
This happens when there is a difference in opinion which will result in unclear requirements/solution approach and/or other documentation. There could be moments when the stakeholders are not happy with the documentation due to differences of perception and do not provide their sign off. All more to put in strong processes in place so that these conflicts happen less often.
3. Getting signoffs can take a long time and requires constant follow-ups
It's sometimes hard to get the stakeholder's time, you need to continuously follow up with them for signoffs. There might be moments when the sign-offs get delayed due to the unavailability of the stakeholders. A delay in sign-off means a delay in delivery.
4. Could get blamed for a project's failure
You may not get credit for the project’s success but there is a chance that you may be blamed for the failure of the project. This is why communication in your work is so important to show the value of the work you are doing and how it has moved this project forward, despite failures or not.
5. There are a lot of documents to be prepared and updated regularly
This work involves a lot of documentation and consumes a lot of your bandwidth in keeping them updated. Things are changing in the agile teams where no/less documentation is involved.
6. Your questions might not always be heard
Asking questions is a big part of the business analysis process, however if you ask too many questions or ask the same question repeatedly you can come off as someone wanting conflict or not listening. These situations have taught me that you might have to reframe your questions to get the answers you are looking for.
7. You might be given tasks that are not related to business analysis
This happens in other roles too; you are seen as a versatile person who can do many things apart from your regular work. Be ready to take some extra work along with business analysis activities. This is all part of growing and evolving your career.
8. Constant changes in the scope of the project
This increases the work and consumes your bandwidth, which is why it is very important to let your stakeholders know that timelines will have to change with constant scope changes.
9. Change in the requirements
Often stakeholders may demand minor changes, but for you that minor change could mean - changing the entire requirement and the solution approach. All the more to make sure you are openly communicating with your stakeholders on deliverables because of these changes.
10. You will be pulled into projects without proper handover & knowledge transfer sessions
There might be instances where you are expected to be productive almost immediately knowing complete ins and outs of the project. This is where asking questions becomes very important, so you can set achievable goals and deadlines.
11. There could be a misunderstanding of your exact role and you may be viewed as someone who only captures requirements
This happens when the scope of business analysis work is not communicated to the stakeholders. With the business analysis role constantly changing and evolving it is important to capture all the different work you are doing and make sure your leaders know how broad your role truly is.
12. Developing requirements around a solution, and not vice versa
This happens when you have a solution in mind and you try to fit that solution somewhere, so your requirements are based on the solution and not the solution based on the requirements. This is 101 business analysis principle that often try to mold to fit a short deadline or change in scope, so making sure you are going back to basics can help make sure you develop the requirements you need.
This is not an exhaustive list and only a few to name. Tackling these challenges is a business analysis skill in itself and the approach might be different depending upon the experience of the Business Analysts Professional. Overcoming challenges is part of everyone’s career journey and can be done individually or collaboratively. Connecting with other business analysts professionals can help find solutions to these everyday challenges, and you do not have to do this alone.
For more information and to start the journey to enhance your career or organization, please visit IIBA Career Center at careercenter.iiba.org
About The Author:
Nitin Kumar Deswal is an IIBA certified Business Analyst and has experience in varied domains- IT, Banking and Consultancy. Currently he is working as Business Analysts with a Global Bank..