Skip to content AI, Mentorship, and the Need for Business Analysts

AI, Mentorship, and the Need for Business Analysts

3 Key Takeaways from BA Digest (Q1 Edition)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect the perspectives of IIBA.
Receive free IIBA updates and exclusive content!    

It's been a few weeks since the Q1 edition of BA Digest has been released, which contains fifteen diverse articles. If you’re short of time, here’s a quick summary of three articles.  

1. How Do Organizations Know They Need Business Analysts?

In this compelling article, Robbie May considers how small and medium organizations know when to hire a business analyst. The answer lies in recognizing organizational challenges that require a change in operations.  
Using the “wet foot” analogy, Robbie describes how to spot these challenges. Much like a hiker with wet feet knows they need new boots, small and growing businesses should watch for certain “wet foot” symptoms. For example, if stakeholders are disappointed due to missed features or outcomes, this reflects a lack of shared understanding.  
Effective communication and engagement are crucial here. A business analysis professional can help identify and quantify the expected value of implementing an idea and ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page.  
It’s also important to evaluate whether the organization is constantly dealing with the consequences of previous changes. This may indicate a need for a business analysis professional to address the underlying issues.

2. What Does AI Mean for Business Analysts?

In the article “Looking back on the AI advances of 2023: Implications for Business Analysts,” Patrick Giwa reflects on the rapid progress of artificial intelligence (AI) recently, with many businesses integrating it into their products and services.  
One of the major breakthroughs was the development of generative AI. The technology behind generative AI, known as Large Language Models (LLM), enables AI to understand and generate human-like text and other types of media. Companies such as OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, and Midjourney have released more advanced AI models in recent months.

Initial concerns about AI replacing jobs have been tempered by the recognition that it will enhance them instead. The acceptance and adoption of AI as a beneficial tool for business analysis professionals is growing. Likewise, the focus has shifted from job replacement to using AI for better work outcomes. When used appropriately, AI can amplify business analysis skills.  

3. Speak Their Language

Having the best industry-standard content or solution doesn’t guarantee its intended effect.

The “lost in translation” issue is common and can be minimized by taking the time to "translate" the messaging into a language that stakeholders can relate to.

This could mean using familiar terms, jargon, or metaphors for easier understanding.

3. The Mentorship Life Cycle

Have you ever wondered how mentoring works? In “The Business Analyst Mentorship Life Cycle: A Strategic Approach,” Christelle Govender observes that the mentorship development life cycle closely parallels the product or software development cycle. 
Both cycles start by defining a problem or concept before designing a solution, whether it's a mentorship program or product. Recognizing these parallels allows business analysis professionals to leverage their existing knowledge to architect mentorship programs that bridge knowledge gaps and foster a thriving professional community.  
By linking the mentorship and product development life cycles, business analysis professionals can enhance the structure and effectiveness of mentorship programs by drawing on their familiarity with existing methodologies.  

Business Analysis Is an Evolving Discipline

The underlying discipline of business analysis is relevant to organizations, irrespective of their size. As AI adoption (and that of other tools) increases, the role of business analysis professionals will only grow in importance.  
Ensuring that technology is used in an appropriate and ethical way will be crucial. Business analysis is an evolving discipline, and it’s well worth considering mentoring others (or being mentored!).  
Whatever you do, remember that there’s a global network of business analysis professionals out there who are ready to help. Be sure to engage with your local IIBA chapter and take advantage of the wealth of content in IIBA’s KnowledgeHub.

For more thought-provoking articles like the ones mentioned above, be sure to download your copy of BA Digest—a free, open access, quarterly magazine published by Blackmetric that focuses on all things business analysis.   

About the Author

Adrian Reed is a true advocate of the analysis profession. He acts as Principal Consultant at Blackmetric Business Solutions, where he provides business analysis consultancy and training solutions to a range of clients in varying industries. He is editor-in-chief of the quarterly open-access magazine BA Digest, and he speaks internationally on topics relating to business analysis and business change. Adrian wrote the 2016 book Be a Great Problem SolverNow and the 2018 book Business Analyst

Must Read Blogs From IIBA

Business Analysis Community

Product Management, Avoiding Project Failure, and AI

Three key takeaways from the latest edition of Business Analysis Digest.
Read the Blog
Digital Transformation

AI’s Impact on Business Analysis

As businesses increasingly adopt artificial intelligence to gain an edge, the importance of business analysis will only grow
Read the Blog

Navigating Business Analysis Excellence: IIBA's Latest Corporate Benchmark Report

The latest IIBA Corporate Benchmark Report provides insights into the strategies and practices that drive business analysis success.
Read the Blog