Is there really such a thing as a business analyst mindset? I believe there is.
If you remember the analyst who became a special unifying presence on the project and to whom everyone reached out when something needed to be cleared up, you know what I mean.
If you are a project manager who relied on a particular analyst to explain the most complex concepts to a demanding stakeholder with patience and understanding, you know what I mean.
If you as a business stakeholder keep asking for your favourite business analyst to be assigned to all your projects because she could always understand your business problems and help you make informed decisions, you know what I mean.
If you are a seasoned developer used to dealing with vague and ambiguous requirement documents, and you fondly remember that one analyst who always gave you precise and meticulously verified requirements and always found time to review them with you – you know what I mean.
If you are a business analyst who loves taking on a new challenge every day and gets excited when finally figuring out something that eluded the team the last few weeks, you know what I mean.
If you remember that one person in the room brave enough to stand up and say “This does not make sense” when everyone else was just looking at each other and shrugging – you know what I mean.
The business analyst mindset is not a technique or a selection of tools. It is like a code of ethics: you have to be passionate not only about doing things right but about doing the right things. The business analyst mindset is about looking for a solution that makes sense as part of the big picture. It’s about solving business problems and driving changes that help the client, business or organization achieve their strategic goals. It’s about seeing beyond politics, individual points of view and departmental agendas. It’s about understanding your clients, users and stakeholders, recognizing their human traits and biases, and working with them to help bring about a positive change.
The business analyst mindset is about figuring out the right thing to do instead of following explicit directions. It is about questioning and analyzing with passion, about that innate drive to understand and to make things more efficient. It is about seeing what makes sense, even if you are the only one who can see it. It is about not being afraid to be different and stand out.
Do you want to do the right thing, rather than “capture someone’s requirements?”
Do you accept that human factors influence business problems, and recognize that it is part of your job to lead others to make better decisions?
Do you take responsibility for sharing and communicating requirements in such a way that helps everyone to understand them?
Can you recognize unnecessary complexity and help to simplify it?
Can you find the courage to speak up if what you are hearing does not make sense, even if everyone else stays quiet?
I would call it your business analyst mindset.
You have a right to disagree, of course. As for me, I ended up writing a whole book on the topic.
…Be honest now – have you just remembered a certain business analyst or a particularly vivid story from your own experience that speaks to the business analyst mindset concept? Please share!