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18 July 2007

Business Analysts are not Technicians

Projects@work has an article called Enter the Business Analyst.

It talks about how a good business analyst makes for better requirements management which mankes for better project outcomes. We all belive that, don't we?

As the article progresses the author goes to quote her case study BA in saying business analysts must have good competencies in IT;

That’s a lesson Phull took to heart more than a decade ago, when she started working with stakeholders doing business analysis. She had started out with a background in technology.

“You have to have done IT or engineering in order to be a good business analyst, because you have to understand the technical details. The best business analysts have had experience both on the business and on the technical side,” she says.

Well, I'm not so sure.

And if it's true that I.T. is on its way to commoditisation then it's definitely not true. My opinion is that an understanding of business is the key knowledge area, and technical literacy, while useful is not a critical success factor.

In fact, with good requirements management and communication skills avoiding IT or technical aspects ot a business problem may well be a strength.