15 April 2008

BA Communications - intro

An important aspect to the role of the business analyst is communicating.

It’s a moot point that effective communication is critical to project success. That includes communication across the team, into the team from third parties and out from the team to stakeholders, the client, suppliers and others. Without effective communication things break down quickly.

If projects are engines of change, communication is the lubricant.
So when we look at the role of the BA there are certain communications activities and, more importantly, outcomes that are required for their role to be effective, and if done well, optimised.

The clichéd line about the BA being a translator between IT and The Business is a clue to the importance of communication in the requirements management process.

While the translation task is not the defining attribute of the role it is a significant one, and it is significant enough to be its own Knowledge Area in the BABOK. Similarly Communications Management is a KA in the PMBOK.

I am participating in the practitioner review of the BABOK and before I dive into the content I wanted to frame my personal views on how BA communication activities should be managed.

It’s easier to review a document if you map out your expectations. That way you can identify gaps or differences in point of view at a strategic level, as well as simply identifying errors.
And being a blogger, I am putting my ideas up here for you to read and possibly share your opinions on.

Picture by nathaniel s at Flickr


  1. Anonymous7:22 am

    You're right on point. Communication is key. I'd also add that the role of BA is changing and growing in importance... evidence this summary I received from Forrester today:

    "Everyone agrees on the importance of the business analyst role, but few know exactly what it is that business analysts do. In truth, there are two main types of business analyst: business-oriented and IT-oriented. But with the move from information technology (IT) to business technology (BT), the distinctions between these breeds of analyst are blurring. Many business analysts will continue to specialize in one or the other of these domains, but a new breed of business technology analyst will emerge to play a new role implementing changes to business policies directly within supporting software."

    Their world view matches my own experiences. There is an emergent role within the enterprise; for those analyst/strategists who can not only communicate, but see the bigger picture; span the continuum between strategic and tactical; find hidden connections; bring order to chaos and help IT and Business deliver transformational value to customers and shareholders alike.

    Scott Quick
    The Catalyst Group

  2. Scott,
    Thanks for the comment. (I like your blog by the way.)

    Stick with me while I run through a few more ideas over the next couple of days.

  3. Anonymous4:25 pm

    Thanks Craig. Be patient with me as well... and please feel free to contribute your insights.