Project Management

Defining the Business Analysis Role

Michael is the Managing Director of Procurro Solutions in Vienna, Austria.

If one was to define at which stage the business analysis profession is in right now, I would say it’s still in its infancy. Most people would have problems in actually defining what a BA is, and the duties will most likely look quite different depending on the sector being described. The situation will also look different depending on the region of the world you are located in; it can be seen as being in continuous evolution.

This shouldn’t be surprising. I see a commonality between this situation I’ve described and the historical development found within the project management profession. In the beginning, the PM was seen as being a coordinator, and these tasks were seen as being an extension of one’s functional duties. The project managers among us know all too well that coordination is only a minor sliver of the tasks we need to execute, but it took time before organizations also came to that realization. Regardless, I have seen a clear, positive development over the last 15-plus years (witness the number of PMP-certified managers today if additional proof is needed).

How do we define the business analysis role? What are the competencies required? Are such individuals always called business analysts? This is where we start. If we are not able to define the tasks we perform as a business analyst, how …

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"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation."

- Henry Kissinger