The Layman BA

Anu is an experienced Business Analyst/Project Lead with 8-plus years of experience in Telecom.

As a business analyst/project lead in the telecom industry, I have represented mainly customer service and sometimes sales on capital projects. My role involved understanding the project deliverable and analyzing how it would impact the teams that I represented.

When discussing requirements, a typical conversation with PMs on a couple of projects have been like this:

Me: “I will get the SMEs to review these requirements. I can provide my feedback or approval then.”

Project manager: “But aren’t you an SME?”

During my eight-plus years of experience, similar questions have come up during chats with solution designers, testers and solution architects, too. Every time I am asked this question, I wonder why there is an assumption that a business analyst will also be a subject matter expert. Even if that’s the general expectation, personally I prefer to be a layman when wearing the business analyst hat. Why?

  • Giving that “inclusive’ feel: Whilst I might have a high-level understanding of work carried out by the impacted teams, I prefer to get the deliverables reviewed by the teams’ SMEs before I provide approval/feedback to the project. The frontline teams feel inclusive when their inputs are taken into consideration during a new product/feature build.
  • Too many cooks don’t spoil the broth here: When a …

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