New Business Analyst considers next steps


Two months ago I was hired as a Business Analyst and am new to the IT industry. What should I do now to help my career?

First, congratulations on your new job and welcome to the new and exciting world of high tech. It’s a great place to be and welcome to our industry. To your question, being so new to the computer industry, I suggest you begin by trying to learn as much as you can about
1. Your company
2. The industry in which your company competes
3. The software development methodologies used within your IT shop
4. . . . and the best practices related to the business analysis profession.

Now is your time to learn as much as you can about your profession. As you will see over time, this desire to learn will provide you with many advantages as your career moves forward. Remember, that as a Business Analyst, your feet are in two worlds, technology and business. That is to say, your job is to play the intermediary between IT and the internal business areas that IT supports. That said, to be the most effective, you must be knowledgeable in three basic areas; the business analysis profession, the business area you support and the industry in which you work.

Regarding the business analysis profession, you must be skilled in the tools, techniques, and best practices related to the business analysis profession. These skills include:

• Interviewing techniques, so you can properly extract business requirements from business users
• Writing skills, so you can properly document the findings of your interviews
• Presentation skills, so you can present business cases to the stakeholders who are funding your proposed projects
• Communication skills, so you can act as the intermediary between IT professionals and business professionals
• Political skills, so you can effectively navigate the business potholes within both the business areas and the IT group
• Change management skills, to assist the business areas operationalize the new systems being created and/or purchased by IT

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