Key fundamental skills of a ‘REAL’ Business Analyst

I am often asked what clients are seeking in Business Analyst contractors so I have compiled a list of key fundamentals that might be insightful.

  •  Exposure to various industries and projects. A real BA has the skill to extract and document business requirements from various sources (SME’s, user guides, workshops etc.). Professionals that evolve into BAs because of the strength of domain knowledge often have under developed business analysis fundamentals. Organisations don’t often recognise this until the BA is assigned to a project outside their domain knowledge and they are required to use their BA skills rather than their domain knowledge.
  •  Inquisitive and analytical. The value of a real BA is identifying items not thought of by other project resources … 80% of scope is identified by other project resources but a real BA will identify the remaining bits and pieces that make up the 100% that would otherwise have been missed, and are identified after implementation.
  • Good requirements are a key determinant of success. Clearly, stated requirements are listed as one of the top 5 reasons a project is successful. On that note- it is surprising how many BAs are not able to identify the difference between functional and non-functional requirements.
  • Excellent communication skills are essential. A real BA should have a strong and mature approach with the ability to push back and deal with difficult stakeholders effectively. They should build rapport and grow relationships with stakeholders from day one rather than when issues arrive and they are seeking to ‘fix’ things.
  • Passion. A real BA is focused on delivery and achieves job satisfaction by successful delivery of change/process.

These are the list of main skills I usually look for when recruiting for Business Analysts. However, it is important to note these are just a snippet of skills required. I’d love to hear your views on what other skills make a great BA so feel free to comment to start the discussion. Are you real?

This blog was written by Ellie Kostopoulos. Ellie is an experienced Recruitment Consultant specialising within the contract Project Services domain from our Melbourne Office. Feel free to check out Ellie’s bio page on our website for more information, social media feeds, and latest jobs.

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