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If your answer is that you always wanted to be a BA and this is your chance, then these

steps will help you make the professional transition you desire.

1. Understand the Business Analyst role At its core, the BA role classically has three
basic job functions. First, it is the primary intermediary between the programmers
building software and business users requesting it. Second, is the collection of business
requirements from the business users and their conversion into a Business
Requirements document that is used by the programmers as the basis for the software
being developed.

A BA may also perform a number of other important tasks, based on the company and
the circumstances of a particular project. These tasks include project management (on
smaller projects), software testing, application selection and implementation of cloud-
based products, and software training/rollout.

2. Understanding the needed Business Analysis skills BA skills are very different
than programmer skills. The primary skill needed to be a programmer is the ability to
write, implement, and maintain software. The primary skills needed to be a BA are
communication with business and IT people, requirements gathering, and document
writing. Based on the particular company, skills such as project management, giving
presentations, product selection, software testing, and other related project-oriented
functions may also be required.

3. Do a personal gap assessment Honestly and purposefully do a personal


assessment, comparing your skills, experiences, strengths, and weaknesses against
the particular tasks performed by the BAs at your company.

4. Show your interest in becoming a Business Analyst It may sound premature to


begin expressing your interest now in becoming a BA, but expressing your interest
sooner, rather than later, may cause you to opportunistically be selected to perform
small BA type tasks, such as meeting with business users or defining the business
requirements for a new report or small system upgrade.

5. Pick a business specialty By picking a business specialty, I mean selecting the


specific business area to expand your knowledge. For example, if you have been
programming systems in the Human Resources area, you may decide, as a BA, to
specialize on Human Resource systems. This doesnt mean that HR will be the only
area you will ever work in, but it provides you with an initial area of business expertise.
Remember, a BA is the primary collector of business requirements. The better you
understand the business area you are working with, the easier it will be for you to define
these requirements.

6. Build the needed skills Your next task is to build your knowledge and skills based
on your personal assessment. This can be through a combination of company
sponsored training, evening college classes, self-directed searches on Google and
YouTube, participation in MOOC type classes, and other similar means.
7. Volunteer to perform Business Analyst related tasks As your knowledge and
skills start to grow, begin volunteering to perform BA type tasks. Given that you have
already expressed an interest in becoming a BA (#4 above), the new skills you are
beginning to acquire (#6), and your strong technical background, you should be well
positioned to be allowed to perform these types of tasks.

8. Assume the role Lastly, as time goes forward, begin talking and acting more like a
BA. That is to say, ask to be included in the meeting with business users, talk about
software benefits to the business rather than application features and technical details.
In essence, what this last step is trying to do is get others to begin thinking of you as a
BA with a strong technical background, rather than as a programmer moving toward
business analysis.