In this episode, six thought leaders and I share predictions for 2018 and help you understand what it means for you.

Kupe Kupersmith

Kupe Kupersmith  |  KupeTalks

Prediction: There will be progress in the #NoRequirements movement.

Focus your attention in areas other than requirements.  Instead, focus on outcomes.  There are multiple options that can lead to the intended outcome.  We need to review those options and make decisions about which option to use to achieve the desired outcome.

Lora McCoy

Lora McCoy  |  LMc3 Consulting

Prediction: There will be a maturity of the Business Analyst role.

We will continue to see a growing maturity of the BA role in Agile and the development of a better understanding of the role.  There will be a recognition on the IIBA certifications as the de facto standard for business analysis.  Lora also hopes to see differentiation in the BA role as some people shift to more strategic, pre-project activities.

Paula Bell

Paula Bell  |  Paula A. Bell Consulting, LLC

Prediction: It will be less about the title of Business Analyst

We will hear more about the need for the business analysis skill set and less about Business Analyst role.

Adrian Reed

Adrian Reed |  Blackmetric Business Solutions

Prediction: We will see more value in the business analysis discipline versus the Business Analyst title.

As Business Analysts shift left and get more involved in strategic pre-project aspects, organizations will understand the value of business analysis but with less focus on the role title.  There will also be a divergence of duties and titles at the fringe of the BA role.

Bob Prentiss

Bob Prentiss  |  Bob the BA

Prediction: Organizations will start looking at business analysis as a life skill.

We will begin to realize that we all need fundamental skills in business analysis regardless of our title.

Kevin Brennan

Kevin Brennan  |  Straiteis Consulting Inc.

Prediction: We will see the end of Project Management (in the next 5-10 years).

The adoption of automation technologies will lead to the end of Project Management as a profession in the next 5-10 years.  Project Management is becoming a team skill and machine learning is well suited to take over the processes of estimation, scheduling, and forecasting.


Here are my predictions for 2018:

  1. There will be less Business Analyst and Project Manager job titles as measured by job postings.  I expect to see a 3-4% decrease in Business Analyst titles and a 5-7% decrease in Project Manager titles.  The skill set of each of these roles will still be in high demand, but the titles will be different.  There will also likely be a divergence in the BA role as some people move from tactical to strategic.
  2. With the role shift, there will be more focus on Product Manager and Product Owner roles and skills.  I expect to see a 3-5% increase in job postings with these titles/skills and an increase in conference topics in this area.
  3. There will be more of a focus on solving the right problem with the right solution.  I expect to see more organizations using Lean Startup and Design Thinking.  We should see more training and conference topics in this area.
  4. There will be a continued focus on AI, machine learning, and big data.  With it, there will be an increased need for data security.
  5. Soft skills such as facilitation, collaboration, and emotional intelligence will be more important than ever and we should see more demand for training in these areas.

There are some common themes in many of these predictions; both my own the the six thought leaders who shared their thoughts.

  • The world is rapidly changing and we need to change with it
  • Business analysis and project management are valuable skills, but the title of Business Analyst and Project Manager will get less focus
  • To be successful, we need to focus on developing our skills and applying them to create the right outcomes of our organization without getting hung up on titles


Listen to the full episode to hear how close I was with my 2017 predictions, learn more about our 2018 predictions, what you can do to be successful in the future.



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