In this episode, IIBA President Ken Fulmer shares eight competencies that are critical for success when working as a digital Business Analyst.
After listening to this episode, you'll understand:
- What a Digital Business Analyst is
- Why the move toward digital will change the way we work
- What skills and competencies are needed for success
- the next step in the evolution of the BA role
The concept of the Digital Business Analyst has been gaining momentum as more and more organizations develop their digital fluency. This trend is going to continue and to be successful, a Business Analyst needs to have specific competencies.
To address this need, the International Institute for Business Analysis (IIBA) has developed and continues to evolve a competency model for Business Analysts. There are 15 competencies for a Digital Business Analyst and many of those are new or expanded compared to the general BA competencies.
Digital is a different way of working. With traditional business analysis, your stakeholder focus is generally more on people that are internal to the enterprise. With digital, you have a more outward focus external to your organization. You will need to understand the needs and experience of your external customers.
Working in a digital organization is about using data and digital information technology systems as a driver. It also involves understanding what business models enable a customer-centric focus.
Competencies for the Digital Business Analyst
There are a number of competencies specific to working in a digital environment that will allow you to succeed.
- Understanding strategic imperatives: It all starts with an understanding of what your organization’s strategic imperatives are about. This allows you to bring the strategy down to actionable initiatives and provides clarity into the outcomes we’re trying to achieve.
- Understanding the customer experience: Focusing on the customer experience requires adopting an outside in focus. Understanding the customer and the challenges they face (using tools such as Customer Journey Maps) allow you to take that outside in approach and create solutions your customers need, want, and love.
- Reimagine business processes: The digital space moves quickly. In many cases, you may not only need to improve a process, but also completely reimagine a process and create disruption in your industry. To be successful, you need to understand business processes, how to analyze processes, develop new processes, and drive organizational change.
- Embrace agility: Embracing agility goes beyond the frameworks such as Scrum or Kanban and includes an understanding of Lean mindset and practices. We can harness the power of Agile and Lean thinking to bring about change.
- Continuous stakeholder collaboration: While stakeholder engagement is core to business analysis in any environment, engagement activities need to be continuous in a digital environment. The evolutionary and experimental approach with Agile and digital will require frequent feedback and conversations with stakeholders.
- Strategic use of data: One way to enable better collaboration with stakeholders and understand customers is through data. We collect a lot of data about our customers; through our interactions and through social media. Using data analytics to interpret that data and better understand our customers allows us to build better solutions. It also allows us to take an evidence based approach to decision making.
- Understand technology: You don’t need to understand technology at a software engineer level, but understanding technology will allow you to find new ways of working and new capabilities for your organization. You need to be able to work with business leaders and help them understand what is possible.
- Embrace product management: More and more organizations are shifting from projects to product thinking. As Business Analysts, we need to understand how to work with Product Owners and sometimes serve as a proxy for the Product Owner. We need to be accountable for the outcomes resulting from our products and establish a deep understanding of our customer and their needs.
These competencies will allow you to drive more value to your organization and help to elevate your skills and your career.
Listen to the full episode to get more details about the competencies that lead to success in a digital environment.
Reflect on these competencies and determine what skills you need to develop to be successful at the type of things you would like to do professionally. Then find resources to help build on your skills in that area.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- IIBA’s resources on Digital Business Analysis
- Discussion Paper – Business Analysis & Digital Transformation
- Malcolm Gladwell’s Spaghetti Sauce TED talk
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President and CEO of IIBA International
Ken is the President and CEO of the International Institute for Business Analysis. The IIBA is a global professional association for business analysis that’s expanding its expertise to new digital and leading edge practices to continue to apply analysis to both individual practitioner capability and to assist organizations in achieving better business outcomes.
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