Is there a generic job title or description?
A lot of people ask me for a good template for a BA role – but I tell them there is no such thing.
A BA “helps people understand things”, but different business analysts help different people understand different things in different contexts. Some may not even have the job title of BA.
Fortunately though, it is possible to agree on what a BA is doing on a specific project, or for a specific client. Doing this can help with setting and managing expectations.
How can I explain my BA role to someone else?
I always start with a sentence about why the BA is there in the first place. This is a much better starting point than trying to list all the things a BA might do without providing the reason.
I like using the purpose statement I found in a book called “Stand Back and Deliver”. Or at least I like using a modified version.
Firstly, complete the sentence – “As a (my role) I help (someone) understand (something) so they can (make a decision).
Next – try to clarify your top three deliverables, tasks or accountabilities. Putting these in order usually leads to a friendly argument and prioritising them is often very helpful.
After that it is sometimes useful to document how you will deliver the understanding (eg a requirements document, a management presentation or a position paper).
Finally it is sometimes worth adding the things that you need in order to succeed (access to particular people, someone to make or confirm decisions, feedback on your understanding etc).
This can all be captured in an email or a simple “role profile for a specific piece of analysis) so I have included a potential form to use below. The idea is not to complete the form but to see if you and your stakeholder agree on what you are there for.
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