In the past professionals were

What they can and can not do?

What certifications they had on their resume?

The heavy weight they carried of years of experience.

That was truly a rather dull approach to assess the capabilities of a human being. Assessing your employees is now becoming a practical approach based on their true impact and value to the business, not a checklist of “can dos”. How they are contributing to the goals of the organization, not how many hours they are present at the office or the number of follow-up emails they send per hour.

What has made us; the Business Analysts now the real silver bullet of business is that we are value driven … while many still do not fully grasp our role and scope of responsibilities but they will eventually see tangible results which is directly associated to our work. In the past decade, studies have proven that the introduction of the Business Analyst /Requirements Engineer Role has resulted in 20% decrease in projects failure. Our role is becoming of critical significance to the success of businesses. According to the IIBA, hundreds of thousands of Business Analyst Jobs will be needed across the world in the coming years.

We shall witness a significant increase in Business Analyst roles mounting up to 20-25% increase by 2020. Perhaps the strengths lies in our analytical thinking; our multidimensional perspective. Because analysis teaches us to become whole brain thinkers; it increases our questioning skills, we become critical thinkers; we grow an ability to clearly associate the past, the present and the future. We understand both strategic goals of an organization and connect those strategic goals very simply to day to day tactical policies, business operations, and each minute change in any system or aspect of the business.

Trust me, few years ago, most people thought we were totally out of our minds when we selected one (longer to implement and more costly) solution option as more viable than another because we could foresee future functionality limitation which will ultimately come in need in a year or two.

Because good practice of business analysis trains our mind to link both the past and the future. We see previous mistakes, acknowledge shortages clearly and thus are able to anticipate the future … future business needs of an organization before its even perceivable by most executive and execution staff.

Senior executives are usually caught up in a futuristic snapshot of the business which may blur their ability to see the reality as it is now within an organization while execution staff are usually sinking in the now and the past.

There is a fundamental distinction between people; there are visionaries and doers. A highly skillful execution person can not see the future. They are usually highly task-focused and are restrained somehow from the glory of an
imaginative mind.

Business Analysts are neither intimidated nor confused by complexity, vagueness, ambiguity, contradiction or uncertainty. That’s our job. I personally admire such states and find an amazing professional fulfillment in bringing structure and clarity into a chaotic setup.

Not every Business Analyst can be a good Business Analyst and the reason is simply that domain knowledge and experience alone can not change the way your brain functions. Proper Practice of skillets and techniques will.

Analytical Thinkers are a rare species of people. You will know them right away when you meet one.  We are cursed but as Alan Norton had summarized in one of his articles, with every curse comes a blessing.

While there are so many research and literature out there on how analytical thinkers lack creativity due to their reality-based views, I disagree and see creativity interwoven in analytical minds.

The future -as we can witness- is no longer about technology being the answer and resolution to every problem we have. It is more about effectively using, maximizing the utilization of the assets and resources (enablers) of the organization (technology included) to serve the overall purpose (goals) of the organization. It is more about what you can do with what you have rather than having more (or wasting more).

Developing our own understanding of our competencies and using these competencies to the maximum of their potential is what shall shape the future of business in the coming decade.

Written by Angie M. Eissa, CBAP, MSc BIT, UK Founder & Managing Partner of Business Borderlines