The 1 thing business analysts should avoid

There’s a lot written on the topic of common mistakes made by business analysts. That’s because considerable thought is given to how good business analysis practice can add value to an organisation, which is important for sustainability and growth.

Some of the bigger issues for business analysts are:

  • Failure to see the bigger picture and the problem that needs to be solved, which results in poorly aligned deliverables,
  • Being too solutions focussed, which leads to requirements written for a solution that does not satisfactorily meet the needs of the organisation,
  • Missing requirements in the specification or requirements are poorly expressed, which causes misinterpretation and wasted time in rework,
  • Poorly managed requirements due to inadequate tool support (i.e. no traceability), and
  • Inadequate stakeholder involvement, which results in signing off requirements without sufficient collaboration and verification from all user classes.

In my experience, the risk of these issues occurring can be significantly reduced with good planning. In my opinion, not planning your work is the one mistake that business analysts must avoid from the outset.

By adequately considering the goals and objectives of a project, the problem you’re solving, and the desired organisational outcomes, you will be better placed to focus your activities in the right direction. And you’ll mitigate the larger risk of some of those common business analysis mistakes occurring.

Of course there’s no guarantee, but you are putting your best foot forward by taking the time to think through your approach. And that gives you the comfort of knowing that you’ve done your best to communicate and mitigate any identifiable risks to the project at the level of your work.

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