Leaving the European BA Conference a fortnight ago I was really exited by the breadth and depth that the BA role is talking on and the pace at which it's changing. It's amazing how far the industry has come along in the last 12 months.
Hard skills such as Business Process Management, Agile, Business Rules, LEAN and Six Sigma are really coming to the fore in the BA world now. And that's being supplemented with a plethora of soft skills such as facilitation, creativity, innovation and even ethnography.
To me the wideing of the skills spectrum is a really exiting time for us as it should allow Business Analysts to fulfil the full value and potential that the role has to offer. I particularly enjoyed Joseph Da Silva's presentation at BA2010 entitled 'Nobody Knows Your Business Like Your Own Business Analysts' - Over the past two years at Skandia they've been using a subset of BAs to act as an internal consultancy organisation for the identification and resolution of business problems. - Just one of many functions BAs could perform.
Leaving the conference I've been asking myself two questions;
1) Why are all these skills moving into mainstream Business Analysis now? At first I thought it was just environmental. The economic position over the past few years has meant that organisations have been challenged to do more with less. The rapid pace of consumer end tech is raising exceptions of the tools we're delivering. Increased regulation over many sectors is providing it's challenges.
And then I thought again... that may be prompting change but it's not what is promoting these skills, that is actually our communities. As BAs face new challenges in their practices they're finding new ways to overcome them and sharing their learning for others to build upon.
2) What will happen to the role over the next 18 months? It's easy to speculate about a fragmentation and specialism of the role or perhaps pen portraits of some form of 'uber analyst' who can do everything! It's very difficult to predict accurately but one thing is for sure , it is our communities that are going to be crucial to that evolution. Key in terms of shaping but also in making sure that we develop and learn together as a global community.
Powerful stuff that the people working in the profession are directly shaping it's future. Having strong, effective Business Analysis Communities is more important than ever...