Before deciding on what performance goals are necessary to focus on the balance between commitment to an organisation and commitment to career goals, it may first be necessary to understand the skills necessary to prosper in an IT Business Analyst job.

Business analyst career goals and skills.

This is a role that can be mentally demanding with many challenges and responsibilities - and these are reflected in the salary expectations for the IT business analyst role.  The IT Business Analyst must be able to brainstorm and form effective solutions to problems, acquiring the following skills and experience to help you meet your goals:

Communication skills

Having to facilitate working meetings, asking good questions, and listening to the answers, the analysts must have good communication skills.  Being able to communicate well via conference calls and web meetings is equally as important as face-to-face encounters.

Problem solving skills

Problems will be part of any project, especially since any projects are actually a solution to a particular problem or set of problems.  Analysts facilitate a shared understanding of the problem, possible solutions, as well as determine the scope of a project, all at the highest level.  Facilitating teams to solve technical challenges is also part of the role of the analyst.

Critical thinking and other skills in IT business analyst roles.

Helping a team settle on a solution by evaluating multiple options is part of the responsibility of an IT Business Analyst.  The role requires being able to discover the problem to be solved, listening to the needs of the stakeholders, and critically considering those needs. 

They must ask probing questions to unearth and understand the real need(s).  This makes critical thinking and evaluation skills vital to the role.  Other required skills may be documentation and specification skills, analysis skills, visual modelling, facilitation and elicitation skills, business analysis tools, key soft skills, relationship building skills, self-managing, technical skills (SQL, .NET, Perl, VBScript, etc), as well as industry and domain expertise.  With those skills in mind here are some common types of professional development goals to set for career progression.

Goal setting ideas for business analysts:

Use new techniques to broaden skills.

Using new techniques when working with the same stakeholders, on the projects in the same domain, and using the same methodology can help explore the requirements in new ways.  Changing things up even while working in a consistent business analyst role will force the expansion of a skill set.

Work in a new domain.

Working with new stakeholders increases the value of the skills of an analyst due to the broader exposure to new domains.  The skill set can be taking to a new level by doing the same type of work in a different context.  For career progression an IT Business analyst should look for an assignment in a new department, business unit, or business domain.

Work in a new methodology.

Analysts are exposed to new types of requirements specifications and new methodologies when working on different types of projects.  The more relevant core business analysis principles are also discovered through this challenge, no matter the type of project work.

Improve the business analysis process.

One of the best ways for an analyst to learn what works well and what does not is to be exposed to different projects, domains, stakeholders, and methodologies.  While work may change or mature, the process of an analyst may stay the same.  It is important, however, to incorporate what is learned into the business analysis process of the organisation, so others in the field can benefit.

Strengthen relationships with stakeholders.

It is easier to complete work when there are strong relationships with stakeholders.  Complacency may arise when working in the same organisation for a period of time and relying on existing relationships.  Forming a new relationship or improving a troublesome one are ways to strengthen your network.  Mentoring other analysts, having the ability to lead others is another way to progress to more senior roles.  Sharing knowledge is one way to build a reputation as a leader, as well as a team player.

Other progression goals may include taking on non-business analyst responsibilities, taking on more senior business analyst responsibilities, and getting involved.  This goal setting should not only focus on new initiatives and extra work, but rather investing in assigned projects and day-to-day work.  It is important to perceive work itself as a professional development opportunity, rather than performance goals as something exclusively above and beyond normal work.


business analyst jobs

business analyst jobs