Jourdan Arenson, Business Analyst
For Business Analysts who help build in-house IT systems at mega-global corporations, system requirements are usually not simply there for the “gathering.” Often the Business Analyst (BA) has to lead an expedition of requirement discovery across the continents to drive out the needs of stakeholders in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
If the organization has a chaotic history of mergers and hasty system integration, it is likely business partners and users are overworked and overwhelmed by the complexity of their own systems. The enhancement list may include more projects than the Dev team can possibly look at, much less build. Yet the BA may need to track enough details on all projects in the pipeline, so the Dev team can get working on any one.
In this fragmented, distracted corporate environment somebody needs to organize the vision, keep the focus, root out the issues, and drive the design forward. How can the BA provide this kind leadership without any official management authority? How can the BA stay top of all the dynamic complexity? How can the BA guide a distributed team toward the consensus and collaboration needed for successful, efficient software engineering?
This paper gives observations from a Business Analyst who has faced all these challenges, with a couple of twists not typical of BAs at large corporations: He’s worked from home full time for the past 12 years. And, for the past three years, he’s worked in an Agile Dev team.