What is a Business Analyst?
The business analyst is responsible for eliciting the actual needs of stakeholders which frequently involves investigating and clarifying their expressed desires to determine underlying issues and causes. Business analysts play a role in aligning the designed and delivered solutions with the needs of stakeholders. The activities that business analysts perform include:
- Understanding enterprise problems and goals.
- Analysing needs and solutions.
- Devising strategies.
- Driving change, and
- Facilitating stakeholder collaboration.
What is a Business Architect?
The Business Architecture GuildOpens in a new tab. and several related professional bodies and industry standards provides a definition of business architect as: “One who applies business architecture to solve business problems and deliver business value”.
A business architect:
- Develops a business architecture strategy.
- Describes the primary business functions of the business enterprise.
- Defines the set of strategic, core and support business processes.
- Captures the relationships among business roles, business capabilities and business units.
- Communicates effectively with organisational stakeholders.
Business Analyst and Business Architect Similarities
Both the business analyst and the business architect have similar skills as follows which provides a good starting point for the business analyst seeking to transition to business architecture:
- Deal with and work with a level and degree of ambiguity.
- Ability to understand and reduce complexity.
- Ability to have a holistic POPIT (People, Processes, Organisation,
- Information, and Technology)
- Have excellent stakeholder analysis and management skills.
- Have excellent problem solving, a variety of modelling techniques and critical thinking.
- Have excellent analytical skills.
- Be effective at written and verbal communication.
Business Analyst to Business Architect Development Areas
- Ability to lead and direct change in business organisations.
- Ability to interact with people at the executive level.
- Develop a higher tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity.
- Develop a greater deal of political acumen.
- Ability to think in longer time frames, e.g., over multiple years.
- Ability to describe things in a broader context.
Business Analyst to Business Architect – Leverage Business Analysis Knowledge Areas
A business analyst seeking to transition from business analyst to business architect role can seek out projects and engagements and seek to develop skills and experience across the business analysis domain to aid the transition into business architecture:
Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
During business analysis planning and monitoring, the discipline of business architecture requires business analysts to understand the organizations:
Strategy and direction.
Operating model and value proposition.
Current business and operational capabilities.
Stakeholders and their points of engagement.
Plans for growth, governance, and planning processes.
Culture and environment, and
Capacity for change.
Once these elements are understood the business analyst can start to develop an understanding of architectural viewpoints.
Elicitation and Collaboration
Business analysts working in the discipline of business architecture typically deal with a great deal of ambiguity and uncertainty. When undertaking elicitation and collaboration tasks, business analysts consider changes in organizational direction based on external and internal forces and changes in the marketplace environment.
To aid with the transition from business analyst to business architect a business analyst can become a member of various steering committees and advisory groups. This will help the business analyst gain the business architect’s skill to utilize formal communication channels within projects, initiatives, and operational groups to communicate the organization’s strategy, explain the organizational context, and advocate alignment with the strategy.
Requirements Life Cycle Management
It is essential that business analysts seeking to transition to business architecture have executive support and agreement on the work to be undertaken.
A business analyst seeking to transition into business architecture can learn and understand how projects impact business architecture on an ongoing basis and work to continually expand, correct, or improve the business architecture.
Business architecture can play a significant role in strategy analysis. It provides architectural views into the current state of the organization and helps to define both the future state and the transition states required to achieve the future state.
A business analyst seeking to transition to a business architect role can learn and start to develop roadmaps based on the organization’s change strategy.
Requirements Analysis and Design Definition
A business analyst seeking to transition into business architecture can learn to focus on the value provided by the organization from a holistic view and attempt to avoid local optimization.
Business analysts seeking to transition into the discipline of business architecture can start to analyse the results of measurements and factor these results into subsequent planning. Business architecture asks fundamental questions about the business, including the important question of how well the business is performing.