Team Chronicles: Dive into the Mind of a BA – Part 1

 

Meet Chris, a business analyst at Be Positive.  Chris began his Be Positive journey in 2019 and and has swiftly became an integral part of the team, recognised for his invaluable contributions.  With a wealth of expertise in business analysis and exceptional proficiency in conveying intricate concepts, Chris has successfully guided our customers across a range of projects and assignments.

Throughout this interview, we will dive into Chris’s professional journey, his distinctive approach to business analysis, and the noteworthy challenges he has encountered in his pivotal role.


Can you walk us through the steps you take when approaching a new project or a problem?

“Yeah, so generally, when approaching a new project or a new problem, there are a few things I like to do just to make sure that I get a good understanding of what’s required. One of the main things I like to do since I started at Be Positive, would be to develop a BOSCARD. It might be something that I only use for myself and sometimes that is better, just in case you get the wrong idea of things, but I think creating a boss card is a good way to start. It gives you an idea of the background, any objectives, scope, or anything like that. And I think that gives you a good grounding when you start a project. You can kind of plot out your key stakeholders, who you think they are, what power they have, all that sort of thing. And you can move them around a bit like a game of chess, based on where you think they could fit best.

Additionally, something that I always try to do is meet with the stakeholders, providing that they’re available. I would try and meet with as many of the stakeholders in that organisation as possible to understand where they’re coming from, their points of view, and that way of thing.”

What skills & experience from your previous roles have helped in your current role as a business analyst?

“Yeah, so I’ve been with Be Positive for just over four years at this point, and I started on their graduate programme, now the entry-level BA programme. I didn’t have any business analysis experience prior to that. For the three and a half years before working for Be Positive, I worked as an English teacher in Japan. My degree at university is in modern languages, specifically French and Italian. I studied abroad, and I’ve always been interested in different cultures and that sort of thing. I’ve been around different places in Europe and thought I wanted to go somewhere further.

It’s not necessarily BA experience, however a lot of what I did was teach conversation classes and I had to practice asking leading questions. I gained many transferable skills. As a BA you need to be able to identify the right questions to ask to get to where you want. I had to kind of draw on everybody’s skills to try and get everybody to develop. So that was helpful too. It was also a big organisation I worked for and there were certain business-type responsibilities.

I worked on my communication skills, being able to explain in a simplified way what you’re wanting to get across, because I would teach different levels of students. Some were advanced, and I could talk normally, some weren’t. I had to simplify things, and that can be helpful as a business analyst because sometimes you’ve got an IT concept, for example, but you’re trying to explain that to somebody in the operations area of the business that has never used the technology before. It is like you have to try and translate almost. My experiences as a teacher, even though they weren’t directly BA experiences, have actually been really helpful, I think.”

Why business analysis?

“I decided I wanted to come back to Scotland, and I was looking around to see what kinds of jobs I would be suited for. I didn’t necessarily want to stay in teaching, but I thought there are, as I’ve mentioned, skills that I have that I feel lend themselves to other industries.

I actually spoke to one of my mothers friends who used to be a business analyst and also had a background in teaching English and languages. And it was through speaking to her that I thought that this could be kind of the right fit.”

To be continued….

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