But why be a BA? – Josh White

I started out my career in IBM with not much of an idea of what I wanted to do, so it was ideal for me to get the opportunity to experience a few different roles.

As you know, as mentioned in my first blog post back in July, my first role in IBM was as a Change Manager. This meant I was able to help deploy the output of a project – which ranged from a piece of code to help fix a problem with an application to helping deploy an upgrade or a new application to the client. This role did not give me too much exposure to how projects ran and the different roles and people that were involved in the particular projects.

My role now is, as you may have guessed, a Business Analyst. This role has opened my eyes to a number of projects, roles and technologies (Cloud, Analytics, and Mobile).

I had a fairly soft landing into the Business Analyst role as my role before this was supporting the Lead BA on the account helping manage the team of BAs and taking ownership of the training, commercials and support with resourcing. Through this work I got to see what the BAs were working on and also pick up on a lot of skills that a good BA needed to have. This gave me a good starting point for when I moved into my new role as a BA.

As a Business Analyst on a project I get to work with everyone involved in the project to some degree. This has allowed me to see what other roles involve without doing those roles myself which has helped me with understanding a little more on what I want to focus on in my career.

I get to be involved in a project from start-up all the way through until Implementation and project close and see how that project develops along the way. It is a client facing role and client interaction is key in order for the project to be a success. I am relied heavily upon by the developers who are not in the UK and they look to me for guidance and answers based on my interactions with the client Project Sponsors. On one of my projects I am the only team member who is from IBM and so I have a big responsibility to make sure that I represent IBM in the best possible way and to potentially make sure that I and IBM are given future work in that area, particularly as I am in the spotlight from the client.

In my role as a Business Analyst I have worked with a number of experienced people both within IBM and also from the client as well as other partners on the account. I have worked with Solution Architects, Project Managers, Database Developers, Java Developers, Test Managers, App Support and also SMEs in various areas – basically everyone involved on the project team. I have also performed some of the Project Management and Test Management activities during my time on projects to help increase my experience in other role areas.

Working for so long on projects throughout the project lifecycle has given me a chance to learn a lot about the software/tools we are using to implement the project for the client. On one of my projects we built a KPI reporting tool on SAP Business Objects and so I learnt about the capabilities of the platform and how it worked which helped me when speaking to the client and also meant I was able to perform client demo’s (one of which I did with some Client Directors) and training comfortably.

Being a BA has really opened my eyes to what is involved and what other skills are needed in order to perform other project roles well. It also gives me the opportunity to work on projects in different areas such as Mobile and Analytics and work with a lot of different people. It will definitely stand me in good stead when moving onto my next role and it has given me a good grounding into project life.

If you would like to know more about my work as a BA and detail about projects I have worked on please feel free to contact me as it is a great role to have.

Happy reading, Josh

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