Business Analysis Success is . . .

Many business analysts are evaluated for performance based on measurables such as how well their work satisfied internal quality measures (quality checklists, compliance with the template), defect counts (essential, but often quite arbitrary) and on whether they completed their tasks and got approvals on-time. While those measures have value, I’ve found that one can give the appearance of doing very well in these areas, and still not necessarily be a successful business analyst.

If I am incented to complete work on time, and make sure all the quality boxes are checked, that’s exactly what I’ll do, and likely stop there. However, if I am evaluated based on  how well my work puts others in a position to deliver a successful solution, I won’t stop with check boxes and dates, but will strive to maximize the value of my work to those who will use it to do theirs.

While traditional quantitative measures are useful, they don’t tell the whole story. I’ve found that regular, qualitative feedback from stakeholders and team mates completes the business analysis success narrative.

During my time as a consultant and business analysis practitioner, I’ve come to rely more heavily on the following for determining whether I’ve been successful in my efforts. To me, business analysis success is:

  • Seeing a solution you had a part in delivering solve problems and have a positive impact.
  • Appreciation for your contributions and recognition from respected peers and leaders for a job well done.
  • Trusted advisor relationships with business and delivery stakeholders.
  • Being personally requested for upcoming projects, or hearing, “I’m glad you’re on this project” from business stakeholders and delivery team members.
  • Opportunities for growth and satisfaction in every change initiative.
  • A rewarding career path with new challenges, opportunities and responsibilities.

How do you define business analysis success?


About the Author

Jonathan Babcock is a management and IT consultant with expertise in business analysis, process optimization and solution delivery methodology. Practical Analyst is his outlet for sharing what he's learned, and for interacting with solution delivery professionals across the globe.

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  1. Great article.And also to an BA the success is defined as the value offered to the employer by bringing the necessary changes effectively and seamlessly.
    To rest of the world,if you want to learn basics of business analysis?.
    Check out my blog

  2. Success is measured by the Client’s perception regardless of how professionally immature the IT department is, how unreasonable the Business is, how much time and budget and resources have been allocated to the project, etc. In other words, a BA often times has to make the best of an otherwise untenable situation. After all, if a company could figure it out themselves, why would the dish out incremental dollars to bring in a Consultant? Sometimes success can be measured by how well you avoid the quagmires and implement something that works for as many people/business functions as possible. Regular project reporting can serve as a vehicle to keep tabs on the quagmires, the implementation, and the deployment of relevant functionality.

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