Skip to main content

Business analyst with extended role (#4): introducing Sunil G

In article #3 in this series, I said that Business Analysts (BAs) with an extended role/skillset have done real projects -- not 5 or 10, but 175 up to end of 2007. In this article, I'd like to introduce one of those BAs specially trained for the blended role.

Sunil G is a high-potential practitioner. I hired him out of college about 5 years back and trained him in business process centric software development. Sunil has made high-impact contributions in several application development/reengineering projects executed for North American companies. Broadly, his contributions have been in terms of: (a) Substantial user productivity gains and (b) Business process improvements at application and end-to-end process levels.

His activities in those projects have included:

  • Requirements gathering and definition, providing consulting and coordination at customer sites in the US and Canada
  • Unified business process improvement
  • Architecting the improved business process on the user interface, ensuring process-UI alignment (occassionally, Sunil designed the entire UI).
Sunil's skillset? Sunil came with a bachelors degree in engineering. This education helped him understand technical issues. Besides, it helped him be accepted by the technical team as an "insider" although his heart was focused around business process performance.
Sunil received training in the following areas at my process-centric design COE:
  1. Business process centric approach to application development
  2. Conventional business analysis techniques
  3. High-level industry training in most of the industries the company operated in
  4. Business process centric UI architecture.
Sunil has worked in projects spanning industries such as Life Sciences, Retail, Manufacturing & Logistics, Media, and Banking & Financial Services. Take retail, for example. The Account Manager of a Global retail giant emailed me saying how Sunil and team pleasantly shocked the customer with a process-centric application and process improvements.

If you have questions for Sunil, please post them as Comments here and Sunil would be happy to answer them!


  1. hi, when u say "occassionally, Sunil designed the entire UI" what do you mean? Thanks.

  2. Mayuri, the "blended-role" BA is only expected to create the ARCHITECTURE of the UI. This ensures that business objectives and proceses are effectively/efficiently actualized on the UI.

    From that point, "traditional" usability specialists take over to design the screens -- applying human factors principles. They, in turn, hand off to graphics specialists to apply visual/aesthetic principles. While these two specialists bring their expertise, it would be nice if the blended-role BA can stay on as a coordinator to ensure that process-centricity is not lost.

    Sunil's case is an exception in that he designed the screens too (which is a usability specialist's responsibility) because he had received training in that area as well.

  3. Thanks for the clarification Pradeep - the exception is exactly what i wanted to confirm.

    I cannot name the client but from my experience I do know that there do exist some Fortune 500 companies where it is the basic responsibility of the BA to "architect" the UI keeping the organizations' underlying blueprint in mind. To ensure that different products are able to talk to each other, while looking alike, some organizations (there may be more but i have limited exposure) have invested on well defined blueprints. So any functionality / business process has to be built upon that and it naturally becomes the BA's responsibility for architecting the UI.

    Sorry if i am trying your patience but i am just trying to relate what i know with what you are arriving at - i learnt on the job, not in any structured / formal way - so now that i am reading about a process, i am trying to self-access the gaps i have.


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Well, as Aveek and I "cautioned" earlier, just adding UI arch. as another responsibility will not deliver process-centric apps or improved business processes or process-IT alignment. This activity needs to be done by folks specially trained for it AND it should be practiced under an overall process-centric framework.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Explorer mentality Vs conqueror mentality

A fixation on competitors and on beating them is evidence of what Amazon's Jeff Bezos calls a conqueror mentality. In contrast, people waking up in the morning thinking how to innovate for the customer -- and having intense fun innovating -- is evidence of an explorer mentality.

The explorer mentality resulted in Amazon allowing negative reviews of its products. Reacting to this, a book publisher objected, saying "You make money when you sell things." But Bezos thought, "We don't make money when we sell things; we make money when we help customers make purchase decisions." So explorer mentality also demands a willingness to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

During his 16 years as CEO, Bezos' Amazon has delivered shareholder returns of 12,266% (industry-adjusted), and the company's value has grown by $111 billion. More in HBR Jan-Feb 2013.

M&A perspective: IT staffing Vs IT consulting

This report is a simple analysis by HT Capital -- a boutique investment banking firm in New York. It basically makes the point that being a staffing company (Vs consulting company) does not provide adequate returns to most investors, especially from an M&A perspective.

Peter Rozsa, co-author of the report, is a Senior Managing Director at HT Capital. He was also my "classmate" at a Columbia Business School executive education program. I have Peter's permission to make the report available here.

Click to download PDF report.

Corrupt media: lessons for better behavior

During the US election cycle, so-called "liberal" media outlets have been misleading the people of America and the world. They focused our attention on Trump's bad WORDS instead of on Clinton's bad ACTIONS. Even their polls and predictions were totally wrong.

Post-election, they continue to fuel division, violence, and racism.

US election reporting in India too has been hate-filled (Chidanand, for example).

In the midst of all this is a fresh, objective voice. Chetan Bhagat is not only an intellectual, but a rare truth-speaker. Here are 5 things he tells the elitist media:

You are not as smart as you thinkPeople are the keyUnfair criticism always backfiresDo not impose your views on othersGet out of the bubble.
Here's his original article.