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Business analyst with extended role (#3): evidence of success

In the previous article in this series, I said I'd answer the question whether there is any evidence of success of Business Analysts (BAs) with the extended role/skillset.

Are there such blended-role BAs?

Up to end of 2007, I had created more than 50 BAs with [Analysis] + [Design] capabilities at a Nasdaq-listed software services company.

I did it for one driving reason . . .
To bring a business process centric approach to the company's software development practice

This team delivered unprecedented value to the company's Global customers. The value included 100% to 200% user productivity gains (from reengineered applications), streamlined business process at application level, and occassionally, improvements to the end-to-end business process.

The new breed's broader role was essential for actualizing (completing) the good work they did during the Analysis phase. High-level process-centric UI architecture became an integral responsibility.

How are they different from other blended-role BAs?

Of course, they have other skills too. Most of them came with a bachelors degree in computer science. And I trained them in the business process centric approach and in process-centric UI architecture. Besides, I had created a culture of Innovation within the group that enabled them to "boldly" recommend process innovations.

Many software teams ask the BA to do both analysis and design. But their reasons are different. For example, the project manager might think it is smarter to use fewer resources. Or he/she might have other reasons such as non-availability of trained UI experts. It is important not to confuse such practices with the blended role/skillset that I'm recommending. When I recommend that BAs do UI arch, I do so for the 3 different reasons I outlined in article #2. And -- more importantly -- I'm talking about having the BAs specially trained for the new extended role -- not in conventional UI/usability engineering, but in business process centric UI architecture.

I hope to profile one or two of the new-breed BAs in this series.

Have they done real projects?

Up to end of 2007, more than 175 application development/reengineering projects have used the new breed of BAs to implement a business process centric approach. And all the customers were Fortune 500 and Global companies.

Some related articles . . .


  1. Pradeep-

    I guess "the blended" role always existed for BAs, it is just more pronounced now. The reason being the influence of Agile methodologies on software development and a realization that the roles played in a project are not mutually exclusive.
    From my personal experience as BA i have realized that it is always good to be involved in all phases. BAs bring a very different perpespecitve during design and architecture, I love this phase and as it exposes the gaps in the requirements and provides an opportunity to negotiate with the business.
    UI architecture must be led by Business Analyst. As this is the time when the documented vision starts taking some kind shape and requires a lot stakeholders feedback... I have done in my every assignment be it creating wireframes using visio or working with UX team for developing protypes.

    Great Blog!!
    Keep writing


  2. Thanks, Ranjan. As you say, the blended role has always been around.

    Just wanted to highlight this ... the blended role I'm suggesting is not about designing the UI arch. as an additional activity or as it is done by UI specialists (with a focus on human factors). I'm broadly talking about (1) Viewing the UI as business process, (2) Picking up process centric methods and skills, and (3) Operating in a a company or project environment that enables (process) innovation.

    Wishing you sucess with your blog!

  3. Hi All,

    I know a little about this extended role Pradeep is talking about ... it is not about "I also do UI arch." Rather, it is a deliberately created role for which the BA is specially trained and used as part of an overall business process centric approach".

    The typical skills in this kind of a role would involve having the ability to visualize the UI in the form of business processes and apply business process oriented methods to UI architecture..

    Aveek Basu
    Business Analyst
    Trained by Pradeep on Process Centric Business Analysis.

    Do mail me at with any further comments ...


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