I recently saw a discussion on LinkedIn regarding the difference between Business Analysts and IT Business Analysts. My first thought when I looked at the title of the discussion was “what does that mean? There is no difference”.
I realize you can technically say there is a difference, but the point of a BA is to be the bridge between the business and the IT group. Part of the BAs job is to focus on what the customer wants, the other part is to focus on the solution to meet their needs.
If you are in a requirements session, that’s the right time to focus on the what. What are the requirements of the business? What’s not working today in their current process? But when it comes to documenting those requirements, turning them into use cases and writing future business process flows, you should be considering what the solution will be.
In the discussion thread on LinkedIn there were comments that some BAs made the statement that they were not IT BAs and didn’t want to discuss technology. As BAs we should discuss technology solutions, but they should be discussed at the right point in the process.
In our role as BAs we should be able to focus on business needs and then have the ability to focus on the solution to meet those needs. We are not playing the role of system architect, developer, or DBA, but we definitely should be working alongside the people in those roles to assist with coming up with the best solution to meet the needs (that the BA documented) of the business.