An End to Business Analysts Everywhere

AnEndtoBusinessAnalystsEverywhere90205232BlogWe tend to think of the terms “business analyst” and “business systems analyst” as different — yet similar — job titles, the former less technical than the latter. Let us stop and think about that for a moment. First, hyphen business and systems to create a new word business-systems then re-add analyst. This new term creates a completely new area of our profession to discover. Let us explore this further.

Defining Business
A business is a legal entity that exists to sell goods and/or services to consumers or other businesses to generate revenue, which may or may not be for profit. In combination with policies, people, processes and usually some technology, a business is a culturally driven entity, which exists to generate revenue in exchange for their goods and or services.

Defining System
A system is a set of interdependent and interrelated organic and or mechanical entities, which come together to form a cohesive whole. Systems have structure, behaviors, and dependencies and must exist in balance with their physical environment. As business analysts, we tend to think of systems as machines; however, a system is an all-encompassing term. Systems may be social, political, a set of tasks forming a process, a set of rules governing a process and even a set of biological procedures. Systems, embedded into other systems, tend to embed into yet other systems, and so on.

Defining Business-System
Simply put, a business-system is the aforementioned set of interdependent and interrelated organic and or mechanical entities, which come together for the express purpose of selling goods and/or services to consumers or other businesses to generate revenue. Some examples are the culture, which drives the organization, the leadership team that drives the culture, the human resources department, the information technology department, the customer care department, the list goes on. Business-systems are a combination of people, process, technology and the policies that govern their operations.

Now that we understand what a business-system is, it is very easy to see that a business analyst is really a business-systems analyst. This is not a technical role, but rather a more accurate description of the nature of our profession.

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2 comments

  1. drpdg Reply

    Folks, you gotta be realistic and recognize that what the IT sector calls “Business Analyst” or “Business Systems Analyst” has been around literally for hundreds of years and there are already plenty of professional organizations representing what we do with some very credible professional certifications.

    More specifically, the functions falling under what you are calling Business (Systems) Analysis is also known as Cost Engineering, Engineering Economists or Systems Engineering.

    Here are the LEADING professional organizations representing the PRACTICE:
    AcostE (UK) http://www.acoste.org.uk/template_content_R.php?page_id=335&

    AACE (USA) http://www.aacei.org/cert/whatCertOffers.shtml

    INCOSE http://www.incose.org/certification/CertProcess

    And to see the relative ranking of all the “Business Analyst/Cost Engineering/Engineering Economists/Systems Engineers CERTIFICATIONS go here: http://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/pmwj30-Jan2015-Giammalvo-Certification-Benchmarking-2015-update-featured-paper.pdf

    BR,
    Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia

    1. Perry McLeod Reply

      Comment: “Folks, you gotta be realistic and recognize that what the IT sector calls “Business Analyst” or “Business Systems Analyst” has been around literally for hundreds of years”

      First Response: Initial research was not able to identify any mention of the titles Business Analyst or Business Systems analyst dating back hundreds of years. As an ISO recognized accredited profession, Business Analysis has only been around since the International Institute of Business Analysts™ (IIBA®) offered the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) and Certified Competency in Business Analysis™ (CCBA®) certifications in 2006 and 2010, respectively.

      Second Response: It is a commonly held misunderstanding that the Business Analysis Profession is an “IT sector” related one. Although information systems and IT-related projects take up a large majority of the profession’s time–necessitating FTE (Full-time Equivalent) budgets to come out of the “IT sector”–this is merely one fifth of the role when we consider modern enablers such as People, Process, Technology, Culture, and Governance.

      Comment: “And to see the relative ranking of all the “Business Analyst/Cost Engineering/Engineering Economists/Systems Engineers CERTIFICATIONS go here:…”

      Response: Dr. Giammalvo’s paper titled “Project Management Certification Benchmarking Research: 2015 Update” published by PM World Journal , a non-refereed and thus not peer-reviewed, eJournal, is not relevant in this case. “Since 2010, the author has been publishing an annual report, benchmarking many of the more popular, globally recognized project management certifications against both the US Professional Engineer (PE) license as well as Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 hour” rule.” (Giammalvo, 2015). The profession of business analysis, although similar to project management, with respect to requirements management, not held to these standards, cannot compare in this manner.

      Comment: “Here are the LEADING professional organizations representing the PRACTICE…”

      Response: With over 28,000 Members, over 230 Corporate Members and over 110 Chapters, [the] International Institute of Business Analysis™ (IIBA®) is the recognized, non-profit association for business analysis professionals around the world. (IIBA, 2015) Although peripheral to the profession of business analysis, the links provided are also, not relevant in this case.

      Closing Response Comment: This blog is not a call to retitle business analysts everywhere. It is merely a thought experiment intended to help us realize that the profession of business analysis goes far beyond the wall of the IT department. Business-systems are complicated and require many things to bring value to an organization including, people, processes, culture, and governance to function. The profession of business analysis, ultimately intended to understand the interdependences and interrelationships of business systems, as it relates to the needs of stakeholders and organizations, requires not just a technical aptitude but also a deeply Organizational-Psychological one.

      Source: http://www.pmworldjournal.net.