Business Analysis is more than just a Title

In late June we kicked off a new project for International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for the IIBA® website. For those of you unfamiliar with SEO, it is about improving the searchability of your website on the Internet. One of the challenges with SEO is that search engine algorithms change regularly so you are never finish the initiative. To ensure we started off well on the search engine optimization journey, we hired an SEO expert.

At our first meeting the SEO consultant began by asking questions: what are our goals and objectives for the website, who is our target, what’s the context, what are your greatest challenges? He was, in fact, eliciting the requirements for the project. We weren’t even 10 minutes into the conversation when I said to him, “Do you know you’re a business analyst?”

He said he didn’t, but that is essentially the job he was doing—asking the right questions to discover our needs for this project so he could recommend the right solution to achieve our goals.

We spent over an hour discussing the ways in which IIBA supports the business analysis profession. One of the targets of IIBA is people who don’t know they are BAs. These people could be in the area of change management, business process, enterprise analysis, or our topic this month, agile. Our SEO consultant would be considered a usability BA.

Part of our SEO project is finding ways to reach the people who don’t know they are BAs by uncovering the topics they are searching for online, answering their questions and delivering solutions to their problems.

Do people want to know they are BAs, especially if they are in another related field such as agile. The response is mixed. For people who realize that business analysis is a recognized profession and the role that is becoming increasingly valued in companies large and small, across all industries and around the globe, it is positive. Being part of a larger professional group creates awareness and momentum because there is power in numbers. For some though, the old perception of BAs as assistants to project managers or other roles, the awareness is a mixed. We all need to advocate for our profession.

By-the-way, by the time we finished our call, the SEO consultant was convinced he was a BA.

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