November 30, 2019

What is the most important BA skill or quality?

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It’s a question I was recently asked by someone wanting to evolve into a BA role. I gave it some thought and came up with the following answer:


Why curiosity?

It drives you to research and try out the vast range of tools, techniques, methods and approaches that are available to you, for example in the BABOK®, but equally so in many other sources.

It triggers you to look beyond the “narrow” scope of how some people percieve business analysis (“only processes and requirements”), and lets you be influenced by complementary and overlapping roles and methodologies like product ownership, product management, design thinking, user experience, lean startup, business and enterprise architecture, project management, … (non exhaustive list ;-))

Being curious automatically means that you are really listening to your stakeholders and trying to understand their point of view and their reasoning. It lets you move beyond simply capturing requirements. It puts you in an empathic and non judging mindset of being really open to what people are saying. It helps you truly understand and connect everyone’s needs and suggestions.

It drives you to find out how things actually work, what the real underlying problem is, what the core opportunity is, what the insights behind the numbers tell you.

It triggers you to open up for alternatives and creativity. It drives a never-ending “How can we do things differently – better – cheaper – faster – …?” mentality. It makes you do this throughout the whole analysis – design – development – feedback iterative process and not just at the start.

It makes you ask “What if …?” and “Why not?” It makes you look for what’s possible beyond what seems impossible.

What’s your tip to always be curious?



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