Advance From Business Analyst to Business Architect

The wilderness between IT and business is our realm. We wrestle semantics and drive out definitions. We begin as Analysts and advance to Architects.

We’re not strictly tech and we’re not strictly business. The definition of what we do is usually written in semi-tech language (we write requirements). But how do we write those requirements, what makes us different? How do we see things and why do we see them in the way that we do? What is the potential of the Business Analyst profession? What do senior managers want that causes them to listen to us? How do we move from Business Analyst to Business Architect? How do we advance ourselves in our positions and advance the profession as a whole?

Let me define the difference between an analyst and an architect. The differences are subtle but I will try to define the three most critical as I see them.

- A Business Analyst reports to developers or an IT project manager. A Business Architect reports to managers or senior managers who may be business or IT but are independent of the project.

- A Business Analyst documents requirements as defined by users. A Business Architect documents and may define a business strategy using requirements provided by the users.

- A Business Analyst operates within the confines of a predetermined technical architecture. A Business Architect is a part of the decision making process to define the technical architecture.

A few more things:

- An Architect is considered a neutral voice and because of that will make more critical decisions than an Analyst.

- An Architect must have the ability to think in both a strategic and tactical manner whereas an Analyst is normally tactical.

- An Architect must be cognizant of enterprise strategies whereas an Analyst is normally concerned with specific projects independent of enterprise strategy.

So we see that each type of “BA” is necessary. How do you become the best BA you can be? Or how do you move from Analyst to Architect? Hopefully I can provide some tips. If this interests you the next few posts will concern listening to the needs of the business in order to become the one who assists in driving out the business strategy – if that’s what you want to do.

Until then – Dum Spiro Spero! (Look it up on Wikipedia)

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18 Responses to “Advance From Business Analyst to Business Architect”

  1. Eve Spiller Says:

    Architect, sigh. one day!

    Reply

  2. Shannon Says:

    Thanx u hev helped a lot!!!!!!

    Reply

  3. Mark Tattersall Says:

    Great article. I also see a lot of cross-over between the BA role and user centered design (UCD) processes and techniques. Both are used for eliciting user requirements from a functional standpoint, whereas UCD introduces a more emotive element. Therefore an additional career development path open to a BA may be to merge or transform in to an Information Architect type role. If that is where your interests lie of course. I posted on this very topic recently under “Business Analyst or Information Architect?” http://wp.me/peLEx-H

    Reply

  4. Norbert Says:

    Now that our media companies and it appears are policies are traded for cash, what is there to check the continuing consolidation of power and diminishing of democracy?

    Reply

  5. cooper Says:

    The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success. Talent is only a starting point in this business. You’ve got to keep on working that talent. Someday I’ll reach for it and it won’t be there.

    Reply

  6. Hassan Jacobs Says:

    I was very delighted to find this site. I needed to thank you for this special read. I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

    Reply

  7. Juan Batista Says:

    There is a clear difference between the two, as there is a difference between looking and doing.

    Reply

  8. Santosh Says:

    Hi, i just found a small correction to be done on your website. If you notice in this URL:” http://www.businessanalyst.com/advance-from-business-analyst-to-business-architect/ “, on top right corner – just above the search button some html comments which arent closed and are visible on this webpage.. this would be a small change to be fixed..

    Thank you
    Santosh Ganachari
    santosh.sg.in@gmail.com

    Reply

  9. S Kaur Says:

    Great article.

    Reply

  10. Kevin Craig Says:

    Hi,

    I am Kevin Craig, a financial writer. I’m looking for some relevant site where I can publish my finance articles.

    Do you accept guest posts? I would be highly obliged if you allow me to do relevant informative guests post in your blog.

    Please let me know what you think. I’ll be eagerly waiting for your permission.

    With regards,

    Kevin Craig

    Reply

    • admin Says:

      Sure Kevin, send them through.

      Reply

      • Bala Says:

        Hi,

        I have 7.0 years exp no IT feild with 4.0 years exp no BFSI Domain, now i am looking for BA jobs, is it mandatory to complete MBA ( regular) to take up BA jobs.

        Reply

        • Bala Says:

          I have 7.0 years exp in IT feild with 4.0 years exp no BFSI Domain, now i am looking for BA jobs, is it mandatory to complete MBA ( regular) to take up BA jobs

          Reply

  11. Mohammad Abu Hantash Says:

    very nice article,

    I am looking forward to be promoted as business architect as soon as possible.

    Reply

  12. Kell C Says:

    Nice article. In addition to responsibilities, it might be worth while to consider some the key traits of great Business Architecture. Here’s an article that sums up some key components of great business and software requirements:

    http://requirements.seilevel.com/blog/2012/04/requirements-architecture-part-1-what-is-requirements-architecture-and-why-is-it-important.html

    Reply

  13. the Meta BA Says:

    Great job. I would hope that a BA would consider enterprise level strategy at least a little bit or at least the project should have been initiated because of an enterprise level initiative.

    Reply

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