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)