Business Analysts – Story-Tellers Or Story-Shapers?

Posted by Jay Capco on 29 October 2012

One of the best and most satisfying parts of the business analysis process is the presentation of the analysis. As a very visual and conversational person, I like using diagrams and being the narrator, I like being able to take my readers and audience through a journey – starting from setting the scene (Current State), problem statement through to the light at the end of the tunnel (Desirable Future State). It’s pretty riveting stuff. It's always a challenge to be able to put together a compelling and effective presentation. But when all the stars align - awesome.

I believe that at the beginning of any assignment or project or even a task, my clients already know what’s at the end of that tunnel, but how we work together to get there is where the fun and excitement lies. As a business analyst my approach to this is to guide my clients towards shaping that outcome by facilitating the discussions (workshops), prompting the thinking process (brainstorming), asking the hard questions (elicitation), prodding for decisions (requirements negotiation and management) and providing timely analysis (requirements analysis), be it through requirements or the effective use of information. In effect, taking their vision and adding the missing pieces to make it whole.
So, do BAs take on the role of story-teller or story-shaper? For me, it's a little of both. The very act of story-telling ensures that I’ve played an important role in shaping that story.