Key Differences in Senior Business Analyst and Business Analyst Roles

A business analyst after having spent a good number of years gaining useful experience in the field of business analysis often wonders if the time has come to move up the ladder and become a senior business analyst. But another question that pops up subsequently is whether he/she possesses the right skills, know-how and experience to do justice to the elevated role and the responsibilities that will come with it. Do you find yourself managing projects without knowing what you are doing? Are you lost in meetings or just don’t know what your role is? Join this course now, and become the resource that everyone relies on. The Techcanvass’s CBAP Training Course covers everything from how to scope a project, right through to reporting out at the end. Become an expert in solving business problems by earning your CBAP Certification with today’s most recognised certification programme.

Senior business analyst roles may vary significantly from one organization to another and even across different projects within the same organization. However, there are specific areas where we see a senior business analyst taking up higher and greater responsibilities as in comparison to a junior/mid-level business analyst. At a broad level, below are few such roles and responsibilities that fall into a senior business analyst’s scope of work –

 Strategic Analysis

 Senior business analysts are expected to carry out strategic business analysis in terms of understanding the business needs behind an initiative and understanding where it fits into the organization’s overall goal/ vision/ objective. Their role involves looking at the bigger picture and determining how the initiative at hand has an impact on other projects/ programs/ initiatives. Such strategic thinking activities essentially include understanding the fitment of the initiative to the organization’s overall strategy while also analyzing and determining the various inter-related initiatives. This helps business sponsors in taking well-informed critical decisions and planning for the initiative at hand as well as its impact on the other related projects/ programs/ initiatives.

Business Analysis Planning and Estimation

 Senior business analysts are meant to perform the planning and estimation for the requirements specific tasks/activities in a project. They put in efforts to understand the overall purpose and size of the project, stakeholders to be worked with, methodology to be followed in executing the project, processes that need to be adhered to and other critical characteristics of the project. These important aspects become inputs to the complete business analysis plan that outlines the business analysis tasks (typically involving all activities around requirements creation and management process), deliverables to be produced as well as the effort estimates for each task. Senior business analysts, thus, come up with a plan that is added into the overall project plan and is monitored for ensuring adherence to it by the senior management.

Handling Multiple and Complex Projects

Senior business analysts have the required skill-set and experience to work on multiple projects simultaneously while doing required justice to each of them. Such seasoned business analysts are able to utilize their expertise developed over the years to undertake responsibilities across multiple projects together. In addition, they are the chosen ones when it comes to tackling business-critical and complex assignments. Complexity can be in varied forms with a few mentioned below –

o   Project belonging to a completely unfamiliar domain requiring the need to understand business processes and any associated systems from scratch.

o   System to be developed interfaces with a multitude of systems needing detailed interface analysis.

o   Involvement of multiple business stakeholders across different business areas/ teams with the aim to reach consensus on requirements & solutions collaboratively.

o   Requirements are to be channelised through to stakeholders distributed across varied teams/ organizations who are leading solution implementation/ delivery.

Leading a team of business analysts

In projects with large scope where a team of business analysts work together, senior business analyst is assigned with the responsibility of managing their efforts as well. Senior business analyst plans their work, oversee their activities, remove any hindrances that are impacting their work and take accountability of their work as a true leader.

As needed, senior business analysts also mentor his/her team of business analysts by familiarizing them with tools and techniques that they can utilize in performing their tasks better. He/she also makes them conversant with the business needs, impacted business processes, required system capabilities and any other aspects they need to be aware of in order to perform their tasks better. In addition, senior business analysts also define performance measurement benchmarks to be used to evaluate the activities and deliverables of business analysts so that the required measures for improvement can be taken accordingly.

Apart from the aforementioned key differences between senior business analyst and business analyst roles, there are a few other important differences which are not as customary but are observed in some cases. Senior business analyst is tasked to add value as a consultant in pre-sales activities as and when required considering he/she has a detailed understanding of business domain. Another important role that separates a senior business analyst from his/her lesser experienced counterparts is that a senior business analyst is trusted by business stakeholders to understand their needs & priorities and empowered to act as their proxy in discussions with the delivery owners and other stakeholders.

Here’s inviting comments from the business analysis community to enlighten us with their views on what additional roles and responsibilities are taken up by a senior business analyst that separates them from a junior/mid-level business analyst.

About The Author

Techcanvass is an Information Technology Certifications training Organization for professionals. It offers internationally recognized certifications in the fields of Project Management and Business Analysis. It is a premier Authorized training partner of Project Management Institute (PMI), USA and a premier Endorsed Education Provider (EEP) of International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), Canada. Founded by IT professionals, Techcanvass is committed to make learning a more structured, practical and goal-oriented exercise. We also provide consulting services in the fields of Project management and Business Analysis. Techcanvass provides PMP Certification Course, CBAP Course, CCBA Course, ECBA Course and Agile Analysis Certification (AAC) Course.

About the Author:

Chetan Sharma is a professional digital marketer and blogger at heart. He owns multiple educational blogs like HSSLIVE and many others.