do you have business analysts?
Curious if people have business analysts on their team? Someone that writes business requirements/functional specs that has excellent business domain knowledge. They hand this off to Developers to write TechSpecs. Perhaps they do some testing.
We have an entire group of them. Their value is debatable. When the domain knowledge and communication skills are up to par they are invaluable to a project - when either is not up to snuff they are a great hinderance.
My experience is the same as ...
I function on my current team as a business analyst. If you are working on a project that requires highly specialized domain knowledge and you have a good one who really understands the business and the code, it is a good thing to have.
name withheld out of cowardice
yes, we have a highly specialized business product. the business analyst that we had was good! He knew his stuff.
We get pretty vague scopes, and generally we have to make our own business and tech specs. The big problem I have with that is I can't be both a technology expert and a business expert. I have spent most of my life becoming an expert at translating business rules into technology, and now I'm asked to create the business rules essentially just from talking to people. People that don't necessarily understand their own business. So I have to figure out how they're running the business!
We've got 8 plus 2 assistant business analysts for 2.5 developers.
Our business analysts are programmers
Formerly someone else
We have a group of "business analysts". There usefullness is debatable. One of the group is pretty good and has a pretty large domain knowledge, the others range from mediocre to really bad. We still get incomplete requirements and developers still have to do a lot of requirements gathering and cleaning up of the design, but that's fine with me (less chance for my job to be offshored and it's a break from pure coding).
i absolutely agree to the above that business knowledge is more important that technical knowledge.
worked with a business analyst in my last job. she did everything from writing up technical specs, to testing/compliance, to doing back and forth with clients. she made my job 10x easier. she also brought in delicious cookies. ah, i miss her...
then you get the Business Analysts with no domain business knowlege (they transferred from another department during a re-org years ago), but they've been with the company 80 hojillion years and no one will fire them. They typically also lack anything resembling technical skills or even a basic understanding of the limitations of program code or the time involved in developing.
I think the biggest problem with a dedicated business analyst is that it takes a lot of time (or smarts) to get to the stage that you know enough about the business logic to make informed decisions. You need someone who has worked in the field for a while. Developers, by default, because they are writing the code, should become experts in the domain (or at least experts in how things are currently coded for their domain). Someone who isn't writing code to represent the business rules is going to have a harder time clarifying those rules in their mind.
By the way. Business analysts aren't being outsourced. Hmmm....
Formerly someone else
I consider myself a developer and a business analyst. While developing applications I had to attend to endless meetings with users to understand their requirements. After a few months I could discuss with them about business related topics. Sometimes they asked for my advice as they knew I understood them. When people (users) were replaced by others, the new ones always came to talk to us about the applications of course, but also about the other stuff…it was great. Being a business analyst (and developer at the same time) opens the world to you. If some day you get tired of developing software you can easily switch to any other business/management related area.
So far most of the business analysts I met were knowledgeable on the business side and next to 0 when it came to software development. The requirement documents and/or business models they produced were full of inconsistencies (terminology, content, ...) and incomplete at all times from technology/system perspective. Typically an architect would have to clean up the mess and create a technically usable business model.
In response to your question, yes we have business analysts.
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