In a previous post, I wrote that business analysts can be leaders if they display leadership qualities. (The qualities of a leader vary according to the source, but this slideshow by Entrepreneur Magazine is a great compilation.) If a BA is in a Product Owner role, that BA should definitely be acting a leader. The same goes for Scrum Master, Portfolio Owner, Process Manager, and the like. These BAs have responsibilities not only to themselves, but also their teams, and colleagues associated with affected work efforts. To be a business analyst leader, learn to lead yourself first.
A good deal of consensus has been reached on this subject. Forbes, Fast Company, Thrive, Biz Journals, and others have all publishes multiple articles endorsing the idea. But what is the first step for a business analyst who wants to display leadership qualities? Let’s discuss.
Business Analyst Leadership Qualities
The BABOK doesn’t specifically state what the qualities are for a business analyst leader, but the IIBA Business Analyst Competency Model does list business analysts competencies.
The underlying competencies described here are not unique to business analysis. They are described here to ensure readers are aware of the range of fundamental skills required and provide a basis for them to further investigate the skills and knowledge that will enable them to be accomplished and adaptable business analysts.
• Creative Thinking,Quoted from IIBA Business Analysis Competency Model v4
• Decision Making,
• Problem Solving,
• Systems Thinking,
• Conceptual Thinking, and
• Visual Thinking.
Quality vs. Competency
Quality vs. competency in leadership is an ongoing debate– it appears both are needed, but the degree to which each is needed remains subjective.
I see a pattern here: thinking, making, learning, and solving. And I see a few ways to expand on this list.
Leadership Qualities + Business Analysis Competencies
If we consider leadership qualities and business analyst competencies together, we can extrapolate business analyst leadership qualities, and then begin to evaluate them individually. (I’ll create a matrix to be shared in a later post.)
In any case, a business analyst who wants to present themselves as a business analyst leader, should begin to lead by leading themselves.