Communication is the act of a sender conveying information to a receiver through a method that delivers the meaning the sender intended. Effective communication benefits everyone involved in a project. Therefore, communication skills are indispensable to launching and maintaining a successful business analysis career. A business analyst applies communication skills at every project turn, from launching a project to eliciting requirements, liaising with stakeholders, and validating the final solutions. Hence, it is safe to say that every aspect of business analysis relies heavily on communication.
Communication in itself is accomplished through various means, some of which include:
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
- Effective Listening
VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Business analysts use verbal communication to convey ideas, facts, concepts, requirements, and opinions to various stakeholders. The ability to ask the right questions and answer them correctly helps a Business Analyst to understand all stakeholder needs. check out business analyst interview questions
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION: Business analysts use written communication to convey ideas, concepts, facts, and opinions to various stakeholders. Business Analysts are responsible for writing different types of project documentation, including project vision, user stories, business requirements, and test cases. A poorly written document can end up being misunderstood or offensive. On the other hand, a properly written document can be used to understand a topic clearly.
LISTENING: Effective listening allows BAs accurately grasp and understand information that is communicated verbally. The outcome of effective listening is the interpretation of what has been said verbally.
One can boldly say that communication is the bedrock of a career in business analysis and not be wrong. From the points below, we will understand the importance of effective communication for BA careers.
- PRESENTATION PURPOSES: Often, business analysts make presentations to clients, stakeholders, and team members. They would have to be really good at communication in other for them to be able to get the listeners to understand what they are saying and also be able to get them on the same page. If your communication skills are poor, it will be difficult to pass across whatever message you have for your audience.
- DOCUMENTATION PURPOSE: A good chunk of the business analyst career is based on documentation, especially if you use the traditional method, which is the waterfall method. The waterfall methodology is based on effective communication. To be able to document accurately, you need to communicate, as much of the documentation is based on communication. Not taking proper documentation can lead to problems in the long run.
- MEETING FACILITATION: A business analyst facilitates several meetings with clients and team members. BAs need to be very careful about how they handle these meetings. If these meetings are not properly handled, things could go out of hand, and the objective of the meeting might not be achieved. Therefore, the business analyst needs to manage conversations, make sure that the conversation is going in the right direction, and also be able to call a halt when the conversation is going sideways.
- ELICITATION: This is the process of drawing out requirements from stakeholders. Again, communication comes in handy. It is only possible with a business analyst with excellent communication skills to elicit the proper requirements from the stakeholders effectively.
Truth be told, we cannot exhaust all reasons why communication is essential to a business analyst. The importance of communication cannot be overemphasized. It is the bedrock of a career in business analysis. Much of the activities in business analysis depend primarily on communication. Therefore, every business analyst must develop the skill to have a successful career.