Is Business Analysis the next big thing?

Beautiful, but not tulips
Route de Vireloup

Business Analysis is the next big thing – or so they say! But are we sure it isn’t like the tulip mania of 1637, the railway speculation of the 1840 or the dot com bust of the 2000s?

Well, I for one have taken the punt and thrown my whole energy into a career in business analysis over the last 15 years. On balance I would say that I have ended up with a “Win”, but life is complicated and it might help if I took you through my story.

In a land far, far away, a long time ago I graduated as an engineer and spent 20 years progressing up the corporate ladder and enjoying work immensely. Over the time I was dragged into the IT universe and left my engineering role to become a Chief Information Officer and travel the world.

CIO roles are somewhat bruising and after a while I decided on a third career change. I had seen time and again the challenges of delivering effective technology solutions. I had always recruited great project managers, but the penny dropped that pairing strong project management with excellent business analysis was important for project success.

As time went on I realised two more things – firstly that projects are not always the best way to develop successful technology; and secondly that excellent analysis early on in an initiative was critically important, but often lacking as the skills were not available.

My final career move was from CIO to business analyst (easier to do than the other way around). I grew my career again through some challenging periods and arrived at a destination which gives me great pleasure. I now run my own Business Analysis consulting company (Vireloup Pty Ltd) providing the quality advice that I found so hard to source as a CIO. I have the flexibility to choose interesting projects and work when it suits me. Financially business analysis has been good to me.

One consistent thread through my career has been engagement in industry associations. Paraphrasing Max Weber “civilisation is created through the slow boring of hard boards”. I have done a lot of this, reaching the zenith of President of the Australia Chapter of IIBA for 3 years. It may just be coincidence that my career succeeded while I put immense effort into voluntary roles, but I don’t think so.

So my gamble on business analysis seems to have paid off. I’m not sure that everyone can say that, and I would be interested to hear your experiences.

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