As much as I value business analysis experience, I also recognize that experience takes TIME!!!! Incorporating the lessons learned from other people’s mistakes and insight is far more efficient at propelling one’s business analysis career versus simply acquiring experience over the years. Here are some of the books that have impacted my BA career and some others that I think would impact yours. Check them out!
As technology advances and competition increases, enterprises are increasingly wanting more outcomes in shorter timeframes. This often leads to juggling initiatives and changing priorities for the organization and teams. In order for business analysis practitioners to keep up with these shifts, versatility and adaptability are a MUST. There is a lot of literature that presents the need to approach initiatives based on context and adjust to specific needs, but what I really like about this book is that it gives you the actual steps to make these adjustments effectively. It gives insight on how to make versatility inherent in everyday business analysis practices. Get your copy HERE!!!
I believe that every business analysis practitioner should read the BABOK Guide in its entirety. I would consider this the bible of business analysis. This is not to say that it has everything you need to know as a business analyst (BA), however, the guide is a great benchmark for what business analysis is and presents the general skillset a business analyst should have. Prior to reading BABOK, my perception of business analysis was shaped only by my personal experience as a BA and the expectations of the organizations that I worked for. Reading the BABOK Guide was certainly an eye-opener. Get your copy HERE!
Business Analysis for Practitioners: A Practice Guide aims to define the business analyst role in project management. Because the book is created by the PMI, it defines the BA role in projects with the assumption that a project manager is involved, while IIBA’s BABOK Guide presents a more comprehensive view of business analysis, which may or may not be the case in every organization. PMI’s guide provides good guidelines for many of the general BA tasks and also discusses the significance of those tasks. Get your copy HERE!
Mind mapping has been one of the most useful tools for me as a BA. Unfortunately, I did not discover this technique until a few years ago when BABOK version 3 was released. Being in a position where I am constantly learning new things and trying to relate them to one another, I definitely need a special technique to make it all possible and mind mapping is it. Not only is mind mapping helpful for learning and organizing new information, but it is also a great technique for studying for exams. Though there are a lot of different resources on mind mapping out there, this book is one of the only ones to explain the technique at a level detailed enough to make it useful for the business analysis work that I do. Get your copy HERE!
I would recommend this book for a newer business analyst who does not have formal BA training and is still trying to figure out some of the basic concepts. This book is literally a Q &A for business analysts. At the beginning of my business analyst career, I was thrown into a BA position with a sink or swim mentality years before acquiring any formal training. It would have been nice to have a resource such as this around when I first started off, just to get some of the fundamental questions answered. Though I discovered the book well after being a BA practitioner, it provides answers to questions I never had a chance to ask. Get your copy HERE!
How to Start a Business Analyst Career by Laura Brandenburg
Business analysis is not an easy field to get into. Most organizations want business analysts with experience and very little organizations have a BA mentoring model. While this book was published far after I started my career as a business analyst; this book has been of great service to me. I constantly get questions from aspiring business analysts regarding how to get into the BA role, so I wanted to get a broader perspective of starting the BA career outside of my own experience. This book has provided good insight that I am often able to pass along to new BAs and BAs in the making. Get your copy HERE!