I’ve been to PMI® Global Congress a few times in the past and always felt like an outsider. As a full-time business analyst (BA), I rarely found sessions that really hit on tips and techniques that would help me improve my work. And to be honest, although I am a PMP® and sometimes manage projects, I just don’t get excited about talking about project management for three days.

New Business Analysis Track

But this year at its Global Congress in Phoenix, PMI added sessions in a new track: Business Analysis and Requirements Management. I was honored to present on this track in its inaugural year. With speakers like Angela Wick, Ellen Gottesdiener, and Joy Beatty, there was at least one topic in every time slot that I really wanted to attend! A couple of themes kept popping up: we need to use more visual depictions of requirements rather than all text; analysis requires lots of collaboration and reviews; and it’s important to keep a laser focus on creating business value as the ultimate goal of every project.

PMs Appreciate BAs

In talking with attendees and listening to their questions, I was also extremely pleased to meet many project managers (PMs) who appreciate the work of business analysis and would like to have a BA on their teams. PMs working for companies with a BA role report being very happy with their BAs and grateful for their contribution. One PM said, “I can’t imagine having to do the business analysis work along with my job!”

PMs working for organizations without full-time BAs recognize the hole and are trying to fill it themselves. Some embrace the opportunity to learn new skills and perform new tasks, but many report they would rather have access to someone who has the skills and enjoys the role. “I wish we had BAs” was repeated over and over to me.

PMI’s Business Analysis Practice Guide

There was a session featuring a panel of the authors of PMI’s upcoming Business Analysis Practice Guide. The guide will focus on the work of business analysis regardless of who is performing it. A practical description of techniques with examples, it will be a useful desk reference guide that can help practitioners of all levels with their work.

Emotional Buzz

The closing keynote speaker, Vince Poscente, expertly captured the secret to success when he described the “emotional buzz” exuded by people who love their work. He encouraged us to reach for our goals and dreams even when others, or even the facts, discourage us.

This is exactly how I feel about business analysis. I get a “buzz” when I do it or talk about it or write about it. Love what you do, allow your passion to show in whatever role you choose, and, as Vince assured us, you will have “no regrets”! I don’t.

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