4 common mistakes Business Analysts make and how to avoid them


We start off the new year discussing four common mistakes BA’s make on projects and how to avoid these mistakes:

Mistake # 1: Not understanding the WHY?

Your solution will not be complete if you don’t know why you are undertaking an initiative…

How to avoid this mistake:  Ask questions such as:

  • What is the business problem / need / opportunity that is being trying to be addressed?
  • What are the goals and objectives of the project?
  • What does success look like for this project?

These questions are usually addressed in the Business Case which is the starting point for many projects.

Mistake # 2: Not taking time out to plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail…

How to avoid this mistake:

  • Plan Business Analysis activities that you will do for the project and estimate the amount of time for each activity
  • Plan Stakeholder Engagement –  who are your stakeholders and how you will communicate with them…
  • Plan how changes will be handled to requirements throughout the initiative

Mistake #3: Not preparing for elicitation

Elicitation is at the core of what we do as Business Analysts…

How to avoid this mistake:  Ask yourself these questions as you prepare for elicitation:

  • What do you want to achieve with the elicitation session?
  • Who should be involved in your session?
  • What elicitation technique will you use?

Mistake # 4: Not getting down to the root causes of issues

Treat the problem not the symptoms

How to avoid this mistake: 

  • Use root cause analysis techniques such as Five why analysis or Fishbone diagram
  • Do not focus on who was responsible for a problem rather focus on why something happened and how it happened.
  • Always ask never assume

If you are keen to learn more on this, please contact The Skilled Business Analyst today! We will help take your career to the next level.

Yours in Analysis


Business Analysis Instructor


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