Use These Tools to Discover Your Strengths as a BA

In chapter 8.1.4 of the International Institute of Business Analysis Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (otherwise known as the BABOK Guide), you’ll find this:

Business analysts must be effective at defining and solving problems in order to ensure that the real, underlying problem is understood and that solutions actually address that problem.

So, how good are your problem-solving skills? I highlight some tools that can help you discover your strengths as a BA. For starters, take this quiz on MindTools to find out.

Of course, business analysts need more than problem-solving skills if they’re going to do their jobs effectively. To help you determine how strong your skill set is, here’s a list of other tools and tests. Taking them can help you determine whether you can be a great business analyst, or whether there may be other career paths for which you may be better suited.

Time Management

The Guide, in chapter 8.2.2, says personal organization “involves the ability to readily find files or information, timeline management of outstanding tasks and appropriate handling of priorities.” This time management quiz can give you some insight about this area’s strengths and weaknesses.

Communication Skills

Being able to communicate is perhaps the most important skill a BA needs to develop. IIBA defines oral and written communications and teaching as three underlying competencies you’ll need in this area. The assessment from Eastern Washington University, which you’ll find here, doesn’t tell you how well you communicate. Rather, it provides insight into your communication style.

In addition, the paper-based assessment shows you how to identify styles and how to communicate to someone based on their style. By knowing your approach and identifying that of others, you can get your messages across more effectively.

Listening Skills

As part of rapport-building, these skills are crucial for your success as a BA. Take this quiz from New Line ideas to find out how you score, and get some tips on how to listen effectively.

Interaction Skills

The IIBA defines these skills as facilitation and negotiation, leadership and influencing, and teamwork.

The Power Style Self-Assessment from the Boston-based organizational development firm ChangeWise can help you manage conflicts, disagreements and negotiations. It’s a situational self-assessment that identifies your “Power Style,” lists the advantages and disadvantages of your style, and offers ideas for improvement.

Strengths Finder

The Strengths Finder assessment was developed by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. It’s based on the idea that each person has a fixed number of traits, and that you can identify your most promising field based on the characteristics the assessment identifies. Below is the link to the Gallup Organization’s Strengths Finder site.

Another tool, the Workuno Strengths Test will help you identity your preferred behaviors.

Related Links

Comments

  1. BY Natalia says:

    Thanks for this great article and the links to various tools/quizzes! Reading BABOK guide is one thing, but actually being able to assess your own skills is another! Do you happen to also have some info on accessible online tools that you could recommend for improving some of these so much needed skills?

  2. BY Steven Gara says:

    Thanks for the compliment, Natalia. As far as online tools to improve BA skills, I would recommend that you simply Google whatever skill you need to improve and there will be many sites, including free ones that come up. For instance you could search on the term “improving requirement communication skills” and the search should yield a good deal of sites and information as just one example. Many other skills BA’s have are simply learned over time on the job.

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