Professional development is something that we all need to progress in our desired field to become successful. It is relevant to those who want to join a profession, who need to learn new core skills and those who need to refresh their knowledge and keep up to date with new techniques. Business analysis is a growing field so staying up to date with new techniques is critical for development. Continuously learning and developing as a business analyst can come in many forms, both formal and informal. For example, you could either read blogs and articles online or attend events, webinars or a business analyst specific training course.
I’m sure several people have attended a training course that hasn’t been effective, and you’ve felt like you haven’t learnt or benefited from it. It is easy to attend a training course which is fun and engaging but doesn’t differ to what you already do in your day to day job routine. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, training alongside personal development can be effective if you plan effectively. Here are some tips on how to make the most out of business analyst training.
Step 1 – Training isn’t the only solution
Although attending training courses can be effective and beneficial, we have already stated that sometimes the techniques taught don’t differ from your day to day job role. Training is not the only solution to personal development within business analysis. It is easy to overlook other resources when trying to learn new techniques from attending a training course. However, it is useful to be part of a community so you can share knowledge and build skills in a safe environment. Attending events or sharing knowledge with other business analysts online can help you make the most out of training and personal development.
Step 2 – BA techniques can help establish the needs
There is a variety of business analyst techniques that can be used to help understand the requirements needed for a project. The ideas can be taught from the training courses you attend but also from the people you meet at the training courses. You can also make yourself aware of other techniques which you could find online from blogs and articles. By carrying out a SWOT analysis for example, you can highlight all the areas that need working on to help improve the requirements needed for a project. If you notice a particular skills gap within your team or yourself, then there are many resources to use to help you identify what skills are needing to be taught within your organisation.
Step 3 – Refresh your skills
Refreshing your skills is another way of making the most out of your business analyst training. If you’ve had a break, you’re new to the business analyst field or you’ve come across a requirement which has indicated that you need to update your skills, then it would be necessary to do so. The core soft skills that a business analyst uses can never become outdated as those transferrable skills can be applied in any business analyst role. Refreshing your skills also gives you a chance to practice old skills which you may not use daily. New skills that you will need to learn may stem from old ones, therefore it will be easier for you to go over skills you have previously learnt as it will help you with your personal development.
Step 4 – Choose your provider carefully
If you are wanting to book or take part in external courses to make the most out of business analyst training, then there are some things you should consider. You should ensure that the provider of the external course is experienced in business analyst. Not only should they be experienced but you may want to ask when the last time they worked on a project was and if the project was big or small. This will give you an indication as the whether the provider has exceptional knowledge on business analysis and whether the course will be beneficial to you. Also, if you are looking to run a course on site and have someone come in and teach, then you may want to ask if they can customise the course so that it is relevant to your company’s context.
Step 5 – Using examples
During your training, whether it is reading blogs or attending an external training course, it is always beneficial to use examples throughout your development. To make the most out of business analyst training you should consider aspects of a project you have completed or are completing to see where each technique can be used. You should also consider when your next opportunity is to use each new technique you have learnt and if you need to do any extra learning on the technique taught. Some techniques will be used in your daily routine, but others may only be used occasionally. So, you should consider identify the techniques which aren’t used daily to ensure your team knows how to use the technique when the time comes.